Today's Big Stories

SA Executive vs Judiciary tussle over al-Bashir AU Summit exit

Image of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir from AFP

SA Executive vs Judiciary tussle over al-Bashir AU Summit exit

In the High Court in Pretoria, three judges who ruled that government must detain Sudanese leader Omar al-Bashir are now giving their reasons for that judgement. 10 days ago, al-Bashir was allowed to leave South Africa from the Waterkloof Airforce Base – despite the fact that those judges were deciding whether he should be arrested and sent to the International Criminal Court (ICC). It was only after the judges gave their verdict that they were told that al-Bashir had already left South Africa. EWN's Barry Bateman:

We haven't got to how the one law or decision overrules the other, but Judge Dunstan Mlambo is presiding over whether a government decision overrides a law of the International Criminal Court. The pre-amble to the ruling details Judge (Hans) Fabricius' ruling to issue an interim order that wouldn't permit al-Bashir to leave the country. A lot of the investigation is around who facilitated al-Bashir's exit while a court order had been issued.

12:42 court update from Barry Bateman:

Government's reliance on the Privileges Act relating to dignitaries has been looked at versus the international law. the Judge has just said that the issuing of the interim court order did not undermine international law. Judge Mlambo has taken the breach of this court order (to prevent al-Bashir's exit) very seriously and has said that this breach now has to be referred to the National Director of Public Prosecutions.

Increased resistance to planned Eskom hikes

At Nasrec in Southern Joburg is a series of claims from business groups, opposition politicians and agricultural unions that society cannot afford another big power price hike from Eskom. EWN's Gia Nicolaides is attending the hearings being held by Nersa, the national energy regulator:

That's the phrase that's been continuously circulating here: 'South Africa cannot afford these price hikes' and this comes from both business and domestic users. It's also emerged here that about 25% of all households are food insecure and coupled with a price increase, the agri-sector doesn't think that the farming sector will recover, while there will also be 60% of mine closures happening, should this price hike come through.

Zuma maintains Marikana miners were shot at because 'they killed people'

There has been reaction over a comment made on Tuesday by President Jacob Zuma while speaking to students at the Tshwane University of Technology about violence, the police and Marikana. Zuma was responding to a student who yelled that 'they killed people in Marikana': "I urge students to use peaceful means of exercising their democratic right to protest and raise issues. (Responding to the student) And those people in Marikana had killed people and the police were stopping them from killing people."

Spokesperson for the Marikana Rehab Support Campaign, Rehad Desai:

It's really shocking and I think that the President in telling us he's applying his mind is being very unprofessional by making these comments before releasing the report that he's applying his mind to. His take on this is very clear. It's been categorically proved that there was no intent by the miners to attack the policemen on that day. It's very disturbing to hear him (Zuma) talking about more repressive measures by the force as it's clear this was a one-sided affair: it was a massacre. The Lonmin bosses, government and the police need to be held to account.

Low carb diets for children?

A report in The Times newspaper this morning notes that two new books are being released this month that advocate that children should be put on a low-carb or carb-free diet in the wake of the diet put forward by Professor Tim Noakes. Registered Dietician, Judith Johnson:

Definitely, we don't advise children to be on a diet that looks anything like banting - we just need to look at the type of carbohydrates they consume. They are using up a lot more energy than adults do, so they do need carbohydrates, but definitely not processed foods, processed sugars and hidden sugars. Fruit and vegetables have all of the micro-nutrients that children need.

Muthambi+ANC MPs vs Parliament over SABC board sacking

A Tuesday session of Parliament heard a decision by ANC MPs within the Communications Committee to ignore a legal opinion from Parliament’s own legal advisers that Communications Minister Faith Muthambi does not have the power to endorse a decision to fire three members of the SABC board. Broadcasting Researcher and Save our SABC Coalition's Kate Skinner:

I think it's very worrying because Parliament basically said that Board Members cannot remove one of their own. What was interesting was that Minister Faith Mutambi was saying that 'I don't like that opinion' and that we should move on from this opinion. What's worrying here is: we need more Parliamentary oversight over this issue and we also need clarity around the issue of who should be removing board members.

The Pakistani heatwave vs climate change?

In Pakistan, more than 700 people have now died after a huge heatwave has hit the Sindh province, with temperatures reaching 45°C. This heatwave comes after an earlier heatwave in India. UCT climatologist, Dr Chris Leonard:

It's not only about global warming when it comes to this heatwave in Pakistan or the recent one in India. It's important to look at a series of events within the Asian sub-continent. They are becoming more common and the way they will change in history is they will get longer and also looking at the intensity, focusing on temperature.

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