Flash Briefing: Zuma ordered to go to jail – ConCourt; SA FDI shrinks; EOH sues its founders for billions
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Flash Briefing: Zuma ordered to go to jail – ConCourt; SA FDI shrinks; EOH sues its founders for billions

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  • Former South African president Jacob Zuma has been sentenced to 15 months in jail for contempt of court. Corruption-tainted Zuma has consistently refused to appear at the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture. The Constitutional Court justices said it would defy logic to impose a suspended sentence in response to what has been a direct and calculated assault on the judiciary and SA’s constitutional democracy, reports BusinessLive. Bloomberg notes that the government estimates more than R500bn ($35bn) was stolen from the state during Zuma’s rule, and at least 40 witnesses who’ve appeared before Zondo linked the ex-president to the looting spree. Zuma, who the ruling party forced to quit in 2018 to stem a loss of electoral support, has denied wrongdoing and says the allegations against him are part of a smear campaign. Zuma wasn’t present for Tuesday’s ruling. He has five days to present himself to the authorities. In the event that Zuma fails to hand himself over, the police must “take all steps that are necessary” to ensure he is delivered to a prison to start serving his sentence, adds Bloomberg.
  • The severity of the third wave of coronavirus infections in Johannesburg and the rest of South Africa’s commercial hub of Gauteng may be due to a comparatively low rate of previous infections, according to a blood survey. A study of samples collected from blood donations in South Africa’s nine provinces in January and May showed that Gauteng had the second lowest prevalence of Covid-19 antibodies, according to the South African National Blood Service. The samples in Gauteng, collected in May, showed a prior infection rate of 35.1%, compared with 62.5% of those collected in the Eastern Cape province in January.
  • South Africa’s foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows narrowed to R6.1bn ($426m) in the first quarter of this year from R16bn in the fourth quarter of 2020, the central bank said, according to Reuters. “The increase in non-resident parent entities equity investment in domestic subsidiaries more than countered domestic subsidiaries’ repayment of loans to non-resident parent entities,” the South African Reserve Bank said in its Quarterly Bulletin. Portfolio investments, reflecting a record of buying and selling of securities such as bonds and shares, registered outflows of R6.4bn in the three months to end-March compared to inflows of R24.1bn in the prior quarter.
  • EOH Holdings is suing its co-founder and former CEO, Asher Bohbot, and its former chief financial officer, John King, for R1.7bn in damages each, says MyBroadband.co.za, quoting TechCentral. EOH is also pursuing several other former executives. TechCentral reports that EOH has filed civil claims against Bohbot and King in the high court in Johannesburg, seeking R1.66bn from each of them for damages inflicted on the group due to their alleged failure to deal effectively with governance breaches and malfeasance that have decimated the IT services group’s share price and valuation, not to mention its reputation.These lawsuits come amidst revelations of widespread corruption, BEE fronting, and tender rigging at EOH. EOH has been struggling to rid itself of the history of widespread corruption at the company, including kickbacks to win lucrative tenders.

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