Government reacts to xenophobic violence
An announcement has been made by government's Security Cluster Ministers that they will do everything that they can to protect foreign nationals. At least five people have been killed by South Africans in attacks that have been labelled as 'xenophobic' or 'Afrophobic'. In KwaZulu-Natal in the last few weeks. EWN's Rahima Essop is at the Security Cluster Ministers' media briefing:
The President has deployed the Security Cluster Ministers to work with the KZN government to try and quell the tensions. KwaMashu, Isiphingo and Umlazi are amongst the areas most affected. At least 40 people have been arrested since the weekend. Police Minister Nathi Nhleko has specifically referred to these attacks as being Afrophobic rather than 'xenophobic' because people from Australia for instance haven't been targets for these attacks, its just nationals from other parts of the continent. Of course, before this, we did hear inflammatory remarks from Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini, in the lead up to these attacks.
Meanwhile, at the KwaZulu-Natal Premier's Office in Durban, Premier Senzo Mchunu has said he’s doing what he can to stop xenophobic or Afrophobic violence in that province. EWN's Vumani Mkhize:
KZN Premier Senzo Mchunu and Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba are briefing the media and the Minister and the Premier have been engaging on how foreign nationals are in danger and the question is 'what are they doing about it'. Amenities including water, sanitation are a concern at the temporary refuge camps set up and Minister Gigaba has noted that these facilities were only set up for a temporary period and this is a concern at this stage. Gigaba also said that he's met with the (Zulu) King over his remarks, and of course, the King has categorically denied these statements.
Meanwhile, there are reports this morning that some countries - including Malawi and Somalia - are trying to help their citizens leave South Africa because of this violence. Commercial Attache at the Somalian Embassy, Yusuf Olusu:
Some of our community members have voluntarily repatriated themselves out of South Africa because of the violence in KwaZulu-Natal. Somalia is currently safer than South Africa right now. (Regarding current volatility in Somalia) it's better to die at home. The security institutions have to take their role, right in front of the policemen. We are not South African, we are 'foreigners' - that's the name that they (the police) know. I hope that the government will do something, better than what they are doing now.
Nehawu shooting linked to internal split
Breaking news in the EWN bulletins this morning is that the Gauteng Secretary of transport union Satawu, Chris Nkosi was shot dead overnight in what looks like a drive-by shooting. At the same time, the home of Satawu President June Dube was petrol bombed. EWN's Govan Whittles:
It was around six o'clock when the shooting happened and his bodyguard had just left him. A BMW stopped the side of a highway before firing shots, speeding off with two occupants inside. There has been a call for unity from Dlamini, but here at the press conference called by Nehawu, it has been communicated that Satawu is going through some difficulty internally, stemming back to a split from two years ago.
Big Brother's bungle?
On the reality TV programme Big Brother Mzansi this morning was an announcement from the character 'Big Brother' about two people who had been living in the house that is currently filled with cameras. TV columnist for the Sunday Times, Rebecca Davis:
We don't know what actually happened from that announcement, but the suggestion in social media is that - and these are allegations - is that there was some kind of sexual assault that happened, linked to someone being unconscious, but these are all rumours at this stage. The winner of Big Brother Africa in 2007 was also accused of sexual assault, but there was no follow up in terms of charges. There are so many answered questions in this case and the question is - if there are so many cameras all around, why don't people know what has happened?
Meanwhile, M-Net are going through the footage as an investigation is underway. M-Net CEO, Yolisa Phahle:
At the moment, it's not entirely clear what happened between the two, but M-net has reasonable suspicions of sexual misconduct and we will be reporting this incident to the police. We don't have all the facts at this stage, an investigation is under way, but we do take the safety of our house-mates very seriously. We have zero tolerance towards such incidents. We are currently going through the footage with a fine-toothed comb and we will give whatever it is that the police request in the investigation.
Encryption broken down - by 'e'
An announcement by e.tv this morning is that it’s going to court to challenge the decison by Communications Minister Faith Muthambi that the digital terrestrial television system will not have encrypted signals when it’s finally brought in. Muthambi had originally claimed there would be a security feature – but not encryption. Here's what encryption may mean or not mean, according to e.tv's Chief Operating Officer Mark Rosin:
What encryption is, is the scrambling of TV signals and the broadcaster would have control over a signal. If we are going into a DTT environment and we want to ensure we have the best offering possible for the public, then quality can be controlled if you have encryption. On digital television, you get something called an electronic programme guide - which shows what's coming up next - and what you want is a uniform experience for everyone watching. If signals are free-to-air and encrypted, then the free-to-air broadcasters wouldn't have control over their content, meaning that anyone anywhere with a signal could have control over it.
Joburg City's 'load limiting' during power crisis
As the entire country labours under Stage Two load shedding, an announcement made today by the City of Joburg is that it is going to implement a new policy called 'load limiting' that it says will lead to less load shedding. EWN's Gia Nicolaides:
It's a new concept that's being introduced by Mayor Parks Tau which means that instead of load shedding, they will ask Joburg residents to reduce their load by certain amounts, for instance with switching off their geyser or other appliances and this will require a smart meter. When the announcement is made by Eskom to reduce load, they go to the smart meters, and it will even trip your extra appliances - such as your TV - even in your absence. The roll out will be free of charge - targeted at residents first, before moving onto the business sector.
SA citizens should panic over Eskom - analyst
Meanwhile a comment by the World Bank on Monday is that South Africa and the government needed to urgently sort out the electricity crisis, adding that government shouldn’t sugar coat the problems. At the same time is a comment in the Business Day from the Executive Director and Emerging Markets Economist at Japanese investment bank Nomura, Peter Attard Montalto, who says that he doesn’t detect any panic in our society or government about Eskom’s problems:
The very problem when you come to South Africa is that too many people have become too used to load shedding, people can plan for it and the situation is different to 2008 where there is now scheduling of power outages. There's a lack of solid leadership and I think this should be scaring people, because there's a huge amount of risk with investors.
This article first appeared on 702 : "We are 'foreigners' to them (the police)" - Somalian Embassy's Yusuf Olusu