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Compiled by Vhahangwele Nemakonde

Digital Deputy News Editor


Daily news update: UCT report on Phakeng, Life Esidimeni inquest and Oscar Pistorius’ parole hearing

Here’s your morning news update: An easy-to-read selection of our top stories.


In today’s news update, an independent panel report into the governance crisis that engulfed the University of Cape Town (UCT) blamed former top officials Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng and Babalwa Ngonyama.

The Department of Correctional Services (DCS) parole board also plans to convene a hearing to consider Oscar Pistorius for early release before the end of November.

News Today: 03 November

On the bus with the Boks: Siya Kolisi dedicates World Cup victory to resilient SA

The streets of Pretoria turned green and gold on Thursday, as supporters from across the capital flocked to the streets, waited on street corners, and ran after the Springbok tour bus as it made its way through the City of Tshwane.

Springbok open bus
They’re bringing the trophy to a street near you … Boks players Grant Williams, Kurt-Lee Arendse and Canan Moodie. Picture: GCIS

The Springboks returned home from the 2023 Rugby World Cup on Tuesday, after edging New Zealand’s All Blacks 12-11 in an incredible and tense final at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis last weekend. It was a record fourth World Cup title for South Africa.

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Could Oscar Pistorius be out of prison before Christmas?

The Constitutional Court last month confirmed Oscar Pistorius has been eligible for parole for more than six months after he served half of his sentence by 21 March. 

Parole board to convene hearing in November on Oscar Pistorius' release
Oscar Pistorius during his murder trial at the Pretoria High Court on 8 July 2014. Photo: Gallo Images/The Times /Alon Skuy

The DCS said they received an order from the apex court regarding the proper interpretation of the Supreme Court of Appeal’s (SCA) judgment delivered on 24 November 2017.

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‘Lies, abuse of power’: Report fingers Phakeng and Ngonyama in UCT crisis

An independent panel report into the governance crisis that engulfed the University of Cape Town (UCT) blames former top officials Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng and Babalwa Ngonyama, describing them as having gone “rogue” during their tenure.

uct, governance crisis, mamokgethi phakeng, babalwa ngonyama
Former UCT vice-chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng and ex-council chairperson Babalwa Ngonyama. Pictures: UCT web

Phakeng was UCT vice-chancellor and Ngonyama chairperson of council when the damning allegations erupted last year.

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DA axes Cachalia from shadow cabinet for views on Israel-Palestine conflict

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has removed Ghaleb Cachalia from its Shadow Cabinet over a tweet regarding the conflict in the Middle East. He was replaced as the spokesperson on public enterprises by Mimmy Gondwe.

DA axes Cachalia from shadow Cabinet for views on Israel-Palestine conflict
Democratic Alliance (DA) MP Ghaleb Cachalia speaks during the party’s election campaign on 21 July 2016 in Tshwane. Picture: Gallo Images / Beeld / Deaan Vivier

This comes after Cachalia shared a post on X, formally Twitter, about the ongoing conflict in Palestine.

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SA’s mental healthcare shame: Life Esidimeni inquest wraps up

The judicial inquest into the horrific deaths of 144 mental healthcare patients during the Life Esidimeni tragedy of 2016 concluded at the South Gauteng Division of the High Court on Thursday.

Life Esidimeni inquest
Former Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu testifies during the Life Esidimeni arbitration on 24 January 2018 in Johannesburg. Photo: Gallo Images/ Sowetan/ Alon Skuy

The inquest began on 19 July, 2021, with the crucial purpose of determining any criminal accountability for the deaths of the patients who were transferred from Life Esidimeni facilities to unlicensed NGOs during the 2015-2016 Gauteng Mental Health Marathon Project.

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‘DiepCity’ actress Lebohang Mpyana has died at 34

Popular TV actress Lebohang Mpyana died after a short illness. Her family confirmed her death in a statement released on her Facebook page.

Lebohang Mpyana
Lebohang Mpyana. Picture: X

“It is with great sadness to announce the passing of our daughter, Lebogang Mpyana. Lebo died after a short illness. We ask that you keep us in your thoughts and prayers in this time of bereavement.”

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Singing contest amplifies South Africa’s opera dreams

He and his friends used to imitate Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti before bursting into laughter. This week, 29-year-old Luvo Maranti from South Africa will sing his lungs out at Operalia, one of the most prestigious opera competitions in the world. 

Singing contest amplifies South Africa's opera dreams
South African mezzo-soprano Siphokazi Molteno rehearses with the help of a voice coach at the Art Scape Theatre in Cape Town on October 29. Picture: Marco Longari / AFP

The annual contest, which started in Cape Town this week and runs until Sunday, was created by Spanish tenor Placido Domingo 30 years ago. 

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Three things to look out for in the Carling Knockout this weekend

Orlando Pirates have got themselves a well-earned reputation as cup kings under Jose Riveiro. In fact, the Buccaneers haven won every knockout competition available on the domestic front since the Spaniard took over at the start of the 2022/23 season.

Carling Black Label Knokckout - trophy
The Carling Black Label Knockout quarterfinals take place this weekend. Picture: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix.

They will go into Saturday’s Carling Black Label Knockout quarterfinal against Richards Bay in Durban as clear favourites, but one has to wonder if their current form in the DStv Premiership might put a spanner in their bid to reach the semifinals.

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Best of the best Boks from all four World Cup wins: Our dream team

Who should be included in the Springboks’ Rugby World Cup-winning dream team of all-time? That is, from the players who featured in the title-winning 1995, 2007, 2019 and 2023 tournaments?

Damian de Allende
Damian de Allende cracks our best-23. Picture: Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images

The Boks are now four-time champions, having just gone back-to-back having won in France at the weekend.

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