Friday, July 20 2018



Don’t tax your poor little brain about the Wiese issue

R3.7bn? That's the cost of two whole years of blue light convoys! Christo, you monster!

Tom Eaton
3 min read

Cyril's 2-week action plan won't fix 10 years of pillaging: economists

SA economists weigh in on Ramaphosa's challenge to come up with a plan to help consumers cope with rising costs

Leonie Wagner
4 min read

Makhosi Khoza: ‘If I hadn’t left the ANC, I’d be six feet under now’

The political environment is ‘vicious’ to women, says former ANC MP, but even worse inside the ruling party 

3 min read



I filmed cave heroes' unbelievable bravery

SA video journalist enthuses about the rescuers, saying he was honoured to witness an 'incredible human story'

3 min read

Wondering why Cele is gunning for McBride? Read on

There's a hair-curling list of allegations, all of which the Ipid chief firmly denies

6 min read

'Govt red tape is turning refugees into criminals'

Sweeping draft refugee regulations set to become law despite furious protests from rights groups

Bobby Jordan
3 min read

The blame game's turning just as ugly as the housing protests

Tshwane MMC says Gauteng MEC should accept full responsibility for housing riot. The MEC begs to differ

2 min read

Back from the grave to become the Star of the show

The only running 1909 Star 12 HP Tourer survivor will go under the hammer in one of the biggest auctions in Africa

By Alex Patrick
2 min read



I built a castle in the air. Now I'm visiting it

If you can’t keep your promises to yourself, what promises can you keep?

5 min read

Long John's look sweetly complements Barack's

A column to satisfy your inner grammar nerd

Sue de Groot
3 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


The KwaZulu-Natal leg of the public hearings into the possible review of section 25 of the Constitution continued on Thursday in Jozini. Residents expressed why they are either for or against the expropriation of land without compensation.


School pupils pray for rain at a temple in Ahmedabad, India.
To the sky School pupils pray for rain at a temple in Ahmedabad, India.
Image: Reuters/Amit Dave

Six things about SA you need to know

ANC man linked to three cash-van heists: Cele

Police Minister Bheki Cele said on Thursday that Errol Velile Present‚ who worked at the ANC’s Luthuli House headquarters‚ had been linked to at least three cash-in-transit heists. Present stands accused of being involved in a cash-in-transit heist in Soweto and was arrested on July 7. The ANC confirmed he had been fired and would face disciplinary charges as an ordinary party member. Cele said: “This is his third (alleged) cash heist. He works for the organising department on a temporary basis at Luthuli House.” He said security officials at Luthuli House had told police they “had their suspicions” about Present. Cele said Present has missed two previous courts appearances on charges‚ including alleged drunk driving.

Parliament questions AfriForum's motives

National Council of Provinces chairperson Thandi Modise believes the timing and motives behind AfriForum’s decision to privately prosecute her for alleged animal cruelty are “curious”. Parliament said Modise felt the prosecution was “for narrow political ends”. She said it came in the context of possible amendments to the constitution to expropriate land without compensation, and that “at the heart” of the AfriForum case was to “advance a narrow narrative of failure of black farming”. The Sunday Times reported in 2014 how SPCA inspectors raided Modise’s farm in Modderfontein‚ North West‚ and found scores of dead animals‚ including decomposing pigs‚ chickens‚ geese and sheep. Modise said the NPA abandoned the case because there was no prospect of successful prosecution. Advocate Gerrie Nel plans to embark on the prosecution within the next three months after concluding there was prima facie evidence to successfully prosecute Modise.

Another bomb found at Durban Woolies

Woolworths has confirmed that another incendiary device was found at a Durban store on Thursday. Spokeswoman Kirsten Hewett said it was found in the Pixley isa kaSeme (formerly West) Street store, and the shop “immediately evacuated”. In the past two weeks several incendiary devices were planted at other Woolworths stores in the city as well as at the Vodacom Durban July. These rudimentary devices were triggered and caused minor fires. Hewett said a team comprising the SAPS‚ the Hawks and Woolworths’ internal investigators were working closely on the matter. National police spokesman Brigadier Vish Naidoo confirmed that a device had been found and that it had been neutralised. He said police had responded earlier in the day to two other hoax calls relating to suspicious devices.

DA ‘lighting fires’ with calls for troops in Cape

The DA is stirring trouble with its repeated calls for army deployment on the gang-infested Cape Flats‚ says Police Minister Bheki Cele. “Please stop marching and stop making crime a political ball‚” Cele said on Thursday, an hour before DA leader Mmusi Maimane led a march from Manenberg to Nyanga to call for the deployment of the army. The march followed a letter to Cele on Wednesday from Western Cape Premier Helen Zille‚ calling on the minister to fulfil 2017 promises by his predecessor‚ Fikile Mbalula‚ to send soldiers to the Cape Flats. But Cele said Mbalula’s pledge predated Operation Thunder‚ the “stabilisation and normalisation” initiative he launched in May to target nine hot spots‚ and which he said had stabilised six of the areas. Troop deployment could easily exacerbate violence and “create more hate between the government and the people”.

Drought left carnage on Cape farms: WWF

Rain may have fallen‚ but farming in the Western Cape is still reeling from the impact of the drought. Job losses totalling 30‚000‚ an economic loss of R5.9-billion and a drop in exports of up to 20% were reported on Wednesday by the World Wide Fund for Nature during an agricultural producers’ event in Robertson. With 270‚000ha under irrigation‚ agriculture used 43% of water in the Western Cape‚ but WWF said farms in the province were the most efficient in the country. They used 5‚874m³ of water per irrigated hectare‚ compared with 9‚913m³ in Mpumalanga. On average‚ farms in the province had been forced to cut water use by 60% since 2017.

Education dept loses norms and standards case

The Department of Basic Education said on Thursday it was studying the judgment handed down by the Bhisho High Court in the Eastern Cape‚ which effectively ordered the government to fix loopholes in its school infrastructure plans. The court ruled in favour of Equal Education’s (EE) application to compel Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga to fix the “loopholes” in the legislated minimum norms and standards for school infrastructure. EE argued that the loopholes in the law have allowed the government to get away with not fixing schools and impede pupils’ rights to safe and dignified schools. “We will study the judgment with a view to incorporate the court ruling into the changes currently under way‚” the department said. “The judgment comes at a time when the department was at the final stages of concluding amendments to the regulation on the norms and standards for school infrastructure provision.”



Cliff Richard's court victory 'a threat to press freedom'

BBC vows to fight after singer's privacy case victory sparks fears it will spawn a law to gag the media

By Hayley Dixon
4 min read

He succeeded where Bush failed: he won Iraq's hearts and minds

Japan’s departing ambassador has become unexpected superstar in a country still recovering from war

3 min read

No If or buts: students scrub away ‘racist’ Kipling poem

UK students claim the poet 'stands for the opposite of liberation, empowerment, and human rights'

By Camilla Turner
5 min read

It takes more than a roll in the hay to bring these nags back

An inside look at the efforts to bring Mongolia's Przewalski’s horses back from extinction

4 min read


A greengrocer at her stand in the Campo dei Fiori market in downtown Rome Italy.
No old fruit here A greengrocer at her stand in the Campo dei Fiori market in downtown Rome Italy.
Image: Reuters/Tony Gentile


UK report a matter of dire learning

The UK is expected to be overtaken by Australia as the second-most popular country in the world for international students, according to researchers, who warned Brexit could have a further impact. While the US remains the most popular destination, recent trends indicate the UK could be pushed into third place, if it hasn't already. A paper by the Centre for Global Higher Education shows that between 2011 and 2015, the numbers of international students going to the US for higher education rose by about 198,000 (27.9%), while UK numbers rose by about 11,000 (2.6%), while the numbers going to Australia rose by almost 32,000 (12%), according to the research based on an analysis of UNESCO data. Additional figures for Australia show a rise of about 41,000 in 2016, compared with 2015 (about 14%). Further figures from Australia indicate a growth in numbers again in 2017 and 2018. - © The Daily Telegraph

Food police on trail of non-lactating almonds

Soy and almond drinks that are marketed as “milk” might need to rethink the wording after the US Food and Drug Administration hinted at a crackdown on the use of the term, reports USA Today. The FDA would enforce a federal standard that defines “milk” as coming from the “milking of one or more healthy cows”. The agency has not aggressively gone after the proliferation of plant-based drinks labelled as “milk”. FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb reportedly noted this week that there are hundreds of federal “standards of identity” spelling out how foods with various names need to be manufactured, and some products weren’t sticking to FDA policies. Looking at those standards, “there is a reference somewhere to a lactating animal. And, you know, an almond doesn’t lactate, I will confess” Gottlieb added. - Staff reporter

Nerve-agent attackers were Russian, say UK cops

British police believe they have identified the suspects who carried out the Novichok nerve agent attack on a former Moscow double agent and his daughter and that they are Russian, the Press Association reported on Thursday. Investigators had identified the suspected perpetrators through CCTV and had cross-checked this with records of people who entered the country around that time, a source with knowledge of the investigation told PA. “They (investigators) are sure they (suspects) are Russian.” Scotland Yard refused to comment. Ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia collapsed in Salisbury on March 4 after being exposed to the nerve agent Novichok. Both have recovered. Britain blamed Russia for the poisoning of Skripal, a former military intelligence colonel who was jailed for betraying Russian agents to Britain’s MI6 foreign intelligence service. He left Russia for England in a 2010 spy swap. - AFP

Zuckerberg in Holocaust hubbub

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is at the centre of a fresh row after saying the social network should not prohibit posts that deny the Holocaust. In an interview with tech website Recode Zuckerberg said that while Facebook was dedicated to stopping the spread of fake news, certain beliefs that were sincerely held would not be taken down. After a social media backlash he was forced to backtrack, saying if any post advocated violence or hate against a group, it would be removed. The controversy began when Zuckerberg provided an unprompted example of Holocaust deniers to Recode host Kara Swisher to make a point about allowing hoaxes to be published on the site. He said that messages accusing victims of the Sandy Hook school shooting of being liars would be taken down for harassment, but added that not all factually incorrect posts would receive the same treatment. “I’m Jewish, and there’s a set of people who deny that the Holocaust happened,” he said. “I find that deeply offensive. But at the end of the day, I don’t believe that our platform should take that down because I think there are things that different people get wrong. I don’t think that they’re intentionally getting it wrong.” - AFP

‘He’s no hero, he’s a fairy rapist’

South Korea’s gender equality minister is under fire after describing the hero of a much-loved traditional folktale as a kidnapper and a rapist who took advantage of a fairy. Speaking at a recent seminar, Chung Hyun-back took issue with the elderly woodcutter in the popular Korean fable “The Woodcutter and the Fairy” for stealing a nymph’s dress while she bathed in a pond. The woodcutter took her clothes so she could not go back to heaven. He then married her and had two children. He then gave the fairy clothing and she flew back to the skies to be with her parents. The tale is one of the most famous fables in South Korea and one that all children will hear at school or bedtime. “When I was in elementary school, I took great pity on the woodcutter - but seen from the point of view of the fairy, the two children she had with him and the fairy’s parents, he could be considered a kidnapper and a rapist”, Chung said. - © The Daily Telegraph

North Korea the world’s slave capital

North Korea has the largest number of modern-day slaves in the world, with just more than one in 10 of the population subjected to forced labour at the hands of the repressive state. The abuse, which includes young schoolchildren being coerced into exhausting manual work, is outlined in the newly released 2018 Global Slavery Index, the largest survey in the world of human slavery and forced marriage. Based on 71,000 individual interviews in 48 countries, the report by the Walk Free Foundation, which campaigns to end slavery, concludes that an estimated 40.3-million men, women and children are still being forced to work against their will. About 2.6-million of them toil unseen behind the country’s closed borders. Such is the extent of their mistreatment that the foundation dedicated a spin-off report to their plight. Of 50 defectors interviewed over the course of a year, all but one described servitude either as children or adults, or both. - © The Daily Telegraph



‘If Netflix think that they'll destroy us they’ve got something coming’

Boss reckons MultiChoice has nothing to fear

By Giulietta Talevi
4 min read

Ssh, don’t say ‘construction’: It’s ‘mining-related’ work

Murray & Roberts is very keen to stress its growth prospects lie in things like Mongolian copper projects

By Ann Crotty
1 min read

Ya gotta dig it: Calgro’s surely not making a grave mistake

Memorial parks, better known as graveyards, have become a useful ‘death niche’ for the property group

By Marc Hasenfuss
1 min read



Won’t you take us to the bioscope?

The films opening in our cinemas this week

By Critics’ choice
1 min read

Who's going to win the Game of Thrones?

Although the next season is only out in 2019, some of the stars are letting slip some juicy details

By Corrine Corrodus
6 min read

Did you know Abba had a fifth member? Well, it ended in tears

The Beatles had Brian Epstein, Led Zeppelin had Peter Grant and Elvis had Colonel Parker. Abba had Stig Anderson

By James Hall
11 min read



SPORTS DAY: R50m is not Tau much to ask for Brighton

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

Bareng-Batho Kortjaas
Sunday Times sports editor
4 min read

Downs in the dump: Talk to your boys, Pitso, that was poor

It all went horribly wrong in that 1-0 African Champions League loss on Tuesday, but why?

By Nick Said
3 min read

Blasts from the past: Willie winkles 1924 Olympic crown

This day in SA sports history: July 20

David Isaacson
1 min read