Friday, June 22 2018

THE BIG STORIES

LEADING THE AGENDA

NHI: 'It will not be like Eskom and SAA'

Aaron Motsoaledi presents the long-awaited NHI bill but leaves more questions than answers

Katharine Child
Journalist
4 min read

Ashwin: Get more popcorn, it's set to run and run.

Mallett, Willemse more likely to shoot each other than the breeze, but one thing's for sure: it’s good for ratings

Liam Del Carme
Journalist
3 min read

SMART NEWS

IN ONE TAKE

SARS is back ... and it's got its eye on you

Acting SARS commissioner Mark Kingon says he wants to see the revenue service increase its collection by 20%

Karyn Maughan
Journalist
4 min read

It's a smear campaign, cries booted fisheries boss

Mike Mlengana hits back over state-contract allegations after minister axes him

By Aron Hyman and Bobby Jordan
2 min read

'Alternative chemo' too alternative for Health website

Adverts promising an unproven cancer treatment have popped up on govt websites much to the horror of the minister

Katharine Child
Journalist
3 min read

Protest at your peril

Durban magistrate has sentenced 5 men to 7 years each, setting a new standard for those involved in violent protest

By Tania Broughton
5 min read

Nothing, even cancer, can stop this artist's African dream

Despite a huge setback artist Reggie Khumalo was able to buy a motorcycle and trek across Africa 

Leonie Wagner
Journalist
4 min read

Barking mad: KZN wildlife agency in the dog box

A nature conservation NGO has taken the KZN wildlife authority to court over the curious case of 14 endangered wild dogs

Tony Carnie
Journalist
4 min read

IDEAS

TO FEED YOUR MIND

The heart is a lonely hunter of pints and pals

When you are lost and alone a large sporting event is a little like Christmas when you are sad

5 min read

Politics is a Nazi business for the fearmongering EFF

Using a phrase borrowed from Hitler will spark fear - just the political commodity the populist party needs

Tom Eaton
Columnist
3 min read

A world without norms is not worth raising a glass to

A column to satisfy your inner grammar nerd

Sue de Groot
Journalist
4 min read

Construction slowdown: SA Roads Agency responds

Sanral answers several critical stories in Times Select about the agency’s lack of spending on infrastructure

By Vusi Mona
4 min read

CROSSWORDS

GIVE YOUR BRAIN SOME EXERCISE

Today's cryptic crossword

It's time to put your brain to work

1 min read

Today's quick crossword

How fast can you get it done?

1 min read

VISUAL SIDE

From March 2018 to June 2018 Theewaterskloof Dam has shown a remarkable change thanks to rains blessing the Western Cape. Here’s a comparison from the ground over the past three months.


SNAPSHOT

Workers sort avocados at a farm factory at Nelspruit in Mpumalanga.
Green gold Workers sort avocados at a farm factory at Nelspruit in Mpumalanga.
Image: Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

Six things about SA you need to know

Job Mokgoro is as new North West premier

ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule officially announced Job Mokgoro as the new North West premier on Thursday. Mokgoro will be sworn in on Friday, filling the vacancy left by Supra Mahumapelo when he resigned last month. The party had been trying for a month to come up with a new candidate. Mahumapelo is also expected to resign as an ordinary member of the North West legislature. Mokgoro is a former director-general of the North West government and is known as a disciplinarian. Magashule praised Mokgoro as a tried-and-tested administrator fit for his new job.

Parties’ private funding must be revealed

The Constitutional Court confirmed on Thursday that information about the private funding of political parties and independent candidates should be made public. Non-profit organisation My Vote Counts had challenged the constitutional validity of parts of the Promotion of Access to Information Act‚ arguing that it did not provide for the disclosure of this information. In a majority judgment read by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng‚ the court found that the obligation to record‚ preserve and make private funding information accessible to voters was so important that it should be easily accessible. It also held that the disclosure of private funding would help the public to detect whose favours political players were likely to return once elected into office. Parliament will now have to amend the act.

Cops agree to stop probing Ipid investigators

The five North West policemen who were opposing an application preventing them from counter-investigating three Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) members withdrew their opposition at the last hour on Thursday. Ipid had sought a court order declaring that it was unlawful and/or unconstitutional for any member of the SAPS to undertake or oversee an investigation into a member of the Ipid if that SAPS member has a personal interest in such an investigation or is the subject of an Ipid investigation. The case involves three Ipid members who‚ in March 2016‚ began investigating former acting national police commissioner Khomotso Phahlane on complaints of corruption‚ and the five policemen on complaints of torture and murder. A few months later, the investigators found themselves under investigation by the five policemen.

Cele blasts warning at ‘barbaric’ protesters

Police Minister Bheki Cele has commended the police for arresting 62 protesting truck drivers who allegedly blocked the N3 between Harrismith and Ladysmith with their vehicles. Cele said on Thursday that their behaviour would not be tolerated. "We have laws in this country and the full might of the law will be heard and felt. This barbaric behaviour will not be tolerated.” He called on the trucking industry to be part of the solution and not create more room for destructive behaviour on the country’s roads. He expressed concern over the growing trend of truckers blocking roads during protests. The protests were reported by the N3 Toll Concession as being linked to the employment of foreign drivers by local trucking companies.

Two injured in Hillbrow cash heist

A bystander was reportedly injured during a cash-in-transit heist in Hillbrow on Thursday afternoon. According to Emerg-G-Med paramedics‚ a security guard was also injured. The guard was reported to be in a critical condition. It was not immediately clear whether any cash had been taken. This is the latest in a series of often violent cash-in-transit heists across the country. Police have vowed to deal with the scourge, including throwing additional manpower and unmarked high-performance vehicles at the problem.

Govt steps up for SA teachers stranded in China

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation said on Thursday it was doing everything it could to ensure the safe return of 51 South Africans stranded in China after finding themselves embroiled in a visa scam. International Relations Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said Police Minister Bheki Cele and Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba had been roped in to assist in the investigations. The SA embassy in Beijing was liaising with the Chinese authorities, said Sisulu. Her office said the group had been enticed by an agent to travel to China on a study visa while planning to work as English teachers. It was promised that they would get work visas when they arrived in China, which never happened. “While in China on study visas they started working‚ which was in contravention of the immigration laws of the Republic of China‚" Sisulu's office said.

THE WORLD

THE NEWS YOU DON'T NORMALLY GET TO HEAR

It is now illegal to kill dogs for meat in South Korea

The move paves the way for outlawing dog meat consumption entirely, say animal rights activists

By AFP
3 min read

They claim their right to exist one skirt-flick at a time

Dance company takes beloved folk dance and mashes it with the flamboyant transgression of drag

By AFP
3 min read

Pumped up: sneakers give trainer trade a global kick

High-end names are turning the high-style sneaker culture into a booming market

By AFP
4 min read

OMG - The captain may be back on 'Star Trek'!

Plans are afoot for a new 'Star Trek' series starring Sir Patrick Stewart, and we're thrilled

1 min read

SNAPSHOT

Revellers welcome in the Summer Solstice at Stonehenge stone circle in southwest Britain.
That means the shortest day of the year for us here in the south Revellers welcome in the Summer Solstice at Stonehenge stone circle in southwest Britain.
Image: Reuters/Toby Melville

SIX THINGS ABOUT THE WORLD YOU NEED TO KNOW

Escaping hot Seoul is a bear necessity

The last polar bear kept in South Korea will be sent to Britain to escape the country’s stifling, humid summers and live out his days in more appropriate surroundings, zookeepers said. Tongki, a 23-year-old male named after a 1980s Japanese cartoon character, lives in a 330-square-metre concrete enclosure at the Everland theme park outside Seoul. Born in captivity, Tongki is the only polar bear in South Korea and has been living alone in Everland since his last fellow resident died three years ago. In November he will be moved to the Yorkshire Wildlife Park, which boasts a 40,000-square-metre polar bear reserve designed to replicate the animals’ Arctic summer habitat, complete with several lakes. - AFP

Court shoots down mass killer’s prison gripe

The European Court of Human Rights has rejected an appeal by Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik who says his near isolation in prison amounts to inhuman and degrading treatment. Breivik, who has legally changed his name to Fjotolf Hansen, killed 77 people in a car bombing in Oslo and shooting spree on Utoeya island in 2011. The Strasbourg court “rejected the application as inadmissible for being manifestly ill-founded”. Breivik, an anti-Muslim, right-wing fanatic, says his near isolation in a three-room cell violates a ban on inhuman or degrading treatment and a right to privacy and family life under the European Convention on Human Rights. Oslo district court agreed with him in 2016, but it was overturned by an appeals court in 2017. Norway’s Supreme Court declined to hear his appeal. - Reuters

World Cup sex fun a Whopper of a mistake

Burger King has apologised for an online ad offering burgers to Russian women who get impregnated by football players during the World Cup the country is hosting. The promotion on the fast food chain’s account on VK (a local rival of Facebook) suggested Russia could benefit from some good “football genes”. Every woman would get three million rubles (R612,000) and a lifetime’s supply of Whopper burgers. Women who managed to get the best football genes “will ensure Russia’s success in future generations”. Burger King removed the ad, which appeared to be ineptly trying to poke fun at lawmakers who had urged women not to have sex with foreign fans. - AFP

Great, now we’re turning eels into coke heads

As though a critically endangered species has enough to deal with, it stands a good chance of unwittingly doing some Bolivian marching powder. National Geographic reports that European eels are threatened by cocaine, which people are dumping into waters all over the world, along with other drugs. Scientists have monitored the effects of this by placing the creatures in cocaine-polluted waters for 50 days, and discovered that it builds up in their bodies, affects their muscles and alters their hormones, the report says. According to the study, published in Science of the Total Environment, it also hinders their ability to migrate and reproduce. Researchers found that even if the animals were removed from the contaminated water, their problems persisted, proving the lifelong effects of the drug. - Staff reporter

It doesn’t pay to steal three minutes in Japan

A Japanese city official has been reprimanded and fined for repeatedly leaving his desk during work hours - but only for about three minutes to buy lunch. The official, who works at the waterworks bureau in Kobe, began his designated lunch break early 26 times over seven months, according to a city spokesman. "The lunch break is from noon to 1pm. He left his desk before the break." The official, 64, had half a day’s pay docked as punishment and the bosses called a news conference to apologise. "It’s deeply regrettable that this misconduct took place. We’re sorry," a bureau official said, bowing deeply. The worker was in violation of a public service law stating that officials have to concentrate on their jobs. - The Daily Telegraph

Sorry cheats, Twitter can’t help you now

Algeria went offline on Wednesday for the start of high school diploma exams, the first in a series of internet blackouts to stop students cheating. Mobile and fixed internet lines were cut across the country for two hours, to coincide with the start of two separate school tests. A third hour-long internet shutdown was planned, according to a schedule issued by public operator Algerie Telecom. Internet services were cut “in compliance with instructions from the government, aimed at ensuring the high school diploma tests run smoothly”, the operator said. The blackouts are due to continue for the whole period of exams, until Monday. - AFP

THE BUSINESS

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Grindrod gets a grilling as it splits shipping into Nasdaq

This week the logistics group finally jettisoned its original maritime business. The chairman tells why

By Giulietta Talevi
4 min read

Aveng shares leap 41% on proposed takeover ruling

Murray & Roberts cleared to proceed with its buyout of Aveng by the Takeover Regulation Panel 

By Ann Crotty
1 min read

Is this the right time to be pushing BEE in construction?

Amid what is widely called a crisis, economic conditions have been far from perfect to adopt such policies

By Mark Allix
1 min read

LIFESTYLE

CULTURE COMES ALIVE

If you think the real soccer is unreal, try these footie films

They’ll put you even more in the mood, if that’s possible

By Jessica Brodie
5 min read

Won’t you take us to the bioscope?

The films opening in our cinemas this week

By Critics’ choice
1 min read

‘Dumbo’ and dumber? Will CGI make it a better movie?

We wonder if the charm of the original will be lost

By Moeketsi Thipe
2 min read

Studio 54: It was a dizzy, drugged, dangerous disco world

A new documentary tells the true story of those free-loving times

By Gaby Wood
7 min read

SPORT

FINISH LINE ESSENTIALS

SPORTS DAY: Boks hope Elton will be on song

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

David Isaacson
Journalist
4 min read

Blasts from the past: Cheers as Wales beat SA

Today in SA sports history: June 22

David Isaacson
Journalist
1 min read