Thursday, March 15 2018

THE BIG STORIES

LEADING THE AGENDA

Butt kicks back at Mentor’s ‘crook’ allegations

Corruption buster Vytjie Mentor is ready to face a R5m defamation lawsuit from friend of Malusi Gigaba

Graeme Hosken
Journalist
4 min read

'Invisible hand' at play in SAA suspensions

Two senior executives suspended but now jittery banks need to be appeased

Sabelo Skiti
Journalist
4 min read

SMART NEWS

IN ONE TAKE

Why the hell have these cops been promoted?

Despite facing charges for many violent crimes, they are now in an ultra-elite unit

Graeme Hosken
Journalist
4 min read

Iconic huts may go ... we still have the postcards

Time has caught up with Muizenberg's beach huts, some of which might disappear owing to 'social evils'

Bobby Jordan
Journalist
2 min read

Durban in the dark over cause of huge outage

... but photos on social media hold strong evidence that neglect was the culprit

Jeff Wicks
Journalist
2 min read

The killer has been found inside the crocs

Scientists have discovered high levels of banned toxic pesticides in crocodiles and fish at a World Heritage Site in SA

Tony Carnie
Journalist
5 min read

Coils and cuddles: python babies feel the love from mom

Wits professor's report on the maternal care of little ones in an egg-laying snake is a first

Dave Chambers
Cape Town bureau chief
2 min read

HIV testing in emergency rooms a 'missed opportunity'

One-third of all South African adults evade the testing net, say researchers

Dave Chambers
Cape Town bureau chief
2 min read

IDEAS

TO FEED YOUR MIND

Humility from whites will advance the land debate

But relax, you will not lose your land

Jonathan Jansen
Columnist
4 min read

Racism: To kill the weed you must get at the root

Tourism minister says we wrongly assumed that apartheid mindsets would just evaporate

By Derek Hanekom
7 min read

VISUAL SIDE

President Cyril Ramaphosa spoke about land redistribution in the Q&A held in parliament on March 14 2018.


SNAPSHOT

A Balinese Hindu worshiper attempts to stab himself with traditional Kris daggers while in a trance during Melasti, a purification ceremony ahead of the holy day of Nyepi, on a beach in Gianyar, Bali, Indonesia.
An 'A' for effort A Balinese Hindu worshiper attempts to stab himself with traditional Kris daggers while in a trance during Melasti, a purification ceremony ahead of the holy day of Nyepi, on a beach in Gianyar, Bali, Indonesia.
Image: Reuters/Johannes P Christo

Six things about SA you need to know

Zuma to know his fate 'any day from tomorrow'

Former president Jacob Zuma will know “any day from tomorrow” whether or not he will face prosecution on fraud and corruption charges. National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Luvuyo Mfaku wouldn’t commit to a firm date when National Director of Public Prosecutions‚ Shaun Abrahams‚ would tell the public his decision‚ saying the parties involved in the case should be informed first. “[Abrahams] intends to inform the parties… of his decision any day from tomorrow‚ and he will then advise the South African public when he intends to announce his decision on the Zuma case‚” he said. This comes after the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (Casac) confirmed it had lost its Constitutional Court bid to block Abrahams from announcing the decision on whether or not Zuma should stand trial. The decision means Abrahams now has no legal barrier against making the announcement.

Top SARS official quits tax service

South African Revenue Service commissioner Tom Moyane has confirmed the resignation of chief officer for business and individual tax, Jonas Makwakwa. At an urgent media briefing on Wednesday, Moyane said Makwakwa’s resignation was effective from March 14. TimesLIVE reported earlier that Makwakwa was about to be confronted about allegedly misleading SARS with regard to declarations of interest in the appointment of National Integrated Credit Solutions (NICS) as one of eight debt collectors to recover billions of rand in debt owed to the taxman. NICS was appointed despite being linked to payments of money into Makwakwa's personal account. The payments‚ traced by the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) to a Department of Water and Sanitation payment to NICS‚ were part of about R1.2-million paid to Makwakwa between 2010 and 2016. The FIC labelled the monies as highly unusual.

Customs makes R400m in busts since January 1

A currency bust at Johannesburg's OR Tambo International Airport is the latest in a string of busts which have netted the South African Revenue Service's Customs division close to R400-million in illicit or illegal goods since January 1. The bust on March 6 was the sixth since January. A South African about to depart for Dubai was intercepted and had his luggage scanned. Currency in US dollars‚ valued at nearly R4.6-million‚ was found hidden in sweet containers‚ milk powder tins and soap boxes. The passenger failed to give a valid reason or produce documentary proof of origin for the currency. Other busts since January include 122 for narcotics‚ nine in cases of endangered species such as rhino horn and abalone‚ 36 for Viagra or Viagra generics, and 320 in cases of counterfeit clothing‚ footwear and other goods.

Motshekga will not go down alone

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga was not willing to go down alone for failure to meet the schools infrastructure targets that the state set itself. In her defence‚ in court papers submitted on Wednesday, Motshekga said it was common cause that the implementation of the norms and standards was subject to the resources and cooperation of other government agencies and entities responsible for infrastructure. Motshekga wanted other departments, such as Water and Sanitation, and Public Works, to also be held accountable. The papers are part of an Equal Education court case to get Motshekga and the nine provincial education MECs to meet the school infrastructure deadlines. It was held on Wednesday at the Bhisho High Court.

EFF won't back down on Trollip motion

The EFF will not change its mind over its plan to table a motion of no-confidence against Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Athol Trollip next month. This is according to EFF spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi‚ responding to Trollip’s letter to EFF leader Julius Malema inviting him to visit the metro. In an interview with Times Select’s sister publication The Herald on Wednesday‚ Ndlozi said the results of the 2016 municipal elections were a clear indication from the people of the metro that no one deserved to be mayor. Ndlozi said Trollip’s comment that Malema had not been to Nelson Mandela Bay since the elections demonstrated his arrogance. Trollip wrote an open letter to Malema on Tuesday inviting him to visit and see how the city was thriving‚ and that the coalition government was delivering services to the poorest of the poor.

MPs want commission into flailing water dept

The embattled Water and Sanitation Department will be subject to a commission of inquiry‚ with officials to face consequences for any negative findings‚ it was announced on Wednesday. In parliament, a joint committee of the portfolio committee on water and sanitation and the standing committee on public accounts said it had agreed to a joint commission of inquiry into the functioning of the department. This came as the department announced that a deal had been struck to end a worker strike. The biggest public-sector union in the country‚ the National Education‚ Health and Allied Workers’ Union‚ announced last week it would embark on an indefinite strike at department offices and facilities nationwide. It said this was over corruption‚ maladministration and unfavourable working conditions.

THE WORLD

STUFF THAT MATTERS

People who boast about IQ are losers: Stephen Hawking

Some memorable pearls of wisdom from one of the world's most famous scientists

By © The Daily Telegraph
2 min read

It's the eye-roll that went around the world

No matter how China tries to censor it, the gif that captures what a nation really thinks just goes more and more viral

By Becky Davis
3 min read

Finding the murals of life beyond the walls of belief

From ultra-Orthodox beginnings, street artist Sara Erenthal is now being hailed as taking the art form beyond Banksy

By AFP
4 min read

'It looks like someone tried to do an Italian Job'

A man who tried to steal a Mini Cooper had to be rescued after getting the car stuck in a stairwell

By © The Daily Telegraph
1 min read

SNAPSHOT

People hold signs reading 'Trump, we will not pay for the wall' and 'Trump, stop the mass deportations' near the border fence between Mexico and the US in Tijuana, Mexico.
Build your own damn wall People hold signs reading 'Trump, we will not pay for the wall' and 'Trump, stop the mass deportations' near the border fence between Mexico and the US in Tijuana, Mexico.
Image: Reuters/Edgard Garrido

SIX THINGS ABOUT THE WORLD YOU NEED TO KNOW

Uptight Singapore gets the fake news blues

Singapore on Wednesday began a public hearing on how to tackle fake news, with speakers suggesting measures ranging from blocking websites to balancing the interests of national security and free speech. The wealthy city state is looking to introduce legislation to rein in fake news, a trend that has stirred concern that such laws could be used to exert government control over media. Singapore ranks 151 among 180 countries rated in the World Press Freedom Index of Reporters Without Borders, a non-government group that promotes freedom of information. — Reuters

Hail wondrous movie star Xi! Or maybe not

Citizens across China are being corralled into cinemas to watch a propaganda film extolling the Communist Party and leader Xi Jinping. The mass viewings by staff from companies and government agencies have catapulted Amazing China into the ranks of the country’s biggest box-office earners. Breathlessly narrated segments praise economic development in backward regions like Buddhist Tibet and predominantly Muslim Xinjiang. Critics in those regions have complained of repression by Beijing and both have suffered bouts of violent anti-Chinese unrest in recent years. None of this is mentioned in the film. Major problems like chronic air pollution and corruption are also ignored. — AFP

Putin says a flat ‘nyet’ to UK poisoning charges

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman on Wednesday rejected what he called Britain’s “unfounded accusations” and “ultimatums” over the poisoning of a former double agent in Britain. “Moscow does not accept unfounded accusations that are not based on evidence and a language of ultimatums,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. “We are hoping that common sense will prevail,” he said, in the Kremlin’s first public response to British accusations that Russia could be behind the attempted murder of former double agent Sergei Skripal. —AFP

Hong Kong stock exchange gets bubble tea fever

Hong Kong’s bubble tea fever has leaped from long queues outside street stalls to the stock market with a maker of the drink tripling on its trading debut on Wednesday. The tea-based beverage, loaded with milk, sugar and tapioca pearls, has gained a global following and the popular TenRen chain has outlets across the world from North America to Singapore and Australia. But it is unclear how long the market hype over the drink would last beyond Wednesday. Ronald Wan of Hong Kong-based Partners Capital International said the market debut was an “irrational rally driven by speculators chasing a relatively small stock”. — AFP

Decision on happiest country is Finnish and klaar

Finland is the world’s happiest country, according to an annual survey issued on Wednesday that put Burundi at the bottom of the happiness index. The UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network’s 2018 World Happiness Report ranked 156 countries according to GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, social freedom, generosity and absence of corruption. The 2018 top 10 is: Finland, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Sweden and Australia. The US came 18th, down from 14th last year. The UK was 19th and the United Arab Emirates 20th. — AFP

So people really want to make copycat Crocs?

Footwear maker Crocs cannot register to protect its namesake plastic clogs in the EU as rival shoemakers had seen them long before the application was made, an EU court said on Wednesday. The case came before the General Court of the European Union after French retailer Gifi argued in 2013 that the Crocs design should not be protected, a claim supported by the EU’s intellectual property office in 2016. Siding with the EU agency, the court said Crocs released the design well before it filed for registration through sales in a large number of US states. — Reuters

THE BUSINESS

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

EXCLUSIVE: Steinhoff execs dodge a bullet

Move sparks concern shareholders may not be able to take legal action against any of the board members

By Ann Crotty
3 min read

The bottom line: This property is condemned

RMB Holdings and African Rainbow Capital under the investment microscope

By BusinessLIVE reporters
3 min read

LIFESTYLE

CULTURE COMES ALIVE

Fear and clothing: The touchy subject of the human touch

A reflection on the vagaries and charms of fashion

Aspasia Karras
Columnist
2 min read

Time to walk the catwalk talk, fashion houses

Are brands doing enough good to convince cynical millennials? Or is it all just clever marketing?

By Rebecca Deuchar
4 min read

Givenchy, Audrey Hepburn and the lost art of the muse

Few couturiers today operate in the same classic relationships with their star clients as the late designer 

By Lisa Armstrong
6 min read

SPORT

FINISH LINE ESSENTIALS

SPORTS DAY: Stormers recall Craig Barry

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

Mahlatse Mphahlele
Journalist
4 min read

Benni leads the coaching chorus against bad refs

Cape Town City coach is gatvol with bad decisions

Marc Strydom
Journalist
4 min read