Today's Big Stories

Zille steps aside for new blood

Image: EWN

Zille steps aside for new blood

The shock Sunday afternoon announcement is that Helen Zille will not be available for re-election at the DA’s congress in May. The announcement came as a surprise to most people and has immediately led to speculation that the party’s Parliamentary Leader Mmusi Maimane will take over. Zille herself spoke to redi thlabi this morning. DA Federal Executive Chairperson, James Selfe:

We were a little surprised at how suddenly the announcement happened, but Helen had been speaking a lot of wanting to open the way for young leadership. There are 28 days in which to campaign, we have extended the deadline for nominations so people can consult with their families and supporters. I do think there are some advantages in a short and sharp campaign because it doesn't destabilise the party in the middle of a succession battle. People are definitely allowed to (campaign publically) and may do so vigorously and robustly. Helen will be remembered for making a remarkable growth to the party and the extension of democracy and she also diversified the party a lot, moving it from 1,9 million votes to over 4 million votes. She repositioned the DA as a party of government, with it governing in the Western Cape. By anybody's standards, that is a remarkable achievement.

Political analyst, Professor Sipho Seepe:

I think there's been simmering discontent not only in the DA but also in society. What Zille did was increase the popularity of the DA and consolidate the White Vote. There were embarrasing moments with Zille, including when she said that South Africans who are moving to the Western Cape are 'refugees'; she was told off by many people on that, before she apologised and moved on. She was also known as a very stubborn person, who was very 'It's Helen's way or the highway'. She had also become so obsessed with the ANC and the leader of the ANC in Zuma, that Tony Leon had also said that she needed to articulate the vision of the DA rather than dwell on this obsession with the ANC. The manner in which she dealt with black people shown with her dealings of Lindiwe Mazibuko and the things she said about Dr Mamphela Ramphela were very unfortunate and it was almost as if she said 'I can get black people, use them and do away with them when I am done with them.

Sibiya sick leave rejected

An exclusive report in the EWN bulletins this morning is that Acting Hawks boss Berning Ntlemeza has refused to obey a court order and allow the organisation’s Gauteng Head Shadrack Sibiya back into his office. EWN's Barry Bateman:

Technically, Sibiya isn't able to go back to work at the moment because he is still on sick leave, due to an accident that happened the week he received the court order. The sick leave hasn't recognised by his bosses, which would make him be in contempt of court. With Ntlemeza rejecting the medical certificate means that Sibiya is then in contempt of court.

Medicine out of machines?

A report this morning is that machines will soon be dispensing medicines that you would normally only be able to get at a pharmacy. Chief Operations Officer at Right to Care, Kurt Firnhaber:

This would be very similar to what an ATM to be, except they'd be set up to dispense medicines and would be set up for chronic healthcare. You would need a script for chronic treatment, and on a monthly basis over six months you would be able to get your medicines. We'll be putting these machines in locations with lots of security and will be shut down at night.

Did the Zulu King's xenophobic slurs incite violence?

A meeting is due to take place tonight between Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba and Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini amid what appears to be xenophobic – or Afrophobic - violence in KwaZulu-Natal. Home Affairs Spokesperson, Mayihlome Tshwete:

We condemn any communication of or abuse of human rights. We need the people who are partaking in these types of activities to understand they will be made criminally liable. Xenophobia isn't an academic concept to be debated and anyone found wanting will be dealt with in terms of the law. Whether a community member has a view as whether a person is legal or illegal, is not their place to make such a determination.

Meanwhile, King Goodwill Zwelithini is still denying saying that foreign nationals must leave the country in a speech he made three weeks ago. That speech was however recorded by a report for the Mercury newspaper in Durban and translates as:

I ask our government to help us fix our own problems, help us find our own solutions. We ask foreign nationals to pack their belongings and go back to their own nations.

Gandhi defacer unfocused?

In the Joburg CDB this weekend police caught a man accused of defacing a statue of mahatma ghandi in ghandi square. He appeared in court this morning. EWN's Dineo Bendile:

He is 21-year-old Molefe Maile and was arrested over the weekend. In the process police say they found him in the act of defacing the statue of Gandhi and was found with 5 litres of white paint. No one knows why he would go about defacing this statue, there has been a lot of reaction on Twitter and also from the ANC, particularly since Mahatma Gandhi was a part of the fight for the liberation of all in South Africa.

Call for Phiyega, Ramaphosa arrests over Marikana

A call by members of the community of Marikana for National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa should be sent to jail and held liable for the horific events at Marikana in August 2012. EWN's Gia Nicolaides:

I visited the area last week and a number of the community members feel someone should take responsibility and feel that even though the National Police Commissioner was new in her position at the time, knew what she was doing. The community members say she must take responsibility and is guilty. They also say that Deputy President Ramaphosa - as the one who called for extra police officers to disperse the situation - should also go to jail, like Phiyega. The community members say they will go to every event where the Deputy President and the President speak at, to protest until they are heard.

Saudi resistant to calls for Yemeni ceasefire

In Yemen, Saudi Arabia has refused to listen to a call from Iran to stop its military intervention in that country after a Saudi airstrike killed eight civilians in the city of Taiz. EWN Mid-East's Andrew Bossone:

Several countries have been criticising the airstrikes, amongst them Iran and China. Part of the reason why Iran is making these calls for a ceasefire is due to disputes between Iran and Saudi Arabia. This is about having control over Yemen on the ground, and Al Qaeda is also involved here. A big problem with Yemen is that doesn't have natural resources, but it is in a very important geographic area with it being a major shipping route.

Vinyl's return to the mainstream

An announcement in the UK over the weekend that it’s restarting a vinyl sales chart. Solid Gold Presenter, Kenny Maistry:

There's always been that debate as to what's better - CD, which is digital or vinyl which is analogue. On CD, you kind of would be getting like a 'snap shot' of the sound and not the 'full' sound that you would get on vinyl, which is said to have a 'warmer' sound that's fuller. Vinyls also have their problems - they can't record the lower base and the tracks that are closer to the edge of the vinyl don't sound as good as those towards the middle of the vinyl. The tracks at the edge of the vinyl often lose the treble in the sound.

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