Friday, August 17 2018



Marikana inaction a ‘pathetic failure’ - new Amnesty chief

Durban-born Kumi Naidoo says state delayed too long in prosecuting those who gave the firing order

Ranjeni Munusamy
Associate editor: analysis
2 min read

Hope and spray: Does weedkiller widely used in SA cause cancer?

Despite a landmark US ruling, local experts opinion is still sharply split over Monsanto’s Roundup 

6 min read

‘The Afrikaners and the Chinese did it - so should we’

Decolonisation is not about ditching Newton, but about mother-tongue instruction, says CPUT’s vice-chancellor

Aron Hyman
4 min read



Oh baby: When shopping for sperm, it's best to go overseas

South African sperm donors are so rare that most moms-to-be seek overseas variety

By Tania Broughton
4 min read

Auntie may not be family, but she’s got your back in court

The ‘courtroom auntie’ offers emotional support and explains courtroom procedures to mothers in need

Belinda Pheto
2 min read

Oil producers in Africa are monkeying with our primates

The world’s thirst for palm oil is a major new threat to African primates

Dave Chambers
Cape Town bureau chief
2 min read

Don’t become a social leper: Just get a good night’s sleep

Scientists find that sleep deprivation not only makes you tired, it also makes you lonely

Claire Keeton
2 min read



Oh the stories our trees could tell, if only we would listen

I haven’t spent enough time with trees, and I regret that

6 min read

Cheer up, there’s a silver lining in the corruption cloud

There’s a host of little critters kept alive by the hyenas and vultures tugging at the dying body of SA

Tom Eaton
2 min read

The ghost of the poison dwarf past and other hauntings

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


Singer Aretha Franklin died on Thursday after falling ill over the past month. Franklin leaves a legacy of hits such as 'Respect' and 'Chain of Fools'.


Chief executive of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Europe Kazuo Okamoto, at Downing Street to attend a roundtable for Japanese investors hosted by Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May, tries to stroke Larry the 10 Downing Street cat in the street.
Larry's not interested Chief executive of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Europe Kazuo Okamoto, at Downing Street to attend a roundtable for Japanese investors hosted by Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May, tries to stroke Larry the 10 Downing Street cat in the street.
Image: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP

Six things about SA you need to know

Baby treated after Joburg CBD fire

When firefighters arrived at a burning Johannesburg CBD building‚ they were confronted by residents who wanted to jump onto the street below to save themselves from the blaze. The fire broke out in a residential building near Park Station at about 2pm on Thursday. But‚ Johannesburg Emergency Management Services spokesperson Nana Radebe said the firefighters were able to talk the residents of the building down – and, ultimately‚ nobody jumped. Radebe said emergency services contained the fire to the first floor before extinguishing it within two-and-a-half-hours of the fire starting. Radebe said nobody was injured‚ but a baby was treated on scene for smoke inhalation before being taken to hospital for further treatment. Police spokesperson Xoli Mbhele said they did not suspect foul play. The cause of the fire remains unknown.

Siam Lee’s murder accused to appear in court

The man accused of the kidnapping and murder of escort Siam Lee is expected to make an appearance in the Durban Magistrate’s court on Friday. The 30-year-old businessman faces a raft of charges. He cannot be named until he has tendered a plea to a rape charge. Magistrate Mahomed Motala granted the 30-year-old R40‚000 bail on in June, which brought an end to his five-month bid for freedom. The man was arrested in January several days after Lee‚ an escort‚ went missing from the Durban North brothel she was working at. His prosecution remains on shaky ground with bungling by police and a private investigator highlighted by the magistrate who released him. Basing their case on “circumstantial” evidence also weighed heavily against the state’s opposition to bail.

Cele lashed for failing to protect whistleblowers

A report by Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has found that the failure of Police Minister Bheki Cele and the SAPS to provide protection to whistleblowers on corruption and political killings in KwaZulu-Natal was grossly negligent. Cele’s office said on Thursday the minister intended to challenge the report. In a report dated August 10‚ Mkhwebane found that Cele and the police’s failure to protect two men who blew the whistle on corruption - which they claimed was behind the murder of former ANC Youth League secretary general Sindiso Magaqa - could have resulted in the assassination of the two men. The whistleblowers‚ Thabiso Zulu and Les Stuta‚ testified before the Moerane Commission of Inquiry into political killings in KwaZulu-Natal in November last year. Following death threats and a lack of action from the police‚ Zulu sought the intervention of the public protector.

‘House of horrors’ parents found guilty

The couple who kept their five children locked up in what was dubbed the Springs "house of horrors" were on Thursday found guilty of a string of charges. Judge Eben Jordaan handed a guilty verdict to the man for abusing and neglecting his children, with evidence showing how, among other things, the children were burnt with a blowtorch. He was also was found guilty of attempted murder and of rape for sexually molesting his daughter. In his lengthy judgment‚ Jordaan detailed how the children were not properly fed‚ had no friends‚ did not attend school and lived in filthy‚ rat-infested conditions. His wife was found guilty of defeating and obstructing the ends of justice, as well as of five counts of child neglect and possession of drugs. The horror was initially revealed when the 11-year-old boy escaped from their home and alerted neighbours. Sentencing takes place on October 1.

Mugg & Bean manager reemployed after furore

Mugg & Bean has reemployed a member of staff who claimed that he lost his job because customers did not want to be served by a black manager. Andile Bozo ignited a fierce debate on social media when he attributed his retrenchment to racism‚ alleging that the franchisee at the Somerset West Waterstone Village mall told him that customers wanted a white manager. Mugg & Bean said it was unfortunate that the retrenchment – due to weak trading conditions in a challenging economy – had been perceived as racist and had turned into a public furore. Mugg & Bean operations executive Jeanne Geldenhuys said on Thursday that the matter had been resolved and Bozo would be reemployed in the group. It is unclear which role Bozo will be taking up in the group.

Cyril appoints commission into PIC

President Cyrl Ramaphosa has agreed to appoint a commission of inquiry into alleged improprieties at the Public Investment Corporation‚ the finance ministry said on Thursday. The PIC is the main investor of government pension funds. It has recently been embroiled in multiple scandals, resulting in Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene saying in July there would be a full forensic investigation into some of the PIC’s leaders. On Thursday‚ the Ministry of Finance announced the president’s agreement to an inquiry. “The commission’s terms of reference will include a review of the PIC’s governance and operating model‚ possible changes to the PIC’s founding legislation and its Memorandum of Incorporation and investment decision-making framework‚” the statement read. “The names of the chair of the commission and the supporting team‚ as well as the detailed terms of reference of the commission‚ will be announced in due course.”



Too gay for Afghanistan, not gay enough for Austria

Asylum officials dismissed a gay asylum-seeker because he didn't walk or dress 'like a homosexual'

By Justin Huggler
1 min read

Smartphone-addled parents are dim about drowning kids

Germans treat swimming pools like a kindergarten and just don’t pay attention, say lifeguards

By Justin Huggler
1 min read

‘What’s the opposite of LOL?’ Banksy bemused by new show

Enigmatic UK street artist insists a Russian exhibition of his works has nothing to do with him

1 min read

It was a rightful act, says man who smashed Trump’s star

Pick-axe wielding Donald-hater says the repercussions of his Hollywood Walk of Fame antics were positive

1 min read


A street artist makes soap bubbles in front of the Alte Nikolaikirche church at the Roemerberg square in Frankfurt am Main, western Germany.
Call me bubbles darling, everybody does A street artist makes soap bubbles in front of the Alte Nikolaikirche church at the Roemerberg square in Frankfurt am Main, western Germany.
Image: Frank Rumpenhorst/dpa/AFP


Bad weed in the ivy fells 76 students

More than 70 people have fallen ill in a suspected mass overdose near Yale University, an incident that underscored America's drug problem which has caused a record number of deaths. The first cases were reported on Tuesday evening when emergency services attended three suspected overdoses of a virulent batch of synthetic marijuana at New Haven Green near the Ivy League institution in Connecticut. Dozens more cases were reported over the next 24 hours, all close to the downtown park. Officials said on Wednesday night that the tally had reached 76, according to NBC News. Some victims were said to be unconscious while others were vomiting, nauseated or lethargic. There had been no deaths but some patients were in a life-threatening condition. - © The Daily Telegraph

Queen’s doctor killed in crash

A doctor who worked as a physician to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth has been killed in a road accident in London. Peter Fisher, 67, was riding his bicycle through central London on Wednesday when he was involved in a collision with a truck, British media reported. Police said a 67-year-old cyclist died at the scene. Fisher was director of research at the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine, and physician to the queen, said Gill Gaskin, medical director at University College London Hospitals. The London Evening Standard newspaper said Fisher was a world expert in homeopathy and had worked as homeopathic physician to the British monarch for about 15 years. 'He was much respected as a good doctor who saw homeopathy as complementary to medical care,' Marcus Setchell, the queen’s former surgeon-gynaecologist, told the Standard. - Reuters

Iron Age crops up again in heatwave

Britain’s hottest summer in decades has revealed cropmarks across the country showing the sites of Iron Age settlements, Roman farms and even Neolithic monuments dating back thousands of years, archaeologists said on Wednesday. Cropmarks (patterns of shading in crops and grass seen most clearly from the air) form faster in hot weather as fields dry out, making this summer’s heatwave ideal for discovering such sites. Archaeologists at the public body Historic England has been looking for patterns revealing the ancient sites, from Yorkshire in the north down to Cornwall in the southwest. 'We’ve discovered hundreds of new sites this year spanning about 6,000 years of England’s history,' said Damian Grady, aerial reconnaissance manager at Historic England. The archaeologists are mapping the sites to determine the significance of the remains beneath and how best to protect them. - Reuters

Late for your flight? Call in a bomb

A French man who was late for his flight from London to Los Angeles tried to delay it by calling police to say there was a bomb on board. Librarian Jacob Meir Abdellak, who lives in east London, made the call eight minutes before his 5.47am Norwegian Air flight from Gatwick Airport was due to leave on May 11 because he was significantly late and airline staff had refused to allow him on board, a court heard. Passengers had to be re-screened and take-off was delayed by 90 minutes. An investigation by Gatwick revealed the call had been made using the same number linked to his booking. When Abdellak returned to the airport to take another flight to the US on May 22, he was arrested. He initially claimed he had lost his phone’s SIM card but on Tuesday pleaded guilty to communicating false information regarding a noxious substance likely to create serious risk to human health. He was sentenced to 10 months in prison. - Reuters

Disney World a great place for 'predator priest'

A priest accused in the Pennsylvania abuse scandal was given a reference by his diocese and went on to work at Walt Disney World for 18 years, it has emerged. Reverend Edward George Ganster was one of 301 'predator priests' identified in a huge report into abuses by Catholic clergymen in the US state stretching back 70 years. According to the report the diocese knew about his "sexual transgressions" in 1990 but still gave him a reference to work at the “happiest place on Earth”. Following one allegation he was moved to another parish and, when there were further accusations, he was place on sick leave. He then left the priesthood and applied to work at Walt Disney World in Florida, securing the job with a reference from his Pennsylvania diocese. - © The Daily Telegraph

Now Weinstein faces sex-trafficking rap

Movie producer Harvey Weinstein must face a US lawsuit by a British actress who has accused him of violating sex trafficking laws by inviting her to a hotel room in France and sexually assaulting her, a federal judge ruled on Tuesday. US District Judge Robert Sweet in Manhattan denied Weinstein’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit filed in 2017 by Kadian Noble. The judge said that while the case was 'not an archetypal sex-trafficking action, the allegations plausibly establish' that Weinstein may have violated the federal Trafficking Victims Protection Act. - Reuters



Wierzycka cops flak for firing first shots at hedge funds

She said hedge funds are a ‘marketing con perpetuated by greed’. A successful manager has a different view ...

By Giulietta Talevi
5 min read

Damn it, Jennett, nobody expected this turnaround!

Emira Property Fund CEO has overseen a dramatic change in the company's fortunes - and its share price

By Alistair Anderson
1 min read

Little chance of more dosh for exasperated shareholders

M&R share price has dipped below the R17 that Aton has offered, so no pressure on Germans to raise their bid

By Ann Crotty
1 min read



The movie plots we like to see (over and over and over again)

How to get ahead in Hollywood, according to a new research paper, is to repeat the same story formula

By Tymon Smith
1 min read

Madonna talks about ‘Sex’ and spice and all things nice

‘You can push the envelope but you can’t open it … I’ve been hanged in the public square ever since’

By Adam White
16 min read

RIP Aretha Franklin, Queen of Soul, singing with the angels

The legendary singer died on Thursday. We pick five iconic songs from her immaculate catalogue

By Nokuzola Leratho Zingithwa
3 min read



SPORTS DAY: Rassie rings the changes with a few rookies

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

David Isaacson
4 min read

Boks beefed up before champs but will they cope in the wet?

Reinforcements look good for Rugby Championship - the true test will be how they adapt away from home

Liam Del Carme
3 min read

Blasts from the past: Yawn. All Blacks trounce Boks in 1996

Today in SA sports history: August 17

David Isaacson
1 min read