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NEWSFLASH NEWS AGENCY 6 January 4 pm

Good afternoon,

In this bulletin:

# The EFF deputy president says their rally is the only important political event to be held on Saturday
#  Sassa warns applicants whose marital status has changed
#  And, tennis: Djokovic’s visa troubles turn into a diplomatic storm

# EFF deputy president, Floyd Shivambu, is stirring the political pot. He says their rally is the only important political event to be held on Saturday and that any other political event taking place on the day will be clowning and repeating the same lies. The ANC is celebrating its 110th birthday in Polokwane on the same day. EFF president Julius Malema is set to hold a rally at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban to thank the people of KwaZulu-Natal for their votes in the local government elections late last year.

# Former South African Revenue Services head of investigations, Johann van Loggerenberg, says SARS should go back to basics in order to build a better organisation. Speaking to Newzroom Afrika, Van Loggerenberg says thorough investigations should commence at the institution:

Play sound: ENG SARS Van Loggerenberg

In addition Van Loggerenberg says the recommendations made in the state capture report for the review of all government institutions and contracts is a good step in rectifying mistakes made:

Play sound: ENG SARS Van Loggerenberg 2

# The South African Social Security Agency issued a warning to 350-rand social relief distress grant applicants whose marital status has changed after applying to alert the agency. Sassa says clients who get married or change their surnames at the Department of Home Affairs are urged to update Sassa of the change to avoid complications with applications that could result in recipients not being paid. The agency also apologised for a delay in responding to requests for reconsideration from those whose applications were declined.

# Australia’s daily coronavirus infections have soared to a fresh peak, overwhelming hospitals, while isolation rules are causing labour shortages, putting a strain on businesses and supply chains. Reuters reports, with the today’s count still incomplete, Australia has already reported 72-thousand-392 new infections, easily exceeding the high of 64-thousand-774 set a day earlier. Australia is now suffering infection rates far higher than elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region, and some epidemiologists in the country predict that the worst is yet to come.

# Tennis: Novak Djokovic’s visa troubles in Australia has turned into a diplomatic storm. AFP reports Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic says the world number one is the victim of a political witch hunt. The Serb’s lawyers are appealing a decision which, if it fails, would see him deported from Australia. The vaccine-sceptic Djokovic was detained on arrival at Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport having failed to “provide appropriate evidence” of double vaccination or a medical exemption. Djokovic is in the country to defend his Australian Open title.

# And financial indicators: The dollar is trading at 15-rand-76-cents and the euro at 17-rand-83-cents. One British pound costs 21-rand-33-cents and Bitcoin trades at 42-thousand-888-dollar-70-cents. Gold is selling at one thousand-795-dollars-01-cents a fine ounce and Brent crude oil is quoted at 82-dollars-02-cents a barrel.

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