Today's Big Stories

Aftermath of Mamelodi Putco bus shooting during first week of cancelled routes

Image: EWN

Aftermath of Mamelodi Putco bus shooting during first week of cancelled routes

Confirmation has come in earlier that five people were shot while in a Putco bus in Mamelodi this morning as taxi drivers have again stopped buses from running in that area. Putco says that this man simply walked onto the bus, shot the driver in the stomach and then shot at four passengers. In the Business Day this morning meanwhile, transport analyst Paul Browning suggests that one of the problems with all of this is that the taxi industry is not subsidized by government:

The moral argument is that the subsidy is provided to operators such as Putco and Golden Arrow in order to keep costs low for the commuters and not the operators. As far as twenty years ago, the taxi alliances accepted the moral argument on subsidies because they are a cash-only industry, but the issues still continue there. All the legal operators do have to produce a tax clearance from Sars: they are registered for tax (taxi operators). But there at least 80 000 or more operators, operating on cash-only basis; until the taxi operators can agree to get together and organise themselves even as companies, it will be difficult for them to genuinely make a claim for subsidies.

Adv. Nel wraps presentation of evidence in Lazarus matter

In the Magistrates Court in Pretoria, former Police Crime Intelligence financial head Solly Lazarus and his deputy Hein Barnard are still on trial for fraud. EWN's Barry Bateman:

What Gerrie Nel has been doing mostly today is wrapping up his evidence, but specifically making links to explanations made by Solly Lazarus on payments made. There is thankfully a paper trail of all of these transactions from Nissan Atlantis in Pretoria.

Western Cape Uber petition

News this morning has emerged of a public petition doing the rounds in support of the taxi service Uber after some of its vehicles in the Western Cape were impounded and the drivers fined over the weekend. At the same time, over this week, we've seen people in the Gauteng provincial government suggest that they are going to start a process of regulating Uber in Gauteng. Western Cape Transport and Public Works departmental spokesperson, Siphesihle Dube:

There's currently a process underway of about 300 meter taxis, which should be finalised by next week, to see if their operating licences will be granted. The requirements include no criminal record, one must have a road worthy vehicle and other factors. There must be a limit for how many of these licences are issued by the City of Cape Town, to avoid over-trading, which could lead to conflict and make some of those businesses unviable.

Rihanna's BBHMM causes internet raucous

Over the last 24 hours, global popstar Rihanna has released a new video for her single 'BBHMM'. Overnight, that video has had over 8 million views on YouTube alone. KFM Presenter, Ian Bredenkamp:

This is one of those great cases where the song isn't that great - Rihanna has made far better songs - but the video has everyone talking about it. There's a lot of boobs, bums, guns and drugs, but I suppose it reminds one of Elvis's pelvis shake, where people at the time were saying 'what's wrong with this guy? What's happening to society?' - this is where we are right now.

New Tripartite Alliance declaration calls for a self-sufficient SA populace

On Wednesday night, the ANC-led tripartite alliance released a declaration after a meeting between the leaders of the ANC, the SACP and Cosatu. As part of their decleration, there is a discussion about how communities in South Africa rose up against apartheid. The declaration then says:"This resourcefulness of South Africans is a remarkable asset, but these strengths and traditions have become somewhat weakened by a message that 'the state will deliver'. While public resources must play the major part, a different relationship between state and communities must be fostered. Our grassroots organisational structures must play a leading role in mobilising communities to appreciate that freedom comes with rights and responsibilities."

Head of the Institute for Race Relations, Dr Frans Cronje:

It's a political reaction to an economic problem - the redistributive state creating by the governing party and that the political survival of the party will rely on having to sell this message, but that the poor of society won't have the resources to be able to hear this message.

UNISA Policy Analyst, Dr Somadoda Fikeni:

It (the declaration) displays a fundamental shift in two decades since democracy, because what was absent there is the message of self-reliance of individuals and the 'state will provide' as a doctrine means that a culture of entitlement was bred in the country.

Foreign national detained in Eastern Cape jail unlawfully for three months

A report in the New Age this morning notes that Eastern Cape High Court Judge Phakamisa Tshiki has said that case of a Nigerian man arrested and then held in jail for nearly three months without appearing in any court was one of the worst treatments endured by a human in this country since 1994. Attorney at Lawyers for Human Rights, Patricia Erasmus:

It's an absolutely shocking case and it would shock anyone who would hear that this still happens in South Africa today, but of course, you would see how Operation Fiela isn't just targeting crime, but seems to be targeting people for the purposes of illegal immigration. This case is a shocking one, but it highlights the issue of unlawful detention of foreign nationals, but while it is shocking, it isn't unusual.

Children's rights organisations happy with new visa dispensation

Thursday has seen three children's advocacy groups supporting the new Home Affairs regulations that require people to have the unabridged birth certificates of the children travelling with them. Media Relations Manager at Save the Children South Africa, Asanda Magaqa:

We'll have to remember that 1 child goes missing in South Africa every 5 hours and 80% of children in South Africa are kidnapped by strangers. Research that we've conducted also shows that South Africa is the fourth in-transit country for the trafficking of children.

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