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Compiled by Nicholas Zaal

Digital Journalist

Daily news update: Oscar Pistorius granted parole, 10 detainees escape through roof, and 350 homeless after Pretoria fire

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

In today’ news, Paralympic champion and convicted murderer Oscar Pistorius has been granted parole, North West Police are looking for 10 detainees who escaped through the roof, and a fire in the Koos de la Rey informal settlement has left 350 homeless.

We also look at Eskom overcommitting its reserves, the outbreak of rabbit haemorrhagic disease, the family of Reeva Steenkamp detailing the effect of her death, a massive gas explosion in KwaZulu-Natal, as well as Springbok Steven Kitsoff and his wife finding a home in Ireland.

News today: 25 November

JUST IN: Valentine’s Day killer Oscar Pistorius granted parole

Convicted murderer Oscar Pistorius has been granted parole.

The Correctional Supervision and Parole Board (CSPB) convened on Friday to consider him for early release and announced his parole effective 5 January 2024.

Oscar Pistorius granted parole
Oscar Pistorius during his murder trial at the Pretoria High Court on July 8, 2014, in Pretoria, South Africa. (Photo by Gallo Images / The Times /Alon Skuy)

He will be assigned a monitoring correctional services official to work with him until his sentence expires, and reportedly cannot move out of the Waterkloof area without notifying correctional services.

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Wanted: 10 detainees awaiting trial escape through the roof in North West

The North West police in Mogwase have launched a manhunt for 10 detainees awaiting trial who escaped on Wednesday morning.

Wanted: Ten detainees awaiting trial escaped through the roof in North West
Police have launched a manhunt for these men, who are awaiting trial. Pictures: Saps

According to police spokesperson Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone, Johannes Mogari Nowata, Katlego Nkitle, Omphemetse Moeng, Joseph Molefe, Tebogo Michael Langeni, Obvious Mlambo, Lebogang Mokotleng, Adonis Mpofu, Eric Mkhonazi, and Tshiamo Mogale escaped through the roof after cutting the mesh wire protecting it.

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WATCH: 350 left homeless after fire rips through informal settlement in Pretoria

Around 350 people have been left without homes after a fire swept through the Koos de la Rey informal settlement in Pretoria North on Thursday.

fire Koos de la Rey informal settlement Pretoria
350 people have been left homeless after a fire broke out at an informal settlement in Pretoria North. Picture: Supplied.

The City of Tshwane Emergency Services Department responded to a fire in the informal settlement after receiving multiple calls reporting that a fire had broken out.

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‘We have overcommitted our reserves’ – Ramokgopa on reason for stage 6 load shedding

Minister of Electricity, Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, has said while there had been a few units at power stations failing this week, the main reason for implementing stage 6 load shedding was because Eskom had overcommitted its reserves and, in accordance with the Unplanned Capacity Loss Factor (UCLF), needed to draw from the grid to replenish its reserves now.

Electricity Minister Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa load shedding stage 6
Electricity Minister Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa. Picture: GCIS

He apologised to South Africans during a media briefing in Pretoria on Friday, where Eskom group executive for generation, Bheki Nxumalo, later added that demand for electricity had spiked since Thursday and this was another reason for stage 6.

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NSPCA warns of outbreak of rabbit haemorrhagic disease in SA

The National Council of Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA) has warned of an outbreak of rabbit haemorrhagic disease (RHD).

There has been a Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease outbreak.
Photo: iStock

RHD was first detected in the Northern Cape in November 2022. It is a highly infectious viral disease that affects rabbits.

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WATCH: Steenkamp family pen heartbreaking statement as Oscar Pistorius faces parole board

The family of slain model Reeva Steenkamp have detailed the emotional effect her death ten years ago has had on them, as her killer faces a parole board on Friday.

D-Day for Oscar Pistorius as parole board decides on his release
Oscar Pistorius will find out on Friday whether he will be released on parole. Photo: SIPHIWE SIBEKO / POOL / AFP

Reeva’s mother June did not attend the parole hearing. She is still mourning the death of her husband Barry in September.

Read more here

Massive gas explosion in Rosetta, KZN

A gas leak at a gas shop in the Rosetta area, near Mooi River, caused a massive explosion on Friday morning.

gas explosion rosetta kzn
Residents were warned to stay away from the Rosetta area in the Midlands on Friday morning after a gas explosion. Photo: Supplied

Fortunately, there have been no reports of any deaths or injuries as yet.

When The Witness arrived, a large number of emergency services, including uMgungundlovu Firefighters, were already at the scene putting out the fire.

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Another Gauteng education official shot

Another Gauteng education official has been shot, a fact the department has expressed concern over.

Another Gauteng education official shot
The official was in his vehicle at the Chris Hani Road and Golden Highway intersection near Southgate Mall in Johannesburg when an unidentified assailant shot him on Thursday afternoon. Picture: iStock

According to the department, the official from Johannesburg South District overseeing Learning and Teaching Support Material was in his vehicle at the Chris Hani Road and Golden Highway intersection near Southgate Mall in Johannesburg when he was suddenly shot by an unidentified assailant on Thursday afternoon.

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What’s next? Pretoria businessman dragged out of bank at gunpoint and robbed

A Pretoria businessman’s visit to the bank to deposit money turned into a nightmare when he was approached out of the blue by two armed men inside the Hercules branch of Absa Bank and forced outside at gunpoint where he was subsequently robbed.

bank robbery pretoria
A Pretoria man was accosted by armed robbers inside Absa bank, in Hercules, before he was dragged outside and robbed on Thursday morning. Photo: iStock

The brazen robbery at Absa Bank, in Hercules, Pretoria Gardens, ironically took place on Thursday morning while Gauteng police commissioner Elias Mawela presented the province’s crime statistics.

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SA Art community to host Palestinian concert for peace on significant day in Palestine

The African Women Writers Network in partnership with Palestine Festival SA (Palfest SA) are hosting the Palestinian Concert for Peace at the Photo Workshop Auditorium, Market Square, next week in solidarity with the Palestine citizens caught in the IsraeliHamas war.

Siya Makuzeni-Palestine concert
jazz vocalist and trombone player Siya Makuzeni will be performing at the Palestinian Concert for Peace. Picture: by jankysmooth/siyamakuzeni Instagram

“We hope this concert shows solidarity with the people in Palestine, increase awareness of what’s happening there and initiates more help. They (Palestine) helped us as South Africa when we were going through a lot,” Programme director of the concert, Roshnie Moonsammy told The Citizen.

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‘We were house hunting during the world cup,’ – Bok player Steven Kitsoff as he settles in Ireland

“So during the World Cup we were sending messages back and forth with our agent, one of the real estate agents living this side just to find a house and make sure the house is secured by the time we arrive,” said Springbok prop Steven Kitshoff.

Aimee and Steven Kitsoff-House hunting
The Kitsoffs have settled well in Ireland after house-hunting in the middle of the World Cup. Picture:aimee_kitsoff/Instagram

The World Cup winning prop and his wife, Aimee, relocated to Ireland where Kitsoff will be playing for the Irish rugby side, Ulster. Speaking to the club’s media, Kitsoff said they’ve settled well in their first few days in their new environment.

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Jonty Rhodes catches criticism for his ‘manners’ at Indian restaurant

Former Proteas batsman Jonty Rhodes had to put one social media user in their place after he was accused of neglecting his driver while dining at an eatery in India.

Jonty Rhodes-restaurant
Jonty Rhodes inside an Indian restaurant with some of the waiters. Picture: @JontyRhodes8/X (Twitter)

An innocent post of the South African enjoying and complementing Indian cuisine had Rhodes defending himself after netizens assumed he had bought himself food and left out his designated driver.

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Boks are back in town for Bulls in URC match against Connacht

The Bulls have bolstered their match 23 with the return of three Springbok World Cup winners for their United Rugby Championship (URC) match-up against Connacht at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday afternoon (kick-off 5pm).

Springbok double world champ Willie Le Roux will make his Bulls debut in the URC against Connacht at Loftus on Saturday afternoon. Picture: Franco Arland/Getty Images

Double world champ Willie le Roux will start at fullback in his first appearance for the Highveld franchise, while Marco van Staden slots in at flank and Canan Moodie will play off the bench in a match the Bulls will be looking to get a full house of points from.

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Five things to look out for in SA football this weekend

Mamelodi Sundowns will start their Caf Champions League Group A campaign on Sunday when they host Mauritanian champions Nouadhibou at Loftus Stadium. Like Sundowns, Nouadibhou have dominated their domestic championship, winning the last six league titles, but this is their first time in the Champions League group stages.

Cavin Johnson - Kaizer Chiefs
Cavin Johnson seems to be enjoying life at Kaizer Chiefs. But he also needs to start wining more matches. Picture: Backpagepix.

Sundowns will be heavy favourites to beat their lesser-known opponents on Sunday, and to ultimately win the group, especially on the back of their triumph in the inaugural Caf African Football League.

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