Wednesday, September 12 2018

THE BIG STORIES

LEADING THE AGENDA

No-homework school probed after complaints pour in

Principal's failure to declare earnings and nepotism are part of education dept investigation in wake of netball row

Dave Chambers
Cape Town bureau chief
8 min read

So this was the ANC's Ace candidate? It beggars belief

Did it really believe a facilitator of the Gupta looting spree would suddenly change sides in the glow of the New Dawn?

Ranjeni Munusamy
Associate editor: analysis
5 min read

Spare a thought for poor old beach-slapped Zuma

Before you accuse No 1 of plotting a comeback, consider more pathetic reasons he was meeting with die-hard allies

Tom Eaton
Columnist
2 min read

SMART NEWS

IN ONE TAKE

Crime stats: What cops really should be doing

Focus should be on gathering intelligence on street robberies, which most often lead to violent crime

Graeme Hosken
Journalist
4 min read

One gogo's pain: The brutal truth behind the stats

His grandmother was only able to identify him by his nose and mouth because they looked like his mother’s

By Jeff Wicks and Lwandile Bhengu
2 min read

Top cop loses bid to halt trial over Hawks boss ‘bribe’

Court removes legal barrier to prosecute KZN colonel for allegedly trying to bribe Hawks boss Johan Booysen

Karyn Maughan
Journalist
3 min read

Wanna be an ‘astronaut’? Here's your chance to join the Homo naledi hunt

Only a small pool of people worldwide are qualified for this mission

Leonie Wagner
Journalist
3 min read

I never tried to kill the boys, says Parktown Boys sex accused

Collan Rex claims choking and strangling was all part of 'bonding exercise'

Ernest Mabuza
Journalist
3 min read

Why our birds are dropping dead ... and why it could be us next

Expert points to a toxin produced by mould or fungus - and it bodes ill for humans

Alex Patrick
Journalist
4 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

Six things about SA you need to know

Magashule: I met Zuma, but no Cyril plot

ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule admitted on Tuesday to meeting former president Jacob Zuma at a Durban hotel last week but denied the meeting was to discuss how to remove President Cyril Ramaphosa. In an interview with eNCA Magashule also admitted to meeting former North West premier Supra Mahumapelo and former SAA chairperson Dudu Myeni at the Beverly Hills hotel in Umhlanga Rocks a day before the meeting with Zuma. Magashule said he had met the former president to discuss "organisational issues" and that Mahumapelo had a separate meeting with Zuma. The Sunday Times revealed that Magashule and other top leaders met at the Maharani hotel on Thursday last week, allegedly to discuss a fightback strategy that involves court action to challenge the outcome of last year's ANC national conference‚ which elected Ramaphosa as party president.

Sars might not be able to collect 40% of tax

It emerged at the Tax Indaba on Monday that the SA Revenue Service (Sars) might not be able to collect about 40% of outstanding money from taxpayers, which has risen from about R85bn in 2015 to R143bn. It is "questionable" whether Sars would be able to collect this portion of the debt, which relates largely to disputes or debt that has been outstanding for more than four years, Fabian Murray, acting chief officer for business and individual tax at Sars, said at the indaba. Instead, Sars would focus on achieving the other 60%. This followed a speech by Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene, who warned that the government was likely to miss its tax-collection targets in the context of a recession. While shortfalls have been attributed to the slowing economy, Nene said, "we cannot ignore the potential impact of a reduction in the effectiveness of tax administration. Tax avoidance and tax evasion will be on the rise in any economy that is growing more slowly and where taxes have been increased".

Diplomat gets custody of child she helped raise

A Polokwane woman walked out of court in tears on Tuesday when a judge ordered her to return her son to the woman who helped to raise him. The urgent application was brought by a well-known SA diplomat‚ who is not the child’s biological mother. Judge Pierre Rabie had to temporarily postpone reading his judgment when the biological mother of the eight-year-old burst into tears and walked out of the courtroom. On Tuesday she brought an urgent court application at the Palace of Justice in Pretoria‚ seeking the return of the child to her care. The child was believed to have been born from a relationship the diplomat’s partner had while he was married to her. The child had been living with his biological mother‚ an artist‚ in Polokwane. The judge ordered the child be given into the care of the diplomat. To protect the child’s identity none of the parties can be named.

KZN swoops on ‘expired-food’ sellers

Authorities in KwaZulu-Natal have begun a crackdown on the sale of expired food following a wave of xenophobic violence in Gauteng over rumours that foreigners were selling fake and expired goods. The department of economic development‚ tourism and environmental affairs said on Tuesday that expired food was confiscated during police raids in Mandeni in northern KZN. MEC Sihle Zikalala described the raids as a resounding success and urged consumers to report and lodge complaints about unsafe goods with relevant authorities. "Consumers have a responsibility to ensure that the goods they buy are safe. They must check expiry dates‚" he said. It comes before a two-day inquiry, starting on Wednesday, by the SA Human Rights Commission over the alleged sale of “fake” or expired food at foreign-owned shops.

Probe ongoing into varsity student exam walkout

University of Limpopo vice-chancellor Mpho Mokgolang said on Tuesday an internal investigation into a dramatic incident in which hundreds of students stormed out of an exam centre was still under way. The students were meant to write a philosophy exam but stormed out at the end of August‚ initially saying it was too difficult but later explaining that it was the wrong exam paper. The university later confirmed that it was the correct exam but there may have been an incorrect course number on the cover. Mokgolang said he would not comment until the investigation was complete. Videos of the incident‚ in which students shouted and threw papers into the air‚ were shared widely on social media. Mokgolang could not confirm whether the students would face suspension.

Most murdered cops killed while off duty

Most of the police officers who were killed in the last financial year did not die in the line of duty‚ the latest crime statistics revealed on Tuesday. A total of 85 officers were murdered, but only 28 had been on duty at the time of their killing. Just like in the 2016/17 financial year‚ cop killings amounted to 0.4% of the total number of killings the country recorded‚ according to the latest statistics.
Artisans carry an idol of Hindu god Ganesh, the deity of prosperity, to load it onto a truck heading to a place of worship in India.
TAKE THE ROAD TO PROSPERITY Artisans carry an idol of Hindu god Ganesh, the deity of prosperity, to load it onto a truck heading to a place of worship in India.
Image: Reuters/Amit Dave

VISUAL SIDE

CCTV footage of a Fidelity cash-in-transit vehicle attacked at a Shell Garage at the corner of Gordon and Ontdekkers roads, Johannesburg, has emerged on social media. The incident took place on Friday, September 7.


THE WORLD

The news you don't normally get to hear

How popular is Trump? The truth will surprise you

A look at the stats reveals what Americans really think of him ahead of the mid-term elections

By Ashley Kirk and Patrick Scott
2 min read

No joke, says JK: Global fury at 'racist, sexist' Serena cartoon

Aussie under fire for portraying her as butch and fat-lipped, while Osaka is somehow ... blonde with straight hair

By AFP
2 min read

God help them: China cracks down on religion online

Draft law is part of a renewed oppression of, especially, Christians and Muslims

By AFP
2 min read

Yes, m'lud, my eyes were open, but I was fast asleep when I groped her

UK millionaire blames booze for not remembering stroke-and-squeeze incident, or desperately fleeing the station

By Victoria Ward
3 min read

SNAPSHOT

SIX THINGS ABOUT THE WORLD YOU NEED TO KNOW

It’s a date: Putin, Xi don aprons to flip pancakes

Vladimir Putin and China President Xi Jinping on Tuesday took a break from international diplomacy to toss pancakes in Russia. The two leaders flipped blini on ‘Far East Street’, an exhibition of the region’s cultural and economic achievements. Photos showed Putin and Xi, wearing blue aprons, pouring out batter and turning the pancakes over before eating them with caviar and a shot of vodka. The pair earlier in the day praised their countries’ increasingly close ties, with Xi saying their ‘friendship was getting stronger all the time’. – AFP

Ethiopia and Eritrea unclench and reopen borders

Two land border crossings between Ethiopia and Eritrea were reopened Tuesday for the first time in 20 years, crowning a rapid reconciliation between the former bitter enemies. Ethiopia PM Abiy Ahmed and Eritrea President Isaias Afwerki attended ceremonies at the eastern and western ends of the border, Eritrean Information Minister Yemane Gebre Meskel said. The eastern and the western border posts were among those closed in 1998 as the neighbouring nations cut diplomatic ties at the outbreak of a short but bloody two-year frontier fight. The ensuing cold war stymied development and trade, and undermined regional security, but in a surprise move earlier this year, Abiy began peace overtures, which were welcomed by Eritrea. – AFP

Millions ordered to move out of Florence’s way

More than a million people were under evacuation orders in the eastern US on Tuesday, where powerful Hurricane Florence threatened catastrophe to the region. The menacing Category 4 storm packed winds of 215km an hour over the Atlantic. ‘This is one of the worst storms to hit the East Coast in many years,’ Donald Trump warned on Twitter. South Carolina governor Henry McMaster ordered one million coastal residents to leave their homes ahead of the storm’s projected arrival on Thursday. Schools in 26 of the state’s 46 counties were ordered closed from Tuesday. The governor of neighbouring North Carolina ordered an evacuation of the Outer Banks, barrier islands that are a popular tourist destination, and parts of coastal Dare County. – AFP

Right to be forgotten? Forget it, France

Google clashed with France in a top EU court on Tuesday arguing it feared for freedom of speech if forced to apply Europe’s ‘right to be forgotten’ principle worldwide. The two sides are battling over a shock 2014 decision by a court to impose a right for individuals, under certain conditions, to have references to them scrubbed from search engine results. The US tech giant firmly opposed the decision, but complied with the ruling by delisting search references once requested across its European domains. – AFP

British LGBT domestic abuse causes twice the hurt

British LGBT victims of domestic abuse are almost twice as likely to have attempted suicide as their heterosexual counterparts, a major survey revealed. LGBT people attacked by their partners are also twice as likely to self-harm or have been abused by a family member in the past, the survey found. Although Britain is one of a handful of countries where LGBT people have equal constitutional rights, discrimination remains rife. Victims of domestic abuse can often feel isolated due to a lack of support from authorities and families, the charity said. The British LGBT rights group Stonewall reported this year a tenth of LGBT people had faced domestic abuse from a partner over the past 12 months, with rates as high as one in four among transgender respondents. – AFP

Sri Lanka arrests 90 illegal boat travellers

Sri Lanka’s navy on Tuesday detained 90 people illegally travelling in a trawler bound for the French territory of Reunion Island, a spokesman said. Commander Dinesh Bandara said the fishing boat was seized off Sri Lanka's west coast and escorted to Colombo with 89 men and a woman on board. ‘Preliminary investigations suggest that the boat was heading to Reunion Island,’ Bandara told AFP. From Reunion, Bandara said, ‘they may have planned to move to another destination’. Sri Lankans are known to pay thousands of dollars to people smugglers to arrange highly risky boat rides to Europe, Australia or New Zealand in search of better economic prospects. – AFP
Drag queens stand together wearing during an official function for the annual Broken Heel Festival in an Australian outback town.
DON’T DESERT ME, SISTER Drag queens stand together wearing during an official function for the annual Broken Heel Festival in an Australian outback town.
Image: Reuters/Samantha Vadas

THE BUSINESS

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Good grief, has nobody got anything nice to say about SA?

Four prominent local economists reckon there’s not a whole lot to look forward to for us

By Chris Gilmour
3 min read

SA insurers scramble to catch Sanlam in its push into Africa

Insurance giant now has a presence in 34 African countries, thanks to its acquisition of Moroccan insurer

By Londiwe Buthelezi
1 min read

Retail spending: Well, at least Mall of Africa is doing OK

Other upmarket shopping centres, not so much

By Joan Muller
1 min read

LIFESTYLE

CULTURE COMES ALIVE

Grills and boys come out to play (and eat like royalty)

Top chef Shaun Munro wows at Durban’s Grill Jichana 

Yasantha Naidoo
Durban bureau chief
2 min read

Be a tourist if you must, just don’t be a jerk about it

Ten tips to be a less annoying traveller 

By Gavin Haines
4 min read

If you think size counts, you really should show some glass

The most important quality in a glass is the effect that its shape has on the flavour of the wine

By Victoria Moore
4 min read

Take your Mootee (you won’t need a spoonful of sugar)

Melville joint judged to be among the 10 best new cocktail bars in the world

By Staff reporter
1 min read

SPORT

FINISH LINE ESSENTIALS

SPORTS DAY: Sniff of a chance for player after drug ban lifted

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

David Isaacson
Journalist
5 min read

Come on Rassie, give us the true story about Mbonambi

Was the hooker really exhausted or injured? If so, what was he doing on the field in the first place? 

Craig Ray
Journalist
4 min read

Blast from the past: Kiwi flour power demolishes ’81 Boks

Today in SA sports history: September 12

David Isaacson
Journalist
1 min read