Monday, August 20 2018

THE BIG STORIES

LEADING THE AGENDA

Cyril’s failure of leadership is killing the rand

SA’s growth prospects hang in the balance because of his disastrous approach to the land debate

Justice Malala
Columnist
3 min read

Nationalisation is a poisonous mix you can bank on

The Reserve Bank's independence is paramount, especially since it undermines the will of certain politicians

By Stuart Theobald
4 min read

THE PAWN STARS OF STATE CAPTURE

The most anticipated chess game in SA politics starts on Monday when the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into state capture makes its first move

Zuma was corrupt from the start: ex-spin doctor

Themba Maseko is part of the first round of witnesses before the Zondo state capture probe

Qaanitah Hunter
Journalist
4 min read

Security snags and ‘excuses’ bedevil inquiry

Security blamed as staff still don’t have access to classified information - now the president has been roped in

Karyn Maughan
Journalist
4 min read

Sunday Times journalist Qaanitah Hunter gives us a breakdown of what can be expected from the commission of inquiry into state capture which starts on Monday.

The commission of inquiry into state capture will begin on Monday. Sunday Times editor Bongani Siqoko and Tiso Blackstar Group associate editor of analysis Ranjeni Munusamy take us back to the beginning and discuss how the State Capture story unfolded.

Click on image to view in more detail.
Click on image to view in more detail.

SMART NEWS

IN ONE TAKE

Before libraries and labs, let’s fix school loos

A very bleak picture of progress made towards meeting the minimum norms for public school infrastructure

Prega Govender
Journalist
4 min read

Knives out for government’s megabucks ‘sushi’ plan

Minister wants more black fishermen chasing the world’s tastiest catch, but is there foul play afoot?

Bobby Jordan
Journalist
4 min read

‘We’ve never tried to be kings. We’re peasants, man’

Reflections on the monumental late emcee ProKid

By Tseliso Monaheng
4 min read

Do kids get more allergies if the house is clean or dirty?

Does exposure to something increase or decrease the chance of an allergy in children? New study gives clues

Tanya Farber
Journalist
2 min read

Brace yourself: Black Friday for travellers is coming ...

Local travel has become increasingly expensive, but there are great plans afoot to fix this

Graeme Hosken
Journalist
3 min read

IDEAS

TO FEED YOUR MIND

Consumer beware: balloon deals are on the increase

But that doesn't mean you will be able to spot one on your contract - so take care when signing

Wendy Knowler
Consumer journalist
4 min read

‘Asian’ movie a hit - except with the Asians

Singaporeans take issue with how they have been portrayed in the movie 'Crazy Rich Asians'

By Kirsten Han
2 min read

Satellites search for a giant enigma of the deep

You would hardly miss the huge basking shark if it hoved into view, yet very little is known about it

By AFP
3 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

Former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan has died in Switzerland after a short illness. Annan was 80 years old.


SNAPSHOT

Mourners gather at the family home of the late Kofi Annan, former United Nations Secretary-General and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, in Bompata town in Kumasi, Ghana.
RIP Mourners gather at the family home of the late Kofi Annan, former United Nations Secretary-General and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, in Bompata town in Kumasi, Ghana.
Image: Reuters/Francis Kokoroko

Six things about SA you need to know

ANC’s future not rosy, say South Africans

More than half of South Africans (54%) believe the future of the ANC is murky owing to leadership issues and rifts in the ruling party‚ according to an Ipsos poll. This is despite the ANC having a 60% majority in parliament. “As can be expected‚ larger proportions of supporters of the main opposition parties (the DA and the EFF) agree that the ANC has an uncertain future‚ but it is interesting to note that over half (52%) of ANC supporters also agree.” Ipsos conducted its Pulse of the People poll from April 20 to June 7 this year by randomly selecting and interviewing 3‚619 South Africans. Meanwhile‚ one in five South Africans (20%) are confident about the future of the ANC.

DA will fight bill to nationalise Reserve Bank

The DA will fight the adoption of a bill aimed at nationalising the Reserve Bank‚ saying it opposes any threat to the central bank’s independence. The South African Reserve Bank Amendment Bill‚ introduced in parliament by EFF leader Julius Malema‚ proposes that the state be made the sole shareholder in the bank. The DA said on Sunday there could be no meaningful public-interest motive in nationalising the Bank‚ only the furtherance of private political interests. Nationalising the Bank “is a hostile move in a long game of EFF political manoeuvres to influence the mandate and operations of the Reserve Bank and ultimately South Africa’s banking system as a whole”, said Gwen Ngwenya‚ a DA member of the parliamentary finance committee.“This is also an electoral game for the EFF. Whether or not the bill is passed‚ the EFF hopes to dominate the ANC’s radical agenda‚ and position itself as the authentic party of the left.”

ProKid’s side-chick ‘not banned from funeral’

ProKid’s family have reportedly poured cold water on claims that the rapper's “side-chick” was banned from attending his funeral at the UJ Soweto Campus on Sunday. Sunday World reports that Pro’s side-chick Mandisa Mbanjwa was allegedly told by an uncle she was not welcome at the funeral. Mandisa apparently confirmed the claims to the paper. "He said I'm not welcome to attend the funeral, but that's fine. I don't want to talk about this anymore," she said. Family spokesperson Phumza Nohashe denied the claims, saying that in African culture no one could be "invited or uninvited" to a funeral.

Dlodlo puts ministers on downsize diet

Public Service and Administration Minister Ayanda Dlodlo has approached President Cyril Ramaphosa for help to rein in cabinet ministers who have defied calls to trim their bloated offices. Dlodlo wrote to her cabinet colleagues, warning that they were only allowed 10 staff in their offices and two advisers, but only half of the executive responded. “All I can do is write to the president and say, ‘If you want to take action on this, you can’,” she told the Sunday Times. “But what I can also do is take action on the directors-general because they know it’s illegal to have over and above [the number of staff] … you are expected to have.” Dlodlo said she wrote two letters to ministers, reminding them that they are only allowed two advisers each, and asking for a list of people in their ministries.

Msimanga is DA’s Gauteng premier pick

Solly Msimanga is the DA’s candidate for Gauteng premier, DA leader Mmusi Maimane announced on Sunday. “Gauteng will be a central battleground in the election campaign next year and we are confident that Solly will lead a team that will bring the change the people of Gauteng deserve‚” he said. “With almost 10 million unemployed South Africans‚ there is no doubt that next year’s election is about jobs. Gauteng is the economic hub that powers South Africa. It is a great province with the potential to be a thriving centre of economic growth and prosperity for our people.” Msimanga, 38, grew up in Atteridgeville‚ Pretoria‚ and is the current Tshwane mayor and has been a DA member for 14 years.

Sweet deal for ‘R4k-an-hour’ consultants

The engineering consultancy that scored a project management contract worth up to R400m a year with the City of Tshwane, gets to use the city’s offices for free. GladAfrica was contracted by city manager Moeketsi Mosola against legal advice and warnings from officials that the deal was not beneficial to the city. The company is the project manager for all of Tshwane’s infrastructure projects, which are potentially worth R12bn over three years. The consultancy charges a 10% management fee for every project it manages for the city and has been paid R250m so far. But its 30 consultants get to use the city’s Infotek building in Tshwane, including all its resources, for free. Mosola says this is necessary for integration and skills transfer, but city officials say they cannot keep track of invoices submitted by the consultants, who charge up to R4,000 an hour for work done. Mayor Solly Msimanga has launched an investigation into the awarding of the tender.

THE WORLD

THE NEWS YOU DON'T NORMALLY GET TO HEAR

Forget the one-child policy, now let’s sponsor breeders

Widely mocked Chinese plan is to make people with no or fewer than two children pay into a ‘maternity fund’

By afp.com
2 min read

Carb counting and adding butter to your coffee? Hmm ...

Sorry Noakes, the latest study suggests that a diet of low carbs and high fats could actually cut your life short

By Sarah Knapton
2 min read

Is Elon Musk wacko or is he just whacked?

Detractors say he’s crazy but the Tesla boss reckons he is just worn out after an ‘excruciating’ year 

By AFP
1 min read

‘An honour if Trump revoked my security clearance’

Admiral William McRaven, who oversaw the Bin Laden raid, speaks up against Trump’s presidency

By The Daily Telegraph
2 min read

SNAPSHOT

A Palestinian bride applies makeup during a mass wedding in Ramallah, in the occupied West Bank.
New beginnings A Palestinian bride applies makeup during a mass wedding in Ramallah, in the occupied West Bank.
Image: Reuters/Mohamad Torokman

SIX THINGS ABOUT THE WORLD YOU NEED TO KNOW

The bubble car is back

Two Swiss brothers are developing a new version of the two-seater bubble car a full 56 years after BMW halted production of its famed Isetta after churning out more than 160,000 vehicles. Oliver and Merlin Ouboter have more than 7,200 orders for their Microlino, a modern version of the Isetta which swaps the old single-cylinder petrol engine for a 20 horsepower electric motor but keeps the famous front-opening door. The brothers, whose father Wim made millions from modernised kick-scooters, plan to launch the car in December. The Microlino will be built by Italian manufactuer Tazzari, which has a 50% stake in the project and eventually plans to produce 5,000 of the vehicles per year. With the car retailing for 12,000 euros (R201,000), pre-existing components keeps costs down. - Reuters

Not sure if it’s a record – but it’s impressive

Vako Marchelashvili, 18, from Georgia solved six Rubik's Cubes under water in one breath, in a bid to set a new Guinness World Record. The student was submerged in a glass tank for just over one minute and 44 seconds as he flipped, turned and solved the cubes in front of a crowd at the Gino Paradise aqua park Tbilisi. He said he had been preparing for the underwater challenge for six months, training several hours a day. After observing Marchelashvili's attempt, the Georgian Records Federation issued a diploma confirming his result. They will send their evidence to the Guinness World Records headquarters for verification. The current underwater record of five cubes was set by Anthony Brooks in New Jersey in August 2014. – Reuters

You don’t need a farm to raise cattle

Residents of Karachi, Pakistan's largest city, watched as cattle were lowered by crane from the top of a four-storey home ahead of the Muslim festival Eid al-Adha. Unlike other Muslims who buy animals for slaughter a few days before the sacrificial holiday, Syed Ejaz Ahmad, 55, said raising his own calves was more economical. Ahmad started raising calves in a rooftop shed about 15 years ago. As they grew in size, it became difficult to lead oxen down the narrow staircase of his house. His solution? Call a crane service. The operation has become an annual event in Ahmad's neighbourhood of Nazimabad, where a crowd cheered as it watched the spectacle unfold. – Reuters

Ban ‘thrill-seekers and buffoons’ from Mont Blanc

Its ascent is a rite of passage for mountaineers, but Mont Blanc has become so overcrowded that a French mayor is calling for a ban on ‘ill-prepared thrill-seekers’ as deaths rise. Western Europe's highest peak attracts up to 400 climbers each day in summer, but most are novices, according to Jean-Marc Peillex, the local mayor. Some attempt the ascent without proper equipment, as if it were barely more challenging than a country walk, he said. But a section of the popular ‘Royal Route’ to the summit, along the Goûter ridge, is so dangerous that it is nicknamed the ‘corridor of death’. Fifteen climbers have died this summer, with the recent heatwave increasing the risk of avalanches and rockfalls as glaciers melt. The authorities turned away climbers without booked accommodation at the Goûter refuge. Peillex wants compulsory climbing licences and fines for people without proper equipment to limit ‘the summer influx of ill-prepared thrill seekers and dangerous buffoons’. – The Daily Telegraph

Musk’s drug use a concern for Tesla execs

Tesla executives have expressed concern at Elon Musk's use of the sleeping pill Ambien, reportedly suggesting it could account for his erratic tweeting and strange behaviour. Musk has delighted in his reputation as one of Silicon Valley's brashest entrepreneurs but in a tearful interview with the New York Times that led to company shares dropping by as much as 8% at one point, he said exhaustion was taking its toll. Last week he published a tweet claiming he had secured funding to take Tesla private, sparking a rollercoaster ride for shareholders. Company insiders said that Musk's use of the drug was causing concern. Musk said he was working a 120-hour week to reach the company's production targets, and admitted: ‘It is often a choice of no sleep or Ambien.’ Musk has previously raised eyebrows with his praise for the sleeping pills. In June last year he tweeted: ‘A little red wine, vintage record, some Ambien ... and magic!’ – The Daily Telegraph

Dragons, Elvis and singing mayor surprise

The Japanese cities of Nagoya and Aichi will stage the 20th Asian Games in 2026. And during the joint hosts' report to the Olympic Council for Asia general assembly taking place, Nagoya mayor Takashi Kawamura stunned delegates first with a bizarre request and then a passable Elvis Presley impersonation. The representatives of 45 Asian countries probably couldn't quite believe their ears when first Kawamura implored OCA president Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah to help him acquire two of Indonesia's famous Komodo dragons for his city's zoo. Kawamura then tried to drive home his plea by crooning his own version of Elvis's hit ‘Can't Help Falling in Love’. Only he changed the lyrics in front of the smiling, but slightly embarrassed, Kuwaiti Sheikh Ahmed to ‘I can't help falling in love with Asian people and the Komodo dragon.’ It was such a hard act to follow that Sheikh Ahmed quickly called for a coffee. - AFP

THE BUSINESS

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

The man to Jack up Cyril’s ideas about business

Ramaphosa could have picked up pointers when Asia's richest man spoke about entrepreneurs in Africa

By Toby Shapshak
4 min read

Dark Fibre for those left in the, erm, dark

Internet fibre businesses have started pushing into low-income areas

By Nick Hedley
2 min read

LIFESTYLE

CULTURE COMES ALIVE

Great, now we know how slowly death creeps up on us

Health and science briefs of the week

By Tymon Smith
4 min read

Never mind being copycats, kids are copying robots

A new study shows children are easily swayed by digital toys or assistants like Siri and Alexa

By Joseph Archer
2 min read

Because we really, really need to spend more time on our phones ...

Gadgets to make sure your device and you become even more inseparable

By Moeketsi Thipe
2 min read

Don’t want to fall pregnant? There’s an app for that

It tells you when to avoid sex, but is it as reliable as the developers say?

By Nivashni Nair
2 min read

SPORT

FINISH LINE ESSENTIALS

SPORTS DAY: Boks far from perfect, says Rassie

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

Mninawa Ntloko
Sports editor
6 min read

From depth to defence, it’s the beginning of the end for Chiefs

Here are the reasons they won't return to their former glory

By Sazi Hadebe
8 min read

Blasts from the past: Bungu bashes his way to world title

Today in SA sports history: August 20

David Isaacson
Journalist
1 min read