Friday, July 27 2018

THE BIG STORIES

LEADING THE AGENDA

New pro-Zuma party will leave no stone, king or wallet unturned

With its eyes set on its black constituency,  Mazibuye African Congress is determined to do well in next year’s election

By Bongani Mthethwa
4 min read

De Lille moves in for de kill as the DA is outmanoeuvred ... again

Just before she was to face a vote of no confidence, she reached an agreement that sees her remain as mayor

Aron Hyman
Journalist
4 min read

Something's very wrong when graveyards have to supply security for the dead

South Africans aren't even safe when they've been cremated

Graeme Hosken
Journalist
4 min read

Let's all get looney about the best lunar eclipse in 100 years

Look up and you'll see an amazing sight tonight. Here's what to expect, and where best to see it

Nonkululeko Njilo
Journalist
2 min read

SMART NEWS

IN ONE TAKE

Capture probe: Zondo's already popping Panados

The inquiry's date hasn't even been set but deputy chief justice is already dealing with numerous headaches

Karyn Maughan
Journalist
4 min read

DA gives Twitter the blues, but ANC is gold again

Ruling party enjoys uptick in sentiment while users reserve 'sadness' for the DA and 'disgust' for the EFF

Nivashni Nair
Journalist
2 min read

'I pay my taxes - now I need land to grow my business'

Entrepreneur arrives at land hearing with a clear message: without a plot his business won't go anywhere

Amil Umraw
Journalist
2 min read

‘Tell your loved ones you love them’ - chilling call before taxi slaying

The grieving girlfriend of a slain taxi driver recalls the last conversations she had with the father of her baby

Kgaugelo Masweneng
Journalist
3 min read

Addicts and convicts aren't the same thing, say ticked-off judges

Two high court judges scrapped jail terms for two addicts, saying prison isn't the answer

Dave Chambers
Cape Town bureau chief
3 min read

SA has a break, but Europe shows Kit Kat the finger

Company's European legal woes continue over the shape of its iconic choccie

Wendy Knowler
Consumer journalist
2 min read

IDEAS

TO FEED YOUR MIND

Do you know which leg Neil Armstrong preferred?

In a world where everyone is so certain about everything, it's worth being reminded of the value of doubt

4 min read

EFF, we've got your number

The EFF is turning five. Soon it will be going to school. Not a moment too soon

Tom Eaton
Columnist
2 min read

The above-average case for being a Hugh Jass at airports

A column to satisfy your inner grammar nerd

Sue de Groot
Journalist
5 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


SNAPSHOT

A girl sits under a plastic sheet as it rains in the old quarters of Delhi.
We see through to you A girl sits under a plastic sheet as it rains in the old quarters of Delhi.
Image: Reuters/Adnan Abidi

Six things about SA you need to know

Bonus splash for Cape after dry July

Cape Town’s dams‚ which have levelled off at about 56% after rising sharply in June‚ are expected to get a last-gasp July boost from Friday when heavy downpours and thunder are expected between 4am and 11am. Next Tuesday is expected to bring up to 30mm of rain. Rainfall for July has been well below normal‚ with only 93mm so far in Newlands compared with a long-term average of 270mm. August is set to start with a splash‚ though. More than 40mm is expected in the first nine days‚ according to one online forecast‚ while another predicts 28mm on Wednesday August 1 alone. Dam levels are almost back to the 59% at this time in 2015‚ when the first of three unnaturally dry winters began the decline that almost took Cape Town to Day Zero.

Councillor flees as protesters torch her home

An ANC councillor had to flee in her nightgown as after angry protesters torched her Mdantsane home on Thursday. Buffalo City ward 24 councillor Zameka Kodwa-Gajula was awoken by the sound of breaking glass‚ and saw the lower section of her bed was on fire. She was with two family members‚ including her 20-year-old daughter‚ when the incident occurred after 3am on Thursday. This follows several violent service protests in the area. Furious residents are demanding electricity and houses. Kodwa-Gajula is not the first Buffalo City councillor to fall victim to angry protesters in the metro. Last August a disabled child was trapped and killed when angry Dice residents near East London set fire to the home of ward 13 councillor Nokulunga Matiwane.

IFP says by-election win a sign of reclaiming KZN

The IFP is celebrating another victory in a by-election in KwaZulu-Natal and the party believes this is confirmation that it is ready to reclaim the province in next year’s elections. The IFP trounced the ANC‚ winning 52% of the vote in ward 7 in Mthonjaneni, in the King Cetshwayo District in northern KZN, on Wednesday‚ pushing it's support from 47% it gained in the 2016 local government elections. This is the third ward the party has taken directly from the ANC in KZN this year, following victories in Nkandla and Mtubatuba. IFP MP and national spokesman Mkhuleko Hlengwa said the victory was confirmation of the people’s trust in the party. In 2016 the IFP made a stunning comeback‚ winning back outright majorities in several KZN municipalities.

More than 600 rescued from underground blaze

More than 600 mineworkers were rescued from an underground fire at the Gold One Mine in Springs on Thursday‚ the Department of Mineral Resources said. Minister Gwede Mantashe said the blaze occurred in the early hours - 644 workers were underground at the time. They were all evacuated to the mine's refuge bays‚ from where they were brought to surface. Mantashe commended the rescue teams for a speedy operation. This incident comes just days after six mineworkers were killed in an underground fire at the Phalaborwa Copper Mine in Limpopo. Only one worker was rescued.

Drug lab in sheep's clothing found in KZN

A drug lab in the rural hinterland of Harding, southern KwaZulu-Natal, had been disguised as a sheep farm‚ with not a single woolly animal on the entire 10ha plot. Mandrax and lab equipment valued at nearly R250-million were seized there this week. On Wednesday the Hawks and Crime Intelligence Unit officers raided the farm and arrested two men who had been working on the property. Police Minister Bheki Cele said police now had their sights on the owner of the property‚ who had cultivated a “booming business”. “We did not find a single sheep there‚” Cele joked‚ saying the farm had been retrofitted to manufacture drugs. “It was a serious factory which was established on this farm.”

27 pregnant pupils at a single school

Limpopo’s education department says it is concerned that 27 pupils have been confirmed to be pregnant at one secondary school near Polokwane. Fourteen of these girls at Molautsi Secondary School in Blood River are in Grade 12. Department spokesman Sam Makondo said the high pregnancy rate was worrying. In an interview with the SABC one of the pregnant pupils‚ who spoke on a condition of anonymity‚ said she was aware of the consequences of unprotected sex. She asserted that falling pregnant had not affected her studies. The school’s deputy principal‚ Joseph Phaleng‚ said a lack of parental guidance and substance abuse contributed to the rate of teen pregnancy.

THE WORLD

THE NEWS YOU DON'T NORMALLY GET TO HEAR

Normal rules do not apply to the foul fiends of Islamic State

'So repugnant were their deeds that we should be grateful there's a chance the Americans will brutally punish them'

By Allison Pearson
5 min read

It's a whole different ball game now for Imran Khan

His challenges as a legendary cricketer are nothing to compared to those he now faces as Pakistan's prime minister

By Scyld Berry
2 min read

And the award for dumbest athlete goes to ... Ryan Lochte. Jeah!

After his mindblowingly stupid Instagram post got him banned, we look back on the swimmer's long career of gaffes

By Daniel Schofield
3 min read

Plane crazy: Tom Cruise's aerial obsession explained

The answers might lay in Freud, antidepressants, Scientology, and that couch spectacle on Oprah

By Robbie Collin
6 min read

SNAPSHOT

Boys play in a fountain on a hot summer day in Brussels, Belgium.
Got the squirts Boys play in a fountain on a hot summer day in Brussels, Belgium.
Image: Reuters/Yves Herman

SIX THINGS ABOUT THE WORLD YOU NEED TO KNOW

UK takes high ground on weed

British doctors will legally be able to prescribe medicinal cannabis, the government announced on Thursday following a review - but insisted it was not a first step towards legalising recreational use. Home Secretary Sajid Javid decided to relax the rules about the circumstances in which medicinal cannabis can be given to patients. It follows several high-profile cases, including those of young epilepsy sufferers whose conditions appeared to be helped by cannabis oil. “Making medicinal cannabis available on prescription will benefit the lives of ill patients currently suffering in silence,” Javid wrote on Twitter. Javid commissioned a review on June 19. An initial review by Sally Davies, the government’s chief medical adviser, concluded there was evidence that medicinal cannabis had therapeutic benefits. The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, which conducted the second part of the review, said doctors should be able to prescribe medicinal cannabis provided products meet safety standards. - AFP

Lifeguard in sack worms into record book

Swimming instructor, lifeguard and adventurer Yane Petkov, Bulgaria’s answer to Houdini and Michael Phelps combined, has reclaimed the Guinness World Record for swimming along with his hands and feet tied while fully wrapped inside a sack. Petkov, 64, swam 3,380m in Macedonia’s Lake Ohrid, beating the record of Indian fisherman Gopal Kharvi, who in 2013 swam 3,071m in the Indian Ocean - though not in a sack. The Bulgarian already had one entry in the Guinness Book of Records in 2013 with 2,030 metres, but he only held it for three months until he was overtaken by Kharvi. Before his latest attempt, Petkov said he had planned to swim 3.5km, and Guinness observers were present for his swim. He took about three hours to worm his way along through the water, face up and feet first, before emerging on the shore in the ancient town of Ohrid. - Reuters

‘I’m in love with the shape of mew’

Pop star Ed Sheeran has an answer for the dog days of summer gripping the northern hemisphere: an Instagram account for his cats. Unveiling the @thewibbles handle for Dorito and Calippo, the English singer promised his 24 million followers he would chronicle “their daily routine”. Within 24 hours three photos of the pair in different poses had already attracted more than 110,000 followers, and plenty of adoring comments. Sheeran, 27, has been honoured for his attachment to cats, with a figure of the folk-pop phenomenon unveiled in June by Madame Tussauds at London’s first cat cafe. He is also not the only celebrity fan of felines. Fellow pop star Taylor Swift has two, named Olivia Benson and Dr Meredith Grey. Swift, 28, reportedly applied on Wednesday to trademark the name “Meredith & Olivia Swift”, and her website has merchandise for sale featuring the cats’ likeness on them. - AFP

Booze heiress added to ‘sex cult’ cocktail

A multimillionaire heiress to the Seagram liquor empire has been arrested and charged with running a criminal enterprise, as part of proceedings against members of the Nxivm “sex cult”. The group made headlines for an initiation ritual that reportedly included branding founder Keith Raniere's initials on women, attempts to recruit celebrities, and accusations that members were turned into sex slaves for Raniere. Clare Bronfman, 39, a British-educated aspiring Olympic showjumper, was ordered by a judge in Brooklyn to be held under house arrest, on $100 million bail. Her lawyer, Susan Necheles, said Bronfman had done nothing wrong. “Nxivm was not a criminal enterprise but … an organisation that helped thousands of people. The charges are the result of government overreaching and charging an individual with crimes just because the government disagrees with some beliefs taught by Nxivm and held by Clare.” She will appear in court with Raniere and Smallville actress Allison Mack. - © The Daily Telegraph

Hold her down, will you, said euthanasia doc

A doctor has been formally reprimanded by the Dutch medical complaints board for carrying out euthanasia on a 74-year-old woman with dementia, despite her resistance. The woman refused a cup of coffee containing a sedative and when she struggled, the doctor asked her husband and daughter to hold her down so she could insert a drip containing the lethal injection. The case is the first time since the Dutch euthanasia law was passed in 2002 that a practitioner has been formally censured. According to the Dutch NOS broadcaster, the public prosecutor will announce after the summer whether the doctor will face criminal prosecution. - © The Daily Telegraph

Tokyo sarin-attack cultists get whiff of justice

Six more members of the cult behind the deadly 1995 sarin attack on Tokyo’s subway have been executed. Japan's public broadcaster NHK and other outlets said all six Aum Shinrikyo cult members remaining on death row had been executed on Thursday. Authorities hanged “guru” Shoko Asahara and six of his followers earlier this month after years on death row and years of legal wrangling and public soul-searching over the group and its crimes. While Japan is one of the few developed nations to retain the death penalty, public support for it remains high despite international criticism. Local media said authorities wanted to execute all Aum members on death row before the country’s emperor abdicates next year, which will start a new imperial era. - © The Daily Telegraph

THE BUSINESS

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

AB InBev: We’re here, but maybe not for the beer

Shocking decline in appetite among South Africans for the stuff, even worse in the US, so all hopes are on China

By Ann Crotty
1 min read

Coming clean about plastic waste: Let’s make it pay

South Africa recycles more as a percentage of plastic waste produced than Europe - what more can be done?

By Giulietta Talevi
5 min read

Private sector rocks in to the party to the tune of R31bn

Investment activity in southern Africa’s private equity industry hit a record last year: now we need more

By Hanna Ziady
1 min read

LIFESTYLE

CULTURE COMES ALIVE

Cruise reassumes the mission position

The sixth instalment of ‘Mission Impossible’ hits all the right buttons

By Pearl Boshomane Tsotetsi
2 min read

Thank you (or not) for the music: who sings best in ‘Mamma Mia 2’?

Some of the actors clearly weren’t hired for their pipes

By Charlotte Runcie
8 min read

Netflix’s gamble on Scorsese needs some Irish luck

Director’s passion project, starring De Niro and Pacino, is making do without major movie studios

By Tristram Fane Saunders
7 min read

Won’t you take us to the bioscope?

The films opening in our cinemas this week

By Critics’ choice
1 min read

Celebrate good times, come on

What to do this weekend in Joeys

By Yolisa Mkele
1 min read

SPORT

FINISH LINE ESSENTIALS

SPORTS DAY: Lions coach Swys snarls at Kiwi media

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

Bareng-Batho Kortjaas
Sunday Times sports editor
5 min read

It’s Ari up and wait for Ajax, but the PSL circus goes on

CEO Ari Efstathiou still fighting club’s automatic relegation while the league will start as scheduled

By Nick Said
3 min read

Blasts from the past: Lions bludgeon Boks 3½-0

Today in SA sports history: July 27

2 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