Today's Big Stories

Organised labour update: Numsa's fight to return to Cosatu

Image of former Cosatu General Secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi and Numsa General Secretary, Irvin Jim (Credit: Mail and Guardian)

Organised labour update: Numsa's fight to return to Cosatu

In the High Court in Johannesburg, metalworkers union Numsa (the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa) is asking a judge to order that they be allowed back into Cosatu for Cosatu’s special congress scheduled for next month. On the Monday edition of the Midday Report, the new General Secretary of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), David Sipunzi said he would campaign for Numsa to be allowed back into Cosatu and for zwelinazima Vavi to be reinstated as Cosatu General Secretary. Vavi himself was outside court this morning. EWN's Govan Whittles:

The matter started with the matter of urgency and the Liberated Metalworkers Union of South Africa (Limusa) - the union founded by Cosatu to replace Numsa - were also inside. The question has been raised as to why Numsa have approached a court as opposed to a Special Congress of Cosatu to address these matters and the answer has been that Cosatu President Sdumo Dlamini has been non-committal over the date of the Special Congress. Numsa is being supported by 8 other Cosatu unions.

Pistorius parole and appeal - update

News breaking during the Monday edition of the Midday Report was that prosecutors are now going to appeal the verdict in the Oscar Pistorius trial in November and then in the afternoon, confirmation came that the Correctional Services Department has recommended that Oscar Pistorius be released from prison in 10 weeks' time. Last year, Pistorius was convicted of culpable homicide – but acquitted of murder – for the killing of his girlfriend, the model Reeva Steenkamp. EWN's Barry Bateman:

If the parole board accepts the recommendation from the Department of Corrections, he would be out on the 21st of August and that will be ten months into his 5 year culpable homicide conviction. He would possibly be able to go to church, possibly hold a job, but this parole would create a bit of a situation for the State upon appeal, because Pistorius could well be charged for murder and possibly return to prison to serve a murder sentence.

Gauteng ambulance shortage

Several reports today that the province of Gauteng has 393 ambulances and that it needs another 760 to achieve its aim of 'one ambulance per 10 000 people'. Johannesburg EMS spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi:

As the City, we are doing our best to make sure that over and above that ambulances that come from the province are received in the City. In October last year, we procured a number of new ambulances to add to our shortage. (On addressing response times) informal settlements are a bit challenging to get to (in particular), because there are often no street numbers, but we do have interventions in place in terms of the Home Finder Initiative where we encourage people to have landmarks so we can find homes easier.

Zuma corruption charges shouldn't have bene dropped - Adv. Downer

A report in the City Press website this morning quotes from legal papers filed by the former head of the NPA's Zuma prosecuting team – Advocate Billy Downer – in which he says under oath that the decision to withdraw charges against President Jacob Zuma was wrong. The papers were filed as part of the DA's legal challenge to the decision to withdraw charges against Zuma in 2009. Chair of the DA's Federal Council, James Selfe:

What Advocate Downer says is that he vindicates our contention that the decision to drop charges against Zuma was irrational and illegal. The argument that the NPA had along was that the timing of the charges against Zuma was politically motivated - Advocate Downer says the opposite.

DA demands Jordaan appear before Parly over $10m payment for 2010 bid

A bid by the DA in Parliament's Sports Committee to ask MPs to summon Danny Jordaan - current head of Safa - to come and account about teh $10 million payment that was made through Fifa to then President of Concacaf, Jack Warner. Jordaan was the head of South Africa's 2010 World Cup bid at the time. EWN Parliament's Gaye Davis:

The DA hasn't discussed this in full, but last week, (DA Sport and Recreation spokesperson Solly) Malatsi did say that calling Danny Jordaan was important in the wake of an email indicating that Jordaan had signed off on the $10m. The ANC MPs are unhappy with what they see as the DA grandstanding for the media. They're now about to discuss the letter that Malatsi has written.

Agoa impact on SA poultry industry will be negative - Kevin Lovell

A Monday comment made on the Midday Report by Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies is that the poultry industry was making a sacrifice for the good of the economy as a whole as part of a deal that allows South Africa to sign up for the renewal of the US-African growth and opportunity act, Agoa. CEO of the South African Poultry Association, Kevin Lovell:

We've had economists saying this (deal) will be largely additive, therefore we could lose up to 6000 jobs and this will have a negative impact on the economy. We initiated this interaction ourselves, when we wrote to Minster Davies following presentations in the US Congress which didn't show 'a full reading of the law'. American power could be used for good, but I think that South Africa is going to suffer a lot because of this. We've got at least 4 - 6 months before these concessions come into play.

Saha's demands for full TRC victim database from govt

An announcement from the South African History Archive (Saha) in the last hour or so that it is going to court to compel the Department of Justice to release the full list of victims contained in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) report that investigated attrocities that happened during apartheid. Co-ordinator of Saha's Freedom of Information Programme (FOIP), Toerien van Wyk:

We're looking for more information than just the persons who testified. The register contains information on all the people that were registered with the TRC, including those who didn't testify with the TRC. What the department has released to SAHA is some fields of the database - there are at least 54 fields; we were released as the database, one field without any explanation of which field it belongs to. This is inadequate without all the other fields.

A preview of priorities for AU Summit underway

In Sandton, Johannesburg the Africa Union Summit is underway this week, with 'Year of Women Empowerment and Development towards Africa's Agenda 2063’ being a major theme this year. Spokesperson for the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco), Nelson Kgwete:

We expect there will be discussions around security matters, including the situation in Burundi and South Sudan; but there are other matters on the agenda. At the moment, economic integration is also under discussion, including within SADC. The AU says that the regional blocs are leading the issue of economic integration and these blocs are meeting in Egypt and South Africa needs to lead within SADC as it is the biggest trader within the rest of Africa.

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