Flash Briefing: Covid-19 spoils cricket fun; SA vaccines; Zondo; MTN poaches Telkom finance boss

By Melani Nathan

  • The first match of England’s one-day series in South Africa has again been called off because of positive coronavirus tests, this time from two members of hotel staff. According to the BBC, the game, due to be played on Friday, was postponed after an unnamed South Africa player tested positive. The home squad was tested again on Friday and all had negative results. Sunday’s match in Paarl was abandoned just 30 minutes before the start. The England squad were tested on Saturday after the positive tests of the hotel staff, and the ODI was initially delayed as the England and Wales Cricket Board said it is awaiting “ratification” of those results. The cancellation was confirmed shortly after, and it was later revealed that two members of the England party had returned “unconfirmed positive tests”. It is unclear whether the games due to be played on Monday and Wednesday will take place. England are scheduled to fly home on Thursday.
  • At the Zondo commission this week, Eskom’s former group CEO Matshela Koko and chairperson Zola Tsotsi contradict each other over the involvement of Gupta lieutenant Salim Essa. The first version is corroborated by Nick Linnell, known as Dudu Myeni’s fixer. Linnell says a meeting took place in Durban with former president Jacob Zuma, Myeni, and former Eskom chairperson Zola Tsotsi. A document was discussed which listed how Eskom was performing poorly, especially with loadshedding and needed a change of guard. Tsotsi and Linnel say it was agreed then group CEO Tshediso Matona would be suspended with three executives – the CFO Tsholofelo Molefe, group capital head Dan Marokane and Koko who was head of technology. The suspensions were apparently orchestrated by Zuma to place Gupta aligned associates in the power utility to award lucrative tenders to the influential family. Visit BizNews.com for more updates on the Zondo Commission.
  • Telkom’s Group Chief Financial Officer has resigned with immediate effect, to join telecoms rival MTN. In a statement, CEO Ralph Mupita says these changes are strategically important for the group’s growth and to unlock value. He added that he is pleased that there is steady progress in the inclusion of women in the group’s leadership. We are pleased to announce the appointment of Tsholofelo Molefe as the new GCFO.
  • Local experts have voiced concerns that the South African government has been too quiet about plans to buy Covid-19 vaccines and manage vaccination programs in the country. Now the South African government has finally shared details of its plans – which accounts for about 10% of the country’s population. According to experts, a vaccination rate of 60% to 70% is needed to achieve herd immunity. South Africa will probably take its first delivery of coronavirus vaccines by the middle of next year. The government will take delivery of the vaccines under the Covax initiative after Solidarity Fund, a charity organization, agreed to make an initial payment of about R327m.
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