Today's Big Stories

Nkosinathi Biko: 'WITS say Biko autopsy report stolen at SA Medical Services'

Bringing back Biko's documents: a claim has been made by an attorney for Clive and Susan Steele - who wanted to sell what was purported to be the autopsy report into the death of Steve Biko – that the document they wanted to auction was only a copy. Earlier this week, the Biko family went to court to stop the document from being sold. CEO of the Steve Biko Foundation and the eldest son of Steve Biko, Nkosinathi Biko:

I read the statement issued by the Steele's and I read it against the citation used to auction this document. The Steeles are only entitled to their version of the truth. They had this enlisted under Lot 101 for the auction and they had original ruled covers along with documents from a pathologist. In this citation, it is also noted that they don't know whether a copy of this report exists. They don't have the option to go back and say this is a copy, because they had the opportunity to clear this up. When there was the opportunity to extract value out of this, they were playing up this document. But now that there's been public outcry over this document, they are now playing the value of this document down. We've further established as the Steve Biko Foundation that Dr Gluckman's files were much later submitted by the South African Medical Services to the WITS Archive. If you go there, the Biko file is empty. It doesn't have the document there, that should be in there, as the original. The statement given by the South African Medical Services to WITS is in fact that they had a break in, in their offices in Braamfontein and that file was stolen. It seems someone has had an interest in this document for a long time. If they (the Steele family) don't hand over the documents by Monday, this will kick in the next phase and we will retrieve these documents.

Tshabalala saga: at the SABC headquarters in Auckland Park, SABC Chair Zandile Ellen Tshabalala has claimed there is an agenda against her and that she will not step down from her position. On Wednesday, Parliament’s Communications Committee voted that she be suspended by the President after it found that she lied about her qualifications. Parliament heard testimony from UNISA that she had not passed the courses needed to claim that she had a BComm from the university. EWN Senior Correspondent, Gia Nicolaides:

Tshabalala says she suspects there's an agenda against her and the SABC in general, linking to Hlaudi Motsoeneng's lack of a matric certificate as well. She hired a lawyer when the qualification allegations first came out and she's hired a lawyer now, stating that the widely reported on, dismal UNISA results, aren't hers. She is adamant she will go to court and that the court will rule in her favour.

Save Our SABC Coalition's Kate Skinner:

This is incredibly strange because it would seem that UNISA was confident with their records and could say what she'd passed and hadn't passed. It seems odd that she says they have it incredibly wrong when they are so confident with all their information. The problem is that we're dealing with this and not more pressing issues of the public broadcaster, including digital migration and the employment of a new CEO and we're being dragged in the mud. What we need her to do is for her to resign and not have the public deal with these issues.

#RememberMandela: around the a country, a moment of silence was held at ten o' clock to remember Nelson Mandela, who died on this day a year ago. EWN Senior Correspondent, Barry Bateman:

Graca Machel, Madiba's widow, must have had the most poignant tribute at the commemoration today, talking about how numb she'd been last year at this time. But now, looking back on it, she can look forward with the thought that he's now with Ruth First, Oliver Tambo and other fallen stalwarts.

New 24 hour news channel planned: The Star and Pretoria News have noted that Independent Newspapers Chair, Iqbal Surve, has now signed a deal to start a new 24 hour news TV station with China’s CCTV. WITS Caxton Professor of Journalism, Anton Harber:

There's not much detail on what they have in mind. Is there space for a truly African channel that gives the African perspective on global and local issues? Yes. Is there space for cheaply produced content? No, I don't think so. I'd say that eNCA are the leader in the pay-per-view news sector. You can do 24 hour news that covers the African continent cheaply but you do need to expand your resources.

Lights out...again: around the country last night and again at the moment there was our old friend load shedding, as Eskom says it’s battling to meet the demand for electrcity. Eskom's Andrew Etzinger:

Unfortunately, we have implemented load shedding and will continue into the weekend. As we head towards the festive season, we will get relief and we're hoping this will be enough to take us into January. We now have had to move to Stage 3 situation and will hopefully move back to a Stage 2 situation.

Parliament, power, politics, people: a piece in the Mail and Guardian suggests that the culture in Parliament is changing slightly and that we are seeing isiZulu and isiXhosa being used more often; but also that there is a clash between youth and age in the National Assembly. Researcher at the University of Johannesburg's Research Unit for Social Change, Trevor Ngwane:

What is happening in Parliament mirrors what is happening in society. The youth are in the majority and demand change. The old guard was often seen sleeping on their benches in Parliament. We are talking people who are poor and a government that is unresponsive to the needs of people - I'm glad the debate has moved away from issues of race. The Public Protector's case load is overwhelming - people are angry! We also see people using Parliamentary decorum to stifle debate.

Soccer Saturday: at the FNB Stadium, it's the classic clash - the Soweto Derby - with the Kaizer Chiefs playing the Orlando Pirates. With the Chiefs currently ruling the league, things might seem more favourable for them. Football analyst, Kwena Moabelo:

They are on paper (Chiefs) because they haven't lost a match in the league. But history will tell you that a team that has recently changed a coach is vulnerable so it could be an advantage for the Pirates.

Springboks vs the Proteas?: at the Wanderers tonight, will be a a slightly biazarre cricket match. It’s the Springboks taking on the Proteas – the national rugby team taking on the national cricket team - in a game of cricket! International rugby referee - who will for the sake of this game be playing umpire - Craig Joubert:

I had a lot of fun last year meeting the Proteas players and I look forward to meeting them again. You would think as an umpire at a big game, I would know all of the rules, but I'd be less confident! But I do love the game and I watch it a lot.

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