Today's Big Stories

Biko family wins High Court bid to halt auction of autopsy report

Biko family win High Court bid over autopsy report: a hearing in a judges’ chambers at the Johannesburg High Court has ruled that the planned auction of the autopsy report into the death of Steve Biko cannot be auctioned. The document is signed by Dr Jonathan Gluckman who represented the Biko family during the inquest and was going to be auctioned off this morning. Advocate George Bizos was the lawyer who represented the Biko family during the inquest after Steve Biko was killed by police in 1977. Bizos represented the family again today, speaking of the importance of these documents. EWN Correspondent, Govan Whittles:

An agreement was reached that the documents wouldn't be auctioned, but they were not necessarily returned to the Foundation and it follows thus that an application will come through to obtain these documents. This is the legacy of Steve Biko and this isn't the legacy of the Steele family, who currently have the documents in their possession. There were reports of several break in's at Dr Gluckman's practice and reports of death threats to him, hence he'd asked his secretary to keep them. They (the Biko Family) have until the end of January to file in court to obtain legal ownership of the documents.

National Key Points to be named: also in the Johannesburg High Court Judge Roland Sutherland has ruled that the list of places deemed to be national keypoints must be published within the next 30 days after the organization the Right 2 Know Campaign demanded it be released as their National Coordinator, Murray Hunter attests:

We're glad to see the court has ruled in our favour, underscoring the right to transparency. We've seen in other situations such as the Khampepe Report turned into a 5 year legal battle, but we hope this is pretty straight forward and that we don't have to go that route. If it were appealed, we'd hope to see similar support for our view, to give the public some assurance that the law isn't being used and abused in the way we've seen.

Tshabalala's consistent disappearing act: the hearing by Parliament's Commmunications Portfolio Committee into the fitness for office of SABC Chair Zandile Ellen Tshabalala is underway, while she herself isn't present. EWN Parliamentary Correspondent, Gaye Davis:

Ellen Tshabalala has just not come and has sent her attorney who read a statement which expressed her feelings that the Committee is unfair, also expressing an appeal to the High Court judge for another postponement. When Parliament calls, you're supposed to come - I'm not sure what the status of her call was or whether she was given a summons and she'd expressed she would come upon concluding the court bid. Parliament hasn't, however, taken kindly to this.

Station for sale: reports have confirmed that the Kelvin Power Station in Northern Johannesburg is up for sale. It is the only big power station that isn't owned by Eskom in the region. CEO of Nuclear Africa, Dr Kelvin Kemm:

It is a very old power station and the first units were commissioned in 1957, with the second set commissioned in 1964. It would have generated around 600 MWs there, which by today's standards is poor, given that Medupi is built to generate 4000 MWs for instance. I'm not suprised they're trying to get someone else to run it. It's running somehwere between 100 - 250 MWs right now, it was destined to wind down, and was being kept up because we've been running out of power, but it was overdue. I hear it's a beautiful building, and it is historic.

Numsa with back hand tactics?: a formal response has been released by metal workers union Numsa today to a report that claims to be an intelligence document that shows Numsa is working with other organisations to destabilize the country. Numsa Deputy General Secretary, Karl Cloete:

When we saw the democratic space being closed down, with low levels of ideas and tolerance, we thought it necessary to share this with our members in the public. There are elements of the State and those embedded elsewhere, who have made it a point that we are discredited by this document. We've generated a formal dosier for them to respond to and we're also going to ask the Human Rights Commission to open a dialogue with the public on opening democratic spaces for engagement.

The complexities of racism: the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation says that only 53% of white people believe apartheid was a crime against humanity. Its just released its latest Reconciliation Barometer in Cape Town. Project Leader for the Reconciliation Barometer Dr. Kim Wale:

Even though it's 50% who agree, it doesn't mean that 50% disagree: some respondents are neutral. What we remember also depends on what we think should change. There's also the link between covert racism and overt racism in not acknowledging injustice. In allowing covert racism, it leaves a space for overt racism, where the history of violence isn't acknowledged.

Lady Grace for top office?: in Zimbabwe, the congress of the ruling Zanu-PF continues as it appears First Lady Grace Mugabe is now well on her way to some real political power. EWN Zimbabwe Correspondent, Ryan Truscott:

The real business of congress only starts tomorrow, there's a politburo meeting today. Mugabe met with a lot of the veteran leaders today and also hit out at Vice President Joice Majuru and seems to be preparing the way for her demotion.


This article first appeared on 702 : Biko family wins High Court bid to halt auction of autopsy report


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