NEWS: Negotiations are still underway for the release of kidnapped South African teacher, Pierre Korkie. The Bloemfontein teacher and his wife Yolande were captured in Yemen in May 2013 by terrorist group, al-Qaeda who are demanding a ransom of R33 million. Yolande was released last week Monday. The deadline for Pierre’s ransom payment was Friday 17 January, but was extended by three weeks on Saturday. Deputy Minister of International Relations, Ebrahim Ebrahim, is currently holding talks in Yemen to secure Korkie’s release. Meanwhile relief group, Gift of the Givers is intent on finding out the state of Korkie’s health and has requested his medical records from his family.
CRIME: A nine-year-old girl has survived being raped and set alight in Cape Town’s Delft township on Saturday. The child was rushed to Groote Schuur Hospital after her sibling found her along the R300 highway on Sunday. According to The Star, the girl was on her way to her father’s house when she was ambushed. She is in a critical condition, but was able to give details of her attack, including how her rapist laughed as he set her alight. Meanwhile, a suspect was apprehended by members of the community after they noticed his suspicious behaviour. He was later arrested, and will appear in court today.
POLITICS: Former president Thabo Mbeki’s mother, Epainette (97), has told City Press that she will vote for Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF). MaMbeki said that although Malema was at times “disrespectful” it was only because of his passion for politics. MaMbeki added that she believed the EFF would make inroads and dent the ANC’s election campaign this year.
AFRICA: According to Eye Witness News, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s sister, Bridgette Mugabe, has died. Bridgette, who had been Mugabe’s only surviving sibling had been in a coma for three years after collapsing at their elder sister Savina’s funeral. The Zimbabwean government is yet to make a formal announcement, but family spokesperson Kaitano Mugabe confirmed the news to New Zimbabwe.com.
BUSINESS: The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) strike will put the brakes on the platinum sector with over 100 000 mineworkers set to down tools this Thursday, according to Eyewitness News. Amcu President Joseph Mathunjwa is expected to give out a 48-hour strike notice to mining bosses today. Amcu members are demanding a minimum R12 500 salary, but employers say they can’t afford this wage increase. Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum and Lonmin mineworkers will be joining the strike action.
ENTERTAINMENT: Pop singer Madonna has come under fire for calling her son, Rocco, the N-word on Instagram. The mother of three captioned a picture of Rocco in boxing gear, #DisN***a. After her comment section was flooded with complaints, Madonna later issued a statement. “I am sorry if I offended anyone with my use of the N-word on Instagram. It was not meant as a racial slur…I am not a racist. There’s no way to defend the use of the word. It was all about intention…It was used as a term of endearment toward my son who is white. I appreciate that it’s a provocative word and I apologize if it gave people the wrong impression. Forgive me,” she said.
SOURCES: The Star, Eye Witness News, Eonline, City Press