Today's Big Stories

Doctors participating in assisted euthanasia could be disciplined

Image: BBC UK

Doctors participating in assisted euthanasia could be held criminally liable

A statement by the South African Medical Association (Sama) is that any doctor who helps a terminally ill patient to die could still be disciplined by the Health Professions Council. That comment comes after a ruling last week in the Pretoria High Court in Pretoria that a doctor who helped Advocate Robin Stransham-Ford to die would not be punished. But before that order could be acted upon, Stransham-Ford did actually pass away. Vice-Chairman of Sama, Dr Mark Sonderup:

We're being fairly clear in our statement that despite the ruling in the High Court last week, as SAMA our position is the that the prime purpose of a health practitioner is the preservation of life and we would not encourage a practice that would assist the termination of life. In patients that do have terminal illness, we do offer support and palliative care which is very wide. The ethical directive is quite clear: doctors are there to preserve the sanctity of life.

Ramaphosa to make announcement over Gauteng e-toll system

A tweet from the Government Communications and Information Service (GCIS) this morning is that Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa will soon make an announcement on the findings of the Gauteng government’s e-tolls review panel. EWN's Rahima Essop:

The Deputy President has been driving a consultative process involving the Gauteng government, Sanral and others. What that announcement (from Ramaphosa) will be is anyone's guess, but we know that the e-tolls Review Committee has found that the current e-toll system is unaffordable and unsustainable. Premier Makhura said he would hold a consultative meeting and that the e-toll consultation meeting would hold a meeting after the e-tolls review process.

Men who have Sex with Men overwhelmingly not using condoms - report

A report released by Unisa on Monday suggests that many male students who have sex with other men have more than one sexual partner, don’t use condoms and are not aware of their HIV status. Dr Ramneek Ahluwalia of the Department of Higher Education and Training's HIV Aids Programme:

This is the first study of it's kind in Africa that studied 9000 young people to understand issues around Men who have Sex with Men (MSM). We could do as many campaigns as we want to, but we're not going to change the reality of what is happening in communities which are even in rural settings. There are also issues around rape, sexual violence, etc. When communities take leadership, we see changes, rather than when we bring our big NGOs to come and interact with communities.

Could McDonald's be going down unHappy Meal lane?

News from fast food chain McDonalds overnight is that it’s going to shake up its game because it’s losing market share to other competitors. Food writer, Anna Trapido:

I don't think people like the food, but they probably like the toys! KFC did a rather noble thing when they decided that toys were immoral and they stopped doing it, because they would be used to coerce parents and I'm sure it's hit parents quite hard. It is remarkable given firstly have disgusting it tastes, but they also have to produce it in a cheap way. I once did an experiment on some students to check if the Happy Meal would in fact leave them happy and it did, due to the ratio of fat-sugar and they were much more positive about the state of the Middle East thereafter.

Comair and FMF oppose state loan for SAA

In the High Court in Pretoria this morning is the start of a three day case brought by private airline operator Comair against cabinet’s decision to offer SAA a loan guarantee. One of the orgnaisations that is backing Comair in this case is the Freemarket Foundation (FMF). The CEO of the FMF is Leon Louw:

There's economic and social reasons and constitutional reasons. This is blatant discrimination and it's grossly immoral because it's fradulent to invite people into the market, then drive them out. It's unconscientable to pour money into the hands of the rich at the expense of the poor.

Dlamini-Habib tussle over Wits SRC leadership

An announcement from Wits Vice-Chancellor Professor Adam Habib on Monday is that he has formally removed the institution’s Students' Representative Council (SRC) President, Mcebo Dlamini, from his post. Last week, Dlamini posted on Facebook that he admires Adolf Hitler. Habib expands on the action he’s taken:

Prior to developments over the last couple of days, Mcebo Dlamini had been found guilt of another offense. Our constitution at Wits notes that if you are found guilty via a disciplinary hearing, you are no longer allowed to be a member of the SRC. He had the opportunity to appeal the decision and I gave him until the 30th of April to allow for his thoughts and he wrote back on the 30th of April and it was clear that the legal proceeding had dragged on. My concern was that the SRC constitution would have to stand and I revoked the process.

Dismissed Wits SRC President, Mcebo Dlamini:

I have received an email and what I've seen is a very weak man, a man who's succumbed to pressure from the Zionists' tune and it's proof to South Africa that White Supremacy is being put on the neck of a black child. Habib Adam is not bored: he's just a human being. I was put into this position not by him, but by the students. He doesn't have the powers to recall a democratically elected president. This is the kind of thing that should be taken to the Student Forum and I am not vacating my position.

'We need graduates that can solve problems for Africa' - Mkhize

There has been a suggestion by the Rhodes University History lecturer Dr Nomalanga Mkhize in the Business Day that we should start to consider what we really want our universities to do and what kind of people they should produce:

I think we should be asking whether or not we are getting a return on our investment, given the amount of money we are spending on these institutions. I don't mean this in a corporate sense, but in a social sense: we need to have graduates that can solve problems for the African continent.

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