Today's Big Stories

Rhodes statue removal early, Easter deaths rise, Khayelitsha land occupation

Rhodes statue 'falls' earlier than 5pm today

Despite reports for a ceremonial removal of the statue of Cecil John Rhodes at 5 pm today, students onsite at the University of Cape Town (UCT) have taken to social media to show that the removal is already underway.

EWN's Masa Kekana also reports that after Wednesday evening's decision to go ahead with the removal of the Rhodes statue, UCT management says it will now consider changing some of the names of buildings on campus. The institution's council met to vote on the removal of the statue of the Rhodes statue, and to discuss issues around transformation.

Easter deaths rise from 193 in 2014 to 287 now

EWN's Masego Rahlaga on this story: Transport Minister Dipuo Peters says the road death toll was high over the Easter weekend because it coincided with the end of the month, pay day and school holidays. The number of road fatalities during the weekend rose dramatically to 287 this year, compared to 193 the year before. Peters says statistics show that at the end of the month there are always problems on South African roads. She says the high figure was unavoidable this Easter weekend: “It became glaringly clear that this Easter weekend was going to be the most challenging one, characterised by the fact that it coincided with the end of the month, the school holidays and various pilgrimages.” Most fatalities were caused by drunk driving, unroadworthy vehicles, speed and dangerous and negligent driving. The most fatalities recorded were in KwaZulu-Natal with 55, followed by Limpopo with 44 and then Gauteng with 38.

Khayelitsha land occupations: a violent turn

EWN's Xolani Koyana and Thomas Holder on this story: chaos erupted in Khayelitsha on Wednesday as backyard dwellers were evicted from land they had invaded in the area. Authorities moved in to tear down shacks which had been erected on land owned by Denel. The violence escalated, with rubber bullets and stun grenades used to disperse angry squatters, some of whom stoned and set fire to vehicles. A municipal vehicle was set alight in the TR section near Japhta Masemola Road on Wednesday night. Community members said they were protesting to force the City of Cape Town’s hand to allow them back on the property.

[WATCH] HOW THE VIOLENCE ESCALATED IN KHAYELITSHA

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