Thursday, September 6 2018

THE BIG STORIES

LEADING THE AGENDA

Firefighters were ‘sent into a death trap’

Ex-firefighters say their colleagues panicked as condemned Joburg building burned - and they are demanding to know why

By Graeme Hosken, Belinda Pheto, Nico Gous and Nonkululeko Njilo
6 min read

Suddenly, Jooste knows nothing

Parliamentarians struggle to buy what he calls his ‘big mistake’ as he displays little contrition

By Rob Rose and Linda Ensor
4 min read

SMART NEWS

IN ONE TAKE

Ford recalls Kuga - except it was destroyed by fire years ago

Durban man who now drives a Toyota is mightily puzzled by a recall notice to have his clutch fixed

Graeme Hosken
Journalist
5 min read

Parktown coach: choking was only a joke

Alleged sex offender's line of defence emerges as schoolboys take the stand

Ernest Mabuza
Journalist
2 min read

Cancer cases rocket – and so does the cost of treatment

The number of middle-class South Africans getting cancer is rising, according to Discovery data

Katharine Child
Journalist
4 min read

IT'S TIME TO GET DRASTIC ABOUT PLASTIC

WE DON'T WANT TO GET OUR HOPES UP TOO MUCH, BUT IT LOOKS LIKE THE TIDE MIGHT BE TURNING IN ATTITUDES TOWARDS THIS SCOURGE OF OUR OCEANS

The problem with litter isn't plastic, it's apathy

It was one thing seeing a photograph, and quite another being ankle-deep in muck on Mumbai’s Versova Beach

By Lewis Pugh
4 min read

Would you give up your phone? Let’s be practical about plastic

It isn't going away and there's no silver bullet, so we need to think differently about our big plastic problem

By Sonya Schoeman
3 min read

Treasure to trash: Capetonians dive in to clean up litter

What started as a seabed treasure hunt for social freedivers has turned into a huge coastal clean-up

Bobby Jordan
Journalist
2 min read

As parents ditch plastic toys, wood comes in to play

A rise in sales of wooden, recyclable and non-plastic toys points to a major eco-friendly mindset change

Suthentira Govender
Journalist
1 min read

IDEAS

TO FEED YOUR MIND

Exams too hard? That’s a pathetic excuse

The Limpopo fiasco shows that universities must take a stand against a creeping culture of academic disregard

Jonathan Jansen
Columnist
4 min read

Is that all the male flesh you've got? More please

The fact that #MeToo is forcing galleries to gender-balance their displays should be welcomed - for more than one reason

By Rowan Pelling
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

SNAPSHOT

Palestinian demonstrators use sling stones at Israeli troops during a protest against Israeli land seizures.
GOLIATH BECOMES DAVID Palestinian demonstrators use sling stones at Israeli troops during a protest against Israeli land seizures.
Image: Reuters/Mohamad Torokman

Six things about SA you need to know

ANC fears effect of recession on 2019 polls

The ANC said on Wednesday it was worried about going into the 2019 general elections while the SA economy was in a recession. Head of the party’s economic transformation subcommittee Enoch Godongwana said that globally‚ economic recession affected electoral support. “There’s demonstrable evidence across the world that says there is a correlation between economic growth and electoral support.” Godongwana conceded that they would be concerned if the economy did not recover from a technical recession by the time the elections were called. The ANC was reacting to news by Statistics South Africa that the country's real gross domestic product had decreased by 0.7% in the second quarter of the year. Because GDP contracted by 2.2% in the first quarter‚ two consecutive quarters of negative growth meant SA was now in a technical recession.

Nqaba Bhanga is DA’s E Cape premier candidate

Nqaba Bhanga was announced as the DA’s candidate for premier of the Eastern Cape on Wednesday, with the party saying that, should he become premier, he will focus on reviving businesses in the province. Provincial and national elections will be held next year. DA leader Mmusi Maimane said Bhanga’s nomination was an easy decision. “Nqaba‚ along with an experienced team‚ will spend the next months taking the DA’s message of a prosperous‚ inclusive South Africa built on a foundation of freedom‚ fairness‚ opportunity and diversity‚ to all four corners of this province‚” he said, adding that he had full confidence in their nominee.

Husband talks about giraffe attack on wife‚ son

A mother and her three-year-old son are in a critical but stable condition after being attacked by a giraffe on a wildlife estate in Limpopo. Dr Katy Williams‚ 35‚ and her son‚ Finn‚ were attacked by the female giraffe‚ which had recently given birth at the Blyde Wildlife Estate‚ just outside Hoedspruit. Dr Sam Williams‚ 36‚ found his wife and son being attacked by the giraffe as he returned from a trail run on the estate, just 150m from their family home, on Monday evening. Family spokesperson Marina Botha from Botha & Lovegrove Attorneys said on Wednesday the incident had occurred where Finn usually waited for his father to return from his run. Finn had surgery during early on Tuesday to release pressure on his brain. “Both mother and son are stable but in a critical condition,” said Botha. Cilliers said the giraffe had a two-month-old calf‚ which may have influenced her behaviour during the incident.

Cape Town dams two-thirds full after heavy rain

Cape Town’s recovery from drought reached another key landmark on Wednesday. After heavy overnight rain the six key dams supplying the city are more than two-thirds full - 66.7% of their total capacity - for the first time since 2015. At the same time in 2017 they were at 35.1%. This is despite August rainfall that was below the long-term average for the month throughout the city’s catchment areas. The Theewaterskloof dam‚ the city’s largest‚ was at 49% on Monday and is certain to pass the halfway mark when the next detailed measurements are made on Monday. Stringent water restrictions remain in place‚ and the Department of Water and Sanitation has said these would be reconsidered only when dam levels reach 85%. Deputy mayor Ian Neilson said: “Any relaxation of restrictions will at first be conservative. We cannot return to a business-as-usual attitude to water without risking water security in the years to come.”

Cash-van suspects nabbed with car full of cash

During a joint intelligence-led police operation, four alleged cash-in-transit robbers were arrested on the N1 just outside Sasolburg in the Free State on Tuesday. Police spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo said on Wednesday a group of armed men attacked an armoured cash-in-transit vehicle in the Ngaleni area near Port St Johns in the Eastern Cape on Monday. They used explosives to open the truck and fled with an undisclosed amount of money. Crime Intelligence tracked down the suspects between the Eastern Cape and Gauteng and an operational team intercepted them on the N1 just outside Sasolburg, said Naidoo. Four men aged between 40 and 44 were travelling in a hired car, in the door panels of which a substantial number of banknotes were found. Some of the notes were damaged‚ presumably by the explosion during the robbery.

Fassie film fracas: judgment reserved

Judgment was reserved in as a case of he-said-she-said played out in court in Johannesburg over who had the rights to produce a biopic about South African musical icon Brenda Fassie. The North Gauteng High Court heard arguments in the matter involving the late singer’s son, Bongani Fassie, and veteran music producer Sello “Chicco” Twala. Earlier this year, auditions were opened to hopefuls wanting to play the role of the “Black Madonna” in a biopic based on a story by her son, Bongani, who was also named as the executive producer. When Twala heard about the auditions he sought legal intervention to halt production. Twala’s advocate Mashudu Tshivhase told the court that Twala held the majority rights to the production of the film because he owned the intellectual property to the music. But, advocate Earl Abrahams who represented Bongani and his manager, Vaughn Eaton, argued that, as the son and sole heir of the estate, Bongani owned the rights to the production of the film.

VISUAL SIDE

A group of armed criminals hijacked a vehicle in Chartwell, Gauteng, on September 4. CCTV footage shows how the gang scared off security and pulled the driver out of the car before driving off.


THE WORLD

The news you don't normally get to hear

'He's an idiot': Trump aides describe chaos in White House

New book by Watergate reporter reveals despair and rage as staff try to keep 'unhinged' president in check

By Ben Riley-Smith
4 min read

Wowie: Has Apple chewed up its creativity?

Tech experts ponder what's happened to its creativity since it smashed the $1-trillion ceiling

4 min read

Shrike Force: how tiny killer songbirds take down big prey

Researchers detail the astonishing violence this little fellow uses on animals much larger than itself

By AFP
2 min read

Lily Allen: Baby blues drove me to female prostitute sex romp

Singer says she was far from home and at her wits’ end, so she went looking for an 'outlet'

By The Daily Telegraph
1 min read

SNAPSHOT

Inmates fill bags with sand as Tropical Storm Gordon approaches Bay St Louis, Mississippi.
GORDON UNCHAINED Inmates fill bags with sand as Tropical Storm Gordon approaches Bay St Louis, Mississippi.
Image: Reuters/Jonathan Bachman

SIX THINGS ABOUT THE WORLD YOU NEED TO KNOW

Youth recoil from Facebook as if from a serpent

A large number of Americans are stepping back from Facebook in the wake of recent scandals over the social network’s handling of private user data. A Pew Research Center report found 42% of US Facebook users said they had ‘taken a break’ from the platform in the past 12 months, and 26% said they had deleted the Facebook app from their phone. Among those in the 18-29 age group, the break with Facebook appeared more pronounced, with 44% claiming to have deleted the Facebook mobile app. More than half have changed their privacy settings. Facebook has already lost ground to Snapchat, but with some switching to Facebook-owned Instagram. Facebook remains the world’s largest social network with well over two billion users worldwide. — AFP

It’s a rubber, Johnny, but not as we know it

Cubans use them to fish, ferment wine, fix punctures or tie up hair; latex condoms have become the ultimate multipurpose tool on the Communist-run island where shortages of basic goods have forced locals to become masters of invention. Condoms are in relatively bountiful supply and cheap. Strong and stretchy, they lend themselves to various industrial as well as recreational applications. At concerts and children’s birthday parties, condoms blown up to large balloons with a whitish hue drift through the air. Along the coast, floats made from several inflated rubbers tied together bob on the sea, carrying baited hooks of fishing lines. Perhaps the most idiosyncratic use is to cover bottles of grape juice with condoms. The rubber inflates and become erect as the fermentation releases gases; when it collapses, the process is complete. — Reuters

Oh no! for Omo, thanks to grubby millennials

Marketers at consumer goods giant Unilever are calling it the ‘chairdrobe’ — the heap of worn clothes that is a familiar sight in the bedrooms of some 60% of millennials — 22- to 37-year-olds earning more than a quarter of the world’s income — who approach laundry differently from other age groups. That’s a pain point for Unilever, maker of the world’s second-biggest detergent, Omo. Millennials have new demands, including that products save time and be environmentally sustainable. Many want to spend as little time as possible on laundry. Plus, washing too often wears your clothes out faster, they say. Now Unilever is having a go with Day 2, an aerosol spray that it says refreshes, reshapes and de-wrinkles clothes on the chairdrobe. — Reuters

‘Mystery meat’ no longer just in boarding schools

More than a fifth of meat tested in Britain last year contained DNA from animals not listed on the label. The British Food Standards Agency (FSA) found 145 items out of 665 that it sampled in 2017 consisted partly or wholly of unspecified meat. Around half of the contaminated samples came from retailers, 50 from restaurants and 22 from food manufacturers. Some specimens showed DNA from as many as four different animals, while others contained no trace of the actual meat listed on the product label. Supposed lamb items were most likely to contain traces of other animals’ DNA. Cow, pig, chicken, sheep and turkey featured frequently when not specified on packaging. Mince meat was the product incorrectly labelled most often, followed by sausages, kebabs and restaurant curries. — AFP

Contactless cards make cents in London

For centuries, London has sustained a street-level economy where performers and vendors make a living from the spare change of strangers — but they are being forced to adapt as cash falls out of fashion. Many now use a contactless card reader. Between 5% and 10% of their income now comes not from coins tossed into a guitar case, but from people tapping bank cards on readers — set up through a phone to debit about £2 at a time. A number of lunch spots in the City of London now warn customers that they are entirely cash-free. Others assume that card payment is the default at the check-out. Churches have also been recently deploying contactless card readers to mop up one-off donations from their flock. — AFP

Something keeps going wrong, Toyota

Japanese car giant Toyota on Wednesday recalled more than one million hybrid cars globally due to a technical problem which could in the worst case cause a fire in the vehicles. About 1.03 million vehicles built between June 2015 and May 2018 will be recalled for safety checks. The affected models include Prius, Prius PHV and C-HR. ‘The electrical wiring could short circuit and generate heat as it wears down due to vibrations during driving,’ the company said. ‘In the worst case, this could lead to a fire in the vehicle.’ Toyota has sold more than 10 million hybrid gasoline-electric vehicles globally, including the Prius, since 1997. — AFP

THE BUSINESS

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

If MTN’s being treated like an ATM, should it close the bank?

Nigerian politicians levied fines based on delusional nonsense news about how profitable the operations are

By Tim Cohen
5 min read

Is there any way back for Tiger Brands after listeriosis?

Immediate task is to rebuild trust in the market, while figuring out how it will claw back lost market share

By Siseko Njobeni
1 min read

Price discovery not exactly clear in Discovery’s case

Analysts can’t agree on how sustainable the company’s earnings are, or what its share price target should be 

By Giulietta Talevi
1 min read

LIFESTYLE

CULTURE COMES ALIVE

FEAR AND CLOTHING: Next lady for a shave? Count me in

A weekly column on the vagaries and charms of fashion

Aspasia Karras
Columnist
1 min read

Fair may be fair, but this year JoburgArtFair is really special

More galleries from the continent exhibiting among their South African counterparts than ever before

By Graham Wood
2 min read

Zebra’s killing leopard this season - the dazzling proof

Thanks to the dodgy 1980s many associate zebra print with lycra and perms, but its roots are far chicer

By Charlie Gowans-Eglinton
2 min read

Come on you old bag, there’s a murse I’d like you to meet

Man bag, man shopper, male tote, murse ... hip men give up their pockets in favour of the statement bag 

By Keneilwe Pule
1 min read

SPORT

FINISH LINE ESSENTIALS

SPORTS DAY: Germany just a little nervous about France

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

4 min read

Forget this 22-man nonsense, give coaches the extra player

Get a grip, Currie Cup. The universal trend in pro rugby is to have 23 players available on match day

Liam Del Carme
Journalist
2 min read

Blasts from the past: Spence third as 45sec 400m cracked

Today in SA sports history: September 6

David Isaacson
Journalist
1 min read