Thursday, May 17 2018

THE BIG STORIES

LEADING THE AGENDA

He's EFFed. Zuma's court fight kitty under major threat

Malema's cleverly crafted challenge to Zuma's funding looks set to end his hopes of continuing his legal battles

Karyn Maughan
Journalist
4 min read

Motsepe missed a trick with this Messi business

Where was the real engagement with Barca’s fans in this public relations stunt?

Khanyiso Tshwaku
Journalist
1 min read

Cyril's scorecard: Why he still deserves our faith

Sure, he's had his failures, but the problems he's dealing with need very delicate handling

Ranjeni Munusamy
Associate editor: analysis
3 min read

SMART NEWS

IN ONE TAKE

Psychics join Lee search. Help or hindrance?

Police are acting on a number of psychic mediums' tip-offs as they struggle to find any leads on toddler's whereabouts

Kyle Cowan
Journalist
5 min read

New school of thought: exit-level exam for Grade 9 planned

But education qualifications body warns it should not be seen as a school-leaving certificate

By Prega Govender
4 min read

Take dam notice: SA's water crisis must be 'top priority'

And delegates at utility summit paint a bleak picture of the continent's energy, water and power future

Tanya Farber
Journalist
2 min read

The blind are leading the blind when it comes to eye care

Blink and you’ll miss getting the attention you need

Dave Chambers
Cape Town bureau chief
1 min read

Young lives on the line, but it takes money to answer the call

Childline battles a funding shortage in its fight to remain a voice for abused children

Nivashni Nair
Journalist
2 min read

IDEAS

TO FEED YOUR MIND

SA's professors of academic fraud

It takes years of peer-reviewed hard work to earn a professorship - but not in this country

Jonathan Jansen
Columnist
4 min read

HIV: Ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure

Despite ‘miracle’ drugs, the Aids battle is far from won because our prevention interventions are completely out of sync

By Angelo C Louw
3 min read

VISUAL SIDE

Africa's first medicinal cannabis dispensary opened in Durban on May 16 2018. We visited the centre to find out how it works and its purpose.


SNAPSHOT

Mapaseka Makoae, a tour guide from Lesotho, enjoys the snow at Black Mountain.
Grab ya skiis and head for the hills Mapaseka Makoae, a tour guide from Lesotho, enjoys the snow at Black Mountain.
Image: Jackie Clausen

Six things about SA you need to know

Manana demands his day in court

A letter sent by MP Mduduzi Manana’s lawyers to the Douglasdale police station in Johannesburg has revealed that the former deputy minister wants his day in court so that his version of events can be tested. In the letter Manana requests an update on the police investigations into the case of intimidation‚ assault and crimen injuria opened by Manana’s former domestic worker, Catherine Wiro. Last week‚ Manana threatened to open a case of extortion after Wiro opened her case. Wiro accused Manana of pushing her while coming down the stairs at his home in Fourways. But later that week Manana denied the allegations and accused Wiro of trying to solicit a R100‚000 bribe to drop the case. Wiro later withdrew the case, but the National Prosecuting Authority refused to withdraw the charges and told the police to investigate.

Eskom owed R9.8bn by just 10 municipalities

Parliament has vowed to deal with staggering debt municipalities owe to Eskom‚ with just 10 defaulting councils owing the power utility close to R10-billion. The standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) said on Wednesday it was particularly concerned that “some municipalities who are able to pay are reluctant to do so”. Those municipalities were not named. Scopa chairman Themba Godi said the committee would also take aim at the 10 biggest defaulting councils‚ and would haul them to parliament to explain themselves. They are Maluti A Phofung‚ which owes R2.8-billion‚ Matjhabeng (R1.8bn), eMalahleni (R1.6bn)‚ Ngwathe (R936-million)‚ Emfuleni (R606m)‚ Govan Mbeki (R517m), Lekwa (R491m), Thaba Chweu (R431m)‚ Ditsobotla (R293m) and Naledi (R280m).

Lions coach accused of indecent assault in Sydney

The Lions’ defence coach Joey Mongalo has been accused of indecent assault during the team’s Australian leg of their Super Rugby tour. Mongalo‚ 33‚ appeared in a Sydney court last week. He was charged with indecently assaulting a female hotel staff member in a stairwell during the team’s stay in Sydney on their Australasian tour in late April. The Lions Rugby Company said it was aware of the allegations, and that it understood Mongalo intended to defend the allegation. Sydney police said the alleged indecent assault against the 26-year-old staff member took place at about 8.20pm on April 23. It was reported on April 27 and an arrest was made on May 3. Mongalo is expected to appear again on June 20.

Threats to Durban foreign shop owners condemned

The chairman of parliament’s portfolio committee on police‚ Francois Beukman‚ has condemned blatant threats against foreign spaza shop owners in Durban’s northern townships by their local counterparts. It was reported that the Northern Region Business Association had instructed foreign spaza shop owners in a letter to “close down your shop and cease all operations within 14 days”. Beukman said the letters had “undertones of xenophobic sentiments that resulted in numerous deaths during the 2015 xenophobic attacks”. The committee welcomed the intervention by the provincial government in quelling the simmering tensions in the area. The committee urged police to remain on high alert to ensure the situation is kept under control.

Children victims in more than 40% of rape cases

Children were victims of 42% of all rape cases recorded in the past three financial years. The Democratic Alliance said a parliamentary reply from the minister of police also revealed that only 21% of child rape cases resulted in successful convictions. The DA asked the police minister in August 2017 to disclose the number of child murders and child rapes in the 2014/15‚ 2015/16 and 2016/17 financial years. It also asked how many investigations into these cases led to successful conviction. The reply, received last week, showed there were 2,689 child murders in this period and only 948 successful convictions. There were 50,926 child rape cases and only 10 653 convictions.

Two ‘Sun City’ escapees dead, 7 caught, 7 on the run

Seven of the 16 inmates who broke out of the Johannesburg Prison‚ known as Sun City‚ last month are back behind bars‚ the Department of Correctional Services said on Wednesday. Two others died in a shootout with police in Greytown‚ KwaZulu-Natal. Seven are still at large, said spokesman Monama Mochete. “The department, together with other law enforcement agencies, will not rest until they are all back behind bars,” he said. Images showed that part of the prison’s brick wall had been removed and metal cupboards stacked beneath the hole. The wire mesh grill was cut and pushed backwards‚ allowing for ample room for the 16 to make their way out. Days after the breakout‚ two prison warders at the facility were arrested for allegedly helping the inmates to escape.

THE WORLD

STUFF THAT MATTERS

The Indian toy carvers and their vanishing tree of life

They've been carving out a living since the 16th century. Now this tradition is threatened by deforestation

By AFP
3 min read

Sherpas' Everest feat is summit to write home about

Nepalis break their own world records for conquering the world's highest peak

By AFP
2 min read

The story of Wagner's vase is even more dramatic than his operas

The Lohengrin vase was given to Wagner by King Ludwig II, was lost during World War 2, and now it's back

By AFP
3 min read

And the champs of clean living are ... drumroll please .... chimps

Believe it or not, chimpanzees keep cleaner beds than humans do

By Henry Bodkin
2 min read

SNAPSHOT

Belgian workers and employees take part in a protest against planned pension reforms in central Brussels.
Golden oldies Belgian workers and employees take part in a protest against planned pension reforms in central Brussels.
Image: Reuters/Yves Herman

SIX THINGS ABOUT THE WORLD YOU NEED TO KNOW

Solved: the riddle of the perfect pop song

In the fickle world of pop music it may seem impossible to predict what will be the next big hit. But mathematicians at the University of California claim they have come up with an algorithm which can do just that. After studying 500,000 songs which have made the UK top 100 singles charts between January 1985 and July 2015 researchers used machine learning to tease out the key components for creating that elusive number one. And the secret appears to be a female singer, an upbeat, relaxed feeling and a rhythm that listeners can take to the dancefloor. Their formula explains the success of huge hits by the likes of Kylie Minogue, Cher, and Brenda Fassie. — © The Daily Telegraph

Trump ain’t no friend of ours, says EU boss

The EU’s top official has launched a stinging attack on Donald Trump, slamming his “capricious assertiveness” and saying the US leader acted more like an enemy than a friend. EU president Donald Tusk lashed out at Trump over his decisions to withdraw from the Iranian nuclear deal and to impose trade tariffs on Europe, which have caused a transatlantic rift. “Looking at the latest decisions of President Trump, someone could even think with friends like that who needs enemies. Europe should be grateful to President Trump, because thanks to him we have got rid of all illusions. He has made us realise that if you need a helping hand you will find one at the end of your arm,” said Trusk. — AFP

Oh boy, more sordid Berlusconi revelations

Three-time former prime minister of Italy Silvio Berlusconi will in November face charges for allegedly bribing witnesses in the notorious “Rubygate” scandal. The 81-year-old’s court date is part of the “Ruby-ter” investigation, the third involving his alleged underage prostitute Karima El-Mahroug, aka “Ruby the heart-stealer”. The Ruby-ter trial deals with alleged payments made by Berlusconi to people who attended his infamous “bunga-bunga” parties in exchange for their silence. Prosecutors allege that Berlusconi spent €7-million on El-Mahroug in the form of cash, gifts, cars, provision of housing, payment of bills and medical expenses.— AFP

Cyber-bust: Did ‘SS’ rule ‘The Dark Overlord’?

Serbian police have arrested a man sought by the FBI under suspicion of being part of a group of cybercriminals who called themselves “The Dark Overlord”. The arrest of the 38-year-old Serbian from Belgrade, identified only by his initials SS, was carried out as part of an international operation conducted by the FBI. Members of the group were alleged to be “stealing information and personal data from citizens, including property and intellectual property data, sensitive health insurance and medical treatment data”. — AFP

Chilly reception for Nasa astronauts

A pair of US astronauts have began a spacewalk outside the International Space Station to swap two external cooling boxes, nicknamed “Leaky” and “Frosty”. The boxes, each about the size of a mini-refrigerator, are crucial to keeping the batteries aboard the orbiting lab cool. Anthony Vareha, a flight director at Nasa, said: “We need to keep the batteries cool just like in your cellphone.” Some time ago one of the units lost its power, which it did not recover for a few months. “As a result the worry is that the pump got a bit cold and henceforth it was named Frosty,” said Vareha. In Frosty’s place, they plan to install Leaky, which was the source of a large overboard toxic ammonia leak about five years ago. — AFP

Chinese guys will get a lift from new drug

A pharmaceutical firm claiming that 140 million men in China suffer from erectile dysfunction has won approval to sell a Viagra-like drug in the country. Shares of Hebei Changshan Biochemical Pharmaceutical surged by its 10% daily limit at the Shenzhen exchange after regulators gave it approval to manufacture a generic version of the drug. China has 708 million men, making one in every five men impotent based on Changshan’s figures. Patents for Viagra expired in China in 2014, leaving domestic firms able to develop generic drugs. — AFP

THE BUSINESS

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Lots of grumbles about Barclays Africa wages

Bank promises to engage with rebellious shareholders 

By BusinessLIVE reporter
1 min read

Does anyone actually know how Ayo earns money?

PIC has poured R4.3bn into this mysterious entity

By BusinessLIVE reporter
1 min read

LIFESTYLE

CULTURE COMES ALIVE

Fear and Clothing: The princess bride and other myths

A weekly column on the vagaries and charms of fashion

Aspasia Karras
Columnist
3 min read

How to style your look without going by the book

Take hints from these two stand-out local silhouettes

By Fashion team
1 min read

See her picture in 1,000 places ’cause she’s this year’s girl

18-year-old Bloemfontein model Ansolet Rossouw is wowing every big label from Chanel to Valentino

By Rebecca Deuchar
2 min read

SPORT

FINISH LINE ESSENTIALS

SPORTS DAY: England fans warned to cool it in Russia

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

David Isaacson
Journalist
4 min read

Barca vs Downs was one of the best one-night stands

Barcelona flew in in the morning, beat Mamelodi Sundowns and jetted out in the night

Marc Strydom
Journalist
3 min read

Blasts from the past: Rugby in the inglorious 1980s

Today in SA sports history: May 17

David Isaacson
Journalist
1 min read