Jiba's covert meetings with Moonoo revealed
An exclusive report on ewn.co.za this morning notes that the National Head of Detectives Vinesh Moono held meetings with Deputy National Prosecuting Authority Head, Advocate Nomgcobo Jiba, while detectives under him were investigating criminal charges against her. The information comes after a public dispute between the NPA and the police after the investigating officer in the case - Boats Botha - tried to serve a summons on Jiba for her to appear in court. The police then said that Botha was not the investigating officer in the case – he says that he was – amid the emergence of existing documents showing that he had been appointed to that position. EWN's Barry Bateman broke that story this morning:
It relates to the circumstances around what they did, relating to meetings before the February removal of her docket in Botha's posession. So Jiba and Moonoo were meeting without the knowledge of the investigating officer, Boats Botha. The question now is what was the purpose of these meetings and why they didn't disclose these meetings to Botha; these are two questions that currently remain unanswered.
The Head of the Governance, Crime and Justice Division at the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), Gareth Newham unpacks what this latest development tells us is happening within the NPA and the police at the moment:
This is yet more evidence of a leadership crisis and an issue of political interference in the NPA and the police. And this comes at a time when we really need the NPA and the police to work together on targeting organised crime.
Athlone hostage situation ends in death
A suspect has now died at the scene of what later became a dramatic stand off between the police and one armed man in Hazendal in Athlone. EWN's Lauren Isaacs:
A tragic end here in Hazendal in Athlone It's been going on for several hours now. One of the deceased's tenants called him to tell him that one of the deceased's dogs had attacked him. Police were later called in and have been here since 6 o'clock this morning, trying to coerce the man to come out. We heard two gun shots go off at 10 o'clock this morning and police and his family confirmed that the man had taken his own life. Community members have confirmed that he is a 61 year-old-man, a mechanical engineer that's well-respected in the community and no one knows what could have led him to doing any of this.
Soweto Eskom debt saga update
On the Tuesday edition of the Midday Report, the City of Joburg laid plans to bring pre-paid electricity meters in Orlando in Soweto. The Member of the Mayoral Committee for Environment and Infrastructure Services, Councilor Matshidiso Mfikoe told us that the City was pressing ahead with the plans to introduce these meters – despite violent protests there. Soweto Electricity Crisis Committee (SECC) Spokesperson, Zodwa Madiba:
We're not asking people to disconnect, it's just that some people cannot afford the power that Eskom provides in their areas. We never owed Eskom anything, this is down to estimations made when they were reading the meters. They would stand outside, read meters and then say that people owe Eskom. We never owed Eskom anything. These meters are harassing people. We've got the sun in South Africa that we could generate electricity with, but because they want profits, they abuse poor people.
Meanwhile ratings agency Moody’s says it has revised our growth forecast down to 2% for this year and has said that the power cuts have worsened dramatically – which is having a big impact on the economy. Senior Economist at Renaissance Capital, Dr Thabi Leoka:
Listening to the previous guest (Zodwa Madiba), it is actually worrying that municipalities may not be able to recoup money and Eskom may be in even more trouble that we realise. We are very heavily reliant upon the supply side of the economy and the GDP figures coming out next week will show the extent to which we've been affected on the supply side. All of this could take us into very negative growth in the first quarter. I think there's been poor communication between Eskom and consumers because they aren't collecting so they can make a profit, but because they have a huge shortfall that they need to break and big projects like Kusile and Medupi that they need to complete.
Call for practical driver's test before licence renewals
It has emerged that the Transport Department is now formally proposing that drivers will have to take practical drivers' tests and answer questions to prove they can drive properly – before renewing their licenses. Spokesperson for the Transport Department, Tiyani Rikhotso:
We have embarked on a complete overhaul of the National Road Traffic Act and other associated laws because what we are seeing on our roads points to a number of factors (which regards to road carnage). The ways in which people are assessed to get their drivers' licences need to be looked into, to go beyond the eye test to ensure that people are capable of driving on the roads. In many instances, people may have their drivers' licences, but many have also acquired fraudulently. Also, some people may have got their licences a long time ago, say in 1980 and a lot has changed since 1980. Alternatively, we are also looking at training academies where a person can get more training outside of what was offered at their driving school and where even Advanced Driver training would happen.
Nepal update from Gift of the Givers
In Nepal, rescue work has now resumed after that country was hit by another earthquake on Tuesday following a massive quake there ten days ago. Founder and Chairman of Gift of the Givers, Dr Imtiaz Sooliman:
It's the most horrifying thing you'd experience when you feel the ground shaking under your feet and you see buildings collapse in front of you. I know that the after-shocks from the earlier earthquake had subsided until yesterday and you see people just lose faith because nobody knows what's going to happen next. My team is back in South Africa, but we have people there on the ground. Even if you would want to go there now, you can't go there with a motorcar; it's totally inaccessible.
Youth said to be concerned with social impacts of binge drinking
A new international study released this week suggests that if most people who drink cut down their alcoholic intake by just one glass of wine a week, they would live significantly longer. At the same time, there is now some evidence that younger people are more worried about the social embarrassment having too much to drink may cause rather than the actual impact of alcohol on their brains. Psychiatrist and Addiction Medicine Specialist at Kings College London, Dr Adam Winstock:
I think young people think they're invincible and live forever. They're less concerned with their mortality and more concerned with the embarrassment drinking too much may have in a social setting. At the same time, some people use their silly things they do when they're drunk as a badge of honour. Binge drinking at an early age is a problem, particularly since young people weren't 'designed' very well because their tolerance levels are incredibly high. It would have been great if it took just two glasses of wine to pass out.