Tuesday, September 11 2018



Gems splashes on office space for rats and roaches to enjoy

It doesn’t seem as if the govt agency plans on moving into the office it pays R60,000 rent for every month any time soon

Zingisa Mvumvu
2 min read

Killer drought that ravaged SA’s bush the worst in decades

Disturbing new data shows it killed off a quarter of the Kruger Park's buffalo and nearly half of its hippos

Tony Carnie
4 min read

Mother furious after teen 'rape' gang gets free bail

The alleged perpetrators' parents are now scrambling to find new schools for their children

Prega Govender
3 min read



In case you missed it: How Serena split the tennis world

Williams’s emotional meltdown – in which she called umpire Carlos Ramos both ‘liar’ and ‘thief‘ – has split opinions

By Simon Briggs
4 min read

Enough! Shut the hell up and play and officiate properly

Blame tennis itself for devising stupid rules and appointing self-important little men to enforce them

Telford Vice
6 min read

‘Shy and humble’ Osaka deserves her moment in the spotlight

Williams row took gloss off a prodigy realising a dream against her idol

By Simon Briggs
4 min read



Analysis: Transnet 'racism' case could set precedent

The outcome of the legal challenge to Pravin Gordhan's firing of the board has implications far beyond this case

Karyn Maughan
3 min read

Five years after reed dance crash, lack of answers haunts parents

'You know that when there is politics involved it’s always a problem,' says dad of one of 11 killed

3 min read

Realty bites: property group must cough up agents’ fees

Court deals blow to firm that ferreted away millions in commissions meant for two estate agents

2 min read



From Nike to the EFF, brand power gaslights us all

Branding has sold us the lie that corporations are revolutionary movements and politicians are intellectuals

Tom Eaton
4 min read

Pope on the ropes: can his accusers force him to resign?

Despite the conservative clamour for Francis to quit, there are myriad ramifications, inside and outside the church

By Philip Pullella
5 min read

Conquering the hellish river that refused to be colonised

In 1968, a British team embarked on what would become one of the greatest expeditions of the 20th century

By Joe Shute
5 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 Russian policeman escorts a youth during a protest rally against planned increases to the nationwide pension age in Saint Petersburg.
BRING MY PENSION ALREADY! A Russian policeman escorts a youth during a protest rally against planned increases to the nationwide pension age in Saint Petersburg.
Image: Olga Maltseva/ AFP

Six things about SA you need to know

Duduzane u-turns,wants to testify at Zondo probe

Former president Jacob Zuma's son‚ Duduzane Zuma‚ has had a change of heart and will now testify at the state capture inquiry. Advocate Paul Pretorius said Zuma's lawyers had written to the commission's legal team informing them that he would come to testify in relation to evidence given by former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas. Jonas had alleged that Duduzane was at a meeting where the Guptas had offered him the job of finance minister and a R600-million bribe. At first Duduzane informed the commission he would not testify because he was facing charges in the Specialised Commercial Crime Court on the same matter. Commission head Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo is still to decide on applications to cross-examine witnesses by those implicated in their testimony. Zondo will likely announce his decision on Thursday. Duduzane had applied to have Jonas cross-examined.

Power to the digital revolution‚ Ramaphosa says

The rapid expansion of broadband reach and accessibility is a priority in SA because it is a key determinant of economic inclusion‚ President Cyril Ramaphosa told the International Telecommunication Union Telecom conference in Durban on Monday. Addressing more than 2‚000 tech experts from more than 91 countries‚ Ramaphosa said that currently 20 million South Africans do not use the internet because of unaffordable data prices‚ lack of internet-enabled devices and lack of access. "Yet‚ about 87% of households in South Africa have access to mobile phones‚ presenting us with a great opportunity to overcome digital exclusion and to drive inclusive growth and innovation‚" he said. Ramaphosa told the gathering that developing technology should not only be for the elite.

Woman knifed during Currie Cup rugby clash

A Durban woman was left fighting for her life after a knife attack at the Kings Park rugby stadium during the Currie Cup clash between the Sharks and the Pumas on Friday night. It is understood that the woman had gone to the bathroom during the halftime break and emerged to find a man waiting for her at the exit. He threatened the woman with a knife and demanded she hand over a cellphone. As the woman fumbled in her handbag‚ the knifeman tried to wrench it from her grip and when she resisted‚ he stabbed her repeatedly in the torso. Her desperate screams drew the attention of other spectators and stadium security. She was rushed to hospital, but it is unclear what became of her attacker. The woman has since been discharged from hospital.

Foreigners targeted in taxi drivers’ rampage

A number of houses were damaged and cars burnt on Monday following the arrest of nine taxi drivers after a Zimbabwean was attacked and killed at his tuckshop in Klerksdorp. The situation has been brewing in North West since Sunday morning‚ when patrolling police found a man with stab wounds. “It came out later that the body with two stab wounds was of a local taxi driver‚” said Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone. He said a group of taxi drivers gathered with the intention of avenging the death of their colleague‚ claiming he had been killed by foreigners. Mokgwabone said that before the killing a group of people were seen setting hawkers’ stalls alight at the taxi rank. Nine people were arrested on Sunday afternoon in connection with the murder and for public violence.

Munitions factory to resume testing after blast

People living near a munitions factory in Somerset West near Cape Town - where an explosion killed eight workers - were advised that ammunition testing would resume on Monday. Rheinmetall Denel Munition is still investigating the cause of the blast on September 3. CEO Norbert Schulze said it was important to inform residents that ammunition testing would resume. The factory‚ which consists of about 400 buildings‚ manufactures artillery ammunition. Schulze said the company understood that residents were still traumatised after the incident and wanted to make every effort to be sensitive to heightened fears.

Rights commission to hold inquiry into ‘fake’ food

The SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) will hold a two-day inquiry into the alleged sale of “fake” or expired food at foreign-owned shops. The probe follows a backlash in the form of looting and unrest at spaza shops owned by foreigners in and around Soweto. “Following careful assessment of the reports and site visit to Soweto‚ the commission has determined that it will hold an inquiry as part of its investigation into the possible human rights violations that arise as a result of the alleged manufacture and sale of fake and/or expired goods‚” the commission said on Monday. The inquiry will be held on Wednesday and Thursday. It comes despite the health department saying it had not found any “fake” food after a series of inspections of more than 400 small shops countrywide. The commission urged members of surrounding communities and shop owners to make written submissions to it.


Drone footage captured the bottom of the Sani Pass in KwaZulu-Natal covered in snow over the weekend.


The news you don't normally get to hear

What Oslo Accords? Many Israelis are happy to see them dead

The bid for peace in the Middle East has faded 25 years after the historic agreement

By afp.com
4 min read

Digging up 9/11 victims’ DNA ‘is a cure worse than disease’

DNA extraction method to identify remaining bodies from the terrorist attack could reopen families' old wounds

By Reuters
4 min read

In your face! Facebook posts fuel divorce asset fights

Ex-partners undone by other halves scouring social media for clues that they're lying about their wealth

By Jamie Phillips
2 min read

'Cryogenics firm only froze my dad's head'

Son livid at the company’s apparent defiance of his father’s orders

By Lucy Burton
2 min read


Miss New York Nia Imani Franklin points out her mom after she won Miss America 2019.
THIS ONE'S FOR YOU, MOM Miss New York Nia Imani Franklin points out her mom after she won Miss America 2019.
Image: Reuters/Carlo Allegri


Man bites off more than she can choose

Saudi Arabian authorities have detained an Egyptian hotel worker who appeared in a video eating breakfast with a female Saudi colleague, said the labour ministry. The world’s top oil exporter is pushing a host of economic and social reforms, including ending a ban on women driving and opening up new sectors for women, but some conservative traditions have not been as quick to change in the deeply religious Muslim kingdom. In footage shared on social media, the pair eat breakfast at a desk and wave at the camera. At one point the woman, wearing a traditional black robe covering all but her hands and eyes, feeds the man a piece of food. The labour ministry said an inspection team had visited the unidentified hotel in Mecca and detained the Egyptian for violations including working in a profession restricted to Saudis. The hotel owner was also summoned “for failing to adhere to spatial controls for employing women“. - Reuters

Old harbinger is a reason to weep

Once an ominous harbinger of hard times and even famine due to critically low water levels, a huge “hunger stone” embedded deep in the Elbe River has reappeared in the Czech Republic after Europe’s long, dry summer. The boulder in the town of Decin, north of the capital, Prague, is roughly the size of a van and bears the foreboding inscription: “If you can see me, then weep“. Boatman and riverside innkeeper Franz Mayer etched the words in German during a period of low water in 1904 in the days when the country was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. “Over the centuries, many people earned their living on the Elbe as rafters, and when there wasn’t enough water to float their rafts, they lost their livelihoods,” Vlastimil Pazourek, head of the museum in Decin, said. “The rafters engraved the dates of those bad years on the soft sandstone boulders typical for this region, hence the name ‘hunger stone’,” Pazourek said. - AFP

No licence, no worship, Chinese church told

Beijing officials have shut down one of China’s largest “underground” Protestant churches for operating without a licence, the Communist government’s latest move to ramp up control over religious worship. About 70 officials stormed into the Zion Church, on the third floor of an office building in the north of the capital, after its Sunday-afternoon service, said pastor Jin Mingri. “They chased everyone out and sealed off the place, even tearing down our signage on the wall,” he said. “All our things have been confiscated and we have not been allowed to re-enter the building.” The local civil affairs bureau said the church and its affiliates have been banned. “After investigation, (we found) the ‘Zion Church in Beijing’ was not registered and carried out activities in the name of social organisations without authorisation,” the Chaoyang district civil affairs bureau said. - AFP

‘Twitter killer’ can stand trial

Japan’s “Twitter killer“, suspected of murdering and chopping up people he lured on social media, and storing their body parts in coolboxes, was charged on Monday with nine counts of murder. Takahiro Shiraishi, 27, has admitted to killing and butchering all nine of his victims, all but one of whom were women aged between 15 and 26. On the morning of Halloween 2017, police uncovered a grisly house of horrors behind Shiraishi’s front door: nine dismembered bodies with as many as 240 bone parts stashed in coolers and toolboxes, sprinkled with cat litter in a bid to hide the evidence. He is suspected of luring people with suicidal tendencies via Twitter by telling them he could help them in their plans or even die alongside them. Five months of psychiatric examination showed Shiraishi could be held criminally responsible, according to local news agency Jiji Press. - AFP

Oh great, now robots might be racists

Artificially intelligent machines could easily show prejudice towards others since it does not require a high level of cognitive ability, new research suggests. Computer science and psychology experts from Cardiff University and MIT have shown that groups of autonomous machines could demonstrate prejudice by simply identifying, copying and learning this behaviour from one another, reports Science Daily. While some types of computer algorithms have already exhibited racism and sexism, based on public records and other human-generated data, but the new study shows the unnerving possibility of AI developing prejudicial groups on its own, the researchers said. This is despite the idea that prejudice is a human-specific phenomenon that requires human cognition to form an opinion of, or to stereotype, a certain person or group. For the study, scientists used computer simulations of how similarly prejudiced individuals, or virtual agents, can form a group and interact with each other. Their findings were published in the journal ‘Scientific Reports’. - Staff reporter

Monkey madness with a ciggie and a fuel pump

A man high on a drug known as monkey dust has been arrested after using a petrol pump to put out a lit cigarette, police said. The 46-year-old was held at a petrol station in Burslem, Staffordshire, just before 8am on Sunday. A Staffordshire -police spokesperson said: “Officers have arrested a male high on monkey dust after he tried to put a lit cigarette out with a petrol pump. Brave and swift action from staff prevented a potential disaster." Earlier this month, the force warned it was dealing with a monkey dust epidemic with 950 incidents involving the substance in the past three months, equivalent to more than 10 each day. Police say use of the Class B drug can put people in a violent, paranoid state with perceived "superhuman strength". – © The Daily Telegraph



The perils of driving a country through the rear-view mirror

Easy and popular never cured anything. We’re going to need more radical remedies to avoid scorched earth

By Mark Barnes
4 min read

When caution starts to sound suspiciously like being snoep

Why is African Rainbow Minerals being so coy about committing to a dividend policy?

By Allan Seccombe
1 min read

You’ll get your cream, we’re just working out what flavour

Northam shareholders will get their reward for a great year of growth, but it may not be as a dividend

1 min read



A puff of smoke and it’s Raymond Chandler redux

Our choice of the past fortnight’s books that matter

By Andrew Donaldson
9 min read

Exclusive: The first chapter of Mike Nicol’s ‘Sleeper’

A foretaste of beloved SA crime writer’s latest thriller

By Mike Nicol
6 min read

Staring (and sometimes spitting) patriarchy in the eye

Why Pulane Tshabalala Kingston has made a conscious decision to mainly collect the works of female artists

By Jacquie Myburgh Chemaly
5 min read

Going to the Liu: Cashing in on the fine art of disappearing

Big French brands are recognising the commercial appeal of Beijing’s most ... indistinctive artist

By Caroline Roux
5 min read



SPORTS DAY: Kolbe likely in as Mapimpi goes home

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

David Isaacson
5 min read

Blasts from the past: Squeaky win over Wales

Today in SA sports history: September 11

David Isaacson
1 min read