Need to catch up on what happened this week? From murder trials, to the imminent release of Chris Hani's killer and the very real threat of a ratings downgrade, we round up some of the big stories - local and international - that made the news...
1) Hani's killer to be released
There was outrage this week as news broke that Janusz Walus, who assassinated South African Communist Party leader Chris Hani nearly twenty-three years ago, is to be released from prison. Walus‚ now 63‚ successfully asked Judge Nicolene Janse van Nieuwenhuizen in the High Court to set aside the Justice Minster’s refusal to release him on parole. His co-conspirator Clive Derby-Lewis‚ who is gravely ill with cancer‚ was released on June 5.
3) Tokai teen murder
Franziska Blochliger‚ a pupil at Constantia Waldorf School‚ went jogging while on a family outing in Tokai forest. After she went missing‚ a search began and her body was found in the forest on Monday. She is thought to have been strangled. Four men appeared in the Wynberg Magistrate's Court on Friday charged with murder‚ rape‚ robbery with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and possession of stolen property.
3) Downgrade ahead?
Ratings firm Moody's will visit South Africa in the next week to decide whether to downgrade its credit status to just one notch above sub-investment grade, it was announced this week. Late on Tuesday, Moody's said it was placing South Africa's Baa2 ratings on review for downgrade, citing the economy's weak growth prospects and worsening fiscal position.
4) Zephany Nurse kidnapping case
The woman accused of kidnapping Zephany Nurse as a baby was found guilty by the Cape Town High Court on Thursday. Zephany was reunited with her biological parents‚ Celeste and Morne Nurse‚ last year after her sister‚ Cassidy‚ enrolled at Zephany’s school and their similarity led to an investigation. The state claims the woman snatched Zephany from Groote Schuur Hospital on April 30‚ 1997. Cape Town Judge President John Hlophe derided her version of events as a “fairytale”. Sentencing procedures have been postponed until May 30.
5) Mystery of the vanishing hitman
Police and justice officials were left red-faced this week following the brazen escape of convicted mobster Radovan Krejcir's alleged go-to hit man. Convicted last year for the assassination of German supercar dealer Uwe Gemballa, Kagiso Ledwaba (28) was able to get hold of a gun as he appeared in the Palm Ridge Magistrate's Court for another criminal case. He disarmed the cell commander and escaped in a waiting car. According to police sources‚ Ledwaba faces 24 other criminal charges ranging from murder‚ kidnapping‚ armed robbery and attempted murder.
6) Flabba's killer sentenced
The Johannesburg High Court this week sentenced Sindisiwe Manqele to 12 years imprisonment for the murder of her rapper boyfriend Nkululeko “Flabba” Habedi. Manqele‚ 26‚ was found guilty in December of murdering Habedi‚ 37‚ who was a member of hip-hop group Skwatta Kamp. The sentencing proceedings start exactly a year after Habedi's death.
7) Sharapova drug scandal
Maria Sharapova revealed on Monday she failed a dope test at the Australian Open. Sharapova tested positive for Meldonium, a drug she said she had been taking since 2006 but was only added to the banned list this year. The five-time Grand Slam tennis champion said her family doctor had first given her the drug after she frequently became sick. Several sponsors have cut ties with her and she could face a ban of up to four years.
8) Zuma in Nigeria
President Jacob Zuma became the first head of state to officially visit the West African nation since Muhammadu Buhari was elected president late last year. During the two-day visit, South Africa and Nigeria this week agreed on the need to deepen economic cooperation between Africa’s two biggest economies.
9) Mbeki on Aids
In a salvo reminiscent of 2002, Thabo Mbeki this week warned people to take antiretroviral drugs with caution and to eat healthily as a way to treat HIV. In his weekly letter aimed at setting the record straight about various issues during his time in office, Mbeki said: "I never said: 'HIV does not cause Aids.' Between 1998 and 2004, the former president's Aids policies, which denied people access to antiretroviral treatment, were shown by Harvard researchers to have led to the deaths of more than 330000 South Africans.
10) Japan remembers nuclear disaster
Japan on Friday marked five years since an offshore earthquake spawned a monster tsunami that left about 18,500 people dead or missing along its northeastern coast and sparked the worst nuclear disaster in a quarter century. Today, the radiation at the Fukushima plant is still so powerful it has proven impossible to get into its bowels to find and remove the extremely dangerous blobs of melted fuel rods.
11) SA importing maize
South Africa will source hundreds of thousands of tonnes of white maize in the coming months from Mexico, likely beginning in May. The country is also set to receive 228,400 tonnes of the yellow variety of the grain in the coming days.
12) Campaign of rape
A report published by the Un human rights office claims South Sudan's government operated a "scorched earth policy" of deliberate rape, pillage and killing of civilians during the civil war in 2015. Groups allied to the government were reportedly allowed to rape women in lieu of wages.
13) 'Fifth Beatle' dies
Legendary British music producer George Martin, who turned the Beatles into the best-selling band in history, died this week at the age of 90. The producer, who signed up the Beatles after hearing their demo record in 1962, was so essential to the band's success that he was nicknamed the "Fifth Beatle".
14) ON THE LIGHTER SIDE
Disney's new animated movie 'Zootropolis’ shattered 'Frozen’s opening weekend box office record, bringing in an estimated $73.7 million - making it the ninth largest animated opening ever.