There have been a few revelations in the Zondo Commission this week. The Gupta’s have been denied their request to testify by video-link and will be forced to return to SA, Jacob Zuma has said that he is misunderstood and will co-operate with the State Capture Enquiry, and Duduzane Zuma will be allowed to cross-examine Mcebisi Jonas.
- The US and China are renewing attempts at a trade agreement later this month – this is to stave off new tariffs on $200billion in Chinese exports and the other $260billion of imports that haven’t yet been targeted.
- Jack Ma announced this week that he would step down as executive chairman of Alibaba to pursue philanthropy. His successor will be Daniel Zhang.
- The US has threatened to arrest or sanction judges and other officials of the International Criminal Court (ICC) if they decide to investigate American war crimes in Afghanistan. John Bolton, the National Security Advisor to the White House, called any investigation “unjustifiable”. Bolton gave no reason for why the investigations should not take place, resorting to threats alone.
- In August, the Congressional Budget Office reported that the US budget deficit was $211 billion, this is the fifth widest point ever.
- Hurricane Florence has made landfall and started to wreak havoc. Follow this link for live updates.
- South African business confidence has slipped marginally in the third quarter of 2018. The Rand Merchant Bank business confidence index compiled by the Bureau for Economic Research fell to 38 points in the third quarter from 39 points in the second.
- “We think things look fairly stable and see a small chance of a ratings move – either up or down – in the next eight months,” Lucie Villa, a senior analyst with Moody’s sovereign risk group, said at a presentation in Johannesburg.
- Moody’s has said that investors are waiting for an end to South Africa’s “policy stalemate”. A senior analyst at Moody’s stated that the international investment community is waiting for the outcome of the 2019 general election to find out what policies will be formulated and enacted before committing to the country.
- Fin24 wrote an article on five key takeaways from Ramaphosa’s Q&A with Parliament, follow this link for the article.
- The Guptas will not be allowed to testify by video-link, follow this link for more on the story.
- After Turkey’s Central Bank decided to hike interest rates by 625bps to 25% to stem the lira crisis, other emerging markets were lifted. The rand was among the best performers appreciating by 1.2% on Thursday. The rand has now pulled back 6% of the recent weakness but remains weaker than the levels at the end of August.
- Weekend reading: here are a few articles to read to catch up on what has been going on with the Zondo Commission.
- State Capture judge seeks statement from Zuma and rules Guptas must come back to SA to cross-examine witnesses
- Officials wriggle as Parliament probes relationship
- Zondo inquiry and corruption charges pose a twin threat against Zuma
- Zuma to Zondo: I’m misunderstood‚ I will co-operate with your state capture inquiry