Thursday, June 7 2018



Zuma's chilling warning: 'They must not provoke me'

State capture is merely 'a dream', and land laws are deliberately skewed against blacks, he adds

4 min read

A high-profile assassination is just a matter of time: report

The number of political killings has increased at a terrifying rate, and ANC inaction is the main problem

Dave Chambers
Cape Town bureau chief
4 min read

Are you an expat? This bill aims to make your voting easier

MP seeks to allow Saffers overseas to vote close to where they live, but critic says it's just a pro-DA ploy

4 min read



Crooked lawyer's suicide left mountains of misery

Durban attorney left a pile of debts, dozens of furious clients and a legal headache for one of SA's oldest law firms

By Tania Broughton
3 min read

Pathologist got it wrong, says Rohde's hired man

Court hears another view of how Susan died. In this one, her husband is innocent

Aron Hyman
3 min read

Crossword fans! Have we got a treat for you

Our new quick and cryptic crosswords start today, and they're better than ever

By Times Select
1 min read

We've been warmed: climate change could fuel listeriosis

Hot weather extremes augment the replication cycles of the nasty microbe, scientists report

Dave Chambers
Cape Town bureau chief
3 min read

Like us, vervets don't monkey around when it comes to food

When trial and error doesn't work, they plan their routes to find it - just as humans do

2 min read

Muffin but the truth: 7 carb facts you probably don't know

Not all carbohydrates are created equal, but here is a quick guide to what we should be eating

By Rosa Silverman
3 min read



You don't fool us with your history plan, Minister

No matter how much she denies it, the aim of compulsory history is to get rid of critical citizens

4 min read

'Being a migrant is a terrifying Russian roulette'

Ghanaian has settled in Europe with a master's degree - but cautions his peers against making the same journey

4 min read



Today's cryptic crossword

It's time to put your brain to work

By Times Select
1 min read

Today's quick crossword

How fast can you get it done?

By Times Select
1 min read


A video has emerged showing Guatemalan police saving a baby girl in an area affected by eruptions from the Fuego volcano. The girl and her family were successfully rescued and she was taken to the national hospital of Escuintla.


Entries have just opened for the 2018 SA National Parks Photographic Competition. This image won the Compact cameras category (flora and fauna) last year.
stalking storks Entries have just opened for the 2018 SA National Parks Photographic Competition. This image won the Compact cameras category (flora and fauna) last year.
Image: Kobus Naude

Six things about SA you need to know

Cosatu wants Motsoaledi sacked

Cosatu has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to sack Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi over the state of public healthcare. The trade union federation has blamed Motsoaledi for the collapse of the healthcare system, saying it has reached crisis level. The ANC-aligned federation accused the minister of “denialism and scapegoating”. A go-slow and community strike‚ led by Cosatu-affiliated Nehawu‚ in North West over problems at that province’s health department led to national government intervention. Cosatu spokesman Sizwe Pamla said poor communities were paying the price for a total collapse of public health. Motsoaledi had “spectacularly failed” and had never taken responsibility for any problems in the sector.

Municipal trucks torched in protest

Protest action on the N2’s Umgeni flyover in Durban led to two municipal trucks being torched on Wednesday afternoon. It is understood that a mob of demonstrators blocked the on-ramp from the M19 onto the N2’s southbound carriageway‚ in the path of a Durban Solid Waste truck carrying plant refuse. The group stoned the vehicle‚ which then collided with a car in the driver’s attempt to flee. The protesters then set fire to the truck. An elderly woman‚ the driver of the car‚ was seriously injured and was treated at the scene. It is understood she was robbed by the group before police arrived. The burning of the truck followed another incident on Electron Road in the nearby Springfield precinct‚ where the group torched another truck.

Schoolkids traumatised after dad shoots son

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said pupils are traumatised after a father allegedly shot his son‚ fatally wounding him‚ outside a school in Ennerdale‚ Johannesburg. Lesufi went to the school himself, and said the pupil, who was a deputy chairperson of the Representative Council of Learners, was a “bright learner”. Police said the 50-year-old father had taken his 14-year-old son to a secondary school on Tuesday for evening classes. He dropped the boy at the school and fell asleep inside the vehicle while he waited. When the boy came back and knocked on the passenger window of the vehicle, the father got a fright and shot his firearm in the direction of the knock, hitting his son. The teenager died on his way to hospital.

MPs fume at absent Mkhwebane

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s failure to attend a parliamentary meeting on Wednesday morning seems to have strengthened the resolve of MPs to have her removed from office. Mkhwebane was scheduled to appear before the justice oversight committee to explain a policy on the appointment of a special adviser to her office. But now, in her next appearance she will not only be explaining that policy‚ but will have to give reasons for pulling out of Wednesday’s meeting, as well as reasons for not sending her deputy, Kevin Malunga, or other officials from her office to stand in for her. MPs will also use the occasion to discuss a proposal to remove her from office, and they want her present for that discussion. Mkhwebane sent a letter at 5pm on Tuesday asking the committee to reschedule the meeting, citing a “family emergency”.

AA warns of another fuel price hike

If the rand-dollar exchange remains as it is, South Africa could have another fuel price hike next month, said Automobile Association spokesman Layton Beard. However, the warning was “still speculative”. On Wednesday, the retail price of petrol rose by 82 cents per litre‚ pushing the petrol price to above R15. It was the third consecutive fuel hike this year. Beard said the recent hike would leave motorists with very little choice but to cut down on other expenses to cope with the hike. He said the rand-dollar exchange rate was also linked to the country’s economic growth. “The rand remains weak against the US dollar and based on the data that we are looking at … the increase is still there. For a moment‚ at least‚ it looks like there is going to be another hike.”

Elite investigators to probe healthcare crimes

Fraud‚ waste and abuse were just three types of corruption that occurred in the public and private healthcare sectors, while fraud in the private healthcare sector alone was estimated at R22-billion each year. Special Investigating Unit head Andy Mothibi said this on Wednesday‚ as his unit convened a meeting in Pretoria to establish a forum to focus on fighting these crimes in the healthcare sector. Mothibi said estimates by the Board of Healthcare Funders of Southern Africa were that at least 7% of all medical aid claims in South Africa were fraudulent, and that the figure could be as high as 15%. He said other studies showed that R24-billion of provincial health department expenditure between 2009 and 2013 was irregular. Mothibi said the unit will work with a number of departments, including the Financial Intelligence Centre‚ National Treasury‚ State Security Agency‚ and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.



Despite the hype, superjumbos didn't take off. Here's why

A decade after entering service, the first Airbus A380s are being stripped and sold for parts

By Oliver Smith
3 min read

Booze industry hops on the wagon as Brits shun alcohol

The rising number of body-conscious abstainers has spawned an alcohol-free or low-alcohol craze

3 min read

The aria that I breathe: meet the diva who can do it all

Canadian phenomenon is a rarity - a soprano and conductor - and she does both at the same time

3 min read

Croc and awe: reptile gobbles dog that taunted it for years

Aussie riverside lodge guests stunned as saltwater crocodile seizes tiny mutt in its jaws

By Jonathan Pearlman
1 min read


International Space Station crew member Sergey Prokopyev of Russia waves goodbye to his family from a bus shortly before leaving to board the spacecraft at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan on Wednesday.
My daddy's a cosmonaut International Space Station crew member Sergey Prokopyev of Russia waves goodbye to his family from a bus shortly before leaving to board the spacecraft at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan on Wednesday.
Image: Shamil Zhumatov/Reuters


Great, now all your data’s on Chinese phones

Facebook has confirmed that a Chinese phone maker deemed a national security threat by the US was among companies given access to data on users. Huawei was able to access Facebook data to get the social network’s applications to perform on smartphones. Before apps standardised the social media experience on smartphones, some 60 device makers like Amazon, Apple, Blackberry, HTC, Microsoft and Samsung worked with Facebook to adapt interfaces for the Facebook website to their own phones. The integration partnership with Huawei will end this week, leaving concerns that massive databases on users and their friends — including personal data and photographs — could be in the hands of device makers. — AFP

Bon fat chance of it ever happening to one of us

A Frenchman has won a million euros twice in the last 18 months on the same lottery, a feat mathematicians said carried odds of around 16 trillion to one. He held winning tickets on both November 11 2016 and May 18 this year through My Million. Players cannot choose their numbers for their My Million ticket. They are randomly generated instead. Le Parisien quoted mathematicians as saying the odds of winning My Million was around 19 million to one. The French player’s luck mimics that of an Australian man who last month won a local lottery twice in the same week. The man picked up Aus$1-million and then scooped another Aus$1.45-million just five days later. — AFP

Tanks for the ride says GI hijacker

Talk about a spectacular joyride: a US soldier commandeered an armoured personnel carrier and led police on a chase along a major highway for more than an hour. In scenes that drew comparisons with the anarchic Grand Theft Auto video game series, the vehicle tore through streets, ignoring traffic signals — and the screaming sirens in hot pursuit. Cops in Virginia were unable to deploy the stingers that might normally be laid out across the roads to burst a stolen car’s tyres. Instead, they raced along behind the sand-coloured all-terrain vehicle, whose caterpillar tracks were carrying it at speeds of up to 65km/h. The APC, which was not equipped with any weapons, had been boosted from a Virginia National Guard base. The soldier eventually stopped the vehicle and surrendered. — AFP

Why boffins are picking Alexander Fleming’s snot

Scientists seeking new ways to fight drug-resistant superbugs have mapped the genomes of more than 3,000 bacteria, including samples of a bug taken from Alexander Fleming’s nose and a dysentery-causing strain from a World War 1 soldier. The DNA of deadly strains of plague, dysentery and cholera were also decoded to better understand some of the world’s most dangerous diseases and develop new ways to fight them. The samples from Fleming — the British scientist credited with discovering the first antibiotic, penicillin, in 1928 — were among more than 5,500 bugs at Britain’s National Collection of Type Cultures. The first bacteria to be deposited was a strain of dysentery-causing Shigella flexneri that was isolated in 1915 from a soldier in the trenches of World War 1. — Reuters

And you thought Taffies were only good at rugby

Wales has offered $268-million in funding to help build the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon ahead of a UK government decision on whether to fund the renewable energy project. It would be the world’s first such project — a 9.5km horseshoe-shaped sea wall to capture tidal power — in part to replace ageing coal and nuclear plants set to close in the 2020s. The project was due to start construction in 2018 and is expected to take four years to complete. When the tide drops, the difference between water levels inside and outside the lagoon causes water to pass through turbines to produce electricity. Similarly, when the tide rises, power would be generated as water fills the lagoon. — Reuters

Battery of tests after electric plane crashes

Experts from Siemens are helping Hungarian authorities with their investigation after an experimental aircraft powered by one of the German company’s electric motors crashed, killing its pilot and passenger. The single-engined Magnus eFusion aircraft crashed shortly after take-off near Budapest on May 31. Siemens supplied an electric engine and components for the aircraft that has been flying since 2016. Siemens in recent years has been working on developing electric motors for aircraft, and two years ago signed a collaboration agreement with Airbus to develop propulsion systems for electrically-powered passenger planes. — Reuters



How far is PIC from exiting its tangled Independent holding?

Public Investment Corporation boss Dan Matjila again dodges the question of that R1-billion investment

By Ann Crotty
1 min read

Less debt at Sun International but the stock is still a gamble

A major operational worry is the underwhelming trading at Sun’s new Time Square casino

By Marc Hasenfuss
2 min read

May madness strikes SA bonds but there’s no panic ... yet

May saw the largest outflows of foreign capital in a single month on record, but economists are OK with it

By Hilary Joffe
4 min read



Please can we get less serious and more ‘Sex and the City’

A reflection on the vagaries and charms of fashion

2 min read

What’s up with the art in Joburg?

We visited the galleries and offer our opinions

By Andrea Nagel
2 min read

At last the fashion industry says black is the new black

Brands you didn’t know had black creative directors

By Nothemba Mkhondo
1 min read

We kit you not ... these are the best-dressed football teams

There has never been a more stylish World Cup 

By Thom Gibbs
3 min read



SPORTS DAY: Will Rassie hit 50% transformation target?

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

David Isaacson
4 min read

What would a Bok-England clash be without some needle?

The rugby promises to be uncompromising, while war of words will be brutal. It’s always been that way

By Craig Ray
4 min read