Today’s latest news and headlines, Wednesday 12 August

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All the big stories set to dominate headlines today can be found here, where we review the latest news in look out for on Wednesday 12 August.

TODAY’S LATEST NEWS IN , Wednesday 12 August

NEC meeting concluded: Is shift to Level 2 imminent?

Following the conclusion of meetings between the African National Congress (ANC) and their National Executive Committee (NEC) on Tuesday, the country can expect some report-back. With Level 3 nationawide lockdown having endured for nearly over two months and COVID-19 cases being reported on daily basis dropping, citizens are curious as to when the stringent lockdown restrictions will relax and allow the economy to further reopen.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said on Tuesday that discussions are now underway within the ruling party and the National Coronavirus Command Council regarding the next steps in combatting the virus and saving the economy, and with the Disaster Management Act’s period of implementation set to expire on Saturday 15 August, we can expect to hear from President Cyril Ramaphosa soon.

Cigarette ban: Supreme Court deliberates verdict

The Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association (Fita) have continued their efforts to see the ban on cigarette sales lifted by taking their case to the Supreme Court of Appeals (SCA), who have received arguments and responses from both Fita and the State, who are led by Cooperative Government and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. The SCA is currently deliberating the responses they have received, and said that verdict can be expected “in days rather than weeks”, meaning that we can prepare for an update on whether or not the ban will remain in place this week.

On Tuesday 11 August, it was that Dlamini-Zuma wrote in her affidavit to the court that cigarettes do not constitute product worthy of being deemed essential, and that she believes that the ban serves its purpose – relieving pressure on the healthcare system. Fita argue that no such goal has been achieved, saying that the implementation ban is arbitrary and is merely costing the country billions in taxable excise and shedding jobs by the hundreds of thousands.

State capture inquiry continues following bombshell van Rooyen testimony

The State Capture Inquiry churned out several bombshell revelations on Tuesday, with former Finance Minister Des van Rooyen admitting that both the Gupta family and Bashir Saleh – close associate of Muammar Gaddafi – ‘were in’ on his appointment.

Before former president Jacob Zuma handed him the keys to the treasury for what was widely described a “ special” lasting a mere four days, , Van Rooyen said that he met with Rajesh Gupta and Bashir Saleh several times before he was sworn in. He was then given the shepherds crook and removed from office several days after he took office amidst a vintage Zuma-era cabinet reshuffle.

The State Capture Inquiry continues on Wednesday, with commissioner Raymond Zondo set to put more characters who have been implicated in the mass corruption and capture country’s assets under the microscope.

Schools continue phased reopening

With Grade 7 children having returned to the classroom this week following the latest phase reopening of ’s schools, various provincial education departments are expected to provide updates on how the process is panning out for students and students.

Following a four-week break from schooling, provincial education bodies are keen to get the academic year back on track, and there were no hiccups to report when classes resumed on Tuesday. How will the rest week go?


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