Koko Claims Eskom Bosses Were Bribed

Suspended Eskom executive Matshela Koko on Thursday accused some of his colleagues of taking bribes from suppliers and said that they had started leaking damning allegations against him in retaliation when he dealt with corruption. The allegations against him, said Koko, started surfacing when he dealt with corruption on becoming interim CEO. For instance, France Hlakudi, the former Kusile power station project manager, was paid a R61m bribe, Koko said. He produced a document that showed another R400,000 was paid to Hlakudi Interpretation and Translation — owned by Hlakudi — by Tubular Construction Projects on the day that Eskom’s tender committee approved a tender for Tubular. The money was transferred into Hlakudi Interpretation and Translation’s bank account in 2015, said Koko.

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Gigaba Says Ignore Economic Gloom

Speaking in the National Assembly on Thursday during a debate on the Medium Term Budget Policy statement he delivered last month‚ the Finance Minister chose to look on the bright side of life. “South Africans should brush aside the message of despondency and doom. Even at our bleakest moments we must not drown ourselves in our own message of doom and gloom. The difficult decisions are being taken now‚ but our economy will turn around. A brighter day beckons.” he said.

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Taxman Going After US Bitcoin Traders

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has won a US court case which will force Coinbase to disclose customer information. Coinbase must now share the data of users who have bought, sold, sent, or received over $20,000 through their accounts in a single year, between 2013 and 2015. This is estimated to be 14,355 individuals.

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Firstrand To Drop State Capture Implicate Companies

Outgoing FirstRand chairman and cofounder of the group Laurie Dippenaar expressed extreme disappointment on Thursday with “the number of large corporations that have been complicit” in state capture, saying that some would lose FirstRand’s business. Commenting on state capture, he said: “I’ve been bitterly disappointed. We have expressed our disdain and disappointment [to these companies] and some of them will not get business from FirstRand again.

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NPA Panel Convened For Zuma Corruption Charges

Controversial KwaZulu-Natal director of public prosecutions Moipone Noko will lead the National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA’s) team that considers President Jacob Zuma’s representations on corruption charges. NPA boss Shaun Abrahams gave Zuma until Thursday to argue why he should not be charged after the Supreme Court of Appeal upheld a high court judgment that the 2009 decision to drop charges had been irrational. The president is facing 783 counts of fraud, corruption, racketeering, money laundering and tax evasion.

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Guptas Hijacked Lesotho Mine

In August 2014 Lesotho Prime Minister Tom Thabane appointed Atul Gupta as an “economic investment envoy”. Thabane said ANC president Jacob Zuma had introduced him to the Gupta family and he had enlisted them “to help scout for investment” for the country. Now new evidence is emerging that the main “investment” the Guptas were touting – apart from in Thabane himself – was their takeover of a Lesotho diamond mine.

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PWC Does First Major Commercial Bitcoin Transaction

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), one of the world’s largest accounting firms, has accepted its first ever bitcoin payment for its advisory services. PwC in Hong Kong revealed it is working with a number of startups involved in bitcoin and the wider cryptocurrency industry, prompting the firm to accept the world’s most widely-known cryptocurrency. Notably, PwC also confirmed its advent into advising clients about crypto funds and investments, cryptocurrency exchanges and initial coin offerings –  a radical new form of fundraising powered by cryptocurrencies.

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Currencies: Bitcoin R156,949 . Ether R6,934 . R/USD13.73 . R/GBP18.54 . R/EUR16.36

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Theresa May Calls For Early UK Election

UK Prime Minister Theresa May said she will seek an early election on June 8, in an unexpected gamble aimed at strengthening her hand going into talks on leaving the European Union. The surprise statement came less than a month after she triggered the formal start of Brexit and marks a reversal of her position before the Easter break, when her office insisted an early election wasn’t on the cards.

Source : https://goo.gl/iViQmB

Petrol Price To Go Up By 40 Cents Next Month

South Africa’s downgrade to junk could see petrol going up by at least 40c a litre next month. The fuel increase is just the first of the dominos to fall. Growing unemployment and a slowdown in our growth rate of 1.2%. The increase in the fuel price is almost entirely due to the drop in the rand as crude oil prices had actually come down slightly over the past month.

Source : https://goo.gl/zFbylt

Gigaba On Roadshow To Woo Ratings Agencies & Investors

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba will meet with Moody’s on his trip to the US this week, in a last-ditch attempt to prevent a downgrade by the ratings agency. The purpose of this is to discuss global economic trends, and Gigaba will meet with leaders and finance ministers from various countries. He will also discuss South Africa’s role as a gateway to attract investment for the rest of the continent. He added that the trip will include a “small-scale” meeting with investors and not a full-blown roadshow, but government decided not to waste the opportunity to engage with investors and to reassure them. Gigaba said he would also give Moody’s the assurance that government’s policy direction has not changed.

Source : https://goo.gl/HahY55

CompCom Calls For Investigation Into Cell Industry Competition

The Competition Commission has called for a wider investigation into the state of competition in the mobile phone market. This comes after its decision to dismiss a complaint by Cell C against Vodacom and MTN for anticompetitive conduct related to on-net calls (calls between users of the same network) because of lack of evidence. Cell C said the price differentials applied by Vodacom and MTN prevented competition. It accused the companies of excessive pricing, inducement and margin squeeze.

Source : https://goo.gl/cXiT8E

Deloitte To Build R1 Billion Office In Midrand

Deloitte’s new premises will be developed in Waterfall in Midrand, Gauteng joining a number of leading corporates consolidating their operations in that area, including PwC. The total estimated development cost is in excess of R1 billion. The new premises will comprise 42 500m² of \workspace, which will consolidate Deloitte’s current Woodmead and Pretoria offices in a single central location. The building has space capacity for close to 5,000 people.

Source : https://goo.gl/LgnbDT

Uber Launches Uber Central For Businesses

Uber has launched Uber Central, which is built on the Uber Business platform. “With Central, businesses can request, manage, and pay for rides for others, at scale,”. Uber said Central will provide companies with a complete overview of usage, including drafts, trip history, and trip costs. This will allow them to manage their transport logistics and provide Uber-based transportation for employees or customers.

Source : https://goo.gl/IPIftd

Indicators : Oil 54.92 – Rand/USD 13.32 – Rand/GBP 17.04 – Rand/EUR 14.27