The Week in Pictures
From protests against gender-based violencel a cross-border skirmish between two nuclear powers; to the continent’s first Covid-19 vaccine trial starting in South Africa, it was a busy week
June 20 — Pastors, bishops and supporters of the Rhema, Grace Bible, Central Methodist and Gracepoint Methodist churches held a protest and prayer event on Nelson Mandela Bridge in Johannesburg. They were taking a stand against the gender-based violence and femicide prevalent in SA society.
June 22 — About 45,000 minibus taxi operators went on strike over the industry’s coronavirus relief benefits, leaving commuters standing in the cold. The strike came after transport minister Fikile Mbalula announced a R1.135bn Covid-19 relief fund for the unregulated sector, with stringent conditions aimed at “advancing the formalisation of the taxi industry”.
June 23 — China and India agreed to reduce tension a week after their worst clashes in more than 50 years at a disputed part of the Himalayan border left 20 Indian troops dead in hand-to-hand fighting. The clash, reportedly fought with fists, clubs and rocks, was the first time troops were killed on their frontier since 1975 and marked a deterioration in ties between the two Asian giants, leading to demonstrations in India.
June 23 — In a move that could delay the start of former president Jacob Zuma’s trial by another two years, his corruption co-accused, French arms company Thales, is preparing to challenge the National Prosecuting Authority’s decision to charge it with racketeering. Thales’s advocate Barry Roux told Judge Kate Pillay that the arms company had repeatedly sought answers from the NPA about what material it relied on to issue a racketeering certificate against it, but has yet to receive any real answers from the state.
June 24 — SA spearheaded the first trial in Africa to test a vaccine against Covid-19. The trial was led by Wits professor Shabir Madhi, who is a global leader in vaccine development. Madhi said a vaccine is needed as the coronavirus is likely to rebound multiple times in SA.
June 24 — Finance minister Tito Mboweni laid bare the Herculean task of stabilising government debt, “close the mouth of the hippopotamus”, and avoid the country falling into bankruptcy. In his eagerly awaited supplementary, Mboweni said the country needs to reclaim its “fiscal credibility” if it is to avoid a scenario that would see its debt explode to more than 140% of GDP by 2028.
June 25 — Just days after lockdown ended and European travel restrictions were lifted, many in the UK were staying home in the cool as a heatwave hit with temperatures touching 40°C. Britain was bracing for a flood of visitors to its beaches with the heatwave expected to last until Friday and temperatures set to climb to more than 30°C in the south and centre of the country.
June 25 — Nuclear physicist Zeblon Vilakazi, who was born in Katlehong, was appointed as Wits University’s new vice-chancellor and principal. He will take over from January 2021, replacing Adam Habib who leaves at the end of the year to lead the School of Oriental and African Studies in London.
June 25 — Australia and New Zealand will host the 2023 Fifa Women’s World Cup after the countries’ joint bid was chosen by Fifa on Thursday. Japan withdrew its own bid earlier in the week and Brazil, Argentina, SA and a joint Korean proposal had already fallen by the wayside. It will be the ninth such tournament.