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Athletics South Africa joins Semenya’s appeal over CAS verdict

Semenya announced on Wednesday that she would appeal the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruling

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South African Olympic 800m champion Caster Semenya celebrates after the 1.500m senior women final at the ASA Senior Championships at Germiston Athletics stadium, in Germiston

Athletics South Africa (ASA) said on Friday it had joined Caster Semenya’s appeal against the ruling that currently prevents the double Olympic champion from running her preferred distance races unless she takes testosterone-suppressant medication.

Semenya announced on Wednesday that she would appeal the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruling that supported the IAAF’s rule that means XY chromosome athletes with differences in sexual development (DSDs) can race in distances from 400m to a mile only if they take the medication and reach a reduced level.

Semenya has asked the Swiss Federal Supreme Court to set aside CAS’s decision, which she said did not consider medical protocols and uncertain health consequences of taking such medication.

Athletics South Africa said in a statement that, once it had received full details of the CAS award, it would file its own appeal through Swiss lawyers.

“ASA is aware that our athlete, Caster Semenya, has lodged her own appeal against the CAS award with the request that the IAAF regulations be wholly suspended pending the finalisation of the appeal,” the statement said.

“ASA has informed the Swiss Federal Court that insofar as it participated in the CAS arbitration and to the extent that Ms Semenya is a registered member of the ASA, the federation wishes to be considered as an interested party in the stay proceedings, and in the appeal against the award and will file its appeal papers shortly.

“Accordingly, ASA wishes to confirm that it will participate in the stay proceedings and in the appeal before the Swiss Federal Court.”

Semenya, who previously took testosterone suppressants and saw her performance level drop off before the IAAF rules were lifted, says she will not go through the process again.

Testosterone is a hormone that increases muscle mass, strength and haemoglobin and the IAAF said its own research showed it gave a significant endurance advantage to athletes in the 400m-mile range.

The CAS verdict was highly controversial, with many high-profile current and former athletes lining up on both sides of the debate.

Semenya won her last competitive 800 metre race at the Doha Diamond League on May 3 and if she is unable to overturn the CAS verdict, or gain a suspension, she will not be able to defend her two-lap title at the world championships in Qatar in September.

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Politics

Zuma’s lawyer says he will attend ‘prejudiced’ graft inquiry

Jacob Zuma, who was forced out of office last year over corruption allegations, has denied any wrong doings

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Jacob Zuma will attend ‘prejudiced’ graft inquiry -lawyer
Former South African President Jacob Zuma speaks with his lawyers at the High Court in Pietermaritzburg. (Photo by Themba Hadebe / POOL / AFP)

South Africa’s former president, Jacob Zuma, will attend a judicial inquiry into government graft during his tenure even though he believes it is prejudiced against him, his lawyer said.

Zuma’s lawyer Daniel Mantsha, on Tuesday, said:

“He is going to the commission as invited from July 15-19.”

However, “our client remains of the view that the commission is prejudiced against him and lacks the requisite impartiality,” Mantsha wrote separately in a letter to the inquiry seen by reporters.

It wasn’t specified in the letter if Zuma would testify or answer questions. It described last week’s invitation from the commission for Zuma to attend – in which it said he had been implicated in graft by at least nine witnesses – as part of a “disinformation campaign”.

The primary brief of the inquiry is to investigate corruption allegations, notably at state firms Eskom and South African Airways, which are in serious debt after years of mismanagement.

It is reviewing accusations that three prominent businessmen – brothers Atul, Ajay, and Rajesh Gupta — unduly influenced Zuma during his presidency about political appointments and the awarding of state contracts.

Jacob Zuma, who was forced out of office last year over corruption allegations, has denied any wrongdoings.

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Business News

Zimbabwe declares interim RTGS dollar sole legal tender

The RTGS dollar was introduced in February 2019 as a first step towards a new currency by the year’s end

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Zimbabwe declares interim RTGS dollar sole legal tender
(File photo)

Zimbabwe has adopted its interim currency as the country’s sole legal tender on Monday in a bid to stem black market demand for foreign currencies.

The RTGS dollar was introduced in February 2019 as a first step towards a new currency by the year’s end. This is a main part of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s plan to stabilise an economy racked by inflation and widespread shortages.

According to the official statement, “the British pound, United States dollar, South African rand, Botswana pula, and any other foreign currency shall no longer be legal tender alongside the Zimbabwe dollar in any transactions in Zimbabwe”.

The latest variation of the domestic currency, the RTGS, has struggled to gain trust among large corporations and everyday Zimbabweans. Economic analysts fear 2009 may repeat itself with the interim currency.

Last week, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) requested that the central bank allows the RTGS to float freely so that exporters could sell dollars at the interbank rate rather than surrender them to the central bank

On the official interbank rate, the RTGS currency was pegged at 6.2 but on Monday, it traded between 11 and 12 against the dollar on the unofficial market.

But, Zimbabweans are complaining that goods and services are still being priced in other currencies. While more than 80% of Zimbabweans earn RTGS dollars, goods ranging from bricks to rentals, car parts and many groceries have their prices pegged in U.S. dollars.

Inflation has climbed to a decade high 97.86%, eroding salaries and savings and causing Zimbabweans to fear a return to the hyperinflation of 2008 when the rate reached 500 billion per cent.

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Business News

South Africa’s Vodacom plans sale of operations in five African markets

The company plans sale of holdings in Angola, Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Zambia

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South Africa's Vodacom plans sale of operations in five African markets

Vodacom, a branch of Vodafone Group Plc and operators of mobile phone services in Africa is selling its Business Africa operations. This comprises holdings in Angola, Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Zambia.

The company’s Angolan holdings is being sold to Internet Technologies Angola (ITA) while Synergy Communication (SynCom) will take over its Nigeria, Zambia and Ivory Coast businesses. Synergy Communications will partner with major global cloud providers and deliver platform-based services to both multinationals and local enterprises

SynCom will be taking over 100 per cent holding of the three African markets subject to regulatory approvals. The acquisition will boost SynCom’s coverage as it already has presence in Botswana, Malawi and Mozambique.

Vodacom on its part, says the operations and assets of its affected Business Africa units will be acquired by the new partners on confidential terms. In the year ended March 31, enterprise service revenue contributed 23 per cent to group service revenue for Vodacom, with 77 per cent of the revenue coming from consumer service. Vodacom also affirms that the agreements were subject to regulatory approvals across relevant markets.

Vodacom Group CEO, Shameel Joosub, says “the company is not exiting any of the territories related to the transactions and remains focused on continuing to deliver exceptional service to our global and multinational clients in these markets through long-term commercial agreements”

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