Wednesday, March 28 2018

THE BIG STORY

LEADING THE AGENDA

Caught in the land-grabs crossfire

A Somali shopkeeper represents the life-and-death decisions both bystanders and policymakers face as Hermanus burns

By Naledi Shange and Petru Saal
7 min read

SMART NEWS

IN ONE TAKE

'Prasa paid R31.5m to keep one train station safe'

Now Prasa wants court to set aside contract with Siyangena Technologies

Karyn Maughan
Journalist
4 min read

Probe into KMPG's 'rogue report' in danger

SARS is considering withdrawing its complaint against KPMG

Kyle Cowan
Journalist
2 min read

'We need to execute this member, politically'

Parliamentarians have requested an investigation into Faith Muthambi despite her being axed as minister

Thabo Mokone
Journalist
2 min read

Packing up their troubles: South Africans plan big move

One in five South Africans has emigration on their minds, according to the Pew Research Centre

Suthentira Govender
Journalist
2 min read

Cape Town vaccine trial cuts TB infections in half

The success of the clinical trial of an old vaccine even shocked the scientists conducting it

Dave Chambers
Cape Town bureau chief
2 min read

Best man in a flap panic turns a wedding into a hoot

It all started so beautifully, until he couldn't get the rings off the barn owl's claw - then all hell broke loose

By Victoria Ward
3 min read

IDEAS

TO FEED YOUR MIND

Pitch lessons for parties on a sticky wicket

There might be some key lessons from the Aussie ball-tampering scandal for the ANC and the DA

Tony Leon
Columnist
6 min read

Huff, puff, and the Fighters bring us freedom

Now, finally, I understand that the EFF's land policy is genuinely fantastic

Tom Eaton
Columnist
2 min read

VISUAL SIDE

President Donald Trump joined U.S. allies Britain, France and Germany in expelling Russian diplomats in response to the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter in London.


SNAPSHOT

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng was awarded an honorary doctoral degree by the University of Johannesburg on Tuesday.
An honour Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng was awarded an honorary doctoral degree by the University of Johannesburg on Tuesday.
Image: Alon Skuy

Six things about SA you need to know

Pie-munching ‘shoplifter’ holds himself hostage

A pie-munching ‘shoplifter’ armed with a pistol found himself at the centre of a standoff with tactical police at the Westville police station on Monday night. The impasse‚ which lasted several hours‚ saw members of the elite Special Task Force deployed in the suburb as the gun-wielding man holed himself up in a cell. The man had allegedly been detained for eating a pie in a shop and not paying for the pastry. Once inside the police cells at the station he is said to have produced a gun and held himself hostage‚ threatening to take his own life. The dramatic threat saw the station officers sending out a call for help‚ with a trained hostage negotiator and the tactical unit responding. Several hours passed before the man finally gave in to the pleas of the negotiator‚ handing over his gun and surrendering himself – again. - TimesLIVE

Steinhoff probe won’t be hearing from Jooste

Former Steinhoff CEO Marcus Jooste has once again declined an invitation to appear before four parliamentary committees to testify about developments in the group which led to the dramatic collapse in its share price. The committees of finance‚ public accounts‚ public service and administration‚ and trade and industry will on Wednesday hold a second hearing on developments at Steinhoff. The chairpersons of the committees said in a statement that the committees would consider whether or not to issue a subpoena on Jooste for him to attend a future meeting in the light of his decision — conveyed through his attorney — not to attend the Wednesday hearing. In a letter‚ Jooste’s attorney Callie Albertyn of De Klerk & Van Gend noted that Jooste did not believe he could ‘meaningfully’ assist the committee because he resigned as CEO on December 6. - TimesLIVE

‘Attractive woman’ holds up weave shop

Police spokesperson captain Nkosikho Mzuku said the armed robbery‚ which took place on Sunday at the Douglas Road business‚ was led by an ‘attractive looking’ woman who entered the shop alone. She pretended to be interested in purchasing weaves before pulling a gun on unsuspecting staff. Her accomplices then entered and looted the salon. ‘The suspects fled the scene in a white Toyota Avanza. Our detectives and other crime scene experts are busy combing the crime scene‚’ Mzuku said. No shots were fired and no one was injured during the midday robbery‚ said Mzuku. - DispatchLIVE

How people die in SA

One in five South Africans die from unnatural deaths such as crashes‚ assaults‚ drowning‚ smoke inhalation or poisoning. A Stats SA report analysed the 456,612 deaths recorded in 2016. Of these‚ 240,001 were men and 214,988 were women‚ or 112 males for every 100 female deaths. In addition 1,623 were listed as gender unspecified. The total amount was a decline from the 473,266 deaths in 2015. The age group within which most men died was 60-64 years old (8‚6%) while most females died between 75 and 79 years old (8‚3%). Just more than one in every five deaths occurred at home (22‚6%). “It is worth noting that a high proportion of deaths continue to occur at home instead of in healthcare facilities‚ and this may impact on the accuracy of the certification of causes of death‚” said Stats SA. - TimesLIVE

Taxi drivers are donning suits to get respect

Taxi drivers want increased respect for their profession‚ comparable to airline pilots in whose hands rests the fate of scores of lives. And those from the Ivory Park Taxi Association say they've found a way to do it - by donning a shirt and tie. Mondays and Fridays at this taxi rank are shirt and tie day. Wednesdays are golf shirt days. On Tuesdays‚ Thursdays and the weekends the drivers are free to dress as they please. Taxi driver Linda Phiri‚ who was wearing a check shirt‚ with his dreadlocks neatly tied back, was asked whether the change in attire meant drivers would adopted sedate speeds on the road. “Not necessarily‚ because we still need to get [the passenger] to work on time and we also have daily targets‚” he replied. Some of the drivers were sporting bowties and chinos pants‚ but check shirts with ties seemed most popular. - TimesLIVE

MEC denies dipping into salaries to pay for pads

The KZN education department has denied that it dipped into teachers' salaries when it overspent close to R90-million on sanitary pads.‘There is no way that we can take money that is allocated to pay teachers for goods and services. There is no way that we can touch that money. It's criminal and against the law‚’ education MEC Mthandeni Dlungwana said. He was responding to widespread claims by unions that the ‘financially-strapped’ department paid R109-million for a school sanitary pads distribution campaign‚ but could not afford to pay teachers. The initial budget for the programme was R20-million. Unions also claimed that there was an oversupply at some primary schools where sanitary pads were piling up in storerooms. Dlungwana admitted that there were ‘concerns’ regarding the programme and therefore an investigation had been launched. - TimesLIVE

THE WORLD

STUFF THAT MATTERS

Secrecy still shrouds how the first man in space died

50 years have passed since Yuri Gagarin died, but the circumstances remain a state secret

By AFP
3 min read

Hollywood is saved! Living legend fails in bid to halt series

Olivia de Havilland, 101, has lost her suit against ‘Feud: Bette and Joan’, which she said portrays her in a bad light

By The Daily Telegraph
3 min read

Bears are so clever they have even learned the law

Female brown bears now take longer care of their young as they adapt to a law banning the hunting of mothers with cubs

By AFP
2 min read

Just Ron with it: director steps in to save Han Solo disaster

It was supposed to be a big-budget sci-fi, but 'Solo: A Star Wars Story' has been bedeviled by a host of problems

By The Daily Telegraph
3 min read

SNAPSHOT

A woman collects items thrown by devotees as religious offerings in the Ganges river, after the celebrations of the last day of Navratri festival, in Kolkata, India.
neat offerings A woman collects items thrown by devotees as religious offerings in the Ganges river, after the celebrations of the last day of Navratri festival, in Kolkata, India.
Image: Reuters/Rupak De Chowdhuri

SIX THINGS ABOUT THE WORLD YOU NEED TO KNOW

Prince's toxicology report has been leaked

A leaked toxicology report from Prince's post-mortem examination reveals that the star had a massive concentration of 67.8 microgrammes per litre of fentanyl in his blood. The report explains that fatalities have been documented in people with blood levels ranging from three to 58 microgrammes per litre. The report also says the level of fentanyl in Prince's liver was 450 microgrammes per kilogramme, and notes that liver concentrations greater than 69 microgrammes per kilogramme "seem to represent overdose or fatal toxicity cases." Information that has been released publicly indicates the source of those drugs hasn't been determined. - © The Daily Telegraph

Lab accidentally creates 'city' of mice

A ‘mouse city’ the size of the population of York was accidentally bred by scientists following a laboratory blunder in Britain. Researchers at an unnamed laboratory bred nearly 180,000 more mice for use in experiments than their license permitted, and carried out unauthorised experiments on them, yet received only a letter of reprimand. The mistake is the most alarming of dozens of non-compliance cases by labs across Britain, which are highlighted in an official government report into animal testing. Scientists working on the project claimed error happened after numbers of mice were recorded on different databases. - © The Daily Telegraph

Mary Berry accused of 'fat-shaming'

Mary Berry has been accused of 'fat-shaming' a Michelin-starred chef on the latest episode of her BBC cookery show. Angered viewers hit out at the 83-year-old cook after she joked about the weight of Nathan Outlaw on Monday night's Classic Mary Berry. As the two discussed life by the seaside in Cornish fishing village Port Isaac, he revealed he loved windsurfing. Acting surprised, the presenter replied: ‘you, windsurfing?’ The Michelin-starred chef chuckled, saying: ‘Can you believe it?’ Mary Berry joked: ‘You must go very fast … Bit of weight on that board!’ However, Mr Outlaw did not appear offended by these comments, and made a joke about his weight in the programme. When asked if he was using full-fat yoghurt in a beetroot, apple and pickled walnut salad, he said ‘you don't get a body like this eating low fat.’ - © The Daily Telegraph

Sex slave guru who branded victims nabbed

An American ‘self-help’ guru, who presided over a secretive society of women sex slaves branded with his initials, is due in court Tuesday. Keith Raniere, 57, known as ‘The Vanguard’, allegedly set up self-help workshops where participants paid up to $5,000 for a five-day workshop with members often required to sign non-disclosure agreements. Each August, they also paid $2,000 to gather for his birthday. He is accused of creating a secret society called ‘DOS’ — a pyramid scheme of women ‘slaves’ and ‘masters’ with Raniere — the sole man — alone at the top. Members were allegedly told that they would be empowered, but were instead treated as slaves — branded with Raniere’s initials on their pelvic areas while being pinned down naked and filmed at initiation ceremonies. – AFP

Great Barrier Reef coral get some sunscreen

An ultra-fine biodegradable film some 50,000 times thinner than a human hair could be enlisted to protect the Great Barrier Reef from environmental degradation. The World Heritage-listed site, which attracts millions of tourists each year, is reeling from significant bouts of coral bleaching due to warming sea temperatures linked to climate change. Scientists have been buoyed by test results of a floating ‘sun shield’ made of calcium carbonate that has been shown to protect the reef from the effects of bleaching. It is designed to sit on the surface of the water above the corals, rather than directly on the corals, to provide an effective barrier against the sun. The trials on seven different coral types found that the protective layer decreased bleaching of most species, cutting off sunlight by up to 30%. – AFP

Who was on board that North Korean train?

The North Korean train that arrived in Beijing this week looked remarkably similar to one used by the North’s late leader Kim Jong-il, its olive-green exterior and yellow stripe prompting intense speculation his son and successor Kim Jong-un was on board. Due to a fear of flying the older Kim used high-security trains during his seven visits to China and three to Russia over his 1994 - 2011 term. The Kims reportedly have several almost identical special trains. Protected by armour plating, they are equipped with satellite phones and television screens, and include conference rooms, bedrooms and reception facilities. They reportedly carry armoured vehicles and small helicopters for emergencies. For security reasons, three identical trains were deployed for every overseas trip by Kim Jong-il and Kim Il-sung, the current leader’s grandfather. The train seen in Beijing this week looked particularly similar to one used during Kim Jong-il’s 2010 trip to the Chinese capital. - AFP

THE BUSINESS

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

The dodgy Steinhoff deal to reward directors

And market gets the blahs with Naspers and Tencent

By BusinessLIVE reporters
3 min read

The benefits of being in the bang-bang club

It won’t shoot the lights out nor explode in your face

By Chris Gilmour
3 min read

LIFESTYLE

CULTURE COMES ALIVE

Listen here: Breaking down the perfect Easter road trip

Micro-manage your time in the car and enjoy the ride

By Staff reporters
2 min read

Go to Wolfgat for purely shellfish reasons

It's out of the way and even more delicious because of it

By Sylvia McKeown
2 min read

Earth to dingbats: Yes you can travel to fictional Wakanda

What's more, they’ll serve you Wakandan cuisine too

By Jessica Brodie
2 min read

Fungi and games: ’Shrooms are the new avocado latte

Mushroom coffee is the latest millennial food fad

By Tomé Morrissy-Swan
2 min read

SPORT

FINISH LINE ESSENTIALS

SPORTS DAY: Rassie picks several rookies in Bok squad

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

David Isaacson
Journalist
5 min read

How would FC Barcelona fare in Lubumbashi?

The African Champions League is a heck of a tough ride

By Nick Said
4 min read

Blasts from the past: ‘Terror’ trips up on his title defence

Today in sports history

By David Isaacson
1 min read