Flash Briefing: Zuma ordered to return to jail; Australia joins UK in reopening to SA; inflation hits highest level in four years
Briefing | Flash

Flash Briefing: Zuma ordered to return to jail; Australia joins UK in reopening to SA; inflation hits highest level in four years

  • South Africa’s high court has ordered the former president Jacob Zuma to return to jail after setting aside a decision to release Zuma from jail on medical parole. The court found that former National Commissioner of Correctional Services, Arthur Fraser, was influenced by an error of law into believing that he was entitled to grant medical parole to Jacob Zuma when the Medical Parole Advisory Board found that Zuma did not meet the necessary requirements. Judge Elias Matojane said the former president had defied the Zondo Commission, the judiciary and the rule of law and was resolute in his refusal to participate in the commission’s proceedings. Zuma’s legal team is appealing against the latest court ruling, his foundation said. “The judgment is clearly wrong & there are strong prospects that a higher court will come to a totally different conclusion,” the foundation wrote on Twitter.
  • Australia has lifted its ban on travellers from South Africa and seven neighbouring countries following the United Kingdom’s decision to scrap its controversial red list. The world is slowly reopening to South Africa following almost three weeks of intense travel bans imposed in the wake of Omicron’s discovery. But with Omicron becoming the dominant variant in London, the UK conceded that the travel ban on South Africa and its neighbouring countries had become redundant. South Africa, and 10 other countries, were removed from the red list on Wednesday morning.
  • Consumer inflation soared to its highest level in more than four years in November, driven largely by rising fuel prices that have taken their toll on consumers in recent months. The increase was in line with expectations and comes after the Reserve Bank raised its benchmark interest rate in November to help keep inflation expectations anchored in the face of building price pressures. Consumer price inflation, as measured by Stats SA’s consumer price index (CPI), hit 5.5% year on year in November, its biggest annual increase since March 2017 when the rate was 6.1%. Core inflation — or prices stripped of more volatile items including fuel and food — remained muted at 3.3% in November — pointing to still-suppressed demand in the economy. 

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