Monday, July 23 2018



Moved by Obama? Well shut up and act on it, fast

Our people are desperate for progress, but still we indulge in our SA habit of talk rather than action

4 min read

DRC plea to Cyril: ‘Save us from dungeons of hell’

In an interview with Times Select, exiled leader begs Ramaphosa to intervene so free elections can be held

5 min read

How a gardener opened all his own doors to Oxford

Sizwe Mkwanazi, 24, has been admitted to study for a doctorate in education at the prestigious UK university

Prega Govender
3 min read



Bust! How a KZN sleuth sniffed out a R41m swindle

Two Verulam women allegedly cooked the books and bought luxury property with the proceeds

Jeff Wicks
2 min read

Imagine waking up to your home being demolished

That's just what happened to Cape Town tenants whose home was pulled down without warning

Tanya Farber
4 min read

Cape goggas try with all their mite to hitch a ride for grub

Mites that feed on fungi, pollen and nectar fly by clinging to the beaks and breasts of sugarbirds 

Dave Chambers
Cape Town bureau chief
1 min read

Jumping through hoops (and dragging dead elephants) to play for Madiba

The Minnesota Orchestra has to prove that all the  ivory on its instruments was obtained before elephants were protected

3 min read

Small wander: database traces missing dementia sufferers

Traumatic incident leads woman to start first-of-its-kind database to find 'wandering' relatives with Alzheimer's

Nivashni Nair
2 min read



Beware, consumers! Abusing you is just the norm these days

Every industry has its blind spot, and you need to be more vigilant than ever

Wendy Knowler
Consumer journalist
5 min read

Our heroes are all dead - thank goodness!

Move over James Bond, the new action heroes are also good role models

By Jake Kerridge
6 min read

... but, then again, I've always rather fancied a bad-boy hero

As Emily Brontë’s 200th birthday approaches, it's worth reflecting on why literature’s Heathcliffs are so irresistible

By Samantha Ellis
6 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



People drink from fish bowls at a beer-drinking competition in Hangzhou, China.
We cannot beer to think of the hangovers People drink from fish bowls at a beer-drinking competition in Hangzhou, China.
Image: Stringer/Reuters

Six things about SA you need to know

11 dead in KZN taxi massacre

Eleven people were killed and four others wounded in a nighttime massacre on the R74 near Colenso in central KwaZulu-Natal on Saturday.It is understood that a minibus taxi carrying passengers - all linked to the taxi industry - had been waylaid by gunmen who used automatic rifles to pepper the vehicle. Two men escaped uninjured. Police spokesman Brigadier Jay Naicker said the taxi had been ferrying mourners from a funeral in Ematimotolo to Gauteng when it was ambushed. “On the R74 road between Colenso and Weenen‚ unknown persons jumped onto the road from the bushes and opened fire at the taxi‚” he said. “Unconfirmed information indicates that passengers are from a taxi association in Gauteng attending the funeral of one of their members‚” Naicker said. He later confirmed that 11 people had been killed. Detectives from the Provincial Task Team in Durban were at the scene.

EFF accuses Gordhan of reign of terror at SOEs

The Economic Freedom Fighters has accused Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan of conducting a reign of terror at state-owned enterprises. In a letter signed by EFF secretary-general Godrich Gardee it accuses Gordhan of using unlawful means to conduct his reign of terror under the guise of “cleaning up” and “fighting state capture”. The EFF said Gordhan was conducting unplanned physical visits at the offices of public enterprises‚ using verbal warnings of instant removal from the boards and other intimidation and bullying tactics. Gordhan’s tactics had included wild allegations against innocent board members;racism, unlawful instructions regarding operational matters and the dismissal of staff members. The party was particularly concerned about Gordhan’s “micromanagement of SOEs and their boards as this is against the law”, adding: “We are also aware that he intends to instruct for the suspension of Transnet’s chief executive officer [Siyabonga Gama] without due process and reason.” Gordhan’s office responded: “The DPE and the minister will not respond.”

KZN ANC wants party to support Zuma at trial

The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal has resolved to engage the highest decision-making body of the party‚ the national executive committee‚ to review its decision to not support former president Jacob Zuma in his corruption case. Earlier this year‚ the ANC decided not to support Zuma at court his appearances, only allowing party members to support in their personal capacities providing they did not wear party regalia. Also‚ newly elected KZN ANC chair Sihle Zikalala‚ in a bid to curb divisions‚ was adamant that were would not be a purge of members who supported any individuals who contested, but lost, any position in the party.

Speeding pastor convicted of reckless driving

Gauteng community safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane has welcomed the conviction of a pastor who was caught driving at more than 200km/h. John Sebusi Mosepele‚ 51‚ was arrested on March 14 2018. He was caught driving at an average speed of 236 km/h in a 120 km/h zone in his Mercedes-Benz S350 on the N1 near Barrage‚ south of Johannesburg. He claimed he was rushing to Kroonstad to pick up his daughter who was waiting for him. In the Vanderbijlpark Magistrate’s Court Mosepele was found guilty on Thursday last week on charges of reckless and negligent driving.He was sentenced to a fine of R10‚000 or six months’ imprisonment, of which R8‚000 or three months were suspended for five years. Nkosi-Malobane hoped the sentence would “send a strong message that Gauteng has no place for speedsters”.

Man 'arrested for death of KZN ANCYL member'

A man has been arrested in connection with the killing of an ANC Youth League member in KwaZulu-Natal on Saturday morning‚ eNCA reported. It said Bongani Usher Mkhize was shot dead after leaving the ANC KZN elective conference in Durban on Saturday morning. He chaired of the Youth League's Coast College branch. A suspect had handed himself over to police and would appear in the Umlazi Magistrate’s Court next week on charges of murder and unlawful possession of a firearm‚ eNCA said.

Hawks go after state-capture probe witness

A key witness in Judge Raymond Zondo’s inquiry into state capture is being investigated by the Hawks over a contract signed 13 years ago. Themba Maseko had a case opened against him in February 2017 after he told the Sunday Times former president Jacob Zuma had asked him to help the Gupta brothers. At the time he was CEO of the Government Communication and Information System. The Hawks investigation relates to an IT contract Maseko signed when he was director-general of the Department of Public Works. The current director-general, Sam Vukela, is understood to have told investigators the auditor-general found no evidence of wrongdoing at the time. But in the past two months Maseko has been questioned twice at the Hawks’ headquarters in Pretoria. Maseko declined to speak to the Sunday Times about the inquiry, saying only he was “surprised” when the Hawks contacted him.



What’s eating Musk? There’s a lonely Elon behind the élan

He’s the billionaire whose biggest fear is being alone, so why does he act like an opera diva?

By Harry de Quetteville
7 min read

It's not Alexander, but it is a great big pile of modern s**t

Egyptian archaeologists have revealed the contents of a mysterious giant sarcophagus in Alexandria

By Raf Sanchez and Magdy Samaan
1 min read

So you found the ship - now show us your booty!

The discovery of a wreck and its supposed $130-billion in gold has raised eyebrows in South Korea

By Reuters
3 min read

From murderer to beauty queen, but judge says 'it's not cool to kill'

Kenyan prison pageant queen has been sentenced to death

1 min read


A trapeze artist practises her routine near the Albert Memorial in Hyde Park, London.
Memorable moves A trapeze artist practises her routine near the Albert Memorial in Hyde Park, London.
Image: Peter Nicholls/Reuters


Goiat's a bit too fond of goats

Two years after it was released into the Spanish Pyrenees as part of a conservation programme, Goiat, a brown bear, faces expulsion over a predatory rampage that has enraged local farmers. The 31st male was captured in Slovenia and transferred to the Alt Pirineu National Park in Catalonia in 2016 as part of a European project to save the brown bear population in the region. But Goiat, whose name means “lad” in Catalan, is now to be ejected after embarking on a killing spree against local livestock. The bear is blamed for 15 attacks since April, including the deaths of six horses and four foals, as well as several sheep. – The Daily Telegraph

Censors rabid after vaccine scandal

Chinese censors on Sunday deleted articles and postings about the vaccine industry as an online outcry over the country’s latest vaccine scandal intensified. Regulators said last week that they had halted production of a rabies vaccine at a large pharmaceutical company after finding fabricated records and other problems during an inspection. Censors and regulators struggled to stay abreast of the public’s response, deleting posts on WeChat as state media tried to take control of the narrative. On Sunday night China’s Food and Drug Administration announced it had ordered all production stopped at the vaccine maker and launched an investigation. – AFP

Very lucky drug smuggler is home at last

A Frenchman detained for 18 years after trying to smuggle drugs into Bali arrived in Geneva on Sunday and was on his way home after being deported. Police arrested Michael Blanc, now 45, in 1999 with 3.8kg of hashish hidden inside scuba diving canisters. He was given a life sentence, narrowly escaping the death. In 2014 Blanc won something that few foreigners get in Indonesia — parole, but his probation only ended this month. The former cook was escorted by immigration officials to Jakarta airport on Saturday accompanied by his mother, who gave up her life in France to spend nearly two decades in Indonesia campaigning for his release. – AFP

Thai cave boys to become monks

Most members of the Thai youth football team rescued from a flooded cave will have their heads shaved, don robes and be ordained in a Buddhist ceremony this week. Having all made a speedy and surprising recovery after a week in hospital, they will now go a step further and spend time living in a monastery before returning to normal life, a common practice in Buddhist-majority countries like Thailand. – AFP

Brighter future for 500 greyhounds

Authorities in Macau the have taken under their care more than 500 greyhounds abandoned by the operator of the city’s dog-racing track after it closed. The track, established in 1931, had long faced criticism from animal rights groups, who said the greyhounds were treated cruelly and sometimes put to death after a losing streak. The government last week slammed the track’s billionaire owner for delaying efforts to find new homes for the dogs. It said the company could be punished under the Animal Protection Law. It is estimated some 70 dogs died or were killed in 2016 due to injuries, illnesses or for underperformance. – AFP

Could Ethiopia be heading for democracy?

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed says the nation must adopt multiparty democracy supported by strong institutions that respect human rights and rule of law. “Given our current politics, there is no option except pursuing a multiparty democracy,” his deputy quoted him as saying. “This will allow us to mediate our differences peacefully and to ensure lasting progress.” The ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front coalition has been in power since 1991 and holds all of the seats in parliament. - Reuters



Political leadership needed to maintain mining's lustre

Where gold has faded, other metals can shine well into the future, but the industry needs reliable, long-term policy

By Stuart Theobald
4 min read

Net worth it: Naspers spots online shopping bonanza

Firm pumps cash into e-commerce, eyes artificial intelligence as SA's Internet retail market surges

By Nick Hedley
1 min read

Hot to not: is the sun setting on Dubai's economic dream?

The rich emirate's recipe for economic success looks stale as markets slump

By Andrew Torchia
5 min read



Space oddity: Who will film Kubrick’s lost screenplay?

Now that it’s been found, there might be nobody brave enough to make ‘The Burning Secret’ into a movie 

By Tymon Smith
4 min read

Don’t scoff at the evidence: Late meals can kill you

Higher risk of breast and prostate cancer from disrupting the body’s internal clock and metabolism

By Maria Lally
4 min read

Watch this space - we’ll soon be holidaying in it

It’s going to be a billionaires’ club out there in the great beyond, thanks to Musk, Branson and Bezos

By Sylvia McKeown
3 min read



SPORTS DAY: Manyonga leaps into the record books

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

Mninawa Ntloko
Sports editor
7 min read

Christchurch beckons Lions, but history's not on their side

Achieving away victories is tough enough in a competition played across 16 time zones

Liam Del Carme
3 min read

Blasts from the past: Ear, ear, what’s going on here, then?

This day in SA sports history: July 23

David Isaacson
2 min read