Tuesday, February 20 2018



REVEALED: Guptas' gang hide in plane sight

Oakbay chartered flight to take Gupta lieutenants to court but plane's owners were kept in the dark

Graeme Hosken
3 min read

The big Eskom clean-up has started

Insiders say the suspension of two disgraced Eskom executivies halted some costly contracts

Sabelo Skiti
3 min read

Seven cabinet ministers who should get the chop

These are the heads we want to see rolling when a new cabinet is announced

Sabelo Skiti
6 min read



Rations of Ramaphosa might be the only way to feed my hope

In the interests of self-preservation, I am going to manage my own expectations of our new president

Tom Eaton
4 min read

Lessons in pride: what we can learn from South Korea

As our nation enters a new phase, we could glean much from the exceptional success of the Korean people

By Anant Singh
4 min read

Single in Syria: The search for soulmates comes up empty

Amid the sea of women, there’s no eligible single man in sight

4 min read


Israel's desert outside of Mitzpe Ramon resembles the Mars environment in its geology, aridity, appearance and desolation.



One Gupta surfaces ... in court papers

Give me back my R10-million, he tells NPA

Nico Gous
3 min read

KPMG lobbying for blackout on its Gupta report

The auditing firm is playing its cards close to its chest as the Ntsebeza Inquiry gets underway

Kyle Cowan
3 min read

Keep the spooks out of parliament, says ANC

Ruling party uses Sona debate to highlight areas of government that are in need of a thorough spring-clean

Thabo Mokone
2 min read

Weatherman Derek van Dam does a 'Day Zero' in Atlanta

CNN weather anchor imposed water restrictions at his US home for a day in solidarity with Cape Town

2 min read

You can't love birds and have a cat: study

Studies show that having a domestic cat that prefers the outdoors can seriously dent your sustainability cred, ...

2 min read

Rape, sex assault claims pile up against Klerksdorp pastor

Church says it stands by Bishop TJ Pitso after six more women lay complaints

Khanyi Ndabeni
2 min read


Activists from several Ukrainian ultranationalist parties throw stones and eggs at the windows of Rossotrudnichestvo building in Kiev.
Stone throwing in glass houses Activists from several Ukrainian ultranationalist parties throw stones and eggs at the windows of Rossotrudnichestvo building in Kiev.

Six things about SA you need to know

Schabir Shaik too busy to go to jail

Schabir Shaik is not being hauled back to jail. Instead, the convicted fraudster is "very busy" at his Morningside home in Durban. On Monday, as hundreds of people shared a hoax tweet claiming he was going to be rearrested‚ the terminally ill parolee's schedule was full. "He said he is very busy and you don’t have an appointment so he can't see you‚" the security guard stationed outside Shaik's home said after consulting with his employer. Hawks spokesman Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said on Monday the crimefighting unit had nothing to do with the tweet, while the Department of Correctional Services said it was not reviewing Shaik's parole.The Health Professions Council of South Africa also said it had not received a formal complaint to investigate the doctors who had recommended that Shaik be granted medical parole.

OR Tambo terminal evacuated

An unattended bag at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport caused alarm on Monday‚ leading to part of the terminal building being evacuated. Airport spokesperson Leigh Gunkel-Keuler said that when the bag was spotted the airport’s dog unit and the police were called to investigate. People were evacuated as part of safety protocols. The airport was later declared safe, but there were some flight delays.

Abrahams’s dismissal to go to ConCourt

An application by three NGOs to confirm a court order setting aside Shaun Abrahams’s appointment as national director of public prosecutions will be heard by the Constitutional Court next Wednesday. The High Court in Pretoria ruled in December that Jacob Zuma’s appointment of Abrahams had to be set aside because the former head of state was too conflicted to make an appointment to the post because he is facing possible criminal charges. Both Abrahams and Zuma’s legal teams appealed the ruling. However‚ it is not clear whether the Presidency will persist with its application since there was a change of presidents last week. The Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution, which lodged confirmation proceedings‚ said it had not received any withdrawals from the Presidency.

SARS pledges co-operation with inquiry

The South African Revenue Service will co-operate fully with a presidential inquiry into tax administration and governance at the tax service. In his state of the nation address on Friday President Cyril Ramaphosa said he would shortly appoint a commission of inquiry into SARS. This comes after Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba asked then president Jacob Zuma in November to set up an urgent judicial inquiry into the revenue service. The organisation has been plagued by corruption allegations and has lost significant amounts of expertise over the past three years since Tom Moyane was appointed its commissioner. “SARS is looking forward to the inquiry as this will assist SARS employees and its leadership to identify additional areas which seek focus and improvement‚” a statement read. “Added to that‚ the enquiry will assist SARS to clarify a number of misconstrued issues, including dispelling the perception and continued negative media narrative that has the potential to dent the legitimacy of the organisation.”

Nafiz Modack ‘starving’ in prison

Prison officials are refusing to serve alleged extortion syndicate boss Nafiz Modack halaal food, leading to claims that he has been starving in prison. Modack and Jacques Cronje appeared in the Alexandra Magistrate’s Court in Johannesburg on Monday on charges of intimidation and extortion. They remain in custody and will be back in court on Thursday. They allegedly extorted the Grand strip club in Rivonia. On Monday the pair appeared under heavy police guard. Their hands and feet were chained. Modack’s lawyer Johannes Eksteen told the court his client‚ who is Muslim‚ has been deprived of food since his incarceration. He said the officials refused to allow his family to bring him halaal food. Magistrate Gideon Schnetler told him to take the matter up with prison officials. Judgment in Modack’s bail application will be handed down on February 28.

Five dead after highway hot pursuit and gun battle

A dramatic gun battle between police and a gang of suspected house robbers played out on Fields Hill‚ west of Durban‚ as the highwaymen beat a hasty retreat on Monday. Five men were killed and a sixth was badly wounded after their car‚ peppered by police gunfire‚ left the road and crashed. Elite Dog Unit policemen are understood to have tracked down the gang as they travelled toward the city. When the alleged house robbers realised they were being followed they opened fire on officers‚ who returned a salvo of bullets.



Blood from the sky: Drones' lifeline to Africa

The world’s first drone delivery system sends urgent medicines to those in need – no matter where they live

By Paul Nuki
4 min read

Kenya lets slip the dogs in the poaching war

Bloodhounds take centre stage in a unique conservation project in Kenya's famous Masai Mara reserve

4 min read

Israel's mission to Mars unfolds in its backyard

Team of researchers complete desert research project in conditions designed to emulate that of the red planet

By Reuters
1 min read

Oxfam head ‘didn’t organise orgies’ - but paid for sex

Oxfam says former Haiti director admitted hiring sex workers

3 min read

It’s definitely not the year of the Pekingese

The most distinctive Chinese canine, the imperial Pekingese, is almost nowhere to be found 

By Joseph Campbell
2 min read


Men throw snowballs in a traditional fight during the festivities of Shrovetide or Maslenitsa close to the village of Electrougli outside Moscow.
What a riot Men throw snowballs in a traditional fight during the festivities of Shrovetide or Maslenitsa close to the village of Electrougli outside Moscow.


Bring it on, Oprah

US President Donald Trump blasted media mogul Oprah Winfrey on Twitter on Sunday night over a segment on CBS’ 60 Minutes, saying again he hoped she would face him as an opponent in the 2020 presidential race. Winfrey had led a panel of 14 Republican, Democrat and Independent voters in a discussion about Trump’s first year in office. Trump tweeted: “Just watched a very insecure Oprah Winfrey, who at one point I knew very well, interview a panel of people on 60 Minutes. The questions were biased and slanted, the facts incorrect. Hope Oprah runs so she can be exposed and defeated just like all of the others!" Winfrey has told the media she is not running for president, but has considered it. — Reuters

Rapper dogged by cops

A rapper in Malaysia is under police investigation for allegedly insulting Islam with a Lunar New Year video featuring dancers in dog masks performing a “doggy-style” sex move, reports said on Monday. In the video, Wee Meng Chee (stage name Namewee) sits in front of a domed building and mimics barks of canines from around the world as the dancers gyrate. Dogs are considered unclean in Islam. The video, which marks the start of the Year of the Dog, drew accusations that it was filmed in front of a mosque. Namewee, who is from the country’s ethnic Chinese minority, says the building is the prime minister’s office. — AFP

Soldiers get a drink with bite

US and Thai marines slurped snake blood and ate scorpions in a jungle survival programme on Monday as part of the two nations’ annual Cobra Gold war games, which draws thousands of troops for 10 days of field training. During the drill on a Thai navy base in Chonburi province, troops drank blood from a severed cobra before grilling and eating the snakes. Raw gecko was also on the menu. They also learnt how to remove venom from scorpions and tarantulas before eating them, find water in jungle vines, and identify edible plants. — AFP

There's no glass ceiling here, but...

Tech giant Apple is discovering a painful side-effect of its architectural aesthetics: staff keep walking into the walls. Apple Park in Cupertino, California, comprises 15m curved glass panels, within which workspaces also have glass walls and doors. At least seven people were injured on the day they moved in at the beginning of the year, according to Marketwatch. Some had been serious enough to prompt calls to emergency services. Workers even began sticking Post-it notes on the glass, Bloomberg reported. Apple Park’s design was based on a vision by late company co-founder Steve Jobs. — Staff reporter

How to make a green 'punk' see red

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull criticised an MP in his ruling coalition who posted a photograph online of himself holding a gun, Dirty Harry-style, and asking: “Do you feel lucky, greenie punks?” George Christensen’s post appeared to be aimed at the green lobby, since he has been critical of environmentalists, sometimes backed by the Greens party, trying to blockade mining projects. Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young said the post had led to her receiving death threats. Christensen refused to apologise but changed the caption to: "You gotta ask yourself, do you have a sense of humour, greenie punks?" — © Daily Telegraph

Passengers come to blows over high winds

A fight over flatulence forced a pilot to make an emergency landing. Two men sitting next to the culprit on a recent Transavia Airlines flight from Dubai to Amsterdam Schiphol asked him to stop, but he continued to break wind, Metro reported. A fight then broke out between the men, which continued despite a pilot’s warning and the plane was diverted to Vienna Airport where it made an emergency landing. The report said police removed two women and two men, who were not charged but are banned from flying Transavia Airlines in the future. — Staff reporter



Curro doesn't get an A

Curro Holdings posted slower-than-anticipated growth at bottom line

By Marc Hasenfuss
2 min read

Gatvol Coronation investors cry foul at AGM

Fund manager gets the full activist treatment

By Ann Crotty
3 min read



Anti-tech: The kids who get their kicks from retro

Real books and 1980s pop get the thumbs-up

3 min read

Art, architecture, modelling: The Moore the merrier

The work of Natalie Moore is nothing if not eclectic

By Abigail Dengler
2 min read

Just for the record: A fitting tribute to Bra Hugh

A bi-weekly vinyl review

By Andrew Donaldson
7 min read

Oh happy days, the thrill hasn’t gone

The best thrillers of 2018 so far

By Jennifer Platt
3 min read



SPORTS DAY: Around the world

Your roundup of the latest sporting news

By Agencies
5 min read

Safa takes its eye off the Bafana ball ... yet again

No matches organised despite plenty of opportunity

Mark Gleeson
Soccer writer
2 min read

Blasts from the past

Today in sports history

By David Isaacson
1 min read