While you were asleep: Déjà vu as Zuma placed on medical parole

It’s déjà vu. Taking a leaf out of former close associate and businessman Schabir Shaik’s book, jailed former president Jacob Zuma has managed to be granted medical parole to serve his 15-month sentence for contempt of court “in the system of community corrections”. The news, making global headlines and causing a stir on social media, comes just two months after his incarceration and shortly after he was taken to hospital for “medical observation”.  

His “illness” has also been used as excuse for not appearing in the Pietermaritzburg High Court for his long-awaited corruption trial, which is –  surprise, surprise – linked to Shaik

In the trial set to resume this week, Zuma is facing 16 charges of among others fraud, corruption and racketeering related to the 1999 purchase of fighter jets, patrol boats and equipment from five European arms firms when he was deputy president. He is alleged to have received 783 suspicious payments to the tune of R1.2m Thales through Shaik. 

It’s been 12 years since the convicted fraudster was released from prison on medical parole, thanks to a terminally ill diagnosis. Zuma doesn’t need that long, but the “persistent illness” may lead to him never having to answer for his corrupt actions before and during his presidency that took South Africa to the brink of collapse. 

For the connected few, crime sure seems to be paying in South Africa. 

Here’s a roundup of the world’s top and most interesting headlines: 

SA Business 
The richest countries in the world – and where South Africa fits in – BusinessTech 
Business Unity’s Bonang Mohale: South Africa is now a hard sell to the global investment community – Daily Maverick 
Eskom’s double-digit tariff request unaffordable for struggling consumers – Mail&Guardian 

Global Business 
Social cost of 2019’s plastic more than GDP of India – AFP 
Job hunting, TikTok and the rise of the video CV – Daily Maverick 
Stocks actually perform better when investors are uncertain about economic policy, despite fears to the contrary, says a Wall Street chief strategist – Market Insider 

Emerging currencies are in ‘sweet spot’ for carry trades again – Bloomberg 
Asian markets mostly up as weak US data soothes taper worries – AFP 
Back to uncertainty replaces back to school for the stock market – Bloomberg 

How the digital age is reinventing (almost) everything– Forbes 
We weighed bags of chips to test if you get what you pay for – MyBroadband 
Mergers and acquisitions in South African football ruin the sanctity of the game – Daily Maverick

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