Paris opens facility for drug addicts
South African prosecutors say the country’s finance minister faces a fraud charge and must appear in court on November 2. The news yesterday deepened uncertainty about South Africa’s weak economy and the leadership of President Jacob Zuma. Shaun Abrahams, head of the National Prosecuting Authority, said the move against Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan was not politically motivated. Abrahams added that Gordhan (pictured) will be prosecuted for illegally approving an early retirement package for a former tax official. Following the announcement yesterday, the South African rand weakened by about three per cent against the US dollar. The fall in the value of the country’s currency indicated that investors are jittery. Gordhan, who was finance minister from 2009 to 2014, took up the job again in December in an effort to restore confidence in the economy. He replaced a relatively unknown figure believed to be loyal to Zuma. France will open its first safeinjection room for drug addicts despite years of efforts by conservatives to block the plan. The room, located in northern Paris, is opening for a six-year test period as allowed by a health law passed last year by the Socialist government. Intravenous drug users will be given access to clean needles under medical supervision and in the presence of drug counsellors in an effort to prevent viral infections and overdoses. About 100 addicts are expected to come daily to the room, which was unveiled to officials yesterday. It will open on Friday.