Thursday, March 8 2018



Just a family day at the beach - 90,000 years ago

Palaeontologists find unique evidence of an ancient family at play

Dave Chambers
Cape Town bureau chief
8 min read



Caregiver at special needs school faces assault charge

But she says the children are aggressive before they've taken their medication

By Prega Govender
3 min read

Handsaw attack on triathlete: ‘It was brutal and confusing’

Mhlengi Gwala's fighting spirit kept him alive

3 min read

Abrahams says he needs a reason to arrest the Guptas

... but MPs weren't buying NPA head's excuses for why arrests were bungled

Thabo Mokone
3 min read

Things fall apart: Two ANC provincial structures face collapse

In-fighting causes disintegration of governance in some municipalities

Siphe Macanda
3 min read

Here come the big guns

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has named a powerful team as part of his state capture inquiry

2 min read

Far East goes wild for live animals from SA

South Africa is the largest legal exporter of living wild animals, birds and plants from Africa to Asia

Tony Carnie
3 min read

Teens are more attracted to branding than cigarettes

A ban on the display of cigarettes in the UK led to a drop in youth who smoke

2 min read



Cheap shots pepper the UCT 'race row'

Little to suggest that the university has done anything but play by the book in this top appointment

4 min read

Trump’s trade war is as American as apple pie

The combination of nostalgia, economic populism and anti-China nationalism is irresistible

By Tim Stanley
4 min read


Here are six things you probably didn’t know about this remarkable property.


People wait to cast their vote during Sierra Leone's presidential election in Freetown.
Queue for free People wait to cast their vote during Sierra Leone's presidential election in Freetown.
Image: Reuters/Olivia Acland

Six things about SA you need to know

Home Affairs backtracks on Gupta citizenship

As Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba copped flak regarding his comments on the Gupta family’s citizenship and naturalisation‚ the department was forced on Wednesday to admit that Atul Gupta is indeed a South African citizen. Gigaba vehemently denied a day earlier that both Atul and Ajay were given South African citizenship‚ stating that their application for citizenship was null and void as they had not renounced their citizenship of India. But on Wednesday the department said Gigaba had mistakenly told a briefing on Tuesday that Atul was not South African. In fact‚ Home Affairs director-general Mkuseli Apleni said Atul had been naturalised in November 2002 and Rajesh in July 2006. Ajay was not naturalised because he did not renounce his Indian citizenship. Instead, he only holds a permanent resident permit.

Siam Lee’s alleged killer accuses PI of torture

The state’s prime suspect in the disappearance and murder of Siam Lee has pinned his hopes for bail on what his lawyers described as the “capture” of the investigation by prominent Durban private investigator Brad Nathanson. The 29-year-old businessman faces 16 charges, including rape, and as such cannot be named. He testified on Wednesday in support of his bail application that he had been brutally tortured at the hands of Nathanson, his staff and the police. The endgame, Advocate Martin Krog submitted, was to prove that the state’s case would be so substantially weakened because of Nathanson’s hidden hand that there would be no way his client would try to evade his trial. The state expected to cross-examine the accused on Thursday when the bail application continues.

Top SA author lashes out at Tutu

South African author Ishtiyaq Shukri has lashed out at Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu over his decision to step down as an Oxfam ambassador in the wake of a sex scandal. Shukri lambasted Tutu for not speaking out against sex abuses in the church – abuses that he says he was a victim of. In February it was reported that Oxfam staff paid for sex with prostitutes in Haiti while in the country after a devastating 2010 earthquake. While not stating outright that his resignation was directly due to the revelations, Tutu was nonetheless disappointed by the news. But Shukri described this stance as hypocritical. He said reading Tutu’s statement was “excruciating for me‚ because I have seen first hand the good work Oxfam does”. He also questioned why Tutu was speaking out on this but not on abuses in the church. The Tutu Foundation had not responded to requests for comment.

Guptas and Duduzane Zuma called before inquiry

The three Gupta brothers - Atul‚ Ajay and Rajesh - as well as former president Jacob Zuma's son Duduzane have been called to appear before the parliamentary inquiry into Eskom next Tuesday. While the Guptas' lawyer, Ahmed Gani, has confirmed to the committee that he will make sure the brothers attend‚ African Christian Democratic Party MP Steve Swart said this was "highly unlikely" given that some of them, along with Duduzane, were being sought by the Hawks on charges of corruption related to the Vrede dairy project. Inquiry chair Zukiswa Rantho was keen that the Guptas appear before the inquiry, which is due to be wrapped up next week. Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba is also set to appear before the inquiry.

Day Zero won't happen this year: Maimane

Cape Town will not hit Day Zero in 2018‚ but only if the city continued consuming water at current levels and there was “decent winter rainfall”, DA leader Mmusi Maimane said on Wednesday. He told the media in Cape Town that residents had responded magnificently and that “everyone played their part in this city-wide collective effort to keep the taps open”. He said the 60% reduction in water consumption outperformed many other cities across the world that faced severe drought, including Sao Paulo‚ Melbourne and the state of California”.

Land Bank fraudsters to be sentenced

Former ANC MP and Independent Communications Authority of SA head Rubben Mohlaloga will be sentenced on Thursday alongside former acting head of the Land Bank. Philemon Mohlahlane, and attorney Dinga Rammy Nkwashu. The three are expected to appear in the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in Pretoria to learn their fate after they were convicted of defrauding the Agri-BEE Fund and the Land Bank of R6-million. The funds were meant to bolster aspirant black farmers. Mohlaloga was reported to have instructed the manager of the fund to pay money to the trust account of Nkwashu’s legal firm under the false pretence that this was a ministerial instruction for a project. At the time‚ he was the chairman of parliament's portfolio committee on agriculture. In a statement‚ the National Prosecuting Authority said none of the proper procedures were followed in the payment of the funds.



Africa's not such a shithole ... when they need us

Top US envoy is on a mission to lure the continent away from Chinese influence

4 min read

After 132 years, message in a bottle contains a big surprise

It's the oldest one ever found, but researchers still manage to find who dropped it overboard

By Jonathan Pearlman
1 min read

Boys suffer the worst online sex abuse

A report finds that  fewer boys than girls are sexually exploited online, but the abuse is often more severe

By Beh Lih Yi
1 min read

After decades in the depths, Lady Lex is ready to reveal her secrets

WW2 warship the USS Lexington has been found 76 years after she was sunk

By Darren Schuettler
2 min read

Hints of a slight thaw in North Korea's nuclear winter

It looks like Kim Jong-un might be the first to blink in the denuclearisation stare-off between him and the US

4 min read


Protesters in Athens oppose the auction of foreclosed properties, a key demand of Greece's bailout creditors.
Greece trap Protesters in Athens oppose the auction of foreclosed properties, a key demand of Greece's bailout creditors.
Image: Louisa Gouliamaki / AFP


Orange you sorry you started smoking?

Indonesia can now add a smoking orangutan to its roster of nicotine addicts. A video taken on Sunday shows the beast picking up a cigarette butt that was flicked into its zoo enclosure by a visitor and then puffing away on it like a pro. The images of 22-year-old Bornean orangutan Ozon at the zoo in Bandung, about 150km southeast of Jakarta, promptly went viral. This not the first that a zoo orangutan has been caught sneaking a smoke in Indonesia, which has an abysmal record of animal protection and one of the world’s highest smoking rates. In 2012 a great ape at another zoo became a nicotine addict after picking up butts, and had to be forced to quit cold turkey. — AFP

Old toppies still acting wild and crazy

Millions of baby boomers are being urged to cut their alcohol intake well below current recommended limits, amid warnings of soaring deaths linked to drinking and drugs. A report by the Royal College of Psychiatrists on Wednesday warned that the number of deaths linked to alcohol among over 50s has risen 45% in a decade, while drug deaths among such groups have risen by more than 100%. GPs are being urged to question all older drinkers about their drinking habits, with extra checks when patients have gone through major events, such as death or divorce. Experts said the baby boomer generation was fast becoming the “highest risk group” across all age groups, with men and women in their 60s and 70s suffering the results of decades of excess. — The Daily Telegraph

Creepy killer wanted 101 scalps

An alleged serial killer sentenced to death by a Bangladesh court on Wednesday for torturing and murdering a woman may have claimed at least seven other victims, authorities said. It was the second time Rosu Khan had been condemned to death after a separate court in 2015 ordered his hanging for murdering another woman. Prosecutors in the latest case said Khan and two accomplices lured a 35-year-old woman to a deserted area where she was raped, tortured and murdered. Khan also faces charges of murdering seven other women whose bodies have been found, and had told a magistrate during the investigative process that he was behind the death of at least 11 women. “He told us he wanted to kill at least 101 women as revenge against a woman who refused his advances some 15 years ago,” Ranjit Kumar Palit, a Chandpur police inspector, told AFP after Khan’s arrest in 2009. — AFP

Coke goes the booze route in Japan

With its iconic red label and secret recipe, it’s been one of the world’s most famous soft drinks for more than a century. Now, however, Coca-Cola is on the brink of a new chapter – with plans to launch its first alcoholic drink. The company is currently experimenting with the creation of a popular type of Japanese alcopop known as Chu-Hi, containing distilled shochu alcohol mixed with flavoured carbonate water. The low alcohol canned drink will be launched in Japan, home to a thriving if competitive industry, with countless Chu-Hi flavoured drinks – from kiwi to yuzu – sitting on convenience store shelves across the country. Japan’s alcopop market has grown expansively since the country’s first ready-to-drink Chu-Hi product for stores – called hiLicky - was released in 1983, with young women fuelling sales. — The Daily Telegraph

Never mind the dictator, pass the noodles

China is set to pass its first constitutional amendments in 14 years this weekend, but at Wednesday’s public discussion on the changes, delegates seemed more interested in talking about beef noodles and taking naps. There was little suspense about the outcome of Sunday’s momentous vote to institute a number of major constitutional revisions including a decision to remove presidential term limits, opening a path for the current leader Xi Jinping to rule for life. One delegate reached over and gently pinched a neighbour who had fallen asleep. When journalists were allowed to ask questions, Chinese reporters focused their queries on development, poverty, tourism and food, prompting a discussion about Gansu’s famous Lanzhou noodles. None of the questions were about the constitutional amendments. — AFP

Phew, it’s getting hot out there

Thirteen cities worldwide are projected to see temperature hikes that could exceed 2C over the next decade or so, according to a new report. The Belgian city of Leuven faces the highest potential increase among 100 cities that are included in a report several years in the making by the Urban Climate Change Research Network, based at Columbia University. Cities that could see the steepest temperature increases during the 2020s include Geneva in Switzerland (2.5C), Shenzhen in China (2.3C) and Tsukuba in Japan (2.3C), the study showed. Experts say storms, floods and other extreme weather events that are related to climate change are hitting cities much harder than scientists had predicted. — The Thomson Reuters Foundation



Does higher VAT really hurt poorer people more?

If so, maybe it’s time to hike corporate income tax

By Hilary Joffe
4 min read

Crowdfunding: If you start me up I’ll never stop

How to raise money without getting into debt

Farren Collins
3 min read



Fear and Clothing: Why 89 is the new ingenue

Aspasia Karras writes a weekly column on the vagaries and charms of fashion

3 min read

The great Markle wedding dress mystery

Which designer will Megan Markle wear when she weds Prince Harry in May?

By Bethan Holt, Krissy Turner, Sophie Warburton, Charlie Gowans-Eglinton and Olivia Buxton Smith
9 min read

The oldest dress was the newest thing at the Oscars

What Westside Story's Rita Moreno wore to the Oscars ... twice

By Paula Andropoulos
1 min read

Back to the garden: Paris Fashion Week picks

The best five stories told through the runway at Paris Fashion Week

By Keneilwe Eleanor Pule
2 min read



That spat: Who crossed which line and do we really care?

Baffling words behind De Kock and Warner bust-up

By Telford Vice
4 min read

SPORTS DAY: SA Soccer needs ‘gardening of its weeds’

Your roundup of the day’s top sporting news

David Isaacson
5 min read

Uh-oh, ou Rassie, you’re gonna need some luck

Lots of questions face the new Springbok coach

3 min read