Today's Big Stories

SARS' Suspension of Ivan Pillay "illegal"

SARS Suspensions: The Johannesburg Labour Court has dismissed SARS Deputy Commissioner Ivan Pillay's suspension as "illegal".

Over two weeks ago, Pillay and Strategic Planning and Risk Group Executive, Peter Richter were suspended from the SA Revenue Services by Moyane.

Judge Anneli Basson has ruled that the suspension will be dismissed because it was in breach of his contract. Pillay was suspended following an investigation into a rogue spy unit at the revenue service, despite a panel making no findings against him.

Yesterday, Moyane lifted Richter's suspension.

Speaking about the relationship between SARS Commissioner, Tom Moyane and the re-instated Richetr and Pillay, EWN reporter Govan Whittles says:

It creates an interesting environment considering that he was suspended by the SARS Commissioner, Tom Moyane who he has to go back and work quite closely with.

The reason that the judge dismissed the suspension is because Moyane did not follow the correct procedures to suspend both Pillay and Strategic Planning and Risk Group Executive, Peter Richter.

EWN Reporter, Govan Whittles

Listen to Stephen's conversation with EWN's Govan Whittles :

US and Cuba make history: It's been over half a century since the economic embargo between the US and Cuba was first put in place. Following 18 months of secret talks, Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro agreed in a phone call to a breakthrough prisoner exchange, the opening of embassies in each other's countries, and an easing of some restrictions on commerce.

There is as much pressure for this change just as there is resistance against the relationship between the two states changing, Daily Maverick Associate Editor, Brooks Specter says that what will make Obama's decision popular with the business world is the opportunity to export consumer goods into Cuba.

Speaking about how much power the American President really has regarding the decision to change the US' relationship with Cuba, Specter told 702 and Cape Talk that:

There are some things that the President can do simply by saying "I will do this", Congress can't override his decision to [re-establish a relationship] with Cuba. Some parts of the embargo require specific Congressional consideration but some elements require just a word from the President.

Daily Maverick Associate Editor, Brooks Specter

Nigerian Soldiers sentenced to death for refusing to fight Boko Haram: 54 Nigerian soldiers have been sentenced to death for refusing to fight Boko Haram Islamist militants.

The soldiers, who were found guilty of mutiny, have been accused of refusing to help recapture three towns that had been seized by Boko Haram in August. A lawyer for the soldiers said the 54 would face a firing squad. Five others were acquitted.

Troops have complained that they are not being given enough weapons and ammunition to fight Boko Haram.

EWN Nigeria Correspondent, Samson Omale:

The reaction has actually been big, one of Nigeria's famous civil rights lawyers has taken the case upon himself and has gone to court to seek for the committal of these soldiers to some other punishment. Religious leaders for both Christians and Muslims have spoken out saying that the military high command should tamper justice with some bit of mercy.

EWN Nigeria Correspondent, Samson Omale

Samson Omale explains the situation in Nigeria:

New York première of Sony film The Interview cancelled : The New York premiere of The Interview, a comedy about the assassination of North Korea's president, has been cancelled amid threats from hackers.

A spokesman for the cinema chain due to host the screening said it had been shelved. Hackers targeting Sony Pictures had threatened to attack US cinemas showing the studio's film. The hackers belong to the same group which has released emails and data stolen from Sony.

We've been told by the Department of Homeland Security up until now that athere wasn't an active threat that they were investigating but there is supposed to be an announcement coming today from that FBI that's supposedly linking the attack to North Korea. They've of course been suspected of being behind the attack, the FBI is supposed to be announcing that today and how strong the link is between that country and this attack.

EWN New York Correspondent, Nadia Neophytou

This article first appeared on 702 : SARS' Suspension of Ivan Pillay "illegal"


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