South Africa: What’s Happening In South African News – June 15, 2022

Cape Town —  

Ramaphosa Digs In Heels Over Public Protector’s Suspension

President Cyril Ramaphosa has stuck to his decision to suspend Busisiwe Mkhwebane last week Thursday – this despite a threat by her of court action if the decision was not revoked by Tuesday 14 June, 2022. The president’s action drew criticism from various political parties in view of the fact that the public protector last week announced she would investigate allegations levelled against Ramaphosa by former State Security Agency director-general Arthur Fraser, in connection with the theft of U.S.$4 million at his Phala Phala farm in Limpopo in 2020, that was not reported to the police. Fraser laid a charge against the president and also alleges that the thieves were kidnapped, interrogated and paid off to keep quiet.

Road Collapses as Rain Continues In Cape Town Overnight

The Western Cape has been lashed by heavy rains and wind since Sunday June 12. Flooding has occurred in many areas, with low lying informal settlements being worst affected. This morning, a road collapse has been reported at Spine Road off the N2, following heavy overnight rain.

Supreme Court of Appeal Slams Govt’s 2020 Tobacco Ban

The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) has ruled the state’s five month ban on tobacco products during the lockdown period was “fundamentally flawed”. In December 2020, the Western Cape High Court declared the ban to have been both unconstitutional and invalid, on the back of an application brought by British American Tobacco South Africa (BATSA). Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma – under whose hand the ban was effected – then lodged an appeal with the SCA, which was heard in March, 2022.

According to reports, Judge Ashton Schippers, who penned the SCA’s ruling, said the minister had failed to show that the benefits of the ban exceeded the harm it caused. The judge said the ban had threatened the stability of the entire tobacco value chain, the judge said, leaving tobacconists unable to trade and informal traders forced to close shop.

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