Image: courtesy of saha.org.za
TRC prosecutions pursued due to 'political interference'
There has been a bid by various organisations – and the family of Nokuthula Simelane – to force the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to prosecute the people who killed here during the apartheid era. Simelane was killed by a group of people who were then denied amnesty by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). At the same time, the former head of the NPA, Advocate Vusi Pikoli has said that there was political interference that made it impossible to prosecute people who were denied amnesty as part of that process. EWN's Thando Kubheka:
It was a very short briefing, with members of the family and a support group present. Nokuthula Simelane was an MK operative and was abducted at age 23 by the Soweto Intelligence Unit. We heard a moving speech by Simelane's sister here, who said that they don't know what happened to their sister, while the families of some struggle veterans such as Steve Biko and others have been able to heal.
National Director of the Khulumani Support Group - an organisation that fights for justice for victims of atrocities of apartheid - Dr Marjorie Jobson:
We are hoping that this case can turn the tide on the impunity on the cases that have been sitting with the NPA since the TRC closed down. About 90 requests and pressure have resulted in nothing. It is a terribly important step in having an institution that is supposed to provide justice for South Africans begin to function. What we know from papers that have now been filed in the High Court is that there was political interference from 2004, with regards to prosecutorial guidelines for these cases. There are about 350 prosecutions that should be making progress through the NPA.
Former Investigative Unit Head of the TRC, Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza:
I recall there was a post-TRC gathering on the traversing of some of these prosecutions and there was no answer with regards to this. I had even said then there was a lack of political will on those who should be pursuing these prosecutions. What Vusi Pikoli points out shows there was a reluctance on the part of the ruling party to pursue prosecution.
Home Affairs visa systems in question 10 days ahead of deadline
A front page report in The Times this morning suggests that with ten days to go until new visa regulations come in, some of the Home Affairs systems are not working and some families risk being split apart. MD of Global Migration SA - a National Immigration and Relocation Company - Leon Isaacson:
The situation where the new regulations which came out last year in June did not have a legalisation process, where if a person would have overstayed their visa, there isn't a mechanism for them to pay a fee to address this. This was determined to be unconstitutional by the Con Court and this needs to be addressed. With regards to the tourism industry: the South African tourism sector has been affected with regards to the requirements of obtaining the visas.
Home Affairs Spokesperson, Mayihlome Tshwete:
Home Affairs is increasing the number of visa allocation sites for China and for India. We've been in discussions with China and India to increase sites for visa processing. We've been very understanding with these two markets in particular.
Black Brain, White Brain debunked
A book is out this month aims at debunking claims that people of different races may have different mental abilities. It's called "Black Brain, White Brain" and is written by Gavin Evans:
It would have been good for me not to have to write this book, but sadly, race science comes in so many ways. There's been a book recently that received a lot of publicity in the UK that spoke about the submissiveness of the African, the 'capitalist mind' of the Jew' - these are things that need to be countered.
New e-toll cap could take 18 months to implement
Reports this morning that it is going to take at least 18 months for government to implement its full programme of changes over the e-toll system. EWN's Gia Nicolaides:
There's still quite a process that needs to happen. This provision of withdrawing the licence disc and other provisions have to be reduced to writing for public comment. When that happens, there's a 30-day window for this to happen, afterwhich the Transport Minister has to apply her mind to this. So the Justice Project SA says this whole process could take up to 18 months in total.
Black middle class said to have grown - report
A new report out this week from the University of Cape Town suggests that our black middle class has increased by more than 20% in the last three years. Co-founder and Director of the UCT Unilever Institute, Professor John Simpson:
We use the R30000/month income as a way of marking the middle class. The laws of the land before 1994 made it very difficult for people to evolve in society; there's also been a huge recognition of the importance of education. Many of the black middle class in that category of acknowledging education and opportunities to make money make sure their children are exposed to the best education.
Mzantsi to be Krispy Kreme'd
News breaking on Thursday is that the American doughnut firm Krispy Kreme is coming to South Africa. Former Culinary Producer on Masterchef South Africa, Chef Arnold Tanzer:
I think that South Africans will fluctuate like ants towards honey. We have a culture in South Africa where if we aren't going to be America, we've got to try: you saw the long queues when Burger King opened. I absolutely think that people will live up to those dreams where they're cops with their doughnuts and coffee.