Thursday, February 22 2018

THE BIG STORIES

LEADING THE AGENDA

'We'll get the cop-killers, dead or alive'

Eastern Cape town rocked by attack in which six - including five officers - died

By TEMBILE SGQOLANA, BONGANI FUZILE and SIKHO NTSHOBANE
3 min read

THE BUDGET

Well, let’s hope we’re gon’ be alright, Mr Gigaba

The budget speech was going to be a hard sell from the start, but was it delivered by the wrong man?

Ranjeni Munusamy
Associate editor: analysis
4 min read

This budget will 'strangle the taxpayer'

Prominent South Africans react to the 2018 budget speech

Farren Collins
Journalist
3 min read

The wages of sin taxes is ... not quite death, but pretty painful

Passing pleasures come at a higher and higher cost

By Khulekani Magubane
2 min read

Treasury: Tough decisions were made to avoid debt trap

Raising tax revenue was an essential priority

By Sunita Menon
2 min read

IDEAS

TO FEED YOUR MIND

Mr President, it's time to do something brave

Here's how to fix education in SA and leave a legacy which will forever carry your signature

Jonathan Jansen
Columnist
4 min read

Fishy tales: Don’t believe a word your folks tell you

Forget about love and responsibility, in our family pets have only been a curse

Samantha Smith
Journalist
3 min read

I love a president who is a natural orator

While Ramaphosa sought to lift our low spirits, he should know that time waits for no man

By Andile Ndlovu
4 min read

VISUAL SIDE


SMART NEWS

IN ONE TAKE

Prepare for more heat, drought and storms

New report shows that SA should start preparing for an increase in more extreme weather events

Farren Collins
Journalist
2 min read

Tim Noakes appeal: 'Where are the bodies?'

Low carb advocate determined to take the matter to the high court if he loses appeal

Katharine Child
Journalist
3 min read

Zim parents in desperate search to find detained kids in SA

The children were detained before Christmas for travelling from Zimbabwe to SA without the correct documents

Katharine Child
Journalist
4 min read

Frayed tempers, legal threats mark KPMG hearing

Ntsebeza Inquiry on ice for two weeks while implicated individuals prepare their responses

Kyle Cowan
Journalist
3 min read

Slippery Zwane digs himself a deeper hole

Political differences were cast aside as annoyed MPs agreed they may need to subpoena the minister

Bobby Jordan
Journalist
2 min read

Nutty, professor? Why Squirrel Ramaphosa is anything but

Study shows grey squirrels are better at solving problems than their red cousins

Dave Chambers
Cape Town bureau chief
2 min read

SNAPSHOT

MPs were riveted with Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba's 2018 Budget Speech on Wednesday.
Sleepist MPs were riveted with Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba's 2018 Budget Speech on Wednesday.
Image: Esa Alexander

Six things about SA you need to know

Workers want answers over future of Gupta mine

Work at the Gupta-owned Optimum coal mine in Mpumalanga came to a standstill on Wednesday as workers marched to hand over a memorandum of grievances to CEO George van der Merwe. The mine supplies coal to Eskom. National Union of Mineworkers spokesman Livhuwani Mammburu said its members wanted answers on the future of the mine because of reports that the Gupta family could not be found. The workers also wanted to be assured about the future of the mine and whether it would be sold.

Red flag raised over sale of subsidised homes

Advertisements offering government-subsidised homes for sale have prompted the department of human settlements in the Eastern Cape to warn prospective buyers that the transaction is illegal. Breaking New Ground-subsidised homes are allocated free of charge to people with an income of less than R3‚500 a month‚ once they have followed an official application process. Once the eight-year period had lapsed and the beneficiary no longer needed a the house‚ it had to be offered back to the state and reallocated to the next qualifying person on the list. However, the government said it spotted advertisements selling the houses to the public. People were urged to report the sale of these homes to police.

Students protest as staff strike halts lectures

Frustrated Durban University of Technology students demanded on Wednesday that the institution resume its academic programme. Controversial Fees Must Fall activist Bonginkosi Khanyile said that he and other student leaders had "mobilised" students to voice their concern over the indefinite suspension of lectures. On Friday, more than 21,000 students learnt they would have to sit at home because the academic programme was put on hold following a six-week impasse over proposed staff salary increases for 2018.

Unisa prof details death threats in chilling e-mail

The acting dean in the University of South Africa’s College of Law has detailed in a chilling e-mail to the university’s legal services and his line managers‚ how his life was threatened if he did not step down. The November 2017 letter, sent by Professor Omphemetse Sibanda, was read into the record of the SA Human Rights Commission’s inquiry into allegations of racism in the college on Wednesday. He wrote that his life was threatened in anonymous phone calls‚ was told that his days were numbered if he did not step down, and warned to guard his food and water against poisoning. Unisa has roped in the commission to conduct an extensive inquiry into allegations of racism‚ sexism‚ harassment and unfair discrimination. This follows a complaint from a staff member.

Gupta lawyers deny brothers are fugitives

Lawyers acting for the Guptas have denied they are fugitives from justice and have written to the Hawks demanding to see a warrant of arrest for Ajay Gupta. eNCA reported on Wednesday that the Guptas’ legal representatives divulged‚ in an exclusive interview with the broadcaster‚ that they do not believe the arrest warrant exists. The lawyers said the brothers were not in South Africa when people were arrested last week in connection with a Free State dairy project investigation by the Hawks. They added that there was “major uncertainty” over what Ajay Gupta would have been charged with. South African authorities earlier declared him a fugitive from justice.

Popular Durban beach closed after sewage spill

A sewage spill in the plush Durban suburb of Umhlanga has forced the closure of all its beaches. The eThekwini Municipality shut the beaches on Wednesday after a pipe burst‚ spilling sewage into the water and the promenade. The upmarket area is popular with locals and international tourists. The Umhlanga Urban Improvement Precinct (UIP) alerted residents to the situation on social media: “The waste water and coastal engineering departments are on site attending to the problem as quickly as possible but note it is a significant pipe that has been affected.” The spill posed a “health hazard”.


THE WORLD

STUFF THAT MATTERS

Netanyahu's close pal to rat on him

Tough-talking Israeli leader suddenly vulnerable after minister turns state witness in graft probes

By Jeffrey Heller
3 min read

Enjoy a drink? You could lose your mind

A study shows that almost six in 10 dementia diagnoses before the age of 65 are linked to heavy drinking

By Laura Donnelly
2 min read

No longer pouched in mystery: tiger was a joey, not a dog

First 3D images of Australian marsupial unlocks the evolutionary secret behind its canine-like features

By AFP
2 min read

Home via hell: a librarian's award-winning subway tale

Trapped underground and desperately needing the loo, her nightmare earned a prize for New York's worst commute

By Barbara Goldberg
2 min read

Spread the news: The peanut allergy problem's been cracked

Aimmune’s peanut allergy drug meets its main goal, sending its shares up 18%

By Tamara Mathias
1 min read

It's a merry Afro-Colombian Christmas - in February

The colourful celebrations in the village of Quinamayo have deep roots in faith, community and slavery

2 min read

SNAPSHOT

Detained Reuters journalist Kyaw Soe Oo kisses his daughter as he is escorted by police for a court hearing in Yangon, Myanmar.
freedom of the press Detained Reuters journalist Kyaw Soe Oo kisses his daughter as he is escorted by police for a court hearing in Yangon, Myanmar.
Image: REUTERS

SIX THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE WORLD

Zim says no cake for you, Bob

Zimbabweans marked Robert Mugabe’s 94th birthday on Wednesday with an official day off, but without the extravagant cakes and fawning tributes that defined February 21 for much of his 37-year rule. As president, Mugabe typically celebrated with a rambling speech while wearing a suit decorated with images of his own face at a party that included a lavish feast. Among the excesses of Mugabe’s previous celebrations were vast birthday cakes — even as food shortages affected millions of Zimbabweans. The biggest cake each year was said to weigh the same number of kilograms as Mugabe’s age. It took several men to carry it into the marquee. — AFP

‘Rasputin of Brussels’ sidles in

The powerful chief of staff to Jean-Claude Juncker, Martin Selmayr, will take a top post in the European Commission in a move which means he can stay on after his boss steps down next year. The German — affectionately nicknamed the “Monster” by Juncker himself and less affectionately dubbed the “Rasputin of Brussels” by the British press — will become secretary general of the commission, the EU’s executive arm. The shadowy power broker has been involved in controversies including over leaks about Brexit negotiations. — AFP

Free bitcoins for all! Not so fast

A blunder at a Japanese cryptocurrency exchange let investors briefly buy bitcoins for free. Zaif said on Tuesday that a system glitch had let seven customers buy bitcoin with no yen value during a 20-minute window last week. The exchange voided the trades after discovering the error, which happened last Friday — though it was still trying to resolve the issue with one customer who tried to transfer the knock-down bitcoins from the exchange. Zaif’s operator had already faced checks after last month’s theft of $530-million in digital money from Coincheck, with regulators fearing its systems were at risk from cyber-attacks. — AFP

It’s a case of pop goes the padre

A Singaporean man convicted over a high-profile fraud case at a megachurch was caught on Wednesday trying to flee in a boat before he was due to start his sentence, police said. In a case that gripped the city-state with a heady mix of religion, showbiz and fraud, six leaders from City Harvest Church were convicted in 2015 of pilfering tens of millions of dollars from a church building fund to promote the pop career of the pastor’s wife. — AFP

Monster man-eating croc strikes again

A crab fisherman has been killed and half-eaten by a huge saltwater crocodile, the latest in a growing number of attacks on a remote Philippine island, police said on Wednesday. The family and neighbours of Rebente Ladja, 37, launched a search after he failed to return home on Monday from setting crab traps at a mangrove forest on the coast of Balabac, off the country’s main southwestern island of Palawan. “They found his mangled remains at the swamp that night, with a huge crocodile beside it. The crocodile had consumed the upper half of his body,” Balabac police said. It was the fifth crocodile attack in Balabac in less than six years. — AFP

A bridge too far for this taxi driver

Turkish prosecutors on Wednesday requested a prison sentence of up to 10 years for an Istanbul taxi driver who needlessly took a passenger from one side of the Bosphorus to the other, causing the tourist to miss a flight. The driver is accused of deliberately taking the Saudi tourist from the Asian side of the city to the European side and back again rather than directly to Istanbul’s second international airport. Both the Kadikoy district, where the passenger was picked up, and the Sabiha Gokcen airport are on the Asian side of the city and the journey usually takes 30 minutes. However the route was extended with several detours, including crossing the city’s third bridge across the Bosphorus. — AFP

THE BUSINESS

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Time to tell your Assore from your elbow

Rip-roaring demand for chrome, iron and manganese

By Charlotte Mathews
2 min read

Glencore on a roll as demand for metals soars

Copper, nickel and cobalt drive miner’s performance

By Allan Seccombe
2 min read

LIFESTYLE

CULTURE COMES ALIVE

Fear and Clothing: No more high heels and other fashion predictions

Li Edelkoort predicts that the flat shoe is in our fashion future. Aspasia Karras objects

Aspasia Karras
Columnist
4 min read

You're the onesie that I want, and other New York highlights

The top 8 shows at New York Fashion Week

By Nothemba Mkhondo
2 min read

The storm in a T-shirt still rages after 40 years

Katherine Hamnett talks protest fashion

By Charlie Gowans-Eglinton
3 min read

SPORT

FINISH LINE ESSENTIALS

SPORTS DAY: Around the world

David Isaacson's roundup of sport news from around the world

By Agencies
5 min read

Hopes that Mitchell will put some beef back on Bulls bones

Loftus fans will applaud coach if he turns team around

Mahlatse Mphahlele
Journalist
2 min read

Blasts from the past

Today in sports history

David Isaacson
Journalist
1 min read