Today's Big Stories

Are our sports heroes being targeted by criminals?

Are criminals targeting our sporting heroes?: questions are being asked about the safety and security of the country’s national soccer players after another high profile player was targeted. Robbers held up the parents and brother of midfielder Sibusiso Vilakazi as he slept in a nearby cottage in Orlando East, Soweto last weekend. Jewellery and household items were taken. Earlier, Bafana Bafana Captain Senzo Meyiwa was shot dead in a botched robbery at the home of his girlfriend, Afropop star Kelly Khumalo in Vosloorus more than ten days ago. Vilakazi claims the robbers asked for him specifically, but his parents would not disclose that he was sleeping in a cottage behind the house. The Institute for Security Studies’ Dr Johan Burger:

I don’t think they are necessarily being targeted. I don’t see any evidence. Crime levels on the increase and violent crimes are up, we tend to think that when these crimes reach well-known celebs, they are being targeted.

The latest details from the Betty Ketani cold case: State Pathologist, Professor Gert Saayman who testified in the Oscar Pistorius trial, has been due to testify in the stand in the so-called cold case in Palm Ridge. The case relates to a confession hidden under a carpetrelating the murder of Betty Ketani. EWN Senior Correspondent, Alex Eliseev:

He’s been testifying about this mysterious confession hidden under the carpet about how she (Ketani) was taken to the side of a highway, stabbed in the head with a needle-like weapon and left for dead, but was to die later after being washed at a hospital. Theentire Oscar Pistorius trial – with testaments, judgement and sentencing – took 49 days. This case is a bit more intricate, dating back to 1999 – we’re still on the state case, with plenty of evidence to be presented, including DNA evidence. It is set down for the end of December, but we’ll see how many weeksthis case may require. There has been a great deal of international interest in this case, with journalists from Australia and the UK taking interest as well.

What’s the latest on the power situation?: problems at the Majuba power station in Mpumalanga have left he grid severely constrained. Wednesday and Thursday have been stated as critical periods for the provision of power. Problems with a substation in the Johannesburg Central also resulted in parts of the city being left in darkness. Eskom Group Executive for Sustainability, Dr Steve Lennon:

I’m pleased to report that the Majuba recovery program has far exceeded our expectations. In spite of some hairy weather, we’re generating just over 1400 MW, as opposed to the 600 MW we’d forecasted earlier this week. There’s no load shedding today and for the rest of the week. The system is still very vulnerable though. We’ve put together a very comprehensive wet-coal management program to avoid the problems from previous years. But at Majuba, there’s more coal handling, which means finer coal and potentially some sludging.

Citizens vs companies on tax: the Wednesday edition of the Business Day reports note that citizens pay even more tax than firms. The latest figures show that in 2013-2014 individuals contributed 34-point-five percent of total revenue, compared to a declining 19-point-nine percent from companies. Director of Werksmans Tax, Ernie Lai King:

It is an indicator that economic growth is shrinking. But it’s much more than that 35% figure, because that is based on individual income tax alone. When one combines VAT with individual income tax, you reach a figure way over 60%. (On whether tax returns are filed honestly) I don’t think so, many people aren’t honest, but of course the clients I see are being tax compliant. But the trend has seen an increase in tax compliance in the last few years.

Civilian rule at last for Burkina Faso?: protesters that put an end to President Blaise Compaoré‘s 27-year rule, have put pressure on pursuing civilian as opposed to military rule for their country. The AU on Monday - with Senegalese President Macky Sall, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan and Ghanaian President John Mahama all in tow - gave the army a two-week deadline. EWN Africa Correspondent, Jean Jacques Cornish:

This could be the African ‘good news’ story, much in the vein of Arab Spring, with people voicing that Blaise Compaoré must go. When Isaac Vida was sworn in as an interim president, the people said ‘no’ and took back to the streets. The AU had to intervene, with three presidents calling for a civilian rule for the 18 million people of that country. It’s like an Arab Spring, but we hope it has a happy ending, with civilian power winning instead of military rule.

Power shifts in the US: in the wake of the Republicans seizing control of the US Senate in midterm elections – effectively leaving 44<sup>th</sup> US President Barack Obama as a ‘lame duck’ president – Tim Scott has meanwhile also been elected as the first black senator in the South, since the 19<sup>th </sup>century. US Policy Expert, Brooks Spector:

A lot of things went wrong for them (Democrats) and right for the Republicans. There was an enormous fatigue with the Obama administration, with many polls indicating they felt the country ‘was going the wrong way’. These may be indefinite charges, but it was enough to give the impression that the government wasn’t doing what It was supposed to. Everyone in politics now is so focused on 2016, with many Republican candidates to come up and the Democrats may have a ‘super candidate’ in Hillary Clinton already. (On the ‘lame duck’ issue) it is going to make dealing a little more complicated, where deals will have to be cut with the Republicans. If they don’t, they (the Democrats) may be forced to push an agenda that’s completely averse to theirs.

Back seat drivers: the Business Day notes how many working people are starting to hire drivers so that they can sit in the back and begin working. Associate Editor at the Business Day and Wanted Magazine Editor, Alexander Parker:

It’s a phenomenon we’re seeing increasingly in the developing world with increases in traffic, where there’s no other transport infrastructure. What people are doing – especially in the East – is they hire a driver, sit in the back of the car and by the time they’ve got to work, they flattened a lot of their work. Now this is being entrenched in the market, with cars that are being built to accommodate this.


This article first appeared on 702 : Are our sports heroes being targeted by criminals?


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