Today's Big Stories

Midday Report Live Blog 25th September 2014

This is what you may have missed today...

Three children died at a school after what seems to be food poisoning. Gauteng MEC for Education Panyaza Lesufi is due to meet with the parents and the school after firing the feeding scheme that fed the children. EWN Reporter Govan Whittles reported from the school on Midday Report.

Govan said MEC Panyaza Lesufi did in fact meet with the families and the school and they are now awaiting more lab results. The parents asked why it was two children from their family that were victims and they say their family was targeted. The MEC brought a different service provider to package food parcels. The school was filled with more parents who were not only supporting the affected families but also worried about their own.

EWN reporter Govan spoke to one of the fathers who spoke about how his own child was confused about the whole thing and couldn't understand why she wasn't seeing her friends.

In parliament the ad hoc committee investigating president Jacob zuma’s response to the public protector’s report has seen more angry scenes between the ANC and the opposition parties on the committee. Stephen speaks to EWN reporter Gaye Davis. She says the key issue on the matter was the recommendations made by Public Protector, the ANC says Thuli Madonsela only made a recommendation while the opposition parties say that being a recommendation DID in fact mean the President must oblige.

Gaye says there seems to be an impasse where the Chair of the Ad Hoc committee may need to put a foot down because one side of the camp would like Jacob Zuma to face the committee while the other says this being a recommendation doesn't force him to. The opposition walked out of the committee as no agreement was reached with the ANC.

An announcement while Stephen was on air yesterday from the Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba that British diplomats visiting South Africa will have to get visas, while British tourists will not. Stephen tackled the matter and spoke to EWN Africa correspondent JJ Cornish, asking if this was a tit for tat diplomacy to which JJ agreed, but was quick to mention that this dates back to years ago. There was always a great concern about the South African passport not being too safe and could be open to criminal behavior.

JJ says had the ministry decided to introduce Visas for everyone from the UK there would have been serious uproar, and advised that the new passports were much safer and would avoid cases like the "white widow" case involved in the Westgate Mall massacre.

Yesterday on the #MiddayReport Stephen spoke to Brett Bailey after his exhibition of black people portraying themselves as exhibits was cancelled in the UK following a massive protest against it. Stephen spoke to Simon Wooley, the director of Operation Black Vote in London, he led the protests against this exhibition. While Simon says the exhibition was good, he felt it humiliates black people. He feels the exhibitions missed a lot of characters of black people.

Simon says Brett had the Most Unexceptional intention but it skewed more to white guilt and powerlessness and he failed to represent the people he was intending to. 'We understand his good intention but he doesn't understand our point' added Simon. Wooley says it isn't white liberals that will emancipate black people, and that's what his interpretation tried but it's a big step backwards for black Africans across the world.

"I bet your bottom dollar if Brett tried to take his show to the US he'd get the same if not a worse reaction than this" says Simon about the artist's exhibition and says he refused to go pay to see the exhibition. Simon says if Brett never intended to offend anyone then he should be willing to hear views from even those who don't support his exhibition. Sandile Memela, spokesperson for the Arts and Culture Ministry weighed in on the conversation with Stephen, saying that 'we don't all have to agree on how to interpret Brett's exhibition'. He also added that the ministry actually partly funded Brett Bailey's Exhibition. Sandile expressed his views on the right to art and expression and said it was neither here nor here if the ministry agreed with Brett or not, but they understand where he's coming from as a South African artist, a very provocative one who uses shock tactics.

He closed off with a quote from Nelson Mandela, that "blaming things on the past doesn't make it better".


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