Today's Big Stories

Ntlemeza's claws out over status at the Hawks

Ntlemeza's claws out over status at the Hawks

This is perhaps the first public speech by Acting Hawks Head Berning Ntlemeza, in which he has said people should forget about issues raised in newspapers and that government wants someone to fight corruption. Ntlebeza has been speaking at a conference that’s also been addressed by Justice and Correctional Services Minister, Advocate Michael Masutha and the Head of the National Prosecuting Authority, Mxolisi Nxasana. EWN's Barry Bateman:

He did speak a lot about how the anti-corruption task team is formulated and how it all works together. It was the little interval comments he'd made had my interest, with questions around the Zimbabwean extradition and the Nkandla matter as well. He asserted that he has the authority to look at any document at hand and will do what he sees fit. He was very loud and boisterous.

Skirting over power

In Parliament, the Energy Ministry has told MP's that Eskom is now doing preventative maintenance in a bid to stop the number of unplanned outages at is power stations. EWN Parliament's Gaye Davis:

I'm afraid we're not hearing from the Energy Ministry right now, with opposition members of the committee saying it is unacceptable that Minister Joemat-Pettersson isn't addressing the committee, not since the announcement of the 5 point plan in December; this is the first time this committee has been told anything about that since that announcement. The lack of concrete detail with no timelines in today's presentation is being heavily criticised by the MPs.

UCT's 'poo protestor' responds

A picture emerging this morning is of a protest by students at the University of Cape Town (UCT) that saw Chumani Maxwele throwing human excretement over a statue of Cecil John Rhodes:

The main reason is that, this is part of a long debate that's taking place at UCT, which has to do with discomfort of black students. The image of Cecil John Rhodes is uncomfortable and we are in fact in agreement with the VC, Dr Max Price who asserted that people at UCT are uncomfortable with the buildings and the presence of Cecil John Rhodes, but these things are taking time, so we are assisting to get things done faster. The white arrogance we see in the lecture halls, we believe, comes from that statue. The idea around the throwing of the faeces is a very ideological one, there's a strategic psychology to this. We have to use our psychological pain and that of our families who use port-a-porta toilets and we are taking these port-a-porta toilets and its faeces back to where it belongs!

Signal jamming in Parliament ruling #BringBackTheSignal

The Western Cape High Court has dismissed an application put by several media organisations – including Primedia Broadcasting, the owners of this radio station and digital platform - who went to court following the jamming of cell phone signals in the National Assembly during the State of the Nation Address. EWN's Rahima Essop:

It's important to understand the reasons for the dismissal; the court says that while incidents of this order are a probability, the applicants have not shown irreparable harm to the court. The fight is not over, Part B of this hearing has been extradited and will be heard on the 20th of April. The fact that this is a matter of national importance is a big reason behind why it was extradited.

The 'pass' reimerges 21 years after democracy

A front page story in the Times this morning notes an anti-crime forum in Worcester in the Western Cape which is issuing cards to people who work and those who are looking for work in the area. Chairman of the Worcester Community Policing Forum, Guido Opperman:

The spike in crime in the sector was related to house break in's and motor vehicle crimes. Sector Police Management decided to tackle the serious spike in crime in recent months. The issue the CPF in its totality in all sectors is against the issue of access. The card was a selection by the sector as a means of referencing whomever the holder is; we now use it as a 'reference to an employer or to someone else who might want to use my services'. The imaging of it's greenness and it's resemblance to a 'pass' is also of concern.

Ethekwini to lodge mass eviction at hostel

A report this morning notes a bid by the Ethekwini Municipality in Durban to evict all the children currently living in a women’s hostel it runs in the city. Acting Regional Director of the Legal Resources Centre in Durban, Fatima Muhammad:

We are of the view that the children have a right to live there because this has become their home, along with their caregivers. We don't believe their being rendered homeless would be beneficial to the children.

Southern Snakes terrorising the North

In the US, a decision was announced overnight to put the Southern African Python and the Nile Monitor Lizard on a list of animals that are not allowed to be transported across state lines. WITS University Herpetologist, Professor Graeme Alexander:

Around Florida in the USA, there have been a number of giant snakes that have become naturalised there. What they are trying to do here, is try and pre-empt another naturalisation of species. The first giant snake to be naturalised was the Burmese Python, which became naturalised there in the late 90's and the population has grown exponentially. The Burmese Python has shown just how effective it can be as a predator. With our current technology, it isn't possible to manage these species.

Apple Watch release: all hype?

The release on Monday evening of the new Apple Watch – along with new version of Apple TV – and the usual upgrades to the Apple Mac series. MD of WorldWideWorx, Arthur Goldstuck:

Apple no longer is able to surprise the market; everyone anticipates it, but everyone was expecting it. The only surprise is that you can tap it to open a door and I doubt anyone would buy a watch to open a door.

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