Tuesday, September 4 2018



SA's on fire and there's no one to put it out

As the death toll mounts from fires amid a firefighting skills shortage in SA, the economy counts the huge cost

Graeme Hosken
3 min read

It's time to decolonise our plugs

The plug-and-socket system we have is based on something the UK chucked out nearly 70 years ago

Graeme Hosken
4 min read



State capture: 'I still have nightmares'

... but Zuma has nothing to say and nothing to ask as damning probe testimony mounts

Karyn Maughan
4 min read

Muso lay slain for hours before cops responded

Why did police take so long to start searching for the body? In the end, somebody else did the job for them

Jeff Wicks
2 min read

Listeriosis: Case against Tiger Brands 'is overwhelming'

Of 158 factories tested, only Polokwane site had deadly ST6 strain. Now class action lawsuit looms

2 min read

‘Language of football’ speaks volumes for Cape kids

Successful tour by township team to Sweden thanks to mentor George Frett and charity the Kusasa Project

By Dan Meyer and Anthony Molyneaux
3 min read

Now Pigcasso's got a New Yorker piggybacking on her success

Gerry's got a long way to go before he reaches her levels of artistry, but his work is nothing to snort at

2 min read

Where oh where are the female economists hiding?

The gender imbalance in SA economics is shocking. A new study finds out why this is so and what can be done

2 min read



Whoever we vote for, they all become Gollums

Right now we’re seeing more than a few of his pathetic sort squirming in the dock at various state hearings

Tom Eaton
4 min read

'My husband's a paedophile, but I still love him'

The wife of a man jailed over child abuse images tells of her pain and turmoil since his dreadful secret was exposed

By Rachel Cocker
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


A woman celebrates ahead of the annual West Indian-American Carnival Day Parade in Brooklyn, New York.
RADIATING JOY A woman celebrates ahead of the annual West Indian-American Carnival Day Parade in Brooklyn, New York.
Image: Reuters/Gabriela Bhaskar

Six things about SA you need to know

Eight dead in Denel blast

Eight people have been confirmed dead after a massive explosion rocked the Rheinmetall Denel munitions factory in Somerset West on Monday. The City of Cape Town's fire and rescue services confirmed on Monday evening that at least eight people have now died in the blast. City of Cape Town Fire and Rescue services spokesperson Theo Lane said that they had responded to an explosion at the facility at 3.45pm. Factory staff were busy extinguishing the fire when firefighters arrived. By 6.30pm the scene was still being treated as active. The factory produces explosives and propellants for civilian and military use in ammunition.

Body found in Durban confirmed as missing child

Police have discovered a decomposing body in Phoenix‚ outside Durban – and on Monday afternoon gave case details that identified the body as that of missing 9-year-old Miguel Louw. Police sources with knowledge of the investigation said that a decomposing body was found buried in a park in Longbury Drive‚ Phoenix‚ on Monday afternoon. SAPS spokesman Captain Nqobile Gwala confirmed that police were on the scene on Monday afternoon. “The boy went missing on July 17 at Sydenham area. The scene is still on‚” she said. The body was found by Glen Naidoo‚ head of KZN VIP Protection Services. One of the child’s aunts‚ who was there with police‚ could be heard wailing uncontrollably as she witnessed the scene playing out before her. The body was linked to the Miguel case by an item of clothing – a school jacket he was reportedly wearing the last time he was seen.

Fewer adults working than not working in SA

The world’s biggest unemployment crisis is happening in South Africa‚ according to economist Mike Schussler. Delivering the UASA trade union’s 17th South African Employment Report (SAER)‚ he said the number of unemployed had increased from 6-million to 9.6-million between 2001 and 2018. This was a 60% increase in the broader rate of unemployment‚ which had had a devastating effect on inequality and poverty. “South Africa is one of the few countries in the world where there are more adults not at work than adults at work,” he said. Schussler presented the findings at the University of Johannesburg School of Hospitality and Tourism in Johannesburg on Monday. Apart from the number of unemployed‚ he noted that 6.1 million South Africans were physically looking for work‚ stating this was according to the official definition which in 2017 made South Africa the country with the highest unemployment rate in the world.

No bail for Waterloo child rape‚ murder accused

A Waterloo call centre agent accused of the rape and murder of a 7-year-old girl will remain behind bars after his bid for bail – heard before magistrate Irfaan Khalil - was denied on Monday. The man is accused of raping the girl and then stabbing her‚ allegedly at his home north of Durban‚ in July. Neither the man, who appeared in the Verulam Magistrate’s court, nor the victim can be named. His attorney told the court that the state’s case was weak – and said that his client had been at the shop and someone had broken into his home. Advocate San Bhartu‚ for the state‚ said that the man’s attempt to distance himself from the crime scene was “feeble”. In his ruling Khalil rubbished claims that the case was weak‚ saying that it was strong enough to give the man impetus to flee. He will appear in court again on November 29.

Another corporate gig for Mcebisi Jonas

Former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas is joining the board of directors at asset management company Sygnia. This follows his June appointment as an independent‚ non-executive director at the MTN Group. Sygnia said in a statement on Monday that the appointment is one of three changes to its board and‚ while subject to the necessary approvals‚ was in effect from September 1. Jonas‚ 58‚ who recently testified at the commission of inquiry into state capture‚ served as deputy finance minister between 2014 and 2017. Jonas is currently one of four independent Presidential Investment Envoys‚ appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa to promote foreign investment in South Africa.

Nearly 3‚000 unqualified teachers in Eastern Cape

Almost 3‚000 teachers in the Eastern Cape are teaching subjects for which they are not qualified. More than 260 teachers in the province are not qualified to teach at all. This is according to education MEC Mandla Makupula‚ who was responding to parliamentary questions from DA MPL Edmund van Vuuren. The province’s 51‚545 teachers include 2‚727 teachers in grades 10 to 12 who are teaching subjects they are not qualified to teach‚ while 264 are not qualified to teach at all. The three most prevalent subjects in which unqualified teachers are instructing are languages (997 teachers)‚ maths (546) and science (437). Van Vuuren described the situation as irresponsible and completely unacceptable. “The blame cannot be placed on the unqualified teachers‚ though. Many of these teachers work tirelessly and do the best that they can for learners‚ but are placed in positions by the department to teach subjects they are not qualified to teach,” he said.


Video footage of a group of armed criminals attempting to hijack a woman in her drive way has emerged on social media. The CCTV footage shows how the woman refused to open her doors and get out of her car. Instead, she rams into her assailants vehicle, forcing them to flee the scene.


The news you don't normally get to hear

From paragon to pariah: What the hell has happened to Suu Kyi?

Tracing the Myanmar leader’s headlong plummet from world's darling to condoner of genocide and a gagged press

3 min read

Give and tech: Trump has been great for Silicon Valley

Those waiting for him to take any serious action against the tech giants should not hold their breath

By James Titcomb
4 min read

The real reason millennials don’t scoff at Weight Watchers

So long, clean eating - a new generation is turning to old-school methods to lose weight. But do they work?

By Victoria Lambert
7 min read

Malaysians lashed in public for 'attempting lesbian sex'

Pair subjected to six lashings each as rights groups slam Muslim-majority country's persecution of LGBT people

By Reuters
2 min read


The Villarrica Volcano in Chile.
BEAMING BACK AT THE STARS The Villarrica Volcano in Chile.
Image: Reuters/Cristobal Saavedra Escobar


Watch out WhatsApp – check your back door

The UK and US governments have threatened to introduce new laws that would force messaging apps such as WhatsApp to give them so-called "backdoor access" to encrypted text services. So-called encryption backdoors are tools built into a system to allow law enforcement officials to “unlock” encrypted communications in apps to gain access to a suspect's messages. The “Five Eyes” nations, an intelligence alliance comprising the UK, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, issued the warning following a meeting of immigration and security ministers last week. They said "should governments continue to encounter impediments to lawful access to information necessary to aid the protection of the citizens of our countries, we may pursue technological, enforcement, legislative or other measures to achieve lawful access solutions". – © The Daily Telegraph

Crikey, mate, this roo’s far from home

A kangaroo is on the loose and has been spotted in forests and meadows in Austria, police said on Monday. The animal - not a native to the central European country - has been seen many times since late last week in Hellmonsoedt district in Upper Austria state. Police, who have identified it to be a kangaroo from photos and videos, are trying to find out who the animal belongs to. “We have called all the zoos and kangaroo breeders around us, but no one is missing a kangaroo,” a Hellmonsoedt police official, who declined to be named, said. People need permission to keep kangaroos in Austria. But kangaroos have been spotted before in the wild, according to local media reports, such as in 2015, when one escaped from an owner in neighbouring Germany. - AFP

Airtime for Hitler’s favourite hits sour note

Israel’s public broadcaster has apologised for playing the music of anti-Semitic composer Richard Wagner, calling it an “error”. Classical radio station Kol HaMusica had broadcast Wagner’s “Twilight of the Gods” (Gotterdammerung) despite the country's boycott, prompting a number of complaints from listeners. "In 1849, Richard Wagner began to formulate his revolutionary ideas about opera as a result of anarchist political activity, and gave rise to a new artistic form merging poetry and drama … we will listen to the final act of ‘Twilight of Gods’," Avishai Pelchi, the program's presenter, said by way of introduction. Wagner, whose grandiose and nationalistic 19th-century literary and musical work is infused with anti-Semitism, misogyny and proto-Nazi ideas of racial purity, was Adolf Hitler’s favourite composer. While there is no law in Israel banning his works from being played, orchestras and venues refrain from doing so. – © The Daily Telegraph

Putin is ‘very human’ – good to know

Russian Kremlin-controlled television has launched a new weekly show dedicated to President Vladimir Putin in an apparent attempt to stem a major fall in his approval ratings. The first episode, which aired Sunday on the Rossiya 1 channel, showed the long-serving leader picking mushrooms in Siberia and meeting miners and schoolchildren. The president already dominates state news bulletins but Rossiya 1’s hour-long show “Moscow. Kremlin. Putin” provides a new format to showcase his activities. This comes as Putin faces a record fall in his approval ratings as a result of a deeply unpopular pension reform that drew thousands of Russians onto the streets in protest. Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov, interviewed by pro-Kremlin presenter Vladimir Solovyev in the first episode, praised the leader: “Putin not only likes children, he likes people in general. He’s a very human person.” – AFP

Smart move: no more phones in schools

Texting under the table should be a thing of the past after French children returned to class on Monday following a nationwide ban on phones in schools. The new rule, a campaign pledge of President Emmanuel Macron, was brought in under a law passed in July which for primary and junior schools also banishes tablets and smart watches. High schools, which teach students aged 15 to 18, can introduce partial or total bans on electronic devices. Proponents say the law, which has prompted vigorous debate, will reduce distraction in the classroom, combat bullying, and encourage children to be more physically active during recess. Nearly 90% of French 12- to 17-year-olds have a cellphone, and supporters hope the ban will limit the spread of violent and pornographic content among children. – AFP

Houses of horror for Indian kids

Government authorities will take over all shelters in India’s northern state of Bihar after an audit found children were being verbally, physically and sexually abused in homes run by charities, an official said. The probe, which Bihar state commissioned earlier this year to examine how government funds were being used, found 15 charity-run homes where children were abused and deprived of food, clothing and medicine. Victims also included women rescued from bonded labour or sexual slavery, and toddlers awaiting adoption, according to the audit, which was posted to a state government website. “The protectors had turned perpetrators in these shelters,” said Raj Kumar, director of social welfare with the Bihar state government. “Over the next two to three months, we will be taking over all shelters in the state.” – Reuters



Trust me, we don’t want a peso this action

Argentina teaches us money, real money that can pay for real things, cannot be ‘created’ out of thin air

By Mark Barnes
4 min read

Sasol hit by twin whammies of shutdown and labour action

Solidarity has begun a three-week strike which coincides with a large planned maintenance shutdown

By Lisa Steyn
1 min read

How long before Bidvest flogs its prized non-core assets?

Bidvest wants to sell Adcock Ingram stake to black investors but facilitating funding has proved difficult

By Siseko Njobeni
1 min read



Just for the record: Let’s doff a stetson to the troubadours

A bi-weekly vinyl review

By Andrew Donaldson
8 min read

The newbie’s guide to nailing Open Book 2018

Eight steps to make your literary journey easier

By Mila de Villiers
3 min read

When you don’t feel like curling up with a good cook

Get yourself into a cosy spot with a takeaway, a toot, and one of August’s bestselling books

By Jennifer Platt
3 min read

Now on show in Joburg: Art that really rocks

Replicas of ancient Lascaux cave masterpieces 

By Staff reporter
2 min read



SPORTS DAY: Fresh legs for Bafana as injuries pile up

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

David Isaacson
5 min read

Hiring Baxter junior shows Dad’s having a senior moment

Safa and Bafana coach have committed a serious mistake that undermines transformation

3 min read