For Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I’m Halima Frost.
Making headlines: Zuma trial postponed to 17 October, as High Court awaits ConCourt appeal ruling; Sars strike continues, but unions still open to talks; And, Health department scraps daily Covid-19 updates due to 'reduced severity and transmissibility'
Zuma trial postponed to 17 October, as High Court awaits ConCourt appeal ruling
The KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg has postponed former president Jacob Zuma’s corruption trial to allow the Constitutional Court to rule on his latest legal bid to remove Billy Downer as his prosecutor.
This morning, Judge Piet Koen adjourned proceedings to 17 October, for the apex court's decision on Zuma’s "special plea" appeal bid. If the Constitutional Court dismisses Zuma's appeal, the arms deal corruption trial will proceed on 7 November.
Downer confirmed that the former president’s attempt to persuade Supreme Court of Appeal President Mandisa Maya to reconsider her court’s dismissal of his special plea appeal had failed.
Zuma, who was excused from attending court today, is now demanding that the Constitutional Court order Maya to reconsider her decision.
Zuma is adamant that Downer lacks the impartiality and independence to prosecute him.
Sars strike continues, but unions still open to talks
Unions striking at the South African Revenue Service have vowed to continue with their industrial action this week, but have said they remain open to resuming discussions if the tax body comes forward to them with a meaningful offer.
Sars revised its wage increase offer to unions marginally from 1.3% to 1.5%. Meanwhile, the Public Servants Associations and the National Education, Health, and Allied Workers Union have not budged from their CPI plus 7% increase, which effectively adds up to 12%.
On Friday, 21 Sars branches around the country were closed for in-person visits.
Nehawu spokesperson Lwazi Nkoli said the union would continue to consult with members as the days continue, but in the meantime, its demand for 12% remains.
And, Health department scraps daily Covid-19 updates due to 'reduced severity and transmissibility'
The Department of Health will no longer release daily Covid-19 reports.
Instead, it will release weekly reports.
In a statement, it said daily reports would no longer be released "due to the reduced severity and transmissibility of the disease at the current moment, coupled with declining Covid-19 case numbers".
The department and the National Institute for Communicable Diseases decided that it was justifiable to allow members of the reporting structures to return to their permanent jobs on a full-time basis, after releasing the reports daily since 2020.
However, the department cautioned that it "doesn't mean the pandemic is over".
That’s a roundup of news making headlines today
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