Today's Big Stories

Al-Shabaab takes Kenyan university hostage, SAA and Eskom woes under spotlight

[DEVELOPING] Gunmen hold Kenyan university hostage

File picture of Al-Shabaab militants: AFP PHOTO / Mustafa ABDI

EWN on this story: Police say five masked gunmen have attacked Garissa University College in northern Kenya, reports Al Jazeera, saying that gunfire could be heard from the university premises. Witnesses say explosion and heavy gunfire were heard at the Garissa University College, near the border with Somalia, early on Thursday, with ambulances already at the scene. It is also being reported by local media that the gunmen have taken hostages inside the complex after raiding the university. It is believed Kenyan armed forces are now on the scene. The attack on the university facility began at dawn, Alinoor Moulid, a freelance journalist based in Garissa, told Al Jazeera: “According to some of the students who escaped, there are around five gunmen and they entered the university dormitory while students were sleeping,” Moulid told Al Jazeera. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack but Kenya has come under increasing attacks from terror group al Shabaab since it sent its military to fight extremists in Somalia. In September 2013 a terrorist attack at a shopping mall in Nairobi left almost 70 people dead.

First on EWN: SAA Chair accused of getting pay-off

Midday Report Host Stephen Grootes on this story: Eyewitness News has learnt suspended South African Airways (SAA) CEO Monwabisi Kalawe has accused the airline chairperson, Dudu Myeni, of changing board decisions so she could receive a pay-off from plane builder, Airbus. Kalawe also claims that Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba was only moved from the Public Enterprises Department because he had an altercation with Myeni. The claims are contained in legal papers filed by Kalawe in an application to stop his disciplinary hearing and return to work. In his legal application, Kalawe says that at one point, Myeni changed the minutes of a board meeting to claim it had only decided to lease two planes instead of ten, so she could secure a contract with Airbus to directly buy eight planes. He says her desperation to then deal directly with Airbus was so that she could receive an incentive payment from the company.

Minister Brown addressing Eskom woes

EWN's Gia Nicolaides on this story: Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown says the Eskom board raised serious issues about its chairman, Zola Tsotsi, and as a result, she is satisfied with his resignation. Tsotsi stepped down from his position this week, with Eskom saying it was a selfless move in the interests of the company and the nation. The utility's executive now consists of an acting chairman, an acting CEO and three other temporary replacements. Brown says she’s concerned about Eskom’s leadership but says she’s hoping the recent resignation and suspensions will bring greater long-term stability to the company. Before his ousting, Tsotsi told Eyewitness News this week he’d done nothing wrong. But Brown says she won’t go into the details about why the board wanted him removed: “The board raised issues that I thought were quite serious. The board will communicate and should communicate the reasons why all of that has happened.” She says she supports the board’s decision to appoint Ben Ngubane as acting chairman, but will be consulting soon to find a permanent replacement.


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