Friday, July 6 2018



Health probe confirms what we already know: we're getting a bad deal

The Healthcare Market Inquiry finds consumers are deliberately disempowered over healthcare options

4 min read

Smoking hot: Damning research slates SA’s illegal tobacco industry

Research into the sale of cheap cigarettes has come under fire from those it fingered for wrongdoing

Graeme Hosken
7 min read

‘Zuluness’ pits ANC against king in what could be a bruising battle

The ANC admits it will have to meet with Zwelithini to ease tensions amid ongoing fights over ‘his’ land

Jeff Wicks
3 min read



Thirsty prosecutor ruins court case

A trial that has been ongoing for over two years will have to be retried thanks to a prosecutor meddling with the judge

2 min read

Citizens are doing local govts' work - but is this the right thing to do?

Grahamstown residents are taking to fixing up their own town rather than waiting for the municipality to do it

Nico Gous
4 min read

This new brewhaha will delight caffeine fiends

Ignore the bad press about coffee - latte lovers are going to live longer to enjoy it, a study suggests

Tanya Farber
2 min read

There’s no tomfoalery here as the Durban July shapes up

It's one of the world's richest race days and an SA social highlight. This is what goes on to make it happen

2 min read



Up for a Darwin award? Don't worry, you won't be dar winner

If you've done a doozy this week, take consolation in contemplating how others have messed up even worse 

5 min read

Trillion reasons to kick this poorface orgy to the kerb

Fat cats could do more sitting on their bums than in the sleeping-bag pantomime of the CEO SleepOut

Tom Eaton
3 min read

A flesh perspective on poor old Columbus and bitey teachers

A column to satisfy your inner grammar nerd

Sue de Groot
2 min read



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


EFF leader Julius Malema made his position clear on the land issue and took a swipe at Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan. He also spoke about his party’s stance on Tom Moyane and the SARS commission during a briefing held by the EFF in collaboration with Contralesa in Johannesburg on July 5 2018.


A man blocks a road with a burning tyre while protesting against electricity cuts in Klipspruit Soweto.
SA'S hot wheels A man blocks a road with a burning tyre while protesting against electricity cuts in Klipspruit Soweto.
Image: Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

Six things about SA you need to know

Police probe arson as bombs found at Woolies

Police are probing two cases of arson after dual attacks on Woolworths stores in the Gateway and Pavilion malls in Durban. One “incendiary device” was found at the store in the Gateway shopping centre, in the north of the city, on Thursday. It followed after a similar device had been planted in the Woolworths in the Pavilion shopping centre. Both devices were triggered and caused fires in the stores. Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Thulani Zwane said he could not state whether the incidents were related. He confirmed that two arson cases had been opened.

SA looks to Ghana to beat rising fuel prices

The South African government is seeking to be part of oil exploration and exploitation in Ghana to mitigate the skyrocketing fuel prices in the country. President Cyril Ramaphosa made the statement during a press briefing at the Union Buildings after he met with his Ghanaian counterpart Nana Akufo-Addo. Ramaphosa said Akufo-Addo had informed him of a new oil exploration block that Ghana was starting‚ saying South Africa would take advantage of the invite. This comes as South Africa was in the middle of unprecedented fuel price increases‚ blamed on rand/dollar exchange rates and the oil prices. Ramaphosa said government had little power to halt the ever-increasing fuel costs.

Mandela Foundation snubs cell sleepover

The Nelson Mandela Foundation has slammed an initiative that attempted to auction a night in Madiba’s former cell on Robben Island. Foundation spokesperson Lunga Nene said there was no relation between the organisers of the initiative and the foundation. On Wednesday‚ the SleepOut Movement‚ which organises the annual CEO SleepOut charity event‚ seemingly backtracked on its plans to allow a wealthy funder to spend a night in former president Nelson Mandela’s prison cell on Robben Island‚ an experience that would have cost a minimum of $250‚000 - or about R3.4-million. The Robben Island Museum has also lashed out at the idea. Spokesperson Morongoa Ramaboa said museum staff were shocked to find out about the auction on the internet‚ as everyone else did.

Shark interrupts Jeffreys Bay surfing contest

Surfing was interrupted by a shark sighting on Thursday at an international competition under way at Jeffreys Bay in the Eastern Cape. The World Surf League confirmed the sighting‚ saying: “Event officials spotted a shark coming up from the north in the direction of the competition zone and put the heat on hold. Safety teams closely monitored and confirmed that the shark exited the competition zone.” After ensuring the area was clear‚ the league said‚ the competition had resumed. Last year the quarterfinal heat of the J- Bay Open surfing competition was placed on hold when event organisers and safety teams began tracking a three-metre Great White shark swimming into the competition lineup. Mick Fanning of Australia was famously attacked by a Great White in the opening minutes of the 2015 final.

Poachers may have been killed by lions

At least two alleged poachers‚ maybe even three‚ were killed by a pride of lions on the Sibuya Game Reserve outside Kenton-on-Sea in the Eastern Cape this week. The reserve’s owner Nick Fox made the revelation following the discovery of human remains in the lion camp on the reserve earlier this week. A hunting rifle with a silencer attached and a long axe and wire cutters were recovered at the scene. Fox said he suspected more than one person was attacked by the lions, based on the evidence found on the scene. Fox added that he suspected alleged poachers had entered the reserve on Sunday night or early Monday morning. Police spokesperson Captain Mali Govender said that investigators and specialists had combed the scene retrieved remains, which were taken for forensic testing on Wednesday morning.

Bail judgment reserved for rape accused

The maternal family of a 10-year-old girl who alleges she was raped as many as 900 times by her “stepfather” had tried for years to wrest her from his grip. The Verulam Magistrate’s Court on Thursday heard that the 44-year-old mechanic had run off with the child and “assumed custody” of the girl after her mother had died. The revelations were made during closing arguments in the man’s bail application. The man was arrested three weeks ago at his Rietvlei home after his stepdaughter confided in a neighbour about the alleged abuses. He faces charges of rape‚ sexual assault‚ sexual grooming of a minor and exposing a minor child to pornography‚ with the state poised to add more charges. He cannot be named to protect the identity of the child. Judgment on bail is expected on Friday.



Who is this nurse who 'killed 17 babies', and what else has she got up to?

It turns out that she also worked at another English hospital

By Callum Adams
3 min read

Sex attack puts fear of gored into Pamplona bull run

Spanish festival scrambles to reassure tourists in wake of 'gang rape' case in which court freed the suspects

2 min read

Test-tube rhino to bring back subspecies from extinction

Scientists create breakthrough hybrid embryos in bid to save northern white rhino

By Sarah Knapton
4 min read

Ditch the wedding for the footie? The Church of England weighs in

Turn that s**t off is the basic message

2 min read


Women wearing traditional costumes look at installations with goldfish in illuminated tanks at Art Aquarium 2018, produced by Japanese Art Aquarium artist Hidetomo Kimura.
Space fish Women wearing traditional costumes look at installations with goldfish in illuminated tanks at Art Aquarium 2018, produced by Japanese Art Aquarium artist Hidetomo Kimura.
Image: Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon


Nest best hope for trapped soccer kids

A team of bird’s nest collectors from southern Thailand put their generations-old rock climbing know-how to use on Thursday by scouring a mountainside for openings that could lead to 12 young footballers and their coach trapped inside a flooded cave. The eight men are Thai Muslims from Libong island in Trang province where they climb sheer limestone cliffs and explore crevices and caves to collect the edible nests, a delicacy made from solidified bird spit that can go for hundreds of dollars per kilogram. Armed simply with ropes, gloves and their knowledge of mountains, several members of the team set off up the steep slope in the hopes of finding an alternative route to reach the boys inside the Tham Laung cave. - AFP

Toffee and now eggs – soccer team gets a facefull

The Korea Football Association has decided not to pursue charges against people who threw eggs at the national team after they arrived home from the World Cup, police have said. South Korea exited the tournament in the group stage.Furious fans hurled eggs at them as they were lining up for a photograph at Incheon airport on Monday. Yonhap News quoted airport police as saying the KFA had decided not to pursue punishment for the egg throwers. “Throwing eggs is considered an assault, but it’s also an offence which can’t be prosecuted without the victim’s objection.” Four years ago the team were pelted with toffees - an insult in Korea - when they returned home from Brazil after a miserable World Cup campaign. - Reuters

We hope you toss this sticky idea

Biodegradable plastic that can be tossed out with food scraps could be on the shelves within five years after scientists found an ingenious way to turn “tree glue” into packaging. University of Warwick researchers have found that a natural glue, lignin, which holds cellulose fibres together, stiffening plant stems, can be turned into a strong, mouldable plastic. Lignin is a by-product of the paper-making process. While it is useful in plants, it causes paper made of wood pulp to weaken and discolour quickly, and so it is removed. In its raw form it is useless, but Professor Tim Bugg at the university has developed a way to use genetically modified bacteria to turn the glue into useful chemicals. - © The Daily Telegraph

Wallace The Great kicks ass in hee-haw hoo-ha

A mule banned from high-level dressage competitions is to be allowed to take part, following a public outcry. The Board of Directors of British Dressage, the sport’s governing body, met on Monday to consider the plight of Wallace The Great and said that not only could he compete, but so could other mules. Chief executive Jason Brautigam said: “We are delighted to welcome Wallace and his fellow mules to compete with BD, as part of our commitment to inclusion and diversity in dressage, making the sport more accessible to all.” Until now, only horses and ponies were allowed to compete in high-level dressage competitions. Though mules could compete at low-level, unaffiliated tests. - © The Daily Telegraph

Polish law tweak infuriates Holocaust centre

One of the world’s main Holocaust memorials, Yad Vashem in Israel, has slammed an agreement between Israel and Poland over a Polish law on the World War 2 genocide of Jews, saying it contains “deceptions”. Poland amended the law after it sparked outrage in Israel by imposing jail terms of up to three years against anyone found guilty of ascribing Nazi crimes to the Polish nation or state. The amendment removed fines or criminal penalties from the legislation. Yad Vashem challenged the assertion that “numerous Poles” had risked their lives to rescue Jews. “Poles’ assistance to Jews during the Holocaust was relatively rare, and attacks against and even the murder of Jews were widespread phenomena,” it said. - AFP

No more toilet-water tea, vows train operator

Indian Railways has started live streaming from its kitchens so millions of passengers can see how their meals are prepared after scandals including one involving toilet water caused uproar. The state train provider is trying to convince commuters its food is safe after the government’s own corruption watchdog labelled Indian Railways food unfit for human consumption. In May, a rail caterer was filmed making tea from toilet water. Complaints about rats and cockroaches near onboard kitchens, and meals plagued with insects, are also commonplace. Indian Railways launched the streaming service to “further enhance transparency and public confidence in”. The watchdog said meals were often contaminated and included recycled or expired food, and counterfeit brands of bottled water. Indian Railways runs nearly 13,000 trains daily, with about 24-million travelling across the length and breadth of the rail network. - AFP



Rolling with the punches: how construction industry survives

Raubex is scrambling to find work for its crews outside South Africa as projects have simply dried up, says CEO

By Giulietta Talevi
5 min read

The Germans are coming! The Germans are coming! Or not

Murray & Roberts merger with Aton hinges on whether the German group will up its offer from R17 to R20 

By Ann Crotty
1 min read

Small biz the winner as banks swap places with telecomms

Each industry is simply leveraging its existing platforms and client bases, mainly helping smaller enterprises

By Nick Hedley
1 min read



Bloody hell! Gore blimey! Get set for new ‘Game of Thrones’

The final series will air in 2019 after a painfully long two-year wait. Lady Sansa Stark reveals (nearly) all

By Corrine Corrodus
2 min read

Drake comes into his own from A to B

Drake released his latest album 'Scorpion' and the music world was left shaking

By Yolisa Mkele
2 min read

Won’t you take us to the bioscope?

The films opening in our cinemas this week

By Critics’ choice
1 min read



SPORTS DAY: Nadal grinds out an uneasy win on Centre Court

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

David Isaacson
4 min read

How sad that Siya Kolisi was SA’s Moment of the Month

Disappointing that his appointment as captain took more than 24 years into South Africa’s democracy

David Isaacson
2 min read