Today's Big Stories

Pistorius: will the state be granted leave to appeal Masipa ruling?

State appeal of Pistorius ruling: at the North Gauteng High Court, prosecutor Advocate Gerrie Nel has told Judge Thokozile Masipa she was wrong to find Oscar Pistorius not guilty of murder, for the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Roux is asking for leave to appeal the verdict of culpable homicide to the Supreme Court of Appeal. EWN Senior Correspondent, Barry Bateman:

The main thrust of the state's leave to appeal is that Masipa illegally applied the principle of dolus eventualis. These are principles of law and the state may only appeal on matters of law and not matters of fact.

Criminal attorney, Tyrone Maseko:

It's fascinating stuff from a pure legal perspective. There's a lot of credit to both sides of the argument. Oscar Pistorius is still convicted for culpable homicide and as to whether it's - as Nel has said - 'shockingly inappropriate'. If you look at the conviction, perhaps they should re-look at the issue of dolus eventualis. Then perhaps a change of the sentence would be looked at. If you consider the issue of facts - it's tricky because where some facts were ignored they might need to be re-considered.

The Load Shed Blues: an announcement on Monday from Eskom CEO Tshediso Matona that the nation must prepare for rolling blackouts through this month – and February and March – as it simply doesn’t have the electricity to power the entire country. At one point, Matona was asked why we are having loadshedding at the moment and whether this had to do with a problem with a diesel order:

Surely diesel costs are a major driver of Eskom's costs, so the CFO watches that like a hawk. We just need to be sure and have a prognosis about the budget. The issue has been around delays, but by the time we had confirmed that, we had missed the deadline to place the order for diesel.

Energy expert, Chris Yelland:

It raises a lot of questions about the budget for diesel set out at R3 billion rand and the actual expenditure was subsequently R10 billion: this is R7 billion over budget and the energy regulator couldn't be roped in for this, and so those costs had to be directly incurred by Eskom. The consequential reasons for load shedding including maintenance and delays with Medupi and Kusile are another part of this problem. Government also has some problems with their own energy policy, where decisions were made 5 years late. 25% of South Africa's power should have been coming out of Medupi and Kusile which should have been live between 2013-2014, with all 12 units live.

Dewani acquittal post-mortem: there’s been intense anger and outrage over the last 24 hours after the Western Cape High Court ruled that Shrien Dewani had no case to answer. Dewani is now a free man and will no longer stand trial for masterminding the murder of his wife, Anni Dewani. Dewani is now on his way back to the UK, and has been seen at the Cape Town International Airport at the security check in. Professor of Law at UKZN, Prof. Karthy Govendor:

The justice system evaluates whether a person's guilt is proven beyond reasonable doubt. The court found on submission of evidence that there wasn't enough evidence to proceed. The judiciary has made a decision that is legally sound, although unpopular. The judges can only make the call on evidence presented before the court. We need to look closely on heavy reliance on confessions and Section 204 witnesses that we like to place. In this case, there was heavy reliance on the accomplice of the accused and once that weakened, the case fell apart.

KFC fired up: confirmation that the Durban Labour Court has found it was legal to dismiss an entire shift team from fried chicken chain KFC because of huge stock losses, every time that shift was on duty. Labour attorney, Puke Maserumule:

They could be dismissed under 'team misconduct', where problems present in the same group of employees in the same shift and where the employer had warned the group. Does this situation result in innocent employees being the victims of the actions of others? It appears in this case that they had been given an opportunity to speak up and if you don't come forward to the employer - the law says you are meant to be loyal to your employer - then your employer has grounds to dismiss you because you aren't being loyal to the employer.

Returning Pierre Korkie's remains: an emotional press conference has concluded in Johannesburg hosted by the organization the Gift of the Givers with the family of Pierre Korkie who was killed by militants linked to Al-Qaeda on Saturday. EWN Correspondent, Govan Whittles:

She was very emotional, crying throughout the press conference. She also thanked everyone who was involved in efforts to bring Pierre home. They wouldn't speak about the operation that led to his death and the media was asked not to ask about the circumstances around which he died. She didn't go to see the body, but she just made sure the body was moved to the mortuary. There'll be a memorial service in Bloemfontein on Friday and a private family funeral on Saturday.

Meanwhile, International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane is also holding a media conference. EWN Africa Correspondent, Jean-Jacques Cornish:

The minister also talked about working tirelessly to free other South African hostages elsewhere around the world, who she says are not more than 5. The families of those hostages don't want their details divulged, however. She has said 'we might have done things differently' but was careful not to blame the US government. Her main message was 'we have to stand against terrorism'.

Biko autopsy report tussle continues: last week the Steele family agreed that it would not auction the document that the Biko family say was drawn up by their pathologist Dr Jonathan Gluckman. The Steele family had been given a deadline to hand over the document by Monday. Steve Biko's eldest son and the CEO of the Steve Biko Foundation, Nkosinathi Biko:

I can confirm that they have failed to meet the deadline and have declined to do so. There's nothing further to say about this in terms of bringing closure to this. I would have thought they would have sought to listen to their spiritual counsel and not their legal counsel. We have referred this matter to our legal counsel. It doesn't matter which document it is, what matters is what the document is. I am certain about the legal route we are taking.

Steele family attorney, Jeremy Clark:

We didn't return the document because it wouldn't be returning it because it's never been a Biko document. They haven't put up a case for ownership. I detect he's pushing back from his claim of ownership and seems to be moving more on a moral and ethical argument. This is a public document, there is nothing new or fresh that hasn't been aired international media.

Poached by 'e': reports over the last few days show that eTV is planning a new soap opera to take on 'Generations: The Legacy', which has replaced Generations, after the producers fired the main actors for going on strike. Former actress at the MD of Stark Raving Management, Kimberly Stark:

Any channel would be licking their lips out excitement over this. A lot of the fans of Generations are very loyal to those actors. They would also like to know that the actors are moving on but doing well. At the same time, they're still going to watch the new Generations to see they can pull it together. All those actors are probably going to be very gun-shy before jumping into something and will have their lawyers look over contracts. But it is exciting because we need more programs to watch.


This article first appeared on 702 : Pistorius: will the state be granted leave to appeal Masipa ruling?


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