Today's Big Stories

Could Nxasana be paid out by Zuma to leave the NPA?

Back in court: Oscar Pistorius’s defence advocate Barry Roux has lodged an appeal directed towards the principle of ubuntu (Nguni for ‘humanity’ and in context, ‘doing good for humanity’), as he’s argued that his client should not be sent to jail for shooting Reeva Steenkamp four times, ultimately killing her. For the prosecution, Gerrie Nel has said society demands justice and that house arrest would be shockingly inappropriate. Nel appeared rather emotional during his presentation, focusing on how Steenkamp was shot not once, but four times. Criminal attorney, Tyrone Maseko:

It’s been very emotional this morning and he’s (Roux) has devoted a lot of time to this case. He’s doing his best to present the evidence as best as he can. Roux is using Pistorius’s disability as a way of avoiding jail and Nel has used that as an aggravating circumstance. Both parties obviously want to sway the court either way.

Could President Zuma be negotiating pay out for Nxasana’s NPA exit? : in the Mail and Guardian, reports this morning that President Jacob Zuma and National Prosecuting Authority Head Mxolisi Nxasana have been negotiating a payout that would see Nxasana leaving office. Executive Secretary of the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution, Lawson Naidoo:

One is left with the perception that the intention to institute an enquiry into the fitness of Mr Nxasana to hold the office as the National Director of Public Prosecutions perhaps had less to do with the lack of a security clearance at the time and more to do with the fact that he was seeking to execute his mandate without fear or favour or prejudice, as he’s required to do so by the Constitution, and he was pursuing people that those in authority did not want him to pursue. If there was a genuine belief that Nxasana was unfit to hold, then the President should have proceeded with the inquiry into his fitness. It now seems likely that that was used as a tactic in order to create an exit strategy for an office bearer.

What's the latest on the N12 crash truck driver and his operating company? : EWN reports state that Gauteng Transport MEC has the power to take Benusi Cargo Carriers off the road – after the horror accident on the N12 earlier this week. EWN Correspondent Govan Whittles:

We know that the firm had initially sent their legal representatives to represent the truck driver, but later withdrew after it became apparent that his bail application wouldn’t go ahead on the first day. There haven’t been any criminal charges laid against the company, so now the responsibility for preparing for the bail application now lies with the truck driver.

Will SA be able to sell citrus in the EU again?: confirmation on Thursday from DTI Minister Dr Rob Davies that our government is going to take the European Union to the World Trade Organisation over its repeated threats to ban our citrus exports, because of the black spot fungus. The EU has kept this threat hanging over the South African citrus export industry for a couple of years now. Special envoy for market access and EU matters at the Citrus Growers Association, Deon Joubert:

I think the Minister has made a very brave and a very strong decision and it will settle this dispute for us. South Africa did a huge amount of work on the scientific side to ensure we are confident with our case, since this has high consequences for over 1 million people in the citrus industry. In the end we need finality and clarity on exactly what the issue is with black spot and if its very serious or not.

Are Joburg's water woes just down to poor administration?: a suggestion in a Business Day piece by public policy professional Rolfe Eberhard is that the problems that led to the water cuts in joburg last month might be much more serious than we first realised:

We should be concerned because the kind of accidents that happened were related to a failure of a system. We should have systems that are designed to take care of such incidences. These shouldn’t be happening.

Meanwhile at the ANC's Joburg Regional Conference - is water on the agenda?: ANC Joburg Regional Chair and City of Joburg Executive Mayor, Parks Tau:

As the ANC in Johannesburg, we are equally concerned with all areas and have identified programs to address areas of deficiency. We need to take corrective action and improve service delivery.

Is there a way around jet lag? : the Business Day reports on new research being carried out on how to best protect the Springboks from jet lag when frequently travelling to places like New Zealand and Argentina. The person carrying out the research is UCT PhD student Lovemore Kunorozva:

We are looking at this from the genetics perspective. Travelling east causes more problems than travelling west and the differences between 'morning' and 'evening' people would have to be taken into account in helping them re-synchronise into their new environment.


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