Today's Big Stories

Parole granted to former Commander Eugene de Kock

Parole granted to former Commander Eugene de Kock

Justice Minister Michael Masutha announced today that parole has been granted to Former Vlakplaas Hit Squad Commander Eugene de Kock, while Chris Hani killer Clive Derby-Lewis has been denied medical parole. A decision on Ferdinand Barnard's bail application has been delayed.

The medical parole board recommended Derby-Lewis be released as he has terminal lung cancer.

Masutha made his announcement after saying last year that he needed to consult the families of De Kock’s victims before making a decision.

Masutha looked at the level of remorse that De Kock has shown, as well as his behaviour in prison, and also what he has contributed in the Reconciliation process for those families affected by his behaviour and duirng Apartheid.

EWN Reporter, Barry Bateman described the type of person that De Kock is now, as opposed to the person who was imprisoned.

Someone who has shown remorse... and is willing to contribute to society...

Barry Bateman, EWN Reporter

However, according to Masutha, for Derby-Lewis to be granted parole, his condition would have to worsen.

There are many victims of the hit squad that was run by Eugene de Kock. One of them is Jane Quin. Her sister, Jaqui was killed in Lesotho, in the raid in Maseru that was planned by De Kock in 1985.

With the build up in the media, it was what I expected. I feel terribly disappointed. ...He should have served his full sentence....This is a complete travesty.

Jane Quin, sister was killed in Lesotho

One organisation who had called for Clive Derby-Lewis to be released is the Freedom Front Plus. He explains why Derby-Lewis should be given parole.

It wasn't a question of how serious the crime was, how many people were killed...

Peter Mulder , Freedom Front Plus Leader

Solly Mapaila is the Second Deputy General Secretary of the South African Communist Party,the organisation that Chris Hani was the leader of when he was killed in 1993. Mapaila, reacts to the news that Derby-Lewis wasn't granted parole.

We welcome the news....When you are sick with Cancer, you reach a stage called Terminal Stage Four. When you reach that stage the you are liable for release. He hasn't even reached that stage....

Solly Mapaila, SACP Spokesperson

Protest against Uber

In Cape Town yesterday a protest march by a group of metered taxi owners and operators took place against the cell phone cab service Uber.

The claim from these taxi drivers is that the drivers don’t have operator permits.

There's no clear category for the service yet. We are working on a short term agreement for the licensing.

Anthony Le Roux, General Manger of Uber Cape Town

Dramat Drama by the Hawks

Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko on Thursday defended his decision to suspend Hawks Head Anwa Dramat, a move deemed unlawful by the High Court in Pretoria. He maintains he acted within his powers and the law when he took that action last month over the alleged illegal arrest and deportation of four Zimbabweans in 2010.

Nhleko was summoned to Parliament's Police Portfolio Committee on Thursday to explain his decision to suspend Dramat. He said he acted in terms of the Public Service and the Labour Relations Acts to suspend the former Hawks head. In parliament the Police Portfolio Committee’s meeting to consider the future of the Hawks Head Anwar Dramat continued this morning.

EWN’s Rahima Essop was there and explains what opposition MPs feel about this.

They believe the Minister is using this Portfolio Committee to clean up his own mess...

Rahima Essop, EWN Reporter.

Potholes are here to stay "for some time"

A report this morning in The Times newspaper stated that the City Manager in the City of Joburg, Trevor Fowler said that the council won’t be able to fix potholes "for some time".

Fowler said the Johannesburg Roads Agency had its budget increased by 250% because the entire roads network of the city would have to be resurfaced to prevent the recurrence of potholes.

It's unfortunate that the City Manager's comments have been misinterpreted. The City is embarking on a more structured process to tackle the potholes... we are reassessing... It's a programme that is gaining momentum and is running... We have to rehabilitate and reconstruct...

Skhumbuzo Macozoma, MD for JRA

Mugabe as Head of the AU

In Addis Ababa today, leaders of African union countries have formally appointed Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe as the head of the AU. EWN Report, Jean Jacques Cornish explains why this has happened.

Sometimes the African Union likes to poke the Western powers in the eye.... I don't think they risk that this will have and the damage this will do

Jean Jacques Cornish, EWN Reporter

Sanctions against Moscow could mean War

In Russia the last leader of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Mickael Gorbachev has said that if the European union extends sanctions against Moscow, it could lead to a hot war.

I think he is exaggerating. Gorbachev was originally anti-Putin in his sentiments he expressed.... From time to time he makes these statements. This is one of the most bizarre ones.

Tom Wheeler, Independent Commentator and Former South African Diplomat

Mad for the Mix

The J & B MET is one of South Africa’s most celebrated outdoor social, fashion and sporting events of the year. The J&B Met will, for the 38th time, merge equestrian prowess with high fashion at the Kenilworth Racecourse in Cape Town on Saturday, 31 January 2015.

This has become one of the big events on the social calendar nowadays. The theme this year is 'made for the mix'.

Anyone can interpret it as you wish.

Eddy Cassar, Eddy Cassar Promotions
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