NPA Jiba case and the fired senior detective
This morning’s exlusive EWN investigation has shown that police appear to have not told the entire story around who was the investigating officer in the case against National Prosecuting Authority Deputy Head, Advocate Nomgcobo Jiba. Two months ago, the police and the NPA publicly argued over the NPA’s claim that Jiba had tried to avoid being served with a subpoena, saying that the person who served the document was not the investigating officer in the case. This morning, EWN's Barry Bateman reported that internal police records show Botha was assigned to the case:
There are several (documents) that show this in the police's internal case adminstrative system. Inside the docket, is the case investigation diary which shows that until the docket was issued, Botha was the investigating officer. If you take what the NPA prosecuting officers told the court, is that they considered Botha as the investigating officer. The documents note that Botha was taken off as the investigating officer in February; the documents note that Botha - knowing he was taken off as the investigating officer - continued having secret meetings with NPA officials over the case.
Joburg Metro road upgrades
An announcement by the Mayor of Joburg, Parks Tau on Wednesday during his State of the City Address is that there will soon be upgrades to the highways around the city, to alleviate congestion:
We are focusing on upgrading the M1 and M2 highways - key highways in the Joburg metro road system. We've listened to feedback from the people of Johannesburg about how to finance these upgrades and we will look into different systems. I think that the e-tolls was quite unfortunate and it's something that could be done differently. Sandton has become very congested - particularly during peak periods - and the point is to create alternative points of access.
Samwu Cape Town protest turns violent with looting
There has been intense anger after a protest march arranged by the unicipal workers union Samwu on Wednesday ended in chaos, with hawkers wares looted and damage caused to government property. Samwu National Spokersperson, Papikie Mohale:
What happened yesterday is regrettable and we have come out to condemn it. We've also gone further to say that, in as much as there was looting, that shouldn't take away from the issues we've raised with the City of Cape Town. I would not consider this violence, but it was in fact looting. When this happened, we had marshals that were escorting people and that people behaved within the route that we were following. When the looting started, our marshals went to address the protesters. I don't believe we should bear responsibility for what happened yesterday, in fact, the City should be held responsible because for the past 2 years, the City has not been committed to ensuring that these issues we've raised have been addressed. Instead, the City has been lying, saying that these issues have been resolved.
Cough-mixture addiction on Zim border
A claim this morning is that the town of Musina in Limpopo near the Zimbabwean border is in the grip of a cough mixture addiction epidemic. Counsellor at the Cape Town Drug Counselling Centre, Ziyanda Tshefu:
Any cough medication is highly addictive because of the codeine, which is related to heroine, which both have a sedating effect. Like any codeine, dependency will differ from person-to-person, but there will be side-effects like withdrawal when they've stopped using and when they're still using, you will find them in a sedated-like manner.
Eskom on labour woes, power woes and more
On the Wednesday edition of the Midday Report, both Eskom and the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) weighed in on the on-going strike at the Medupi construction site. One of the comments made by energy expert Chris Yellend was that it seemed not enough public high level attention was being given to this. Eskom Acting CEO Brian Molefe on what he is doing to try and resolve this dispute:
We haven't had significant load shedding for the last two weeks, we've been on Stage 1 load shedding for most days. Medupi isn't online as yet, so it doesn't contribute towards load shedding. The strike at Medupi is an unprotected strike and the contractors who have these employees working for them have got an interdict to prevent this strike action. Remember though that these employees are with contractors of ours and they aren't employees of Eskom.
Motsoaledi on the poor distribution of gynaecologists in SA
A comment by Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi is that there is a hospital near Sandton that has more gynaecologists than all the state hospitals in Mpumalanga and Limpopo combined. Gynaecologist and CEO of the SA Private Practitioners Forum, Dr Chris Archer:
The Minister of Health is correct - it is a huge imbalance. I know the Minister does like to bash the private sector, but I don't think he can say that the private sector is poaching gynaecologists. There could be a number of reasons for this trend and one of them could be some level of frustration with what is happening in the public sector as well, compared to what is happening in the public sector. Lack of equipment, lack of medicine - where you will often find there's only Panado for treating pain - no linen, doctors have to fetch their own patients, toilets dirty; it's clear that management don't care much for their staff and patients and often doctors have to micromanage their situations in the public sector.
Roper leaves as head of the Mail & Guardian
Confirmation late on Wednesday that the Editor-in-Chief of the Mail & Guardian Chris Roper has resigned and will be going to the International Centre for Journalists in the US:
It's an opportunity to do a different kind of journalism. I am a digital guy - I have worked in digital for the last 20 odd years - and it's nice to deal with products that have a focus on innovation. For every newspaper, it's a struggle to make the business model work, even with having to rethink our models.
UK Election 2015 update
In the UK, most party leaders have now cast their votes as polling gets underway in what has turned out to be a very complicated election. EWN UK's Gavin Grey says it's too early to call the election at this stage:
The polls will remain open for another 10 hours. There is as many as 1 in 4 people that remain undecided: they ultimately hold the balance of power. There are numerous options between the conservatives, unionists, labour and those who want Scotland out.