Today's Big Stories

[BREAKING] Pistorius could be under house arrest by August

[BREAKING] Pistorius could be under house arrest by August

There's been reports at this lunchtime discussing a possible date for the appeal of by this prosecution in the case against Oscar Pistorius, who was jailed last year after being found guilty of culpable homicide. EWN's Barry Bateman:

I've just spoken to the Supreme Court of Appeals and they've confirmed that some time in November, Pistorius's appeal will be heard, with no date confirmed as yet, but that papers should be filed by the 17th of August with regards to this. He would be eligible for house arrest due to the place he was put in at the maximum prison.

Meet NUM's new General Secretary: David Sipunzi

An election over the weekend saw former General Secretary of the National Union of Mineworkers Frans Baleni being voted out and David Sipunzi being voted in by a mere 9 vote difference. Sipunzi talks through his priorities for NUM:

My first priority is to unite the members and to get all those who left the NUM to return home. I believe that people voted for me because they want some change; you will see we are going through difficult times and are losing members. Cosatu are also going through some difficult times and needs change.

Unpacking the importance of the outcomes of NUM's elective congress in the organised labour sector is EWN's Govan Whittles:

We do know that Frans Baleni and his deputy were often identified as being the main proponents for Vavi and Numsa's expulsion out of Cosatu and since Sipunzi leads the faction that was pro-Vavi and Numsa, it may appear that these two entities may be reinstated into the federation.

Fifa matters: could Russia and Qatar WC's be scrapped?

The latest claims emerging from the Fifa corruption investigation include a suggestion this morning that the World Cups scheduled for Russia and Qatar could still actually be moved. This, as the probe into whether South Africa paid a bribe to secure the 2010 World Cup bid continues. At the same time, making headlines over the weekend is that former President Thabo Mbeki did know about the deal with then Concacaf president Jack Warner who received a $10 million payment through Fifa from South Africa's account. Further, there is another claim on the front page of the City Press of what looks like a fall out between then head of the 2010 Bid, Danny Jordaan and then-Safa president, Molefi Oliphant. EWN Sports Editor, Jean Smyth:

At the moment, it seems that anything is possible with Fifa. Qatar is under scrutiny, but I would be very surprised if those tournaments were changed. The reality of changing them would be very difficult. But there are still questions around Jack Warner's involvement in the $10m for South Africa's bid and the conditions around which the Africa Diaspora Legacy Program was established.

Court action to compel President Zuma to release Farlam report

The High Court in Pretoria saw an application by the Marikana miners to compel President Jacob Zuma to release the Farlham Commission report into the Marikana shootings. EWN's Gia Nicolaides:

Advocate Dali Mpofu who is representing the injured minors has said that it is irrational that President Zuma hasn't released the report as yet. Mpofu says this a 'nervous exhaustion' for the miners who have been waiting to get clarity over the events at Marikana and that this is thus a violation of their rights. Mpofu also says that this matter should actually be referred to the Constitutional Court, and not the High Court.

Payments to Aggett torturer linked to Sars

A report on the front page of the Sunday Times newspaper noted that the former security police officer accused of torturing and then causing the death of the anti apartheid activist Neil Aggett has been working for Sars (the South African Revenue Service) and was paid millions of rand by the organization. The man's was known as Lieutenant Steve Whitehead. The author of the book 'Death of an Idealist: In search of Neil Aggett', Dr Beverly Naidoo:

Steve Whitehead was Neil's chief interrogator, who took over the interrogation in January 1971 and Neil was arrested in the latter half of 1981. Neil - who was a trade unionist - realised that apartheid was a disease; he worked as a doctor during weekdays and then consulted with workers over weekends and was instrumental in building organised labour systems.

Agoa acceleration to provide more agri-processing opportunities for SA

Confirmation over the weekend of a major breakthrough in talks between the chicken industry here – and the chicken industry in the US – that means we will be able to stay within the US-Africa African Growth and Opportunity Act, Agoa. Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies:

Yes, we've discussing this for quite some time and what we finally met and made decisions on this matter in Paris. The 65 000 tons we've agreed on is within the confines of tolerance in the industry and not at the cost of local production. The future of Agoa after the 10 year renewal is very, very open.

Local health facilities running out of medicines - reports

More claims this morning that our public hospitals are either in situations where they are running out of medicines or they don’t have the drugs that they are supposed to have, along with other reports that the Health Department is about to fly in a set of 20 key medicines. General Secretary of the Treatment Action Campaign, Anele Yawa:

Honestly speaking, we have not seen any improvement at the local level, especially in provinces such as Limpopo and Mpumalanga, we've received reports where people have said that they don't even have chronic medication and have had to be referred to facilities nearby. There is a situation where these medicines are available in the depots but are not making their way to the health facilities, so we need to know where the bottlenecks are, meaning there is an element of corruption here.

Radio enhancing app that gives you all the song titles

A report in The Times this morning notes a new app that basically loads all the song information played by radio stations – and allows you to play them – but to skip through all the adverts. Richard Oakley is the founder of Re-cast:

This is pretty much a bridge between radio and listeners, where people can create their own playlists in a different way and where algorithms can also assist with the creation of these playlists. There are yes, tons of music and playlisting apps, but we think we've got the best one because it's taking the songs that are from the radio.

Host of Solid Gold, Kenny Maistry:

What did that song once say 'Video killed the radio star'? That was the first song ever played on MTV and the thought behind that was that music video TV would kill radio, but that hasn't happened. Instead, MTV had to adapt what they do and nowadays, they hardly play music videos - they have a lot of reality TV shows on. Radio is one of the most adaptable mediums around and there were some people that said that the internet will kill radio and it hasn't; instead, it has enhanced radio, so I'm not at all worried.

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