Thursday, July 26 2018

THE BIG STORIES

LEADING THE AGENDA

Fraud is crippling SA - and you're paying for it

Honest customers are funding the scourge through hiked insurance and medical premiums, warn industry experts

Graeme Hosken
Journalist
3 min read

Where life on land began: just off a mountain road outside Barberton

Scientists forced to change their ideas about when the earliest organisms crawled out of the ocean

Dave Chambers
Cape Town bureau chief
4 min read

Crazy people strap mower engines to their backs and call it a race

They are taking part in the Icarus Trophy, hopefully not to end up the same way

Graeme Hosken
Journalist
4 min read

SMART NEWS

IN ONE TAKE

De Lille vote: 'Expect a lot of surprises'

The ANC set to throw its vote behind Cape Town mayor in motion of no confidence

By Aphiwe Deklerk and Aron Hyman
4 min read

No dice, Abrahams tells arms firm in Zuma trial

Prosecutions boss refuses to drop graft case - and then slaps on another charge

Karyn Maughan
Journalist
2 min read

Did members set fire to their own mosque?

The Masjid-e-Mukhtar Mosque elders believes the arson culprits could be their own members

Jeff Wicks
Journalist
2 min read

Latest scam shows we're not even safe inside the bank

A blind man was robbed of R70,000 after being helped by a man pretending to be a bank consultant

Bongani Fuzile
Journalist
3 min read

SA makes the Chinese cut, Indians think we’re the business

From affordable surgery to jewellery and wildlife - this is why other BRICS nations visit SA

Suthentira Govender
Journalist
2 min read

Bug in cats' poo creates top entre-purr-neurs

A parasite spread by cats could be the key to being a successful entrepreneur, scientists have concluded

By The Daily Telegraph
2 min read

IDEAS

TO FEED YOUR MIND

SA has lots of sight. What it needs is insight

Insight tells you that if politicians wanted to restore land they would have done it in the past 24 years

Jonathan Jansen
Columnist
4 min read

Experts blow hot and cold about global heatwave

Scientists split over role of climate change in worldwide phenomenon

By Henry Bodkin
3 min read

World drools over superstar pastry chef's ‘food porn’

When Cedric Grolet takes out his pastry knife, millions of mouths water

By AFP
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

Times Select paywall and smart new app launched

Here's how you can keep reading your favourite digital daily edition

2 min read

VISUAL SIDE


SNAPSHOT

Subsistence fishermen launch their boat in Pemba, Mozambique.
Out to lunch Subsistence fishermen launch their boat in Pemba, Mozambique.
Image: Reuters/Mike Hutchings

Six things about SA you need to know

SANDF rejects arms ‘smuggling’ report

The SA National Defence Force (SANDF) has rejected reports that it had tried to smuggle small arms and ammunition to Cuba aboard a chartered SAA aircraft. Rapport newspaper said at the weekend an SAA aircraft‚ chartered by the SANDF to transport Cuban technicians‚ had been stopped at Waterkloof air force base after customs officials found R4 and R5 rifles with ammunition aboard. The aircraft was prevented from leaving. SANDF Brigadier General Mafi Mgobozi said on Wednesday: “We reject with contempt the allegations that the SANDF was trying to smuggle small arms and munitions to Cuba. The equipment in question was heavy vehicle simulators for training purposes [which] were cleared by customs and Armscor following due process. The SANDF would like to state that there were no small arms or munitions that formed part of the consignment as reported.”

Accountants' institute to investigate VBS chief

The SA Institute of Chartered Accountants will be launching an investigation in the conduct of the chief executive of the beleaguered VBS Bank‚ Andile Ramavhunga. This was revealed by the DA on Wednesday after the party lodged a complaint against Ramavhunga with the institute. The party argued that Ramavhunga’s “unethical conduct had brought the charted accountant profession into disrepute” by pleading ignorance over the VBS saga. The DA has welcomed the probe, saying it would restore “general trust” in SA’s financial system. “The VBS looting that took place on Ramavhunga’s watch should not go unchallenged,” said DA MP Alf Lees. The DA said the investigation would also serve to clear Ramavhunga’s name, should he be found to be innocent.

Taxi slayings ‘tied to’ Mall of Africa route

The recent spate of taxi killings‚ which have claimed 15 lives in two weeks‚ are believed to be revenge attacks following a dispute over the Mall of Africa route. On Monday‚ a taxi boss belonging to the Alexandra‚ Randburg‚ Midrand and Sandton Taxi Association was shot dead while driving out of a relative's house in a marked association vehicle. This came after the massacre of 11 people linked to the Ivory Park Taxi Association on Saturday near Colenso in KZN. They were returning from the burial of association member Nkosi Mthembu in Greytown. A police insider said they suspected the killings were revenge attacks owing to conflicts over the lucrative route. Another source‚ a taxi operator‚ confirmed that the Ivory Park attack was related to taxi route conflicts around Midrand. Meanwhile, a 35-year-old man appeared in the Durban Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday linked to the weekend’s killing. Arrested on Tuesday, he was found in possession of 73 rounds of AK-47 ammunition. He will reappear in court on August 1.

Manana ‘snubbed’ ethics committee

Parliament's ethics committee was informed about ANC MP Mduduzi Manana's resignation from parliament just 30 minutes before the scheduled start of its hearing into his conduct. This is despite Manana having been invited to appear before the joint subcommittee of the ethics and members’ interests committee at least 10 days ago. Ethics committee chairperson Omie Singh said Manana had been invited to the meeting as per the rules of parliament‚ but the former higher education deputy minister ignored the committee. Six MPs were present for the hearing on Wednesday‚ five of whom were flown from different parts of the country at taxpayers’ expense. Parliament is still in winter recess. MPs were officially informed about Manana’s resignation and received a one-page report reminding them that they only have jurisdiction over MPs. The committee would have proceeded even without Manana’s presence if he was still an MP‚ as long as he had been notified and invited.

Thuli Madonsela is engaged

It’s official: former public protector Thuli Madonsela is engaged. News that the advocate is no longer single broke on SABC’s Real Talk show with Azania Mosaka on Tuesday evening. Mosaka congratulated Madonsela‚ who was a guest on the show. Madonsela confirmed on Wednesday that she was planning to walk down the aisle - but she is keeping the details under wraps. “We have not set a date yet, and I will announce the name of the other party whenever we finally set the date‚” Madonsela said in a text message. She said she and her partner would like to keep the engagement and wedding off the radar.

Customs seize explosives, illegal cigarettes

Customs officials at the Beitbridge border post intercepted explosives and illicit cigarettes last week. The South African Revenue Service (SARS) said on Wednesday that customs officers had intercepted a foreign-registered panel van travelling from to Zimbabwe to South Africa during a random search on Thursday. During the search, two bags, which the driver claimed not to know the owner of, were found. Customs officers searched the bags and found 300 units of cables of suspected explosives valued at about R75‚000. The police and its bomb squad were called in to identify the explosives, and the man was arrested. Meanwhile, on Saturday, customs officers found 3‚997 hidden cartons of Pacific Blue cigarettes with an estimated street value of R966‚915 hidden in 40 bags. They were declared as 500 brooms.

THE WORLD

THE NEWS YOU DON'T NORMALLY GET TO HEAR

No, it's not wise to flash your bum and yell racial insults on national TV

Georgia legislator Jason Spencer will resign after exposing himself and shouting racist slurs on TV

2 min read

Stalinist homophobe set to be Russian culture MP

Ruling party nod for editor Elena Yampolskaya slammed as 'monstrous'

By AFP
2 min read

Turns out Viagra isn't good for babies

A trial in which pregnant women were given Viagra has been halted after 11 infants died

By Senay Boztas
2 min read

He's not the biggest dino - but boy did he clomp about

Bones discovered beneath the skeleton of a Wyoming brachiosaur are proof of the biggest foot in evidence

By AFP
2 min read

SNAPSHOT

A suspected militant keeps people away before offering a gun salute during the funeral of Bilal Ahmed, who according to local media was killed in a gun battle with Indian security forces in Khudwani.
Stickler for the rules A suspected militant keeps people away before offering a gun salute during the funeral of Bilal Ahmed, who according to local media was killed in a gun battle with Indian security forces in Khudwani.
Image: Reuters/Danish Ismail

SIX THINGS ABOUT THE WORLD YOU NEED TO KNOW

Wee winkie-free Scot bust for pretend sex

A Scottish man who has no penis has admitted assaulting two women who thought they were having sex with him. Carlos Delacruz, 35, pretended to have sex with the women using an unknown instrument while he was in a relationship with them. Both his victims complained of ‘extreme pain’ during intercourse with Delacruz and were forced to stop and suffered from thrush afterwards. Delacruz refused to allow the women to see him naked and always performed in bed with the lights out. Edinburgh Sheriff Court was told both women were left shocked after they subsequently discovered their lover did not have a penis and had been using an unknown object to enter them without their consent. — © The Daily Telegraph

Western Wall rock fall ‘a sign from above’

A huge stone that fell from Jerusalem’s Western Wall, barely missing a worshipper, was removed on Wednesday as experts took the incident as a sign from above to examine the ancient structure’s stability. Two millennia after thousands of labourers had set it in place, the fallen stone was hoisted up by an unassuming crane operator named Yossi. Roughly a metre high and wide and weighing approximately 400kg, the stone fell onto a prayer platform on Monday and just missed a woman. Believers were offering interpretations of what they considered to be a divine sign, with theories ranging from discontent over recent parliamentary legislation to hints of imminent redemption. — AFP

Wannabe ninjas plague Japanese town

A Japanese city has been left fighting off wannabe ninjas after a news report on local labour shortages that suggested it wanted to hire the traditional assassins went viral. The western city of Iga was featured in a report by US radio station NPR about Japan’s depopulation and labour shortage problems. The report said Iga was trying to capitalise on its history as home to ninjas by building a new museum focused on the warriors, but was struggling to hire staff. By Wednesday, at least 115 aspiring assassins had contacted the city and its local tourism association, puzzled Iga officials said. Would-be warriors from at least 14 countries had been in touch, they added. — AFP

No quick lunch for Kit Kat copycat Kvikk Lunsj

The EU’s top court on Wednesday ordered the EU’s intellectual property office to ‘reconsider’ Kit Kat’s bloc-wide trademark, prolonging Nestle’s decade-long battle to claim exclusive rights over the chocolate bar’s distinctive shape. Nestle has been locked in a blockbuster legal war with US rival Mondelez, maker of Cadbury chocolate, over the four-fingered wafer biscuit which was first sold in 1935. The EU’s intellectual property office allowed Nestle in 2006 to trademark the product. It has helped keep copycat chocs out of stores, and punished the development of similar treats owned by Mondelez, including the Norwegian favourite Kvikk Lunsj, a Kit Kat doppelganger. — AFP

Now stop moaning about Hartbeespoort Dam

Polish health authorities have closed scores of beaches along the country’s Baltic Sea coast due to a massive toxic algae bloom triggered by a heat wave. Polish television this week broadcast aerial footage showing a green carpet of algae covering the sea. Run-off containing nitrates and phosphates from farm fertilisers and sewage have seeped into the Baltic, triggering large algal blooms in recent years. Dying algae also triggers complex organic processes that suck the oxygen out Baltic waters leading to ‘dead zones’ where no marine life can exist. Encircled by nine countries — Estonia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia and Sweden — the Baltic has an estimated 16 million people living along its shores. — AFP

The Queen's guards aren't just there for show

A tourist posing for a photograph was filmed being shoved out of the way by one of Queen Elizabeth II's Guardsmen, but the UK Ministry of Defence has insisted he did nothing wrong. The woman screamed in shock as she was pushed from behind by the soldier at Windsor Castle, who was dressed in the traditional outfit. From the video, it is clear the tourist had crossed a rope barrier, and was standing in the way of a marching soldier. The Ministry of Defence said: 'The ropes are there to protect both the public and our soldiers; please stay behind them.' - The Daily Telegraph

THE BUSINESS

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

All is quiet in the Steinhoff camp ... too damn quiet

A whole week has gone by without any heart-stopping announcements ... what can it portend?

By Ann Crotty
1 min read

Wanna get a piece of Sabvest? Well, you soon can

Tightly-held counter that invests in everything from Apple to Amazon is freeing up some shares 

By Marc Hasenfuss
1 min read

Blockchain: Coming soon to a cellphone near you

MTN and Vodacom are testing to see how the bitcoin backbone can cut both fraud and costs

By Nick Hedley
3 min read

LIFESTYLE

CULTURE COMES ALIVE

#Saggyboobsmatter and other tales of the city

A weekly foray into the vagaries and charms of fashion

Aspasia Karras
Columnist
2 min read

Don’t hate on the 80s: Lady Di and ‘Dynasty’ are so in

And all the guys are going to get feather-cut mullets and wear their pastel jacket sleeves pushed up 

By Keneilwe Eleanor Pule
3 min read

Interior motives: Why you should care about Kare

German furniture design chain Kare opens in Johannesburg

By Leana Schoeman
3 min read

Okay, so we boobed by falling for torturous bras

Are we in a post sexy underwear world? No more agonising underwires, push-ups, or itchy lace?

By Chloe MacDonnell
2 min read

SPORT

FINISH LINE ESSENTIALS

SPORTS DAY: Engines start revving for Chiefs, Pirates

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

Bareng-Batho Kortjaas
Sunday Times sports editor
5 min read

Home from home run: Gift Ngoepe’s baseball diaries

US Major League Baseball found a kid who grew up dirt poor in a room in a Randburg clubhouse

Telford Vice
Journalist
6 min read

Blasts from the past: Bronze for Ryk but gold beckons

Today in SA sports history: July 26

David Isaacson
Journalist
1 min read