Today's Big Stories

[BREAKING] Shrien Dewani acquitted of murder charges

[BREAKING] Dewani gets off: Western Cape Deputy Judge President Jeanette Traverso has granted Shrien Dewani's application for acquittal. Traverso has ruled there's no evidence with which a reasonable court could convict Shrien Dewani and has been handing down judgement at the Western Cape High Court a while ago. Traverso has found that the only accomplice witness in Dewani's trial, Zola Tongo had given contradictory evidence and was prepared to lie. Dewani is accused of having his wife Anni Dewani killed while they were on honeymoon in Cape Town in 2010. EWN Correspondent, Rahima Essop:

Just a few minutes ago, Judge Traverso ruled that Dewani's application was successful and he will return to the UK a free man. Dewani's family is sitting next to him and his mother wept when this was announced in court.

Criminal Law expert, Professor James Grant on what this ruling may mean for the NPA's credibility:

We should be careful though to remember that this trial happened four years down the line. So while the NPA may well have had reasonable grounds - it would appear - to prosecute, no one would have known that these witnesses would have - four years down the line - just disintegrated. At this point, Judge Traverso shouldn't have been focusing on credibility at this stage of proceedings, but Tongo's version of events was so bad that no reasonable court could find this to be credible evidence. A 176 application can only be appealed by the NPA only if there's a mistake of law, but Judge Traverso was very careful to make a mistake of law.

Power update: Eskom is expected to give a comprehensive update on the state of its power system when it has a briefing at two o'clock this afternoon at Megawatt Park after it implemented stage three load shedding across the country last week and again over the weekend. This meant that many shopping centres were not able to trade during what is often one of their busiest weekends of the year. Additionally, there are questions about the impact of load shedding on cell phone networks. Vodacom Head of Communications, Richard Boorman:

We've got about 10000 base stations throughout South Africa and their back up battery systems should work for at least 4 hours. Each time there's a discharge-recharge situation, it ultimately degrades the battery. It makes us lose revenue and we are stretched by this, but we have managed to keep things running. If we two or three outages in a weekend, it's (the battery back up system) not going to recharge and it won't work again.

The Korkies await their loved one: expected at the Waterkloof Airforce Base this afternoon is the body of Bloemfontein teacher Pierre Korkie who was killed over the weekend during a raid by American forces in Yemen who were trying to free both him and an American photographer. This morning the US Ambassador to South Africa Patrick Gaspard spoke to 702’s John Robbie. EWN Correspondent, Govan Whittles:

What we know for sure according to the US government statement released is that Pierre Korkie was shot in the crossfire. Whether he was shot by those in the rescue mission or their hostage holders is yet to be clarified. Reports also suggest that when the dogs onsite started barking (signaling the presence of other people, such as the US rescue mission team) was when the executions (of Korkie and US photographer Luke Somers) happened.

South Africa still salty?: the Health Department says it seems most food producers have already managed to cut the amount of salt in their products ahead of a deadline in 2016 to cut their salt content. Registered Dietician at the Heart and Stroke Foundation of South Africa, Jessica Byrne:

We definitely are seeing manufacturers make progress, while it's a difficult task for some manufacturers to reduce salt in their products. Salt has a number uses from being used as a preservative, to helping give the correct texture for bread, so it is used widely. These salt reduction regulations will definitely help with our salt intake. We do still add a lot of salt ourselves in our food and we need to look at reducing salt intake at home too, because 1 in 3 South Africans are living with hypertension.

Chicken to change?: reports state that chicken importers are battling to find more sources of chicken after a bird flu outbreak in Europe. CEO of the Association of Meat Importers and Exporters of SA, David Wolpert:

It's not really that difficult at the moment to source from other countries, but it is slower. We are currently get it primarily from the Netherlands, Germany and the UK, but we can find other markets in the EU and in South America. I think the price will go up but not before Christmas, but if the bird flu continues into January, we will see prices go up.

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