Why did the army raid the Central Methodist Church?
Raids were seen this morning in the Joburg CBD that saw armed soldiers helping police to raid the Central Methodist Church. The church is well known as a place that houses people from other countries who have nowhere else to go. EWN's Thando Kubheka was watching those raids for us this morning:
When we got there this morning, a crowd of people were carrying their luggage, standing outside the church. There were a lot of police sirens as police and the army carried out the stop-and-search mission. We spoke to several people who have called the church home for many years and they said that they were shocked to be chased out in such a a horrible manner at 3 am this morning. They do concede that they are occupying the church illegally, but still say this was a horrible raid.
Former Bishop of the Central Methodist Church, Father Paul Verryn:
Firstly, with the recent xenophobic stuff and recognising it is particularly insensitive. Secondly, considering what I know are the vulnerabilities of the people living there - most of whom are foreign nationals - it feels a bit like déjà vu, in insisting for documentation is a lot like the pass laws, particularly since the Home Affairs Department is struggling to keep pace for the demand for documents needed, so it's often not the peoples' problems when they don't have documents.
The Wilmot James vs Mmusi Maimane DA showdown: who will come on top?
In Port Elizabeth this weekend will be the election by the Democratic Alliance of a new leader at that party's congress. Dr Wilmot James and Mmusi Maimane are the two main contenders and were asked the same question by the Midday Report: 'Why should a DA member vote for you?' The response from Dr Wilmot James:
Because I will lead this party with stability and direction. To address in a consistent manner the issues that affect the majority of our voters - job creation, job safety, free access to health care and shelter.
And the response from Mmusi Maimane:
South Africa is facing an interesting time where many young South Africans cannot find work and I will build a party that will provide jobs and a party that will promote non-racialism and we can grow a better tomorrow for South Africa.
EWN Parliament's Gaye Davis will be part of the team covering the congress in Port Elizabeth:
I've arrived just now in Port Elizabeth which is distinctly DA territory with so many DA posters of the two candidates throughout the city. 'Mmusi for leader' posters show the mood and atmosphere of this congress and I would definitely have my money on him. I think the interesting thing about this entire campaign is that it's been so public - possibly a little bit more bruising than the party expected it to become - usually the DA sorts things out behind closed doors and I think that for the first time, we are seeing the DA acting out their tensions in public.
Meanwhile the DA has claimed that the SABC has reneged on a promise to broadcast parts of its conference live this weekend. SABC's head of news, Jimi Matthews:
It's a pity that the DA wants to make cheap political mileage out of this. I agreed in January that we would cover the congress live, or parts thereof - we've not reneged on that. The problem is that the DA wants to dictate the platforms for broadcast and that's the problem. We will be broadcasting live on satellite television and that's it. (On why the decision has been made to broadcast on satellite vs terrestrial, free-to-air television) you cannot compare the January 8th Statement of the ANC to this congress because the January 8th Statement sets the political tone for the country going forward and it impacts not only on the ANC's followers, but on the country as a whole.
ANC MP Jackson Mthembu has meanwhile tweeted on the matter of the SABC's editorial decisions:
McDonald's takes a healthy swipe at consumers
Thursday saw the launch of a healthy eating campaign by global fast-food chain, McDonalds. Chief Marketing Officer of McDonald's South Africa, Daniel Padiachy:
We launched our food transparency program about three major issues: where does McDonald's food come from, what is in it and how is it prepared? We do have our nutritional information on our packaging; we are currently in talks with government and other industry players around legislation regarding the display of nutritional information on our menus.
Parliamentary tussle over the minimum wage for SA
Thursday saw a fight in Parliament over the cost of an investigation by the Labour Department into whether South Africa should institute a minimum wage. Strategies Co-ordinator of the COSATU Secretariat and self-claimed 'Bush Economist', Neil Coleman:
The data you need to look at is out there is the report of the labour sector that reported on trends from 2008 - 2014; when look at the salaries of those at the bottom end of the salary scale with very low increases, while those at the top are increasing at a rapid rate in real terms. We need to have a much more progressive wage setting policy, because what we have now is no different from what was happening during apartheid. In addition to the National Minimum Wage is the addition that will seek to stabilise income as well.
Conservatives clench majority seats while Lib Dem leader resigns
While the last few seats are being declared in the tension-filled UK election, Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg's reaction to a reported 'heartbreaking' result is to resign. EWN UK's Peter Anderson:
I think it's fair to say, it's been a long and dramatic 14 hours since the closing of polls. The resignation of Nick Clegg followed just ten minutes of Nigel Farrage's. The Conservatives have just got an absolute majority of seats. We still have 10 seats to be declared and the Conservatives are waiting for the one seat, but they only really needed the 320 seats to guarantee they wouldn't need a coalition.
Some reflection from the streets of London via our former Reserve Bank Governor Tito Mboweni:
The writing was on the wall. Only one of my cab drivers in London yesterday told me he voted 4 the Labour Party. The rest Conservatives.— Tito Mboweni (@tito_mboweni) May 8, 2015