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Five things making headlines in South Africa today

Court overturns Necsa board suspension, Please Call Me inventor expects more in compensation, driver demerit system is signed into law and more.
The government officially signs into law the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Amendment Act, setting up a demerit system. Picture: Moneyweb

Here’s what caught our attention on Monday:

1. Court overturns Necsa board suspensions

The Pretoria High Court has overturned former energy minister, Jeff Radebe’s suspension of the Necsa board, meaning that members including Dr Kelvin Kemm and Pamela Bosman are to be reinstated as chairman and head of audit, respectively. Lawyers representing the suspended board members say all decisions taken by the replacement board since December 2018 (when the board was suspended) are unlawful and must be reviewed, Moneyweb is reporting. The court has not yet ruled on the position of former Necsa CEO Phumzile Tshelane, saying the minister acted within his rights to suspend Tshelane, pending a disciplinary hearing which is still ongoing.

Read: Court issues damning judgment against Jeff Radebe

2. Please Call Me case continues 

The inventor of Vodacom’s infamous Please Call Me service, Nkosana Makate, is planning to head back to court to challenge the R47 million settlement fee he was offered by Vodacom during the most recent compensation talks with the telecommunications company. According to Moneyweb, Makate launched an application at the High Court in Pretoria, seeking to review and set aside Vodacom’s settlement offer. He also wants Vodacom to reveal the revenue it collected from the Please Call Me function since its launch in 2001 and is asking to be paid 5% of the total revenue plus accrued interest. Based on this, Makate believes Vodacom owes him a settlement fee of at least R10.2 billion.

Read: Please Call Me inventor wants more than R10bn

3. The driving demerit system

President Cyril Ramaphosa had assented to and signed the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Amendment Bill, which makes it law.

The demerit points system would see drivers who commit offences receiving 1-6 points depending on the severity of the traffic offence. If a driver exceeds 12 points, their licence would be disqualified. Failure to pay traffic fines could also lead to having both driving and vehicle licenses suspended.  

Moneyweb is reporting that Outa says the controversial act could force Gauteng motorists to pay e-tolls – as ignoring e-tolls could be listed as one of the offences.

Read: Government sets up demerit system for drivers

4. Mxolisi Nxasana to appear at the state capture inquiry

Former head of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Mxolisi Nxasana is due to appear before the state capture commission on Monday. Nxasana was appointed to the NPA by former president Jacob Zuma in 2013, but was reportedly illegally removed by him in 2017, after receiving a R17 million golden handshake. In previous testimony Nxasana told the inquiry that Zuma flouted procedure to have him appointed as the national director, saying that there was political meddling in the office.

5. Rand update

The rand erased earlier gains following a volatile session on Friday which saw it close at R15.31 to the dollar. According to Rand Swiss, the local currency was at first firmer on improved sentiment after global markets rebounded from sell-offs last week. Fears over a looming global recession also began to mount, following the inversion of the US bond yield curve.

Read: Trump ‘not ready’ for China trade deal, dismisses recession fears

Locally, July inflation data is due on Wednesday.

The rand was at R15.22 at 8:45 on Monday.


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