State capture specialists back at Zondo; SAA; Naspers results; Zimbabwe stock market panic; Rand

By Jackie Cameron

  • The Zondo Commission into State Capture has resumed after proceedings were halted because of the Covid-19 lockdown three months ago. The inquiry is hearing evidence in connection with allegations of corruption at the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) from former chairperson Popo Molefe, who is returning for the sixth time. BizNews journalist Linda van Tilburg picks up that story. For more on that, log into BizNews Premium for Linda van Tilburg’s full report: Zondo to ask Zuma and Ramaphosa: What did you do to stop corruption at SOEs?
  • President Cyril Ramaphosa says the stigmatisation of those infected with Covid-19 must stop, in his weekly email to the nation. He notes that there have been “disturbing reports of individuals being ostracised from their communities and of communities protesting against coronavirus patients being admitted to local hospitals and clinics. This must stop”. Ramaphosa continues: “Just as we came together to promote acceptance of people living with HIV and stood firm against victimisation, we must show understanding, tolerance, kindness, empathy and compassion for those who are infected with this virus and for their families.The time when anyone could say they do not know anyone who is infected or affected by coronavirus has long passed. Now, more than ever, our friends, families, colleagues and neighbours need our empathy and support.”
  • The Department of Public Enterprises has withdrawn from the forum to restructure SAA, with its leaders offended at public criticism. Among its reasons: participants have leaked confidential information and have issued public statements that attack the government department  and its leadership.
  • Stockbrokers in Zimbabwe are struggling to explain to investors what’s happened to their money after the government shut down the stock exchange. The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange announced Sunday it suspended trading to comply with a directive issued by the Information Ministry late Friday that the bourse close, reports Bloomberg. It’s the latest in a series of measures the government has implemented to try and stabilize the nation’s currency. Traders have been inundated with calls from “shocked and stressed” investors, Thedias Kasaira, managing director at Imara Edwards Securities, told Bloomberg.
  • e-Commerce and the growth of Chinese tech stock Tencent continues to power up Johannesburg stock market darling Naspers, which delivered a solid set of results on Monday for the 12 months ending 31 March. Revenue grew 23% to US$22.1bn, and trading profit grew 17% to US$3.7bn, Naspers said on Monday. Bob van Dijk, Group Chief Executive Officer, described the past year as a “truly transformational twelve months for the group, marked in September by the listing of our international internet assets as Prosus on Euronext Amsterdam. He added: “This is an exciting step forward, opening up fresh opportunities to build long-term sustainable value. Throughout the year, we continued to execute our long-term strategy of building leading consumer internet companies. This was reflected in a solid performance driven by revenue growth, notably the Food Delivery segment, and improved profitability in our e-commerce businesses, particularly the Classifieds segment, underpinned by continued growth of Tencent.”
  • The South African rand steadied against the US dollar on Monday as the spread of the coronavirus at home and around the world dampened optimism over a swift economic recovery, reports Reuters. At the end of the business day, it traded at 17.2675 per dollar, little changed from its closing level on Friday.
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