By Thato Magano (@pothaeto)
A roundup of the biggest newsmakers and news of the week.
1.Boko Haram and Nigerian government in talks to release kidnapped girls
Nigerian government officials and the International Committee of the Red Cross have had talks with Boko Haram about swapping imprisoned members of Boko Haram for the more than 200 Chibok school girls kidnapped in April.
Boko Haram submitted a list with the names of 30 members who were either convicted or awaiting trial on terror offenses. “The two Boko Haram negotiators assured the ICRC and government negotiators that the girls were never raped, were never used as sex slaves and were never sexually assaulted,” said the source, who attended the discussions.
“They were only ready to release one to one, which the government was not going to accept,” the source said.
The Boko Haram negotiators said they would get back to the government after consulting with superiors. The ICRC sources declined to comment.
2.Generations off air until December
The contingency plan the SABC had in place to manage the lack of new Generations episodes will come into full effect on October 1 when the show is pulled off the air.
“There are no new episodes … Generations will be off air until December,” said Kaizer Kganyago, SABC spokesperson, confirming the show would no longer be on air as of next month.
Filming of the popular soap stopped on August 11 when 16 principal actors started withholding their services. The 16 demanded higher salaries and a cut of R500 million in royalties.
Kganyago said SABC1 would juggle their scheduling to move SePedi drama Skeem Saam from its 18:30 timeslot to the coveted 20:00 slot Generations used to occupy.
Earlier this week, Generations producer and creator Mfundi Vundla said he was rewriting the entire show, presumably without the 16 actors, who were axed after being given an ultimatum to return to work or be fired a week after their strike action started.
The actors seem oblivious to the changes being made. The Generations Actors Guild announced yesterday they would be taking their matter to the Council for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).
–The Citizen, SABC
3. 84 South Africans die as TB Joshua’s church building collapses
The number of deaths in Nigeria’s church hostel collapse has risen to 115, including 84 South Africans announced minister in the presidency Jeff Radebe. 25 survivors have returned to South Africa, where they are receiving further medical care.
The worshippers were attending a gathering by Nigerian TV evangelist TB Joshua when a building collapsed in Lagos 10 days ago. The official numbers have not been confirmed by Nigerian officials.
The nationalities of the other victims is not clear, except for an official with Zimbabwe’s opposition Movement for Democratic Change, whose death was announced last week. At least seven of the dead are Nigerian, rescue workers there have said.
TB Joshua on Sunday announced plans to travel to South Africa to visit the families of the deceased. “I will be travelling to South Africa to meet people from South Africa and other nations who find South Africa easier to visit, in memory of martyrs of faith,” he told his congregation.
In his sermon, he referred to reports surrounding the incident as “persecution” and “propaganda”.
4. Floyd Shivambu gives the deputy president the middle finger
Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) chief whip Floyd Shivambu has vowed to “publicly withdraw the middle finger”.
Shivambu was captured on Parliamentary television footage giving Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa the middle finger shortly after being told to leave the National Assembly.
In a statement, Shivambu said he raised his middle finger at the deputy president to show his disgust at the loss of workers lives at Marikana.
The EFF chief whip said he now realises the gesture wasn’t necessary and withdrew his middle finger when the National Assembly reconvened the following day.
But Shivambu added that he has no regrets for the words he uttered about Ramaphosa, with statements that included directly accusing him of murder.
5. New York Times calls Shonda Rhymes an angry black women and sends twitter all a flutter
“When Shonda Rhimes writes her autobiography, it should be called ‘How to Get Away With Being an Angry Black Woman.”
So went the first lines of the article by New York Times television critic Alessandra Stanley. Rhimes is the creator and producer of Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and producer of the new to be launched thriller How to Get Away With Murder.
Rhimes is a producer on How to Get Away With Murder, but not the creator of the show, a fact that was not included in the Times piece and an omission that Rhimes also took issue with.
Stanley defended the article in a statement released by the outlet’s communications department Friday. “The whole point of the piece — once you read past the first 140 characters — is to praise Shonda Rhimes for pushing back so successfully on a tiresome but insidious stereotype,” Stanley said in the statement.
Rhimes took to Twitter on Friday to air her issues with the writer. “Apparently we can be ‘angry black women’ together, because I didn’t know I was one either! @petenowa #LearnSomethingNewEveryday,” the Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy creator wrote in a Tweet, while also tagging How to Get Away With Murder creator Peter Nowalk.
Meanwhile, the Times Public Editor Margaret Sullivan has published her inquiry into how the “astonishingly tone-deaf” article made its way online Friday.
“There are some big questions here — about diversity, about editing procedures and about how The Times deals with stories about women and race,” Sullivan wrote. “They are worth exploring in depth.”