Today's Big Stories

[BREAKING] Capetonian poo protesters found guilty

Pic credit: TimesLive

9 people convicted over Cape Town 'poo protests'

Breaking news at this hour - 9 people have now been convicted of breaking the Civil Aviation Act in the Bellville Magistrates Court after throwing human excrement on the floor at the Cape Town International Airport. The 9 are part of an organisation called Ses'khona that is known for throwing human waste during demonstrations. EWN's Siyabonga Sesant:

Shock, anger and disappointment here outside the Bellville Magistrates Court. The judge ruled saying that all 9 knew exactly what they were doing when the disrupted services at the airport. Sentencing will happen on the 23rd of this month. It is very possible that they could face jail time, and they could face up to 30 years in prison, so we will see what will happen during judgement. The judge also says that she sympathises with the group with regards to their protest on service delivery, but she's found that what they did was a calculated move that disrupted services at the airport.

Violent protests on the rise

A round up the violent protests that have been under way this week starts in Malumalele, Limpopo where another school was burnt down overnight, as protesters demonstrated against a decision to refuse their request to give them their own municipality. In Randfontein in Western Gauteng last night, the home of the mayor was burnt down by protesters who the Gauteng provincial government claim were led by the Economic Freedom Fighters. In Majakaneng in the North West there’s been more violence as people there demand access to water. EWN's Barry Bateman:

We understand that last night, the clashes were intense but at the moment, things are much quieter. It's been said that what people are protesting for here is the fact that there's no water being piped to the houses. There was a group of journalists whose vehicle was hijacked and some had their vehicle stoned.

Bench Marks Foundation chief researcher, David van Wyk:

We have the local government elections coming up in 2016 and one of the factors would be divisions within the party and young people trying to get onto electoral lists. Another trend we've seen is the government doing things for people as opposed to with people, where you find a lot of money going to an individual who won a tender for delivering a particular service and we all know the amount of corruption that tends to go with these tenders.The representative system of South Africa is currently failing - we're spending too much money on provinces and too little money on local governments, which have to deal with service delivery issues.

No end in sight to Rea Vaya strike

The City of Joburg has confirmed that Rea Vaya buses are not running again today after what looks like a wildcat strike by drivers started on Monday. General Manager of Strategy and Transformation at Rea Vaya, Dumisani Mntambo:

The services aren't running and they won't be running until next week. We don't know when they will start running and the company is pursuing disciplinary processes. Unfortunately, the company can't tolerate this (where the workers aren't coming to work and refusing to speak to the company's management). We've sent a final ultimatum on Tuesday to the workers, but only 10% of them came back - some of them were suspended, some of them were not.

SA Chamber of Commerce and Industry on power crisis

As Eskom continues with its Stage Two load shedding around the country, a press conference by the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) is under way about the power supply situation. Sacci Acting CEO, Peggy Drodskie:

We don't have a monetary value, but our members are telling us they are struggling to be operational and this will have a negative impact. There is no security around when the power is going to be off and sometimes when people go to work, the lights go off and they sit around being unproductive, but they have to get paid. They (Eskom) are not sticking to their schedules.

The Office of the Public Protector vs the Judiciary

A Wednesday comment made by Deputy Justice Minister John Jeffery is that the findings of the Public Protector were not legally binding. Last year, the Public Protector Advocate Thuli Madonsela made a finding that President Jacob Zuma should repay some of the money spent by government on his home at Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal. Jeffery unpacks this comment:

It's an ongoing debate - currently, there's case law of the DA case vs the Communications Minister, which saw that the findings of the Public Protector are not legally binding, but should be up for consideration and where they aren't considered, there needs to be a reasonable justification for this. (On whether they have force) well, no - but that is the case with for instance the Ombudsman. The purpose of an Ombud is to have a quick investigation and have that out in the public domain. In a court process, you can appeal, but you cannot appeal a finding of the Public Protector because it is only up for consideration.

Boko Haram's Chadian move

The government of chad is claiming that its soldiers have managed to cross the border into Nigeria and take a town that was held by Boko Haram. EWN Nigeria's Samson Omale:

There's been a press release from the Defense Headquarters that says that this operation involved a multi-national force of Cameroon, Nigeria and Niger who have seized these insurgents. But Nigeria isn't giving in yet to say that they couldn't seize these insurgents without the help of these countries.

ISIS appeal

In some capitals in the West this afternoon, there are calls for countries to get more involved in the fight against the group ISIS after it burnt a Jordanian pilot to death. Chatham House's Associate Fellow of the Middle East and North Africa Programme, Professor Yossi Mekelberg:

If you are talking about ISIS that has around 30 000 fighters, they are around the entire world - they should strike a balance between protecting the population from acts of terrorism, but at the same time not to cave into their demands. We would like to see societies behaving within the rule of law and operating within the legal system and not operating on revenge.

The problem with excessive jogging

A report in the US Journal of Cardiology this week is that too much jogging could be bad for you.

Read the report in full here.

UCT's Emeritus Professor of Exercise and Sports Science, Tim Noakes:

I'm not suprised, but then again, it's an association study and that doesn't prove causation. The author assumes that the only thing that makes one group different from the other is that one runs more than the other. They could well also be recording a social class impact as well. I do believe that the more you do exercise at the level of say 10/20 hours a week, it could be problematic. But with all the data we've collected, we've seen that 2/3/4 hours a week of exercise, seems to be beneficial.

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