NEWS: Murder-accused Oscar Pistorius was involved in an altercation at a trendy Sandton club over the weekend, his spokeswoman has confirmed. Anneliese Burgess said her client was at the VIP room when he was approached by a man who has since been identified as Jared Mortimer. “The individual, according to my client, started to aggressively interrogate him on matters relating to the trial. An argument ensued during which my client asked to be left alone. Oscar soon thereafter left the club with his cousin,” said Burgess. Eyewitness News (EWN) reported that Mortimer claimed Pistorius was drunk and had insulted him and his friends before poking him in the chest. Mortimer said he pushed Pistorius and he fell backwards on his feet and onto a chair. Bouncers intervened and stopped the brawl. Pistorius’ trial will resume on 7 August for closing arguments.

BUSINESS: Power utility Eskom can afford to grant a 12% increase in wage negotiations, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said on Monday. NUM and the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) have demanded a one-year wage increase agreement of 12% across the board and a housing allowance of R1 000. We are more than convinced that Eskom can afford to pay its workers a 12% salary increase and even more than that.” With a profit of R7.1 billion that was announced for 2013 financial results, it is without any shadow of doubt that workers’ demands must be met by the employer,” the union’s Acting Energy Sector Co-ordinator Ndlela Radebe said in a statement.

POLITICS: The Democratic Alliance (DA) said on Monday it was launching a High Court bid to have the appointment of SABC Chief Operating Officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng set aside. It was not clear whether the application would be made in the High Court in Pretoria or Johannesburg. Party leader Helen Zille said the DA believed there was a strong case to be made that Motsoeneng’s appointment was irrational given Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s findings that he had acted in bad faith, lied about his qualifications, and abused his power by increasing his salary by nearly R1 million in one year. Communications Minister Faith Muthambi has come under pressure for ratifying Motsoeneng’s appointment after a legal firm apparently cleared him of wrongdoing. The firm, Mchunu Attorneys, have since denied this saying its brief had not been to give counsel on Motsoeneng’s appointment, but only on the public protector’s report.

BUSINESS: In a bid to boost its cash reserves, the National Empowerment Fund (NEF) is considering sourcing funds from other development financial institutions. According to Business Day, the NEF is in discussions with the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) to establish a partnership, which will secure financing for black-empowered businesses. According to Setlakane Molepo, divisional executive: Small Medium Enterprise and Rural Development, said the NEF no longer funds private business entities and this partnership would be a welcome step in it becoming active in that space again.  Molepo added that about R230 billion was under utilized by development corporations and this money did not filter down to broad-based investment programs. The NEF, which was set up to help finance and provide non-financial support to black-owned enterprises, announced in May last year that it had run out of cash to lend businesses. The organisation applied for a R2, 3 billion bail out from treasury but this was not granted in the 2014/15 national budget.

ENTERTAINMENT: Lifetime television network has released the first images of the Whitney Houston biopic featuring Yaya Da Costa in the lead role and Arlen Escarpata as Bobby Brown. Actress Angela Basset is the director of the film, which is slated for release towards the end of the year. The movie will focus not only on Whitney’s music but her turbulent relationship and 15-year marriage with musician Bobby Brown that ended in divorce in 2007. Basset told Entertainment Weekly that Brown was not involved in the production. “We’re very sensitive to whatever the relationship might be or what we have heard or what we perceive his relationship between her family and him. So we’re trying to be respectful.”

SOURCES: Sapa, Entertainment Weekly, Business Day

 

Bobby