Today's Big Stories

Sona debate build up, cop assault of foreigner, Telkom denies retrenchments

Anticipation mounts over expectations of Sona debate

EWN's Rahima Essop on this story: opposition parties response to President Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation Address (Sona) and the ensuing chaos will take centre stage in Parliament today. The legislature's presiding officers are expected to face questions from the media about both the use of police to eject Members of Parliament (MPs) and the jamming of cellphone signals on Thursday evening. This will be followed by a debate on the President's speech. Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) MPs were dragged out of the chamber for interrupting Zuma's speech by asking when he was going to pay back part of the money spent on upgrades to his Nkandla homestead. Opposition parties are still reeling from the walkouts, violent ejections and signal jamming that marred Thursday's Sona.

Woman endures cop assault over citizenship

EWN's Mia Lindeque on this story: Alexandra police are investigating a case in which a South African-born woman who grew up in the US claims she was assaulted and falsely accused of ‘faking her citizenship’. Rikky Minyuku said she was pulled out of a taxi in Alexandra during a road block last week and was taken into custody based on her American accent, despite providing a valid identity book. Minyuku, who is pregnant, said she was punched in the face by an officer in Alexandra despite trying to convince her she was South African. The officer, who gave her a false name when she asked to report the matter, has not yet been identified in an identity parade. Minyuku insisted she would not let the matter go: “I was removed from a taxi by an officer who felt I was not competent enough in a South African language and then I was detained for an hour.”

Retrenchment claims denied by Telkom

EWN's Mia Lindeque on this story: Telkom says there will be no blanket restructuring, just in individual areas. The utility cannot confirm how many people will be retrenched during what it calls and optimisation process. Trade Union Solidarity and the Communication Workers Union (CWU) says the parastatal intends to restructure the company and retrench thousands of employees.

The parastatal says it’s in the process of changing several areas including some Telkom Direct stores, but that affected employees will be redeployed elsewhere within the business.

The company’s Jacqui O’Sullivan says the situation is being monitored and all relevant avenues are being considered: “There is no blanket restructuring happening at Telkom, we're looking at individual areas for optimisation and each one of those areas is part of the discussion in the working groups that we set up with labour. It’s really isn’t appropriate or in fact correct to speculate on numbers.”

Telkom has also dismissed claims that it intends restructuring the “field force” which would impact up to 10,000 people with possible retrenchments.


This article first appeared on 702 : Sona debate build up, cop assault of foreigner, Telkom denies retrenchments


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