Today's Big Stories

Investigation underway over rapper Flabba stabbing

Slain rapper Nkululeko ‘Flabba’ Habedi of Skwatta Kamp with his daughter, Lesego. Credit: Flabba's Instagram @keflabba

Investigation underway over Flabba stabbing

Details trickling in slowly over the death this morning of the rapper Nkululeko 'Flabba' Habedi in the early hours of this morning. Police say he was killed at around two o clock this morning in Alexandra in Northern Joburg. Flabba was a member of South African hip-hop group, Skwatta Kamp. EWN's Govan Whittles:

We know that Flabba's girlfriend has been taken into custody at the Alex Police Station. We also know that the stabbing took place following a performance, where his colleague Shugamakx confirmed this. All the members of Skwatta Kamp - one of South Africa's oldest rap groups - some veterans including Amunition and JR are all also here, all in shock. He was very much liked in the community in Alexander, operating taxis and a business man that also operated out of his home. The investigations will continue, with police being at the scene shortly after the stabbing, but not much details have emerged at this stage.

Music producer and former station manager of Alex Fm, Trinity Mohlamme:

This is sincerely, the saddest loss in South African artistry and also to those who knew him personally and those who didn't know him personally, but through the music. He was inspirational to many, including people like Cassper Nyovest (a popular SA rapper) who said that he was a huge inspiration to him. He was also extremely patriotic, you even hear his creativity, wittiness in a track like 'Umoya', where he mixed township lingo with your first grade English. Flabba was an ideologist - in the track 'Rau Rau', that song spoke the truth to Presidents, to leadership about the current situation. It's a loss to all of us, it's not a happy moment right now. We have lost a lot - he has two small kids, you know.

Secrecy around Intelligence Inspector-General appointment

There now appears to be mounting outrage at a decision taken by Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence to interview candidates for the post of Inspector-General of Intelligence in secret. National Coordinator of the Right 2 Know Campaign, Murray Hunter:

Unfortunately right now the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence hasn't made a statement at all, so we have no idea how such a move could be justified, whereas it wasn't the case before. Right 2 Know have written to ask for clarification on this and there needs to be oversight over such an appointment. The Joint Standing Committee needs to come out with reasons right now, because we are currently at the 'letter writing' phase, but this cannot be secret, it isn't justified.

Crime-linked guns could = at least 5 years in jail

A report this morning is that the Civilian Secretariat for Police are suggesting that if a gun is part of any crime, the people responsible should spend at least five years in jail. This would introduce a minimum sentence for anyone using a gun in any kind of crime. Gun Free SA's Claire Taylor:

That particular amendment is one of 34 changes that are being proposed to the Firearm Controls Act. It makes sense to name guns as a particular weapon used to commit murder, rape or a robbery. The law in its totality, the amendments are about tightening use of guns; there are number of amendments made that Gun Free SA welcomes, including the marking of firearms that can be traced. People who are irresponsible with their guns would then be held responsible for their use and abuse.

Land ownership policy shift

A suggestion this morning is that there is now some confusion about what will happen to land that is currently owned communally and administered by traditional leaders. Land claims have been reopened, with President Jacob Zuma last week saying that traditional leaders should lodge a joint land claim . There are other claims that were lodged during the previous process that haven’t been dealt with, meanwhile. Director of UCT's Rural Women’s Action Research Programme, Dr Anika Claasen:

The Restitution Act of 1994 enabled people who had been forcibly removed to lodge claims. Government has now changed it's policy to favour traditional leadership rather than ordinary people as individuals. It's ironic because during his opening remarks to traditional leaders recently, President Jacob Zuma quoted Dr AB Xuma when he said that the fundamental basis for wealth for people is their access to free whole land.

Mzantsi's qualifications saga

After a spate of reports about political and government officials faking their qualifications, a claim in the City Press on Sunday is that one of the country’s richest men Johann Rupert was taken for a ride by a person called Saxen van Coller, who simply made up her qualifications. CEO of the South African Qualifications Authority (Saqa), Joe Samuels:

I do think it is quite important that all companies, departments and the ministries that don't fall under the Department of Public Service shouldn't take any chances. What the Public Service Minister has been asking members of the public to contact Saqa before making any appointments. This is a service we have, because we have the largest database of learner records. There is a fee attached to this, and I don't think it is too expensive compared to the expense one endures when such information comes out negatively in the public domain. All employers should first check and verify all qualifications before making any appointments.

Nemtsov shooters charged

In Moscow, two men have now been formally charged with the death of Boris Nemtsov - a Russian physicist, statesman and liberal politician – who was shot dead just outside the Moscow Kremlin, just over a week ago. Nemtsov was perhaps the most public critic of President Vladimir Putin. Moscow-based journalist, Victor Sonkin:

Several people have been arrested; they are people from Chechnya. While there had been suspicion of people from the north caucuses due to their not having a favourable position on President Putin. The problem in Russia is that the trust for the authorities is so low, that it's hard to see what kind of information is true. That haunts every bit of information that comes from the authorities.

Apple Watch launched

In San Francisco tonight will be the release of what is being called the Apple Watch, which was first announced this time last year by the company’s CEO, Tim Cook. Host of Technobyte, Aki Anastasiou:

It's going to be quite interesting, because it's the first new product item launched by Apple since 2010, which is when the iPad was launched during Steve Jobs' tenure. This will be the first product that Tim Cooke will introduce, under his watch. We know that wearables have been around for some time; we expect that Apple would get this quite right. We know it's got three versions that it comes in, with different sizes; analysts out there are saying this could be the product that could take Apple to become a one-trillion Dollar company in the next few months.

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