Monday, September 10 2018



Wake up, looters: you’re a heartbeat from being a Somali

Those who attack foreigners should realise how close we are to going down the path of Venezuela, Somalia and Zim

3 min read

Farmers: We have a better plan for land reform

AgriSA says it is strongly against amending the Constitution to allow expropriation

Amil Umraw
2 min read

They were shown the door, so they settled on the doorstep

The squatters’ new home in a middle-class Joburg suburb is, however, turning into an eyesore and a traffic hazard

Belinda Pheto
3 min read

Goatcha! Grand plan for rural farmers works a treat

NGO aims to help goat herders double their production in a year and lift entire communities out of poverty 

4 min read



Analysis: A capture probe without the 'capturers'?

Zuma has already said he won't cross-examine witnesses, and there's a chance the Guptas won't appear either

Karyn Maughan
3 min read

Reed dancers: Virginity testing is our culture

Though Ukuhlolwa Kwezintombi has been widely criticised, participants in the reed dance stand by the ancient practice

By Lwandile Bhengu
3 min read

World Suicide Prevention Day: A tale of hope from the heart

Mother-of-two lays bare the pain she and her family have endured since her husband ended his life more than a year ago

8 min read

He paraglided into power lines and it changed his life forever

Wits student faces years of skin grafts, reconstructive surgeries, rehabilitation and psychological therapy

Alex Patrick
2 min read

State needs to draw a lion in the sand about poaching

Export of lion bones, captive breeding and poaching are killing SA’s tourism and environmental reputation

Claire Keeton
3 min read

Idle rich: wealthiest nations top the worldwide lazy list

More than a quarter of the globe doesn't exercise enough, and high-income countries are the least active

2 min read



Sometimes, the store is right to be a dick about refunds

And other times, they’re just as clueless as you are, so this is what you need to know about your rights as a consumer

Wendy Knowler
Consumer journalist
5 min read

Building robots is the future, but SA kids can’t even spell ‘future’

All those other countries can start looking to 21st-century skills, but we’re still stuck with basic ABCs

By Nic Spaull
6 min read

If there's a fire at your work, these are your legal rights

A lawyer tells us what workers are entitled to if their employer hasn't complied with safety standards

By Bradley Workman-Davies
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


This floral exhibit by the Midlands Rose Society that won a Gold award at the annual Witness Garden Show in Pietermaritzburg this weekend.
Our garden is growing just fine, thank you This floral exhibit by the Midlands Rose Society that won a Gold award at the annual Witness Garden Show in Pietermaritzburg this weekend.
Image: Jackie Clausen

Six things about SA you need to know

DA wants Ramaphosa at Zondo inquiry

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has launched a petition calling for ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa to testify before the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into state capture. The petition calls on Ramaphosa to explain why the governing party allowed state capture to flourish under its nose for so long. The DA said it encouraged all South Africans to sign the petition to ensure all those who contributed or stood idly by while South Africans were robbed‚ are held accountable. “Testimonies presented before the Zondo Commission have made it abundantly clear that it was not just Jacob Zuma‚ his family and the now-infamous Gupta family‚ at the centre of the state capture robbery project. “It was the entire African National Congress‚ including President Cyril Ramaphosa‚ who knew this theft was happening and did nothing to stop it‚” said John Steenhuisen‚ chief whip of the DA.

Prasa slammed over enforcement unit funding

Cape Town transport MMC Brett Herron has expressed exasperation with the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) over its failure to play its part in co-funding a special rail enforcement unit that the city is currently training. Herron spoke on Sunday following an attack on commuters on a train between Lynedoch and Eerste River on Friday, which left one man dead. Herron said that in May this year Prasa signed a memorandum of agreement and committed to co-fund the special rail enforcement unit together with the city and the Western Cape provincial government. The cost to establish and operate the unit for a year was about R47.9m‚ which had to be shared equally among the three parties. “Despite Prasa’s obligation‚ as confirmed by the Constitutional Court‚ to ensure a safe public transport service and all of our efforts to assist them to honour this obligation‚ we are still awaiting Prasa’s contribution of R16m.”

Restaurant shut in wake of racism scandal

The Smokehouse and Grill restaurant in Braamfontein has been forced to close as a result of the reaction to the racism scandal involving businessman Adam Catzavelos‚ who previously held a minority stake in the restaurant. The restaurant said on Sunday this was despite the fact that Catzavelos had no operational involvement in the restaurant. Catzavelos catapulted to notoriety last month after a video of him using the k-word to celebrate the fact that there were no black people around him on a beach holiday went viral. The Smokehouse and Grill said the actions of the EFF‚ who invaded the restaurant on Thursday‚ had further compounded bad trading conditions‚ forcing it to close ‚ resulting in the loss of 29 jobs. It said the EFF had threatened The Smokehouse and Grill staff members‚ “even surrounding one manager holding steak knives they had picked up from the restaurant tables”.

Politicians won’t be spared over dodgy contract

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) is not ruling out the involvement of politicians in alleged irregularities and corruption in the awarding of a R500m IT contract in the department of water and sanitation. The SIU head, advocate Andy Mothibi, told the Sunday Times this week his unit would not allow junior officials to take the fall and that politicians would not be spared as the unit investigates the tender awarded to IT giant SAP. The SIU is investigating claims that kickbacks amounting to R35m were paid to officials in the department during Nomvula Mokonyane’s tenure as minister of water and sanitation. “If our investigations lead us to a political player, we will investigate that,” said Mothibi. Investigators found prima facie evidence of corruption in relation to the SAP tender, and Mothibi wrote to President Cyril Ramaphosa, asking the head of state to sign a proclamation for the unit to investigate the contract. “Our hand will be even,” said Mothibi, adding that it doesn’t matter if companies and politicians implicated in corruption are “big or small”, they will be pursued by the unit.

Five babies die from klebsiella in hospital

Five babies have now died from antibiotic-resistant klebsiella at Thelle Mogoerane Hospital in Vosloorus as the hospital shuts down wards and struggles to find the source of the bacteria. DA Gauteng shadow health MEC Jack Bloom said he discovered this when he visited the hospital last week to check up on sources who had told him more babies had died after it was revealed two weeks ago that two out of seven babies infected with klebsiella had died. “I was informed that klebsiella infection has been confirmed in 11 babies‚ five of whom have died. “The first baby died on July 9‚ another in early August‚ two babies died on August 25 and another baby on August 28. They were all vulnerable low-weight premature infants‚” Bloom said on Sunday. Bloom said the remaining infected babies had been isolated to prevent further infection‚ and the neonatal and labour wards had been thoroughly scrubbed down.

Roads in E Cape closed due to snow

The Lootsberg Pass on the N9 between Middelburg and Graaff-Reinet, and the Wapadsberg Pass on the R61 between Cradock and Graaff-Reinet in the Eastern Cape have been closed to traffic owing to snow and slippery conditions. This was announced by the Department of Transport on Saturday. All relevant Emergency Services personnel were on high alert and would continuously monitor the road‚ the department said. The department appealed to motorists to co-operate with traffic officers and not to attempt to go through closed sections of the road and puddles‚ saying this increased the risk of accidents and injury.



The news you don't normally get to hear

‘She’s a hammer’: Melania Trump is one tough first lady

White House insiders paint picture of a tough player with an ear for those who 'suck up', a new book reveals

By Nick Allen
3 min read

Tipping pointe: MeToo tornado hits New York ballet

Lawsuit claims male dancers sent nude photos and mistreated ballerinas - but 'the surface has barely been scratched'

By Rob Crilly
2 min read

Om my goodness: Buddhism faces its own abuse scandal

Damning report details physical, emotional and sexual abuse by a Tibetan spiritual leader, and a series of cover-ups

By Joe Shute
4 min read

Rock 'n rove: UK scientists on daring Mars mission

British team is after Martian soil, but bringing alien samples back to Earth is fraught with risks 

By Sarah Knapton
3 min read


A man walks past stalls closed during a national strike in Nicaragua.
SPIDERMAN, D’YOU THINK HE SAW US? A man walks past stalls closed during a national strike in Nicaragua.
Image: Reuters/Oswaldo Rivas


It is getting much easier to be green in UK

‘Clean’ cars in the UK will be fixed with green number plates in an effort to encourage drivers to buy low-emission vehicles. Plans under consideration by the government would see cars, vans and taxis which conform to high environmental standards given special registration plates that may entitle drivers to use bus lanes. Similar initiatives are already in place in Norway, Canada and China. Ministers said the new green number plates would be a ‘badge of honour’ for drivers. – The Daily Telegraph

Oil be seeing you in court

Two Bulgarian Roma women were arrested in Greece on Sunday on suspicion of smearing oil on exhibits at some of Athens' top museums for the past two months. The two suspects were arrested at the National Historical Museum, which houses relics from the 19th-century Greek war of independence. The two women allegedly told police that they were daubing the works with oil and myrrh ‘because the Holy Scripture says it is miraculous’. –AFP

Ship off into battle against plastic

A supply ship towing a long floating boom designed to corral ocean plastic has set sail from San Francisco for a test run ahead of a trip to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The ambitious project by The Ocean Cleanup, a Dutch non-profit group, hopes to clean up half of the infamous rubbish patch within five years when all systems are deployed. The supply vessel was towing a 600 metre-long boom device dubbed System 001, designed to contain floating ocean plastic so it can be scooped up and recycled. – AFP

Elton John gets huge early Christmas present

Elton John has been paid £5m – half the advert's reported budget of £10m – to star in this year's Christmas commercial for the UK’s John Lewis store chain. The Mail on Sunday says his 1970 hit ‘Your Song’ will be used, and that the singer himself will appear onscreen playing the piano. A source said: ‘John Lewis wanted to win the battle of the Christmas adverts this year and it has cost them a significant sum to do it, but they think having Elton on board will guarantee its popularity and blow Marks & Spencer out of the water.’ – The Daily Telegraph

Outspoken Ugandan cop gunned down

An outspoken and critical Ugandan policeman has been assassinated, the latest in a series of murders of senior officers and politicians. Muhammad Kirumira was gunned down at the gate of his home along with a female companion in Kampala on Saturday night. Kirumira had repeatedly told the media and other police officers that he was a target of assassination. He was suspended from his role as district commander in January after accusing his colleagues in a Facebook post of corruption and working with criminal gangs. – AFP

Politics getting shirty in Sweden

The leader of Sweden's Liberal party put a blue shirt he wore throughout the campaign up for auction on election day on Sunday, vowing to donate the money to an anti-racist magazine as the far right was tipped to win record votes. ‘I have defended my view of a liberal society with rolled up shirtsleeves. My shirt has been with me in this fight,’ Jan Bjorklund wrote in an advert on an auction site. ‘Number of debates: 12, Size: L (why would I choose S or M?), Colour: blue (the colour of freedom), Price: the highest bidder (I'm in favour of free trade).’ -AFP



Tesla profits up in smoke as Musk puffs weed

Company in turmoil after billionaire Tesla chief smokes marijuana on web show and top executives resign

By Rozina Sabur and James Titcomb
2 min read

Boom to bust and back: how Iceland survived

It's come a long way since teetering on the verge of bankruptcy amid the global credit crisis 10 years ago

3 min read



‘Nasty Women Talk Back’, and boy do they give you a flea in your ear

An extract from the book of feminist essays

By Joy Watson
15 min read

Shattering news: That tingling in your brain is a microwave

Tintin’s experiences have the ring of truth to them

By Tymon Smith
2 min read

Mob injustice: Let's shut up those telling us to shut up

When will we finally have the courage to rise up and put the new totalitarians back in their box?

By Allister Heath
5 min read

This Galaxy is one giant star

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9 could steal your heart

By Sylvia McKeown
3 min read



SPORTS DAY: Elton gives Rassie a happy poser

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

Mninawa Ntloko
Sports editor
7 min read

Boks have mountain to climb after woeful Brisbane slump

They failed to keep momentum against the Wallabies, and those 'schoolboy errors' are going to cost them even more ...

By Mahlatse Mphahlele in Brisbane
3 min read

Blasts from the past: War clouds rain on Boks’ parade

Today in SA sports history: September 10

David Isaacson
1 min read