Today's Big Stories

Has Correctional Services allocated Pistorius a cell before Masipa sentencing?

Has Correctional Services allocated Pistorius a cell before Masipa sentencing?: EWN understands that Oscar Pistorius has been allocated a cell in one of the most highly secure sections of the Pretoria Central Prison. He’ll be going there only if Judge Thokozile Masipa decides on Tuesday if he must go to jail. He has been allocated in an area apparently with only one other inmate – Czech fugitive, Radovan Krejcir. EWN Correspondent Barry Bateman:

We heard last week from the Acting National Correctional Services Commissioner, Zach Modise, being cross-examined on the state of affairs of the prison system. Concerns raised by the defenseadvocate Barry Roux related to his client’s exposure to other sick inmates, if he is housed in the hospital section – this is the section that’s catering for disabled people. The other concern raised by the defense was on the safety of Oscar Pistorius from inside the prison. What I’ve learnt over the weekend is that there was a meeting on Friday with senior correctional services officials, where it was decided that the ideal facility within the hospital section to accommodate Oscar Pistorius would be on this floor, where there are six single cells and the only other inmate being held on this floor is Krejcir. Correctional Services Spokesperson Adv. Mthunzi Mhaga says it would be presumptuous for them to ever plan a cell to any individual who hasn’t been sentenced yet.

How would Mngeni's death affect the Dewani Trial, if at all?: the trial got underway this morning following the death of Xolile Mngeni over the weekend. Mngeni was the ‘trigger man’ in the murder of Anni Dewani. Her husband Shrien isstanding for her 2010 murder. EWN Correspondent Rahima Esssop:

Today we heard from a British journalist Nick Parker from the Sun Newspaper. During the recorded interview, (Shrien) Dewani delved details on wanting to go to the township to look at the nightlife. Despite this, Dewani’s legal counsel says that ‘township’ is a word that isn’t in his (Dewani's) vocabulary. Nothing was said in court today about Mngeni’s death.

Why would postal services resume in the Western Cape only?: with services going back to normal further West, the situation isn’t the same for the rest of South Africa, with many wondering when they’ll get their mail. CWU President, Clyde Mervin:

The company was given a new proposal on Friday. We expect to respond to the Post Office by the end of business today. I’m in the Western Cape right now having sessions and talking through the proposal, all through the afternoon. As a union, we’re disappointed that all the forums have collapsed at the Post Office. If we have a management team that isn’t willing to speak to the unions, it becomes difficult, but we’d like to thank the Minister for opening up the platform for talks. But a resolution could be in sight, depending on how the company (Post Office) responds to our proposal today.

Could public resistance put an end to the E-toll system?: COSATU and motorists took part in a protest in Johannesburg over the weekend, burning their E-toll bills in front of SANRAL’s offices. The Gauteng government panel has been hearing submissions over E-tolls, with most calling for the scrapping of the entire system. SANRAL and the National Government have agreed to make their own representations to the panel. OUTA Chairman, Wayne Duvenage:

There’s no doubt it’s OUTA, it’s COSATU, but it’s also the people and the peoples’ defiance (paired) with the non-compliance levels. Government’s got no option but to realise that they’ve made a bad decision here. It’s just how do they do the ‘about turn’.The system is failing, there is non-compliance and they are not collecting the amount of money they would like to.

Could #BringBackOurGirls take effect in the next 48 hours?: there appears to be uncertainty after Nigeria’s announcement of a ceasefire with Boko Haram. Reports say that talks with the militants on the possible release of the 219 abducted school girls are at a rather frustrating standstill. In the aftermath of last Friday’s announcement by Nigeria’s military and Presidency say that attacks continue to emerge, casting further doubt about the credibility of the claim of a ceasefire. EWN Nigeria Correspondent, Samson Omale:

As we speak, since Friday, after the ceasefire was announced, there have been continuous attacks by Boko Haram insurgents. A couple of people have lost their houses, some of them were killed and slaughtered by the insurgents; it would seem the insurgents haven’t been keeping to their side of the deal. As we speak, expectations are high that the girls may likely be released, with Nigerian authorities organising transport facilities including aircraft, but we may not be able to give them assurance whether they would be released today or tomorrow. Based on negotiations with President Goodluck Jonathan, he wasassured that the girls are in good condition and in proper health, butindications emerged a few weeks ago Former President Obasanjo saying the girls are not in a good condidtion, with some of them being pregnant and that all of the girls would likely not be returned. So we wait to see if the girls would be returned. We do expect to see some exchange and the next 24-48 hours will be a defining moment.


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