Today's Big Stories

Is the end nigh for Numsa within Cosatu?

Is Numsa going it alone?: Cosatu’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) is expected to expel metalworkers union Numsa today. The CEC is meeting in Johannesburg. An urgent application to prevent Numsa from having to argue against its suspension or expulsion was postponed in the High Court on Thursday, paving the way for the meeting. EWN Correspondent, Govan Whittles:

We've all expected to have Numsa be opposed to the meeting today, as they were opposed to the High Court interdict. FAWU (Food and Allied Workers Union) workers are also outside Cosatu House, showing their opposition to the meeting. Numsa isn't the only item on the agenda; they may want to take a decision on Vavi as well. We're probably in for a long meeting and discussion.

Political analyst, Ralph Mathekga:

I think Cosatu is at a crossroads now, with speculation around the strength of the alliance right now. A decision will have to be made, because they've been distant for quite a while (Numsa and Cosatu). I think the federation is headed towards a very difficult time. Numsa is very unrepentant on their position on Cosatu leadership and that of the ANC. They've communicated that they believe they can survive outside of Cosatu, but I'd like to know why they're continuously trying to exhaust the internal processes of Cosatu?

Lights out during the exams?: power has been cut to various Pretoria schools after bills weren’t paid. The City of Tshwane says it had no choice but to take the hardline as millions need to be paid. Matrics - along with other pupils - are writing their finals. About 40 schools that have been affected. Gauteng Education MEC, Panyaza Lesufi:

As a department, due to exams, we are willing to step in to assist those schools. Schools often can't cope with the galloping rate of electricity increases, which happen during different times of the year, while we only allocate budget to schools once a year. We are waiting for the invoice from the municipality, so we can settle the account. By Monday/Tuesday, we should electricity restored to all schools. I don't mind the cutting of electricity, but the issue is that of timing and there should therefore be protocols to deal with these issues.

Team Oscar opposes the NPA's sentence appeal: Oscar Pistorius' legal team has served official notice to the state that attempts to appeal the athlete's conviction and sentence will be opposed.The National Prosecuting Authority has confirmed that the notice was sent this morning. Pistorius is serving a five year sentence for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp last year. EWN senior Correspondent, Alex Eliseev:

They (Pistorius's legal team) have now made their intentions absolutely clear, saying they seek to oppose Nel's appeal. They will detail the grounds on which they've made their application. The principle of dolus eventualis is where the clarity is being sought. Unfortunately, there's no date set yet, so both sides are waiting for a date from Judge Thokozile Masipa as to when she's available and whether to give (State Prosecutor) Gerrie Nel leave to appeal.

Moody's downgrades Mzantsi: South Africa's power problems have featured in a downgrade of the country's credit rating, which has been announced by Moody's Corporation - a global credit rating agency. A silo collapse at one of South Africa's major power plants - Majuba in Mpumalanga – resulted in three days of power cuts. On Thursday, Moody's downgraded South Africa's rating by one notch, but improved its status from negative to stable. Chief economist at Econometrix, Dr Azar Jammine:

The absence of electricity supply is inhibiting investment in the country. If we aren't getting investment into the country, there are long-term economic repercussions to this. This means an increase in borrowing by SA, which reduces the credibility of SA government bond, meaning that interest rates would rise, meaning government would spend less on housing, education and other sectors because of the debt.

Who fired Bin Laden's fatal shot?: a former US Navy Seal who took part in the 2011 raid on Osama Bin Laden's compound has broken cover, claiming to be the man who fired the fatal shot which killed the Al-Qaeda leader. Robert O'Neill says he shot Bin Laden at his hideout in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad three years ago. The former Commando told the Washington Post he decided to come forward after his identity was disclosed by a website operated by former Seals.US Policy Expert, Brooks Spector:

He's not the first guy to make this claim - if you want, there are several 'targets' making this claim. There are two claimants and a third guy - who is still in the Navy, who US officials say that he did it. With a lot of smoke emanating from explosives at the event of the shooting, how do you know who fired the 'fatal shot'? Maybe these guys are just danger junkies. There's also a certain amount of 'celebritisation' operating here, along the lines of 'I'm the guy who killed this person', where you can end up on talk shows and even end up with a career in politics. Historically, an elite unit such as the Seals often don't claim individual fame, they tend to have a unit identity. So the higher up's are definitely not impressed, but you can't stop this kind of thing.

The Pirates play for Meyiwa: Orlando Pirates Assistant Coach, Eric Tinkler has indicated that Brighton Mhlongo will goalie against Supersport on Saturday.Pirates Defender Siyabonga Sangweni will like wear the Captain armband. It will be a daunting role to replace Senzo Meyiwa, who was laid to rest last weekend. Meyiwa was shot dead while visiting his girlfriend, Afropop star Kelly Khumalo in vosloorus almost two weeks ago. Sports Psychologist, Martin Scheepers:

I was very impressed with what Brighton had to say, mentioning that 'Senzo was a great keeper, while I also have my own strengths.' The postponement of the games to accomodate Senzo's funeral worked out well for the Pirates. If the players stick with the process and play within the moment, they will be able to play and honour Senzo.

Up the Boks!: the Springboks take on Ireland on Saturday in the first match of the end of the year tour.Ireland coach Joe Schmidt is looking to his Six Nations champions to land a significant blow on one of what he terms 'rugby's heavyweights'. However, after the victory over the All Blacks a few weeks ago, many are putting their money on the men in green and gold. Supersport Rugby Correspondent, Xola Ntshinga:

It's going to be an absolute battle! We haven't seen this combination of players play together in a while, with some new faces emerging. It's going to be an interesting one, but we can't count on the Irish to come on top.

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