Court rules for no use of police in Parly
In the Western Cape High Court, Judge Andre le Grange has ruled that Parliament cannot allow police into the National Assembly to remove Members of Parliament. The action was brought after a group of men wearing black trousers and white shirts forcibly removed the Economic Freedom Fighters' (EFF) MPs from the National Assembly during President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation Address (Sona). Their removal came after cell phones had been jammed in Parliament. EWN's Rahima Essop:
Judge le Grange declared Section 11 of the Powers and Privileges in Parliament Act inconsistent with the Constitution and invalid. It also protects them from any arrest for anything MPs may say in Parliament, which also includes chanting and singing in Parliament, which was deemed 'disruptive'. Parliament has been given 12 months to remedy the defects.
Chair of the DA Federal Executive Committee, James Selfe:
There was a very important principle at stake here; even though the police were being used against the EFF, there was nothing to stop the police to act against ourselves or any other MP in the future. The principle of Freedom of Expression and speaking truth to Parliament is a very important principle to us.
Louca death a blow to Jackson investigation implicating Krejcir
Confirmation overnight that George Louca – the man accused of killing Teazers owner Lolly Jackson - has died of lung cancer after losing a bid to be granted medical parole. Louca gave some testimony in court just a few days before he died:
That time Radovan and Lolly, they were touching one another and pushing each other. And Lolly told Radovan, you don't know who I am and he shot him.
EWN's Mandy Wiener:
He was incredibly frail and I got the sense he was ready to do anything to get his story across. He was also ready to do anything so he could go home to die and he seemed very ready to die. They are angry and very distressed with the miscarriage of justice, where he didn't die at home in Cyprus. The law is quite clear that he couldn't be released because that would be tantamount to dropping the charges.
LHR court action over Joburg CBD raids
In the High Court in Joburg at the moment is an application brought by the organisation Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) to stop what they say would be the illegal deporation of 200 foreign people caught in Operation Fiela – a series of raids in Hillbrow and other parts of Joburg. EWN's Govan Whittles:
Essentially they're saying that the people who have been arrested in the raids shouldn't be deported until they have consulted with attorneys. The LHR have brought an interdict to allow them to meet with the people and are also pursuing contempt of court charges against the police if they don't allow them to meet with those arrested. They have briefly convened a hearing, but we don't know the outcome of this at this stage. There are over 200 people arrested including children but the children are being held at a facility in Mayfair. There was also weapons and drugs seized during the raids.
City of Joburg intervenes in Soweto's Eskom debts
An announcement from the City of Joburg this morning is that it is in talks with Eskom to try and find solutions around load shedding and the debt collections issues in Soweto. This comes after power cuts in Orlando and other parts of Soweto over the weekend. City of Joburg MMC for Environment and Infrastructure Services, Matshidiso Mfikoe:
We are not necessarily not getting involved with all of them. We needed to get answers from Eskom beyond the load shedding schedules. City Power does communicate, but we are taking the interests of our own communities due to pressure. We'd just like to make sure that people are getting services.
Government to investigate fracking viability
In Pretoria this morning, an announcement has been made that government is going to go ahead with an investigation into what impact fracking would have on the environment in the Karoo – if it was to go ahead. Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa:
We have 5 departments involved in this. Today we've rolled out this investigation to really ensure that if shale gas would be found - we know it's in the Karoo, but we don't know how much - we then proactively get ready to get all information necessary so we can make decisions. We are in this case investigating a scientific issue around how environmental factors could be affected and also from the humanity perspective. This investigation will be done by 3 scientific institutions.
Treasure Karoo Action Group (TKAG) CEO, Jonathan Deal:
We have been well aware of this plan for environmental assessments and we regard this as a very positive move. The economics, the environmental aspects should have been considered before we made a noise about all of this though.
EU takes decisive action on migrant influx
In Europe, a plan is now on the table that would force all members of the EU to take in migrants during what are to be called 'emergency situations'. EWN UK's Gavin Grey:
We don't know precisely but it suggests it's going to involve a military component. There are all sorts of options available including destroying the boats themselves and send the asylum seekers back which is what the Australians are doing. The destroying of boats is going to be difficult because how do you know what is a leisure boat or a boat with migrants, etc?