Today's Big Stories

The right to die lives on & Mac Maharaj calls it a day.

Court rules in favour of assisted suicide.

The High Court in Pretoria has ruled in favour of Robin Stransham-Ford for an assisted death with no legal implication. The 65-year-old terminally-ill cancer patient approached the court on Wednesday asking for an amendment to the law regarding assisted death without prosecution. Stransham-Ford has only two weeks left to live and is asking the court to spare him what he says is an undignified death. According to current law, doctors who help patients die could face jail time of up to 14 years. Stephen Grootes spoke to Prof. Ames Dhai Director from Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics Wits University about his views regarding this ruling, and she seemed to disagree with this ruling.

I think the judge didn't take into consideration the practice of health professions. Even though the Doctor will not be held accountable by law, ethically he will be held accountable. Assisted suicide is not allowed according to the ethics law.

Prof Ames Dhai, Wits Univ

Prof Dhai says even though the doctor who helps with the suicide won't be held accountable by law, that doctor will still have to face the ethics committee and there will be trouble there. The Professor says went on to say that the argument of right to life comes with right to die is not accurate and that every right comes with limitations. She says every human being should live with dignity until death, as opposed to dying with dignity.

Diepsloot taxi drivers target lift clubs.

What do you do when someone stops you for a lift along your direction? You become the good Samaritan? well you may become a victim of harassment and even end up paying for it, that's if Diepsloot taxi drivers have their way. Stephen Grootes spoke to Tiyani Rikhotso, the spokesperson for National Department of Transport about this issue. Stephen asked if these taxi drivers were breaking the law.

Every citizen has a right to use any form of transport; if you want to use a taxi, bus or a private transportation you are free to do that and you should be allowed to.

Tiyani Rikhotso, spokesperson Dept of Transport

Tiyani Rikhotso says anyone stopping a private car, that they don't even know where it comes from or who the owner is and start questioning about the passengers in that car is breaking a law and that's a case they are looking into closely, as that seems to be the way Diepsloot taxi drivers operate . He also went on to mention that the law of car seats will now be enforced because the children's lives are important. government is now speaking on behalf of these children who can't speak for themselves.

Mac Maharaj calls it a day!

What does Mac Maharaj want for his 80th birthday? Some piece of mind apparently. Maharaj announced his retirement a few weeks ago and today marks his official last day as the Presidential spokesperson. Stephen Grootes spoke to journalist and author Max Du Preez, and he went down memory lane, recalling his first meeting with Mac Maharaj, in 1987 in Dakar Senegal. He remembers Maharaj's humour and wit and that the first time he saw him Mac Maharaj was using a stick to walk and said it was because there was a kidney problem, which turned out to be a lie and a joke.

Max says Maharaj was one of Jacob Zuma's cleverest decision as he's not only a spin doctor but a considered mind, a political adviser and a man who speaks with authority and that he will be a loss not only to the Zuma administration but to the nation at large as a leader. Max remembered Maharaj's role in the Codesa with Fannie van der Merwe as one of his finest moments that's not well publicized.

What are the impacts of low maize production?

Stephen Grootes spoke to Christo Joubert, manager at Agro Food Chains, National Agricultural Marketing Council about the results which indicate we are producing low maize crop, even lower than last year's crop. Christo although says this shouldn't be a big worry because the demand is not too great this year so the produced maize crop will match and be enough for the demand. Stephen asked if this could lead to the need for importing of maize but Christo says the situation is not that troubling and there would be no need for any importing of maize crop ad that even food prices won't be affected due to this.


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Midday Report Live Blog 2nd October, 2014

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