Today's Big Stories

Midday Report Live Blog 1st October, 2014

The rundown: the ANC has made a determination - through the opposition party-free Nkandla ad-hoc committee - that President Jacob Zuma doesn't have to re-pay money for security upgrades to his homestead in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal. This comes after the opposition party walk out citing issues with credibility in the structure set up in Parliament to investigate the multi-million rand renovations.

Stephen Grootes caught up with ANC Deputy Secretary-General Jessie Duarte who said on the move: "The opposition plays the game of walking in and walking out. If you are serious about something, sit down and talk it out."

Meanwhile, EWN Parliamentary Correspondent Gaye Davis weighed in on the committee's legitimacy:

I think Parliament is on a precedent now, in terms of its legitimacy. There's a serious question around the legitimacy of this committee. Yes, there is a quorum so they can get on with the job, but what message does this send to the people of South Africa that MPs are meant to represent and not just their party?

To politicians colliding with the law: Economic Freedom Fighters Commander-in-Chief Julius Malema claims the National Prosecuting Authority does not have a case against him and that North Gauteng Judge President Dunstan Mlambo somehow played a role in his corruption case.

It's very unfortunate that a political leader would make untested allegations like that publically without any consequence. This matter was first down for trial in October last year. Three days before the trial could commence, it was Mr Malema who submitted an application to have the charges withdrawn.

To tax-paying road users: South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) CEO Nazir Ali has made favourable comments about the number of people using the e-toll system on Gauteng’s highways.

Head of the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (OUTA) Wayne Duvenage says things are not looking good:

He blames the other systems such as eNatis for not giving accurate information. There are hundreds of thousands of registered users that aren't getting invoices. Why would you have less than 40% of people who use roads actually be paying? You can talk about 1,2 million registered users, but a lot of those are government cars in fleets. They aren't able to raise the required R260 million per month. We say it's a failed system because there are many users that use the roads and aren't paying.

To entertainment of national interest: last night saw the broadcast of the final episode of Generations as the SABC its producer Mfundi Vundla have now made good on their threat to stop production after sixteen cast members went on strike.

Entertainment journalist Gilda van Schalkwyk:

This is quite historical, because the show is more than 20 years old and we've never missed an episode in more than 20 years. We're not sure what will happen when they come back in December as Mfundi (Vundla) has promised, but I have heard rumours about him approaching older cast members. I think Connie Ferguson is likely to happen (her return), but it's 16 cast members: Mfundi is going to have to do a lot better than just Connie

Back in the news: the Department of Basic Education and this time for a matter pertaining to seized assets due to unpaid teacher salaries. The Legal Resources Centre (LRC) brought the action against the department. Listen to the LRC's Lisa Sephton and the Department's Elijah Mhlanga weigh in on the matter here


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