Today's Big Stories

Derby-Lewis revisiting medical parole application

Image: Clive Derby-Lewis listens to questions during the Truth Commission hearing at Pretoria City Hall, 1993 (Credit: Dispatch Live)

Derby-Lewis revisiting medical parole application

In the High Court in Pretoria, lawyers for Clive Derby-Lewis are asking a judge to overturn the Justice Minister, Advocate Michael Masutha's decision denying him medical parole. He was convicted with Janusz Waluś of the murder of then SACP leader, Chris hani in 1993. Waluś was the chief of staff of Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), the armed wing of the African National Congress (ANC). That murder led to fears that the political transition in this country could be derailed and plunged into violence. Derby-Lewis says he has Stage 4 lung cancer, but doctors for the Ministry say it is only at Stage 3. EWN's Mia Lindeque:

Advocate Roelof du Plessis' main argument is around the findings over the severity of the cancer, where two of the three doctors sitting on government's Medical Advisory Board had previously said that Derby-Lewis has Stage 4 lung cancer, while one doctor had said he is at Stage 3 and therefore doesn't qualify for medical parole. This is a fact that has now been corroborated and changes have been made, so Derby-Lewis therefore cannot qualify for this form of parole, being at Stage 3.

Derby-Lewis's attorney, Julian Knight:

It's a review application that seeks to review a previous decision made by the Justice Minister. The issue is that irrespective of the government's own experts and ours, the government's experts recommended medical parole and the Minister ruled against that recommendation.

Civil society+government tussle over ARV shortage reports

An announcement by Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi on Sunday is that his department was not responsible for a series of shortages of medicines. Motsoaledi also said that it was not true that there was a shortage of Anti Retroviral (ARV) drugs for adults, but that there is a problem with the supply of one ARV for young children. The Minister has refuted claims of ARV shortages. Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) Spokesperson, Anele Yawa:

I wish to say to the Minister that the TAC and government are good partners, therefore we need not be angry about what is happening, we just need to address issues on the ground. The survey we've conducted has found that there are 2 in 5 clinics that have reported that there are no TB or ARV medicines. When we talk about the shortages of drugs, we are not only talking about some of the ARV drugs - we are talking about the whole range of these drugs. And we all know that for a person to go for a whole month without ARVs means that their systems will develop (drug) resistance.

Move for publishing public-political leader mobile numbers

A statement released this morning by an organization called the United Council of the Nguni Youth or Injeje yamaNguni, in which it says it is going to release in public the cell phone numbers of people it defines as public servants. Phumlani kaDoto Mfeka of Injeje yamaNguni:

We need to get members of the public to be able to get to interact with these leaders and to also thank them for the strides they have made at the same time. In terms of their cell numbers, even if you'd go to the Parliamentary website, you will find that there is a provision there for cell numbers and this is just a campaign to assist those people who have been trying to interact with their leadership directly.

Is C-section prevalence evidence that women can't give birth naturally any more?

A claim by French obstetrician Dr Michel Odent that women may be losing the ability to give birth naturally. Dr Odent claims that women are taking longer to give birth and that they are using more drugs while in labour. Sandton Medical's specialist Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Dr. Peter Koll:

I think he's stating the obvious, by not appreciating the understanding the concept of evolution. Evolution doesn't take place within ten years; this is more about the natural selection. If I do a caesarian section on someone who has a small pelvis, it doesn't mean that I have eliminated them from their natural selection.

Reflection on the legacy of John 'A Beautiful Mind' Nash

A Saturday car accident in New Jersey saw the death of Nobel-winning mathematician John Nash Jnr and his wife, Alicia. Mathematician and entrepreneur, William Kinnear:

His work was very important, especially to the game theorists - those guys who work in the casino industry - and deal with number selection in that industry. He was a very important person and of course Russell Crowe's portrayal showed he did indeed have 'A Beautiful Mind' .

Legal push for President Zuma's release of Marikana report

Lawyers representing the miners killed and hurt by police during the Marikana shootings in August 2012 have said they are going to lodge legal papers today in a bid to force President Jacob Zuma to release the findings of the Farlam Commission into those killings. Miners' Legal Representative, Andries Mkome:

The President has taken such a long time to consider the report and release it to the public. There are anxieties that are compounded by Provincial Commissioners that are getting off the hook - some of whom are retiring - including the National Commissioner Riah Phiyega, who is suspected will retire soon as well.

Call to have 'Die Stem' pushed out of national anthem

A claim by the EFF over the weekend is that our national anthem should be changed and that the 'Die Stem' part – the part in Afrikaans – should be removed. Editor-at-Large at City Press, Mondli Makhanya:

I think definitely and we need to look at this in the context of the statue. For the longest time, a lot of the symbols existing from apartheid have been left alone, but there's always been a lot of underlying hurt and anger and I think that there is still a lot of hurt that exists over 'Die Stem'. 'Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika' is a prayer on the other hand and it doesn't speak to a particular group but to everyone in South Africa.

Airbag-collars that could replace the helmet for cyclists

A claim in Europe is that a new type of airbag that you wear around your neck could replace cycling helmets within the next ten years. This is what one of these airbag-collars might look like:

Image of the Hövding collar from The Guardian

Supersport cycling host and the spokesperson of the Cycle Lab, Andrew Mclean:

I haven't tested it, but I've seen all the hype around and it seems like a collar that you wear with motion sensors, which activates in a split second like an airbag would. I think it's quite feasible, especially when you consider how every single car these days has an airbag.

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