Flash Briefing: Caster loses legal battle; Malema wants your business; Apple drives Wall Street

By Jackie Cameron

In today’s global news headlines:

  • In a landmark case, South African Olympic champion Caster Semenya has lost a legal battle against rules to force her to take medicine to compete internationally. Experts say Semenya is now likely to run the 800m around seven seconds slower – turning her from a world beater into an also-ran at that event. The 28-year-old heroine Semenya is hyperandrogenous, which means she has elevated levels of testosterone. Semenya put on a brave face after she lost her 10-year battle with athletics governing body, the IAAF. Semenya said: “For a decade the IAAF has tried to slow me down, but this has actually made me stronger. The decision”, she said, “will not hold me back”. “I will once again rise above and continue to inspire young women and athletes in South Africa and around the world.”
  • As South Africa heads towards elections next week, Julius Malema, leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters party has called for workers to be given shares in all strategic sectors within the economy, including the financial sector. Malema told his supporters at a Workers’ Day rally in Alexandra, Johannesburg, that this ownership would be realised through the party’s land expropriation without compensation bill. “When we have the land, we will have the firms. The firms must belong to workers,” said Malema, who favours the types of government policies that have pushed Venezuela into economic and political crisis turmoil.
  • Venezuela tops the global news agenda because it is engulfed in a political crisis with two rival politicians claiming to be the country’s legitimate leader. On 30 April, opposition leader Juan Guaidó called on the security forces to join him in the “final phase” of the removal from power of Mr Nicolas Maduro, a move the government said was “an attempted coup”.
  • On the US stock markets, Apple was a winner, rising about 6% and pulling Wall Street indices up with it in early trade on 1 May. The iPhone maker’s results were better than expected. Also pleasing stock market investors were Apple’s upbeat forecasts for its China business, plans to buy back $75bn in shares and increase its dividend.
  • Most European markets were closed for the May Day holiday as was the JSE.