Friday, September 14 2018

THE BIG STORIES

LEADING THE AGENDA

The R100m game gift: Mystery solved?

A memorandum has surfaced that seems to shed light on the huge 2016 donation of wildlife to a white-owned company

Poloko Tau
Journalist
5 min read

Zuma ‘not scared to testify’ at capture probe

He has no reason not to cooperate and he should not be treated like he is a suspect, says his lawyer

Karyn Maughan
Journalist
4 min read

Meet the cop - and his hero dog - who found Miguel Louw

Colin Chetty, who with Ghost discovered the little boy's remains, says it's all about bringing families closure

Jeff Wicks
Journalist
2 min read

SMART NEWS

IN ONE TAKE

Stock theft: It's SA's forgotten scourge, and it's on the up

SA loses one economic farming unit a day to rustling, according to new report

Bongani Mthethwa
Journalist
4 min read

Science of the times: Is healthcare ripe for a revolution?

With the state of health globally as a backdrop, the fourth industrial revolution holds much promise, say experts

Tanya Farber
Journalist
2 min read

Star-gazing sprite spotters aren’t away with the fairies

UCT team is the first to photograph these celestial bursts of electricity from the ground

Dave Chambers
Cape Town bureau chief
2 min read

Duct and drive: These jerry-built jalopies are good to go

Homemade box carts are taking over the streets of Joburg this weekend. Find out why

Leonie Wagner
Journalist
4 min read

IDEAS

TO FEED YOUR MIND

The past is a foreign country. You did things differently there

When you trust the process of fumbling in the dark, nothing repeats – you can then let go of the past

5 min read

Warning: you can't revert back and argue with a mime

A column to satisfy your inner grammar nerd

Sue de Groot
Journalist
3 min read

Living with a stranger: my bipolar husband's darkest days

Crime writer Ann Cleeves talks of her husband's darkest days and saying goodbye for the last time

By Ann Cleeves
6 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

‘Hit the boer’ song not racially offensive: ConCourt

The Constitutional Court has dismissed an appeal by a Joburg company that fired eight employees five years ago for singing a struggle song about “hitting the boer”. Duncanmec‚ which manufactures refuse-handling equipment‚ dismissed the employees, who had gone on an unprotected strike in an overtime dispute, for singing the song in isiZulu‚ which translates to: "Climb on top of the roof and tell them my mother is rejoicing when we hit the boer." The Commission for Conciliation‚ Mediation and Arbitration set aside the dismissal and the case went to the ConCourt‚ where Duncanmec argued the singing of the song constituted hate speech and racism‚ and the dismissal was therefore justified. But the court said the word was not an offensive racist term. “Depending on the context‚ this word may mean ‘farmer’ or ‘white person’. None of these meanings is racially offensive‚” said Justice Chris Jafta in his judgment. All other judges concurred.

Political killers ‘won’t see the sun’, vows Cele

Tough-talking Police Minister Bheki Cele said KwaZulu-Natal’s bloody reputation for political killings was a thing of the past. Cele was briefing the media in Durban on Thursday. The briefing followed the first appearance of a man with alleged links to the murder of ANC Youth League secretary-general Sindiso Magaqa. He was badly wounded in a hail of bullets in Umzimkhulu last year and died two months later in hospital despite appearing to be on the road to recovery. Cele said the province had become synonymous with bloodshed, but the tide was turning. He said 28 people had been arrested since May. “Three of them have already been convicted and sentenced and are already in prison. The days of impunity in this province are over. We want to send these people to Kokstad [Ebongweni maximum security prison] so they don’t see the sun,” he said.

Police arrest Grade 8 for pointing gun at teacher

A Grade 8 pupil who threatened his teacher with a gun in class at a high school in Johannesburg has been arrested. Gauteng’s education department confirmed that the 15-year-old from Eldorado Park Secondary School was arrested on Thursday and charged with pointing a gun and possession of a dangerous weapon. He was released into his parents’ custody and will appear in the Kliptown Magistrate’s Court on Friday. The incident‚ which occurred on Wednesday‚ has been condemned as “unacceptable” by the National Association of School Governing Bodies. The school governing body immediately suspended the pupil after the gun threat and served the parents with a notice of a disciplinary hearing to be held on Thursday evening. The department said the weapon pointed at the teacher was a Black Powerline gas gun.

Rape kit ‘shortages’ could deny justice for victims

Police in the Eastern Cape have not used a single rape kit in the current financial year owing to a “shortage”. This admission – which the DA in the province said meant that “thousands of women who are raped could be denied justice” – was made in official responses to questions in the EC legislature. Safety MEC Weziwe Tikana‚ responding to written questions by the DA‚ said 41‚545 rape kits were used by the SAPS in the 2017-18 financial year‚ but none had been used so far in 2018-19. “[The] shortage is a national challenge and not isolated to the Eastern Cape‚” Tikana said. Tikana also admitted that no DNA collection kits had been used in 2018-19 to date‚ compared with 44‚600 the previous financial year. The DA’s Bobby Stevenson said: “This is a crisis of huge proportions. Heads should roll.”

Nearly R10m found in student’s hand luggage

South African Revenue Service (Sars) customs officers pounced on a student who boarded a flight at OR Tambo International Airport and found nearly R10m worth of US dollars in her hand luggage. The woman had boarded a flight to Hong Kong on Tuesday. “The flight was due to leave when the officers intercepted the passenger on the flight. The passenger‚ a South African student‚ who had boarded with two bags as hand luggage‚ was then alighted with her luggage‚” Sars said. She initially denied having currency on her, but later admitted it was in her backpack. She head $650,000 on her. “She admitted that she was not the owner of the currency‚ nor could she supply any proof of ownership,” Sars said. Customs registered a criminal case of smuggling currency and failure to declare.

Fuel price hike: ‘nationwide shutdown’ planned

The newly formed People Against Petrol and Paraffin Price Increases (Pappi) has vowed to intensify its fight against the rising prices of fuel. The vow comes ahead of predictions that the fuel price could increase by more than a rand a litre next month. “South Africans are reeling from catastrophic hikes almost every month and the next one will be the biggest by far. Coupled with rising food and transport costs‚ the average South African will find it very difficult to make ends meet‚” said the group’s national convenor‚ Visvin Reddy. The group has threatened to go on a nationwide protest on September 28. Pappi has urged the government to negotiate the price of crude oil with suppliers‚ which they say could lead to petrol price reductions. Details of the planned protest are expected to be announced next Thursday.
Japanese TV personality Jun Soejima combs his hair before filming.
BIG IN JAPAN Japanese TV personality Jun Soejima combs his hair before filming.
Image: Reuters/Toru Hanai

VISUAL SIDE


THE WORLD

The news you don't normally get to hear

Not a flock: Chinese pastor defiant after church closure

Chinese pastor says he is harassed daily by officers amid Communist crackdown on religion

By afp.com
3 min read

How the human tsunami changed Europe forever

Civil strife sent millions across the Med, spawning the rise of anti-migrant parties and threatening the EU

By Nick Squires and Colin Freeman
9 min read

Armchair h(ij)ackers: Self-driving cars can easily become killer zombies

You’ve only had to worry about hijackers, servicing and potholes. Now brace yourself for hackers and viruses

By Natasha Bernal
2 min read

Shock to the system: bugs in our guts churn out electricity

Hundreds of types of bugs produce electrical charges that can make us fall ill, scientists have discovered

By Sarah Knapton
2 min read

SNAPSHOT

SIX THINGS ABOUT THE WORLD YOU NEED TO KNOW

Big Brother, the judge is watching you

Human rights groups and journalists scored a victory against the British government’s mass electronic surveillance system on Thursday after Europe’s top rights court ruled that the so-called “Big Brother” programme violated privacy and free speech. The European Court of Human Rights, based in Strasbourg, France, did not question the existence of the spying programme in itself but said a lack of oversight and safeguards meant it undermined rights to privacy and free expression. The court gave Britain, which is in the process of altering legislation on an issue publicly exposed by US whistleblower Edward Snowden, three months to decide whether to request an appeal hearing after Thursday’s ruling. The violations concerned in particular shortcomings when it came to selecting the internet service providers involved, as well as the search criteria used to filter and select intercepted communications for assessment. - Reuters

Shi whizz! Giant fakery is child’s play

China’s crackdown on online rumour-mongers and fraud has snared a fresh target: a 17-year-old junior high school dropout who pretended to be a billionaire, gave himself fake titles and posted doctored pictures of himself with world leaders. Police in Shandong province said they were investigating the suspect, identified by the surname Shi and one of the characters in his first name, who called himself the “Sh Runlong Jocker” on social media and claimed to be a Chinese New Zealander from Hong Kong. Shi made false claims about his identity, including that he was a board member of the Japanese Red Cross Society and a director at the fictional Shandong Internet Economic Research Centre. He also circulated fake images of himself with US President Donald Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Shi is also accused of being responsible for a fake state media article. The official Xinhua news agency said the article claiming to be from Xinhua portrayed Shi as a poverty-alleviation hero. - Reuters

So long and thanks to all the fish

From turtles to fish, the denizens of North Carolina’s three major aquariums will be facing Hurricane Florence alone after their handlers were forced to leave under mandatory evacuation orders. Florence, a Category 3 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale and still growing, was expected to strike North Carolina late on Thursday or early Friday, potentially bringing deadly high seas and catastrophic flooding. Animal handlers at the aquariums, which are all on the vulnerable Outer Banks barrier islands, had no choice but to leave. “The animals are part of our family,” said Danielle Bolton, spokeswoman for the Pine Knoll Shores aquarium, which closed to the public on Tuesday. “It is very emotional having to close and not know exactly what’s going to happen.” The animals “got fed as much as they could the last few days.” At the other two aquariums, North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher, employees also did everything they could to protect the various sea creatures. - Reuters

You’re the pits, say treehouse forest warriors

German activists living in treehouses to protect an ancient forest from being razed for a nearby coal mine on Thursday vowed to resist forced eviction by police, in a major escalation of the long-running environmental battle. Hundreds of officers descended on the area after local authorities ordered the Hambach Forest in western Germany to be cleared immediately citing fire hazards. Dozens of protesters are holed up in about 60 treehouses, some as high as 25m. The occupation began in 2012 and their presence had until now been quietly tolerated. But the state premier of North Rhine-Westphalia, Armin Laschet, told local broadcaster WDR this was “an illegally occupied area” and accused the protesters of being violent. The activists, who are protesting against the expansion of energy giant RWE’s giant open-pit lignite mine, one of Europe’s largest, have called for a mass mobilisation by supporters in coming days. - AFP

Fine way to reward a Hitler salute

A 33-year-old German man was handed a suspended sentence of eight months on Thursday by a court in the eastern city of Chemnitz for making the illegal Hitler salute during far-right protests. The Chemnitz local, who was not named, was also fined €2,000 over his action on September 1. The penalty was more lenient than the one-year prison sentence sought by prosecutors, who are examining whether to appeal. Thousands of demonstrators had answered a call by the far-right party AfD and the Islamophobic PEGIDA street movement to march over the fatal stabbing of a man, allegedly by asylum seekers, in late August. During the heated rallies a handful of people were seen publicly making the illegal salute, while others were shouting anti-foreigner slurs. A 34-year-old man is due in court on Friday over a similar charge. - AFP

The Kong’s speech: Charles has bin lucky

The Prince of Wales’s speech was nearly lost just minutes before the historic handover of Hong Kong, it has emerged. The rain-soaked last hurrah had already been beset with problems including the fact that the heir to the throne was completely drenched as he took to the grandstand alongside outgoing governor Chris Patten.Now a new book has revealed how the carefully prepared words he was about to deliver on behalf of the Queen were thrown in the bin by an over-zealous cleaner in the run-up to the midnight ceremony on June 30, 1997. According to Robert Hardman, author of “Queen of the World”, the Prince’s equerry Lieutenant-Commander John Lavery had placed the speech on his own seat before introducing his boss to the VIPs. Then, Lavery reached for the speech, but it was not there. With moments to spare, he found it in the bin, extracted it and returned to the VIP grandstand, where he handed it to the prince. - © The Daily Telegraph
An Oak Island resident decorates her storm shutters before evacuating her house ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Florence.
POTUS SAYS SHE TOO MUST GO An Oak Island resident decorates her storm shutters before evacuating her house ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Florence.
Image: Reuters/Randall Hill

THE BUSINESS

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Were Aspen’s results really that bad? R18.5bn bad?

Shocking drop in share price after investors take a dim view of drug maker’s prospects, but was it overdone? 

By Tamar Kahn
3 min read

Rustenburg’s one horse looks pretty much dead on its legs

Implats operations in the town lost R12.3bn this year, but the company can’t win with Amcu and Mantashe

By Allan Seccombe
1 min read

Clover was smelling pretty fresh until that loan went sour

Dairy producer hammered by impairment of loan made to its battling raw-milk subsidiary 

By Siseko Njobeni
1 min read

LIFESTYLE

CULTURE COMES ALIVE

Brendan ‘Tarzan’ Fraser: To Hollywood hell and back

How the star was smacked down in his prime, but through the love of his fans came right back

By Adam White
10 min read

Won’t you take us to the bioscope?

The films opening in our cinemas this week

By Critics’ choice
2 min read

Just the facts, ma’am: new doccies you should check out

Stuck indoors? Netflix has some great documentaries to curl up on the couch with

By Crystal Andrews
1 min read

Penthouse to pavement: NYC street fashion that kicks ass

New York Fashion Week attracted the most striking street style. We pick six of the hippest trends

By Kenilwe Eleanor Pule
1 min read

SPORT

FINISH LINE ESSENTIALS

SPORTS DAY: Rassie wheels out his ‘best’ XV, so we’ll see

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

David Isaacson
Journalist
5 min read

Damned statistics give Boks a snowball’s hope this weekend

Beating NZ at home is the toughest test in sport, but it has been done by SA before ... albeit a while ago

Craig Ray
Journalist
3 min read

Blasts from the past: Rivera bloodied on Dingaan’s day

Today in SA sports history: September 14

David Isaacson
Journalist
2 min read