Tuesday, June 5 2018

TOP STORIES

LEADING THE AGENDA

Zuma poison plot: Enough already, says MaNtuli

Charge me or I'll consider civil action, says estranged wife as NPA still fumbles for evidence she was part of plan

Bongani Mthethwa
Journalist
3 min read

Revealed: Guards cost varsity R5m for 37 days

Documents seen by Times Select show staggering amounts were spent on military-style security services

Prega Govender
Journalist
4 min read

SMART NEWS

IN ONE TAKE

De Lille fight is 'waste of court's time'

Her lawyer, Dali Mpofu, accuses DA of political manoeuvring in high court battle

Philani Nombembe
Journalist
3 min read

Jason Rohde: 'Being an adulterer doesn't mean you're a murderer'

But he refers detailed questions under cross-examination about wife's death to his pathologist

Aron Hyman
Journalist
4 min read

Two million years ago South Africa was wet, wet, wetter

Scientists test the teeth of a herbivore excavated from a cave and find the climate was much wetter then than now

Dave Chambers
Cape Town bureau chief
2 min read

Prostate robot: If this does your op, your manhood won't flop

New method comes to SA that massively reduces the aftereffects of this dreaded surgery

Suthentira Govender
Journalist
2 min read

Why Joburg is Africa's top polluter

It's far easier to cut emissions at a local than at a national level, survey's leader says

Dave Chambers
Cape Town bureau chief
4 min read

IDEAS

TO FEED YOUR MIND

Lies are the lie of the land in SA

They're all the same, these purveyors of endless fibs for the purposes of power

Tom Eaton
Columnist
5 min read

Saving the poorest of the paw: Aleppo's Cat Man

In war-torn Syria, kitty-obsessed Mohammed Alaa al-Jaleel started a rare animal clinic

By Kafr Nah
4 min read

VISUAL SIDE


SNAPSHOT

A bulldog is an apparently reluctant participant in the Pride parade in Queens, New York City.
hat's your problem? A bulldog is an apparently reluctant participant in the Pride parade in Queens, New York City.
Image: Go Nakamura/Reuters

Six things about SA you need to know

Govt workers threaten shutdown over wages

Public services could be crippled on Monday, June 11, after the Public Servants Association of South Africa (PSA) announced it would go on strike. The trade union, which says it represents more than 230,000 public-sector employees, served its notice to strike on the Department of Public Service and Administration and notified the Public Service Co-ordinating Bargaining Council on Monday. This comes after salary negotiations with the government broke down. Workers want a 10% to 12% salary increase, while Public Service and Administration Minister Ayanda Dlodlo is offering 7%. PSA general manager Ivan Fredericks said members were frustrated. The PSA would dissuade employees that offer essential services, such as police officers and doctors, from striking, but called on other employees and unions to join. The union said new fuel price increases and the recent VAT increase would have a ripple effect on the prices of other commodities.

Cyril to get new guidelines for cabinet perks

Public Service and Administration Minister Ayanda Dlodlo is expected to submit the final draft of a revised ministerial handbook to President Cyril Ramaphosa this week - but she was mum on what would be cut from the list of perks. Dlodlo said she was determined to bring the review of the controversial documents – which set out the office perks for cabinet ministers and their deputies - to an end following a decade-long review process. Dlodlo also came out in support of a "pay-freeze" for senior civil servants and other highly paid public office bearers, such as ministers‚ MPs and judges, as the government tries to rein in the public-sector wage bill that hovers around R587-billion a year. The government announced the review of the ministerial handbook in 2009 following public pressure after it emerged that ministers in the Jacob Zuma administration had gone on a shopping spree‚ buying luxury vehicles shortly after assuming office.

SAA chief bets own cash that he can fix airline

South African Airways CEO Vuyani Jarana has taken up the challenge from Free Market Foundation executive director Leon Louw to pay R100‚000 to charity if his three-year turnaround plan for the airline does not succeed. If he does lead the airline into profit‚ Louw will have to stump up the cash. On Monday morning‚ Louw said he was willing to wager Jarana R100‚000 that his turnaround plan would not work and that by March 31 2021 - Jarana’s stated timeframe - SAA would not be in profit. On Monday afternoon‚ SAA issued its response to the challenge: “As a sign of his personal commitment to the cause‚ the airline’s CEO‚ Mr Vuyani Jarana‚ commits to match the pledge for R100‚000 from his personal resources.” It said the airline was a strategic asset which must deliver on its mandate and bring dividends to its shareholders‚ the South African taxpayers.

Government banks on the sun to help the poor

Three metropolitan municipalities - Johannesburg‚ Tshwane and Ekurhuleni - have provided taxpayer-funded "free" solar home systems to almost 57‚200 households as this form of energy grows in popularity‚ Statistics South Africa data shows. There are 22 municipalities across the country providing free solar electricity systems - seen as a safer off-grid energy source than paraffin and candles - to the poor. This equates to about 113‚200 households (3.2% of the 3.5-million indigent households nationwide) which benefited from this service. "It comes as no surprise that this percentage has gone up‚ from 2.8% in 2016. The country basks in sunshine throughout the year‚" the Stats SA report noted. Of South Africa’s 213 local and metropolitan municipalities‚ 49 (which includes those providing solar systems) indicated that they are servicing indigent households with at least one form of off-grid energy source.

Cele has ‘extraordinary’ plan to nail criminals

Police have unveiled a plan to get more boots on the ground to combat violent crimes such as cash-in-transit heists in South Africa. Trained officers who have been desk bound‚ performing admin duties‚ will now be deployed in the major cities to take part in high-visibility police operations. Police Minister Bheki Cele ramped up the fight against criminals when he announced the plan at the SAPS Tshwane Academy on Monday. South Africa‚ he said‚ had recently been plagued by serious and violent crime‚ which had instilled fear in law-abiding citizens. Cele said he had adopted an “extraordinary approach to stabilise this crime wave”, and that the stabilisation plan would involve the migration of resources. The plan targeted crimes such as cash-in-transit robbery‚ murder‚ house robbery‚ gang violence and taxi violence.

Cops nab four accused of hijacking MEC's car

Police have arrested four suspects accused of hijacking the bodyguard of Gauteng sports MEC Faith Mazibuko. The Mercedes-Benz ML 500 hijacked from the MEC’s protector on Saturday, was recovered in the arrest, police said on Monday. The suspects were tracked down to Eldorado Park early on Monday. “They were found in possession of the hijacked vehicle‚ a firearm believed to be the one taken from the protector, and another unlicensed firearm‚” the police said. They will be charged with hijacking‚ kidnapping and possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition. They are expected to appear in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court soon.

THE WORLD

STUFF THAT MATTERS

Does Kim's reshuffle show he's scared of a coup?

North Korean dictator wary of disgruntled military officers ahead of Trump summit, say analysts

By Julian Ryall
2 min read

Be warned: US healthcare cuts cause surge in sex diseases

California tackling record infections as chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis run rampant across the US

By AFP
4 min read

Japanese politicians get the bawl rolling for babies

Group of men join forces in a campaign to allow little ones to cry in public

By Danielle Demetriou
2 min read

From madam to dame: Kiwi sex worker on queen's list

Catherine Healy honoured for her efforts to decriminalise prostitution in New Zealand

By AFP
1 min read

SNAPSHOT

Marshmello performs during a Wango Tango concert in Los Angeles.
mush for brains Marshmello performs during a Wango Tango concert in Los Angeles.
Image: Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

SIX THINGS ABOUT THE WORLD YOU NEED TO KNOW

FBI agent’s dance move makes bullet fly

An off-duty FBI agent doing a backflip on a dance floor accidentally discharged his weapon, shooting a bystander, police in Denver have revealed. The gun allegedly fell from its holster as the unnamed man performed the acrobatic move in the early hours of Saturday at the Mile High Spirits bar in the Colorado city. It is unknown whether the officer had been drinking. The male victim was shot in the leg and was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. A video shows the dancing law enforcer surrounded by a group of revellers and, as he executes the flip, the gun drops to the floor. As he goes to pick it up a flash can be seen as the loaded gun fires before he quickly retrieves the weapon and puts into the waistband of his trousers. The Denver District Attorney’s office will decide whether to press charges against the unnamed agent. - The Daily Telegraph

Crayfish’s escape from boiling broth is a hit

A “crafty crayfish” has become an online hit after it removed one of its own claws to escape a boiling pot of soup in China. Footage of the crustacean making a daring escape to freedom from the side of a pot of spicy broth was posted on Chinese social media by a user called Jiuke, who said he had adopted the crayfish: "I am raising him in an aquarium." Crayfish is hugely popular in China, where they are often eaten in spicy sauce. According to Chinese state news agency Xinhua, China is the world's largest crayfish producer. It produced more than 852,300 tonnes in 2016, an increase from 265,500 tonnes in 2007, Xinhua said. - The Daily Telegraph

Singing doctor rapped for surgery hijinks

A dermatologist who sings, dances and raps while performing surgery is in legal trouble, CNN reports An attorney representing three women says nearly 100 other women have contacted her to claim they, too, suffered under the doctor's scalpel. In videos since deleted from YouTube, Dr Windell Boutte sings as she cuts into a patient or raps and dances while wielding surgical instruments, as assistants occasionally sashay alongside her. The attorney, Susan Witt, says former patients have complained of serious post-surgical complications owing to infections. In one video, Boutte sings along to “Cut It” by OT as she cuts into a patient's abdomen.In another, she leans over half-bare buttocks, sans surgical mask and gloves, rapping her own lyrics to Migos’s “Bad and Boujee”. “My patients are bad and boujee. Building up fat in the booty,” she intones. - Staff reporter

Footie fans swear by extrasensory purr-ception

Like many soccer fans trying to predict the results of the World Cup, Achilles is busy studying the teams heading to Russia this month for the sport’s biggest global showdown. But he has one advantage: cat sense. The feline, who lives in St Petersburg’s Hermitage museum, is being touted as a cat psychic who will predict the winners and losers of the tournament kicking off in Russia in two weeks. Achilles’s predecessor, Paul the octopus, became an international celebrity when at the 2010 World Cup he correctly forecast the outcome of Germany’s games and picked eventual winners Spain. One of the many cats to have lived at the Hermitage, once the imperial Winter Palace, Achilles previously predicted outcomes during the 2017 Confederations Cup. Achilles is deaf, meaning he will not be easily distracted by waiting journalists when he makes his predictions by choosing between two bowls of food, each bearing a team flag. - Reuters

Teacher charged for feeding puppy to turtle

A US teacher who allegedly fed a sick puppy to a snapping turtle in front of his pupils, has been charged with misdemeanour animal cruelty, the BBC and Metro reported. The turtle was put down since it is an invasive species. Robert Crosland, who teaches in Preston, Idaho, could be jailed for six months and fined up to $5,000. The incident has split opinions, with some people calling for the “bully” to be fired and others urging "support for the man that taught us science in a new way and truly loves his job". Killing the puppy was the right thing to do because it was dying, they add. - Staff reporter

War hero leaves a bittersweet collector’s piece

It is perhaps fortunate for antiques collectors that one war hero didn’t like chocolate and was a non-smoker. Like all troops serving in France during the first Christmas of World War 1, Leicestershire Regiment soldier Richard Bullimore was given a Colonies Gift Tin, which were made in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, accortding to a BBC report. His tin has been found in a collection, and it contains nine of the original bars of chocolate. The tin is now to be sold at an antiques auction organised by Scunthorpe-based auctioneers Eddisons CJM. Bullimore was also given a Princess May tobacco box containing cigarettes, tobacco and matches. Only three cigarettes are missing. He received a number of medals for his service, including the Distinguished Conduct Medal for conspicuous gallantry during a clash in no-man's land between the trenches in Ypres in July 1915. - Staff reporter

THE BUSINESS

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Sure – be spiteful and hateful, but they’re watching you

Facebook is cranking up its artificial intelligence to spot criminal hate speech, and the authorities are on it too

By Nick Hedley
3 min read

Small towns steel themselves for Trump tariff effects: Sad!

Industry body reckons US import tariffs will cause at least 7,500 lost SA jobs, and about R4bn in lost export earnings

By BusinessLIVE reporter
1 min read

What price embarrassment when it speaks the truth?

Investec Securities report could be the elephant in the room when it comes to questions about executive pay

By BusinessLIVE reporter
1 min read

Do the sums: Auditors are simply too boring to be crooks

Auditors don’t write the exams, they mark them – the trouble is they don’t get to set the questions

By Mark Barnes
4 min read

LIFESTYLE

CULTURE COMES ALIVE

Putin in the knife: Russia gets a grilling in new crime thriller

At long last, a fictional detective to rival Arkady Renko

By Andrew Donaldson
5 min read

Who designed Beijing’s new skyline? They must be MAD

The Chinese city has been transformed by visionary architects

By Mila Crewe-Brown
1 min read

And so Tibet: Holy relics could be yours for just R175,000

‘Murals of Tibet’ tome is signed by the Dalai Lama

By Jennifer Platt
1 min read

SPORT

FINISH LINE ESSENTIALS

SPORTS DAY: Dolly says hello to a cool R590,000 a month

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

David Isaacson
Journalist
4 min read

How long can our frail hearts continue to bear Bafana?

I still haven’t got a freaking clue what Stuart Baxter is trying to do with this team

Mninawa Ntloko
Sports editor
3 min read

Blasts from the past: Lance sticks his sabre into Pakistan

Today in SA sports history: June 5

David Isaacson
Journalist
1 min read