Today's Big Stories

Tensions in Thembelihle continue despite government intervention

Update: Thembelihle tensions

It has been a week of protests in Thembelihle near Lenasia, but the Gauteng government is adamant that the settlement must be evacuated. This is because it has been built on dolomatic land and cannot be developed. Passing cars have been stoned on the R68 this week, where one person died after being shot allegedly by a Lenasia resident, while 32 others have been arrested. EWN's Govan Whittles:

The person who was alleged to have shot the people has appeared in court but has only been charged for the attempted murder of one person for having shot him through the finger. This protest is related to formal electrical connections that the people have been demanding for the last 5 years. The housing situation is another big issue, where the government says that further developments cannot happen there because the land there is dolematic. The Gauteng Provincial Government did go to the area there to visit residents and the Safety and Security MEC has said that negotiations needs to be reopened, so that squatter camps there don't continue re-emerging.

#SpyCables: wrap of first week

The Spy Cables continue to shed light on the day to day operations of the State Security Agency. This is a problem and it’s now feared that there will be a backlash from the agency regarding the tightening of laws. EWN's Barry Bateman:

On Monday night, the first set of cables were released by the Al Jazeera network, including getting their hands on stolen Denel plans. They have agreed to hand them back to South Africa on agreement that the Israeli implicated would not be prosecuted. Perhaps the biggetst leak from this week was one which showed a South African security assessment from 2009 that revealed how SA does not have the proper mechanisms for securing Intelligence documents.

Learner finds her sister at school

There has been a happy ending to a tragedy that happened 17 years ago. Zephany Nurse was snatched from her sleeping mother's arms in Groote Schuur Hospital in 1997. She has been reunited with her family and a 50 year old woman has appeared in court today. EWN's Siyabonga Sesant:

This girl who was snatched when she was only 3 years old has been reunited with her family, who are very excited, saying they can't wait to celebrate her 18th year birthday in April. Some family members of the accused were outside the court and they were sobbing because the magistrate ordered that she be detained. A postponement has been requested so they can have an identity parade. Her younger sister is in high school with her and other learners observed that they look alike, she went home from school, telling her parents about this. They invited the other girl over to the home, had the Hawks involved and this lead to the arrest of the accused.

Boys: there's a girl who knows what you want

A story in the Times notes how a Grade 9 pupil from Fish Hoek High School has become South Africa’s first young scientist to receive a top award at the Taiwan International Science Fair. The topic of her project: What really attracts boys to girls?' The award-winning learner, Heidi Bottcher:

I studied what really attracts boys to girls. I took half my school and gave them questionnaires, and my research found that boys do look for personality before physical features, but with girls, it was the opposite as they focused on bodies.

Gauteng grows

South Africa’s economic landscape seems to have taken a turn this week, due to the budget speech, and new economic plans in Gauteng. The province is the major economic hub in this country. Gauteng Premier David Makhura has promised an injection of billions of rands into several initiatives. In line with the province's 10-pillar programme of radical transformation, modernisation and re-industrialisation, Makhura has promised five major Gauteng cities. Retired Urbanist, Neil Frasier:

Two of the Waterfall and Modderfontein have been planned for a very long time. Modderfontein has been in the planning stages for the last 10 years, and what we are looking at are the gentrification centres of Gauteng. This is a mixture of commercial and residential and I wouldn't use the word 'small cities' in identifying them. These lines have a lot to do with the plan of basically a city region for Gauteng, where you would see Pretoria-Tshwane-Gauteng would ultimately be joined, interlocking into city regions which would be economic hubs.

Lesotho votes!

Lesotho goes to the polls this weekend in a highly anticipated election, along with concerns of instability. EWN Africa's Jean-Jacques Cornish:

We expect there to be 'quiet voting' and we expect Former Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga here on behalf of the AU. We expect this country of 2 million people to have a 'quiet vote', but the question is, will the loser accept the outcome? It's a small country that ranks at 162/168 on the UN's Human Development Index. Every glass of water that we drink from Gauteng comes from here; this is absolutely vital for their interests, as well as for ours. There's a lot of instability (following the attempted coup in 2014) and the army have been confined to barracks. This is also a big test for the (SADC) region on diplomacy.

Jihadi John revealed

More details have emerged of a man considered to be the most hated in the world - Jihadi John. He is a former Londoner who went to Syria to fight for ISIS. He also beheaded the Western hostages seen in numerous videos. EWN UK's Gavin Grey:

It's materialised that his name is Mohammed Emwazi, was born in Kuwait, but raised in London. His father was a taxi driver, he completed a degree at the University of Westminster and went to marry a woman from Kuwait. He was denied an exit visa due to concerns over the radicalisations he'd gone through. British officials are refusing to confirm his identity, but the world have seen who he is and he is arguably the most wanted man in the world.

Proteas smash the Windies

Good news - the Proteas have given the Windies a run for their money with 408/5; they didn't even get half of that! EWN Sport's Jean Smyth:

The whole newsroom upstairs, big smiles! Big smiles from AB de Villiers! He becomes the fastest man to get to 150. Fantastic form shown by Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis as well. What the public wanted to see was a complete performance and that's what they got. All in all, a really good day for the Proteas: I'm not completely sure that their World Cup was off-track, but they're off to a really good start now.

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