Today's Big Stories

Should South Africa pull out of the International Criminal Court?

Image: icc-cpi.int

Should South Africa pull out of the International Criminal Court?

There has been an announcement by Minister in The Presidency Jeff Radebe in the last hour or so that as a last resort, South Africa will consider leaving the International Criminal Court (ICC). Radebe's comment comes in the aftermath of the departure of Sudanese leader Omar al-Bashir from South Africa last week in what the High Court in Pretoria said on Wednesday was defiance of a High Court order. At the same time today, government is due to provide its reasons as to why al-Bashir was allowed to leave later this afternoon. EWN's Rahima Essop:

He says that Cabinet has decided to review it's participation in the ICC and has outlined reasons behind this. He also says that South Africa has its obligations to the AU, but at the same time, try and balance it's obligations to the ICC. The ICC called a meeting with government over its obligations, before al-Bashir arrived here; the details of that consultation haven't been disclosed.

Political analyst and vice-Chancellor of Wits University, Professor Adam Habib:

I'm kind of worried about that, but I think that Jeff Radebe is absolutely right to have a balance of obligations. I think that human rights activists also need to consider the politics that occur in the world. I disagree however with the desire to leave the ICC; I think it's dangerous thing and would do away with the fight for human rights. I think we should have an open conversation with the ICC as a continent to say that we won't engage with the Roman Statute until all the members of the UN Security Council sign that Roman Statute.

Aurora directors to be held accountable over misrepresentation

In Pretoria, the High Court has found that the directors of the Aurora Resource Group – including Khulubuse Zuma – and Zondwa Mandela – were reckless and mismanaged the Pamodzi Gold mine and has ordered them to pay the money they owe to the people working at that mine. EWN's Gia Nicolaides:

As we know, Zondwa Mandela was the one who signed this bid to take over Pamodzi Gold, saying they wouldn't retrench any workers; they say now that Aurora strongly misrepresented themselves because all of the things they signed for saying wouldn't happen did. Khulubuse Zuma was said to not have been involved in the running of the mine and it is also reported that he spend around R35 million to keep Aurora going. All of the directors will be held accountable.

Is Cosatu's minimum wage proposal viable?

A suggestion by Cosatu and organized labour on Wednesday that if a minimum wage is introduced, it should be pegged at 40% of the average wage – which would mean it comes in at around R5000 a month. Independent Economist, Richard Downing:

Some business may survive, but there are plenty of small to medium enterprises that wouldn't be able to pay that kind of money. This would actually lead to more drastic situations for the economy. Minimum wage as a social compact is very critical with regards to various other variables of the economy.

Smoking in taverns could soon be a legal 'no-no'

Several reports this morning note how owners of taverns are up in arms over new proposals to ban smoking by their customers in their bars. Executive Director of The National Council Against Smoking, Dr Yussuf Saloojee:

Our Council obviously does support a ban on smoking in taverns and in fact the Council supports a ban on smoking indoors. I doubt this will have an impact on the tavern industry because a recent survey has shown that a vast majority of them support 100% no smoking indoors.

Santaco's movement towards penetrating the bus market

News this morning is that the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) wants to take over the Moloto route that is currently run by Putco (Public Utility Transport Corporation). Secretary-general of Santaco, Ralph Jones:

There is already a clientele that is using these busses and our engagement with Putco has shown that they want to do some empowerment. But we're not only targeting the Moloto Road: we are looking at the whole of Gauteng. You'll understand that the taxi industry isn't subsidised, while buses are subsidised, while we are both public transport. We need to complement each other: motor integration. It's not about money, we want to provide a service to our commuters in a safe way. (On the airline) it's still in the pipeline - we're talking to business and sponsors; running an airline is not like running a spaza shop.

Amazon looking to re-Kindle author relationship through page rewards

News this morning is that the book website Amazon is planning on paying authors who publish their own books by the numbers of pages read, rather than by the number of books sold or borrowed through its system. Host of 702 and CapeTalk's Book Show, Jenny Crwys-Williams:

It might entice somebody, but I still believe that the place the entices somebody is the cover, I'm sorry. The whole thing about the Fifty Shades of Grey thing - it was all published on the web, and when it sold 50 million copies, they then published terrestrially. But I'm not sure what position self-published authors have on Amazon, so I don't think they're going to make much of a fuss there - unless they work really hard on those covers.

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