Tuesday, September 18 2018



ANALYSIS: You're all Guptarised, ANC. Face it

Damning new evidence at state capture probe means party can no longer pretend it was all Zuma's fault

Ranjeni Munusamy
Associate editor: analysis
5 min read

Huh? Cell giant claims SA data is cheap

Vodacom tells data pricing probe that comparing us to the rest of Africa is nonsense

Graeme Hosken
4 min read



Parktown sex case leaves ‘gay’ problem in its wake

Principal furious that the school's rugby players are being 'sledged' about their sexuality

Prega Govender
3 min read

R6m smuggling ruse using ‘airtime’ was a bad call

SARS and customs officials come down hard on importer for trying to pull the wool over their eyes

4 min read

Toxic womb: soot smothers babies before they’re born

Babies catch a whiff of the big, bad world before they even enter it - and SA children are particularly in danger

Tanya Farber
3 min read

Plan for monthly Joburg crime stats ‘won’t be magic fix’

A criminologist says JMPD is better off focusing on their work and staying out of SAPS’s way

Graeme Hosken
2 min read

New app makes learning SA's languages easy

A language learning platform created by a pair of tech start-up whizzes has won global acclaim

Nivashni Nair
2 min read

Nine-to-five is so last Tuesday: flexitime is the way to work

From better productivity to bigger profits, working remotely is becoming a no-brainer for companies

4 min read



We’ve got to learn how to tell our mates from our Chinas

We’ll all look the other way when China makes demands that defy our view of ourselves as self-determined ... or will we?

Tom Eaton
4 min read

To the pious food elite: get the hell out of my Happy Meal

There are worse vices than McDonald's, but it's an easy target for the petty snobs

By Tom Welsh
2 min read

No holds bard: Why Shakespeare needs to be PC

Critics say it's squeezing out white actors, but RSC head Gregory Doran just wants to 'reflect the nation'

By Ben Lawrence
6 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 street musician plays the cello in front of Saint Catherine's Church in Valletta.
THE STREETS CHERISH THE CELLO A street musician plays the cello in front of Saint Catherine's Church in Valletta.
Image: Reuters/Darrin Zammit Lupi

Six things about SA you need to know

Murder-accused Uber driver claims self-defence

The former Uber driver accused of killing 71-year-old Zalman Orlianski has labelled the state's case against him as weak. Reading the affidavit for his formal bail application‚ attorney Stanford Singende pointed out that his client‚ Tebogo Makhalemele‚ 30‚ intends to plead not guilty to the murder charge brought against him on Monday: “I have a good defence in law and fact. The accusations against me are false.” Makhalemele said he acted in self-defence. He was initially charged with assault with intention to cause grievous bodily harm after the elderly motorist sustained a head injury that left him in a critical condition in hospital. Orlianski succumbed to his injuries on Sunday evening‚ a week after the altercation at OR Tambo airport over a parking space. As a result‚ the charge has been changed to murder.

‘Racist’ agent to get anger management classes

Talent agent and actress Mary Ann Miller has apologised for her comments on a WhatsApp group for entertainment industry creatives, telling TshisaLIVE that she is "seeking help" and enrolling in anger management classes. Miller was involved in race row on the group last week after her criticism of the spelling on an advert for a free actors' workshop sparked a fight over the use of vernac on the group. TshisaLIVE has seen screenshots and heard voice notes from the conversations between Miller and several others on the group, where she swore at black group members and told them to go back to their "caves" and "wait for Mandela to resurrect" them. In a statement to TshisaLIVE Miller apologised for her remarks but maintained that she was not a racist.

Minister tackled bank over Gupta accounts: lawyer

When Standard Bank cut ties with the Gupta family in 2016, two government ministers and senior ANC leaders allegedly questioned whether they were doing so as part of a “white monopoly capital” plot and whether they were “taking orders from Stellenbosch”. Testifying at the state capture inquiry yesterday, the bank’s lawyer and head of compliance, Ian Sinton, said former mineral resources minister Mosebenzi Zwane even suggested he’d “change the law” so that banks would not be able to close accounts like they had with the Guptas. In September 2016, Zwane announced that the cabinet had resolved to ask then president Jacob Zuma to initiate an inquiry into the banks that had cut ties with the Guptas. Sinton also said Zwane and Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant tried to persuade him and Standard Bank CEO Sim Tshabalala to reverse the bank’s decision to close Gupta business accounts.

Missing gogo and tot found sleeping under trees

An elderly woman and a toddler who were reported missing in two separate cases in Limpopo have both been found - napping peacefully under trees. Two-year-old old Emmanuel Kesobelamang from Gilead was reported missing last Monday‚ said Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe. He was found sleeping under a tree during a police search, and taken to hospital for treatment. On Thursday‚ the family of 76-year-old Ramaesela Johanna Mashalane from a village near Steilloop reported her missing after she failed to come home from church. Another joint search operation was launched and the granny was found alive and well‚ sleeping under a tree in the bushes about 20km from her home, said Ngoepe. She too was taken to hospital.

Cops shoot at hijacker‚ allegedly hit bystander

An innocent bystander was allegedly shot by police in Cape Town when they attempted to stop an alleged hijacker. A witness who arrived on the scene where a stolen BMW crashed into a bakkie as it tried to flee from police on Monday said the bystander was rushed to hospital. The BMW is believed to have been stolen and was being chased by police who had radioed for back-up. Police then set up a roadblock on Kromboom Road. "When the robber saw the police he reversed into a white bakkie and the BMW turned over‚" said the witness. He said that when he arrived‚ other bystanders said that the police had fired two shots at the fleeing suspect as he reversed into the bakkie but that one of the bullets hit a man who was trying to get into his bakkie. Police apprehended at least one suspect whose hands were bound behind his back and who was lying in the road. Police were yet to respond to requests for comment.

Fishermen in seal pup attack appear in court

Two fishermen who allegedly beat and stabbed a seal pup while filming the attack on a cellphone appeared in the Laaiplek Magistrate’s Court in the Western Cape on Monday. This came after shocking cellphone video footage emerged of the seal being beaten‚ stabbed and tossed around by two fishermen in June. The video went viral‚ outraging people all over the globe. On Monday, Rynard van der Heever‚ 22‚ and Marius Tredoux‚ 19‚ appeared in the court in Laaiplek where they face a string of charges under the Biodiversity Act‚ Marine Living Resources Act and the Animal Protection Act. About 50 people from various animal rights groups‚ including the SPCA and Environmental Affairs Department‚ were at the court. The attack is believed to have taken place in the Veldrif area in the Western Cape. The case was then postponed until October 15.


We sat down with American Gods lead actor Ricky Whittle at Comic Con Africa on Sunday to chat about his newfound love for SA and what to expect from season two of 'American Gods'.


The news you don't normally get to hear

Revealed: the secret of the queen's fabled Cape Town speech

Author says the queen's Cape Town speech wasn't even given in Cape Town

By Hannah Furness
3 min read

Serena's hubby fumes over reporting about sexism row

He says New York Times is not reading data about player fines correctly, gives reporter a statistics lesson

By Charlie Eccleshare
2 min read

When they said we’d one day talk to animals, they weren’t barking mad

Research teams have begun deploying technology to understand animal communication

By Henry Hymas
2 min read

Knotted squirrels make for a tangled tale of rescued tails

Five young squirrels found joined at the tail get 'nippy' when vets try to get them out of their grass and plastic mess

By Harriet Alexander
1 min read


A Christian statuette submerged in rising flood waters in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence.
REBAPTISED A Christian statuette submerged in rising flood waters in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence.
Image: Reuters/Jonathan Drake


The bass dropped, and so did the ravers

Seven Vietnamese have died and five are in a coma after taking drugs at an electronic dance music festival in Hanoi on Sunday, officials said, as authorities scrambled to trace the substance. The victims, all Vietnamese, tested positive for an unspecified drug prompting officials to ban all EDM festivals in the capital. “Police investigators are trying to figure out what type of drug that was,” deputy director of Hanoi police Nguyen Van Vien said. Officials said the dead were all in their 20s, while the five people in a coma are between 18 and 30. They are in intensive care at two hospitals. If the deaths are confirmed as drug-related it could be one of the world’s worst mass deaths at a music festival linked to narcotics in recent memory. Sunday night’s “Trip To The Moon” festival took place in Hanoi’s upscale West Lake, a neighbourhood popular among expats, teachers and youngsters for its nightlife and club scene. - AFP

Strawberry Fields meets Needles and Pins

Needles have been found inside strawberries in two more Australian states, police said on Monday, broadening a health scare that has caused supermarkets to recall brands and farmers to dump fruit amid the peak growing season. One man in Western Australia and a girl in South Australia reported finding needles in their strawberries in the past two days, said police. Seven brands of strawberries are now believed to be contaminated with needles and pins, according to police reports. Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart said it was unclear whether the contamination was the result of one person acting alone or several people acting independently and that tracing back through the complex supply chain was taking time. People in Queensland were the first to report finding needles embedded inside strawberries. - Reuters

Choppers solve wee problem with angry goats

What to do with hundreds of mountain goats that have become so addicted to the salt and minerals in human urine and sweat and on backpacks that they have become a deadly menace to visitors, charging at hikers and trampling vegetation? If you run Olympic National Park in Washington State, you airlift 375 of the bad-tempered animals - slung blindfolded beneath helicopters - to more remote areas. Another 300 that cannot be caught will be shot. They were introduced to the area almost a century ago, before the park was established and before unwary walkers took to strolling the hills. The result has been a string of complaints. In 2010, a 63-year-old walker bled to death after being gored by a large male mountain goat. Walkers are urged not to urinate along trails, to avoid turning paths into "long, linear salt licks". – © The Daily Telegraph

Pussy Riot member ‘poisoned’

A member of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot was flown to a Berlin hospital after a suspected poisoning, with his estranged wife saying it may have been attempted murder. Pyotr Verzilov was admitted to a clinic in Moscow after falling ill following a court hearing. Described by staff as being in "serious" condition, the 30-year-old regained consciousness but was still experiencing hallucinations and delirium, his girlfriend, Veronika Nikulshina, told Russian media. Nikulshina, also a Pussy Riot activist, said it was "definitely poisoning". She said he had been administered a "large dose" of anti-cholinergic drugs, which are used to treat a range of issues including lung conditions. Verzilov's collapse came after he and Nikulshina had served a 15-day jail sentence along with two other Pussy Riot members for invading the pitch during the World Cup final in July to highlight Russian police abuses. – © The Daily Telegraph

Sex doll brothel idea blows up in their faces

Police have shut down Italy's first sex doll brothel just nine days after it opened, the Daily Mail reports. Having been found to be breaking Italian laws on rental accommodation, health authorities were also reportedly investigating if the dolls at LumiDolls Torino in Turin are cleaned after use. The report said the franchise, in a country where human prostitutes are illegal, opened on September 3, with managers saying they had been “booked for weeks”. They offer half-hour sessions with a choice of "realistic" female and male silicon dolls. The male doll, Alessandro, has an adjustable penis varying from 12cm to 18cm. The report said the dolls are said to get a two-hour wash after use. – Staff reporter

When it’s lights out, social media must buzz off

Social media firms face fines of up to £18m if they disturb children with notifications and alerts at night or during the school day under plans being considered by information commissioner Elizabeth Denham. She drawing up a new statutory code that will target strategies used by the firms to keep children online such as the timing of notifications and autoplay. Among the proposals is a ban on the social media giants posting messages, notifications or any alerts that disturb children’s sleep at night or distracts them during the school day. The firms could also be forced to set autoplay, notifications, buzzes, read receipts and non-specific alerts to “off” by default every time a child logged on so they would have to reset them to prevent them becoming addicted to the technology. – © The Daily Telegraph



Boks prove that SA Inc can also win against the odds

Failure may start off as a shortcoming, or even a mistake. Without change, though, failure soon becomes a habit

By Mark Barnes
4 min read

Will Gwede’s hot-button charter hit Cyril’s desk today?

Mineral Resources minister promised a final version of the Mining Charter before cabinet meets on Wednesday

By Allan Seccombe
1 min read

Doing a Capitec: Life insurers get smart about low-earners

Using funeral cover as the selling point for life insurance to its client base is a smart move by Hollard

By Londiwe Buthelezi
1 min read



Just for the record: Bobbie on the beat, Dread at the controls

A bi-weekly vinyl review

By Andrew Donaldson
8 min read

Book extract: ‘In the Kill Zone’ by Neil Reynolds

Even buying a car in Baghdad could be a life-threatening experience

By Neil Reynolds
7 min read

The fine art of starchitect Thomas Hedderwick

Meet the brains behind Cape Town’s Zeitz art museum and Google’s new headquarters in California

By Alastair Sooke
8 min read

Can you bend history the way you bend light?

Artist Wim Botha explores the transformation of light, manipulating canonical artworks and symbols of Afrikaans identity

By Staff reporter
1 min read



SPORTS DAY: Hat-trick marks Hazard as the man to beat

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

David Isaacson
5 min read

Why don’t we go the whole hog and privatise SA Rugby?

But first SA Rugby must allow provinces to determine whether to wholly sell off their professional arms

Liam Del Carme
2 min read

Blasts from the past: Bronze for Penny in her final race

Today in SA sports history: September 18

David Isaacson
1 min read