Today's Big Stories

Are your lights out yet?, Soweto shopkeeper in court, EFF and the overall win

Stage 2 load shedding underway

EWN's Govan Whittles and Gia Nicolaides on this story: in an unexpected development this morning, Eskom says it’s now lost power generation capacity at at least five of its units across the country, forcing it to implement stage 2 load shedding earlier than anticipated and for a longer period. The power utility says it had multiple trips at several power stations this morning. In addition to the equipment that went offline on Wednesday another set of generators has been affected. Spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe says they experienced technical faults in the early hours of the morning: “Earlier this morning we had multiple trips from many of our generating units and as a result we have been forced to implement stage 2 of load shedding, which will start now at 8am until 11pm in the evening.”

Phasiwe says the risk for blackouts remains high: “The risk of load shedding is high for the rest of this week. We’re going to use the weekend to rebuild our water and diesel reserves for the beginning of a new week. The system is very vulnerable this week.”

Soweto shooting shopkeeper in court Friday

Pic credit: EWN's Dineo Bendile

EWN's Thando Kubheka on this story: the foreign shop owner accused of killing 14-year-old Siphiwe Mahori in Soweto will only know if his bid for bail is successful at the end of this week. Sheik Yusuf described his version of events to the Protea Magistrates Court on Wednesday, pleading not guilty to all charges. It’s alleged Mahori was part of a group of people who tried to break into Yusuf's store last month when he was shot and killed. The shooting sparked widespread looting in Soweto and spread to other parts of Gauteng, forcing other foreign shop owners to flee and take refuge at a place of safety. In his bid to secure bail, Yusuf told the court he’s been in this country for nearly 10 years, has no assets in Somalia and is not a flight risk. The state however is opposing bail, saying Yusuf must be kept behind bars for his own safety.

EFF overall victory

EWN Parliament's Gaye Davis: the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) will continue to be allowed to wear their red overalls in Parliament. The African National Congress (ANC) wanted a proposed new dress code to specifically bar the red berets from wearing their trademark gear. But a meeting of the National Assembly rules committee today decided that it would be wrong to be too prescriptive about Members of Parliament (MPs) attire. EFF leader, Julius Malema, threatened that he and his MPs would go to Parliament naked if barred from wearing overalls. That spectacle is now no longer likely to arise thanks to a general consensus being reached on a new dress code for MPs. The EFF’s Mbuyiseni Ndlozi claims the ANC was persuaded by his party’s superior logic: “Overalls are as honourable as any dress code that has been worn in the past 20 years of our democracy.”

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