Today's Big Stories

Bail denied: Christopher Panayioutou

Image: EWN

Bail denied: Christopher Panayioutou

In Port Elizabeth, the magistrate has said that Christopher Panayiotou cannot be given bail. He has been charged with arranging and paying for the murder of his wife, Jade Panayioutou. EWN's Siyabonga Sesant:

Magistrate Abigail Beeton will give full details as to why she denied bail. Beeton also says she is satisfied with her decision. Panayotou had his head in his head, while Jayde's family were elated at the decision. Beeton will give full reasons next week as to why she denied him bail and this is when Panayioutou could be able to challenge the denial of bail. The State meanwhile have a very good case against him, including addressing questions behind why he would have his cellphone expertly erased to remove any traces of communication with his mistress. The investigation of the case should take three months to complete, so the trial should start in four months' time.

IATA data shows plane tickets 32% down since new visa regulations

The Southern African Tourism Services Association (Satsa) on Thursday released a set of figures from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) that show the number of tickets sold into South Africa is down by over 32% year on year for this month because of the new visa regulations that require biometric visas and that people travelling with children must have their unabridged birth certificates with them. Home Affairs Spokesperson, Mayihlome Tshwete:

For some time now, we've been looking at the figures that they have been throwing out in the media to raise panic and we have not been able to find evidence. Instead of trying to educate their members about the regulations for compliance, they have deliberately tried to cause confusion and the impact of that can be attributed to them, more than the new regulations.

MD of Plane Talking - a Cape Town-based aviation advisory service - Linden Birns:

I think that Mayihlome is somewhat being disingenuous: it's not that people are attracted to South Africa, because it's easy to move children around here. While child trafficking is a big issue, our economy is so fragile and tourism is a big contributor here. And if you make tourism and the process of travelling here so onerous, they are going to take their tourism dollars elsewhere.

Satsa CEO, David Frost:

In a word, I find it defenceless that Home Affairs is putting out this diatribe: these are IATA figures put out for May and they say they cannot verify them. They are lying, because the IATA figures show that we are 32% down. It's unbelievable that they can make statements like this.

EFF's call to move from 'South Africa' to 'Azania'

The Economic Freedom Fighters have made a call over Thursday for the name of South Africa to be changed and have the country be called 'Azania'. Political and heritage analyst, Professor Somadoda Fikeni:

I do think that it still makes sense to have South Africa bearing the name of the continent, but it would be worthwhile to debate any concept, but if it's a concept that's linked to any political alignment, it might be a futile exercise. Another consideration is that its features should capture the hearts of the nation across the board and promote nation-building, rather than be polarising. Since the name of 'Azania' was associated with the Pan Africanist movement and the Black Consciousness Movement might not find resonance with the Congress movement and also with those on the Conservative Right movement.

SA society doesn't respect the elderly - Human Rights Commission

A report out on Thursday from the Human Rights Commission suggests that many older people are not being properly looked after and that society in general appears to not respect the elderly. National Coordinator of the South African Older Persons' Forum, Jacob Skosana:

Many older persons in South Africa are not respected. In old age homes, it's more about the care with respect to hygiene in the care facilities. Most of the elderly are on their own and the erosion of the traditional family set up means that many elderly people are exposed as they are left alone. We need to look at and shift how we look at older persons. We also need to see elder persons as being the foundations of families.

Call for govt-issued breathalysers at pubs and shisa nyamas

A report in the Sowetan this morning quotes owners of pubs and shisa nyama’s that they’ll demand breathalysers from government – if a proposal to make them responsible for the acts of drunken patrons is passed into law. National President of the SA Leisure Tourism and Hospitality Association, Churchill Mrasi:

We think that cannot be workable because it's not possible for the traders to monitor who is now drunk and unfit to drive back home. This is why we say that government should provide breathalysers for traders to be able to check. There will also be a challenge in trying to control a person who is drunk and preventing them from driving.

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