Today's Big Stories

Midday Report Live Blog 7th October, 2014

The rundown: twenty EFF Members of Parliament appearing before the Powers and Privileges Committee have staged a walkout. They were charged for disrupting the National Assembly and chanting ‘Pay Back The Money’, while President Jacob Zuma was speaking. EWN Correspondent Rahima Essop:

Julius Malema has been representing all 20 MPs who have been charged and said the committee is in no position to conduct fair proceedings because they are ANC deployees. Malema has also called this a ‘contaminated process’ and that the EFF will no longer be participating.

On to leadership in court: former National Police Crime Intelligence head Richard Mdluli has made a court appearance and has been charged for fraud and corruption, in addition to charges for allegedly looting the police intelligence fund. The NPA meanwhile refused to press ahead with the charges, which were reinstated when the organization Freedom Under Law pursued court action, with the Supreme Court of Appeals ruling that the NPA’s decision to withdraw the charges was irrational. EWN Correspondent, Masego Rahlaga:

Today, Mdluli appeared for a case that is 15 years old, involved with the 1999 murder of his former lover’s husband. So it’s not about the corruption charges against him. (Regarding the corruption charges) the NPA hasn’t said much, but it seems they are taking this very seriously. Although they are still yet to formerly charge Mdluli for this, they have stated they are busy with the forensic reports relating to the charges.

Listen to the podcast here.

Are government schools overcharging?: some claims over the last few days that the schools fees being charged by some government schools – the old Model-C schools - are now rising, to the extent to charging close to some private or independent schools. Secretary of the Governors Alliance, Kathy Kallaghan:

These schools are public schools, with the school being a juristic person and the governing body acts on behalf the school. Some of these schools have raised their fees due to their employing a large number of educators. The school doesn’t raise the fees, but the parents set the fees at an annual AGM.

Listen to the podcast here.

To new revelations ahead of attaining democracy in 1994: a suggestion in a new book that in 1994 that former commander of the military General Constand Viljoen was prepared to use arms to stop the 1994 elections from taking place. This was due to the ANC not having signed an accord for a ‘volkstad’.The book is Brothers in War and Peace is written by Dennis Cruywagen:

In Constand’s case, he’d been involved in serious negotiations in the ANC, but they had to sign an accord. When the ANC procrastinated, people close to him told him he was being taken for a ride and as far as he was concerned, his reputation was at stake, so he threatened to ‘let the dogs loose’.

Listen to the podcast here.

To reactions on the appointment of the Reserve Bank Governor: President Jacob Zuma’s choice of Lesetja Kganyago to be the new Governor of the Reserve Bank has been warmly welcomed by business and the markets over the last twenty four hours. Some left-leaning organisations have however disagreed with the decision. UKZN School of Development Studies’ Professor Patrick Bond:

Some of the concerns raised by civil society on the decision (to appoint Kganyago) include the foreign debt which has gone up to $140 billion, and that’s a doubling in the last 7 or 8 years. We’ve had a half dozen currency crashes since 1996 and even one underway recently. There have been extremely high interest rates since the mid-90’s. There’s been a lack of proper supervision regulation of the unsecured lending (sector), which lead to the collapse of African Bank. There’s also been a general lack of democracy and the insulation that the Reserve Bank has had - even with Gill Marcus and Tito Mboweni before her - and the insulation from democratic impulses in the society. These are the points of criticism levelled by civil society on the decision.

Listen to the podcast here.

Further afield now where innovation has been rewarded: Japanese Professors Professors Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano and US-based Professor Shuji Nakamura have been awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in Sweden, for making the first blue LEDs in the early 1990s. Swedish journalist Oliver Gee:

The committee was very excited because this prize was for an invention, rather than a discovery. They see it as an invention that will change the world, because so many people don’t have access to light.

Listen to the podcast here.


This article first appeared on 702 : Midday Report Live Blog 7th October, 2014


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