September, Wednesday 26 2018



Firearms registry is 'in chaos'

Lobbyists take cops to court after bungling leaves database in a shambles

Graeme Hosken
4 min read

Premier move: Maimane dodged the bullet of political idiocy

By wisely turning away from the baubles of premiership, the DA leader avoided splitting the party leadership

Tony Leon
7 min read

State capture skeletons will rattle meeting of ANC bigwigs

It's going to be a very uneasy affair now that the Gupta farce and other skulduggery are out in the open

Ranjeni Munusamy
Associate editor: analysis
5 min read

Statue of limitations: how did Madiba become Robert De Niro?

I grudgingly accept another dismal non-Mandela statue, and send thoughts and prayers to all the good sculptors out there

Tom Eaton
2 min read



Watch BBC prove 'fake' killing really did happen

Cameroon govt forced to arrest seven soldiers after analysis shows viral video of slaying is genuine

By Aliaume Leroy and Ben Strick
1 min read

MPs livid at ‘labour broker’ being hired for landgrab analysis

MPs question the quality and the credibility of the company

2 min read

The R200m SARS contract: No time sheets? No problem

Nugent commission of inquiry hears how suspended SARS boss Tom Moyane approved incomplete invoices

Amil Umraw
1 min read

‘We’re gatvol - we’ll sort out Cape Flats crime ourselves'

Embattled communities united as residents say they have given up on government tackling crime scourge

Aron Hyman
4 min read

No more beating around the bush: This is art's most notorious model

It's the 19th century's most scandalous painting, but until now the identity of its uninhibited subject was a mystery

3 min read



Braai Day satisfies an appetite for denial

Heritage Day was a time to reflect on our history - or you could simply stuff meat into your face

Tom Eaton
4 min read

IN FULL: Mbeki Foundation's leaked land doccie

'South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white'

By Thabo Mbeki Foundation
1 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


Six things about SA you need to know

Govt confirms SA man kidnapped in Burkina Faso

An SA man has been kidnapped in Burkina Faso, government confirmed on Tuesday. The Department of International Relations and Cooperation said it was working with law enforcement agencies in Burkina Faso where the man was reported to have been kidnapped on Sunday, along with two mineworkers. He has not been named. The department also warned South Africans travelling to the region “to be sensitive to possible security challenges in areas they are visiting or working”. It was reported on Monday that three miners - a Burkinabe, an Indian and a South African - were seized by armed men between Djibo and the Inata gold mine, about 30km from Tongomael, about 230km north of the capital Ouagadougou. Three police officers were in the region in the wake of the kidnappings, AFP reported on Monday.

Chaos at Nelson Mandela Bay council meeting

A Nelson Mandela Bay council meeting descended into chaos on Tuesday after attempts by security to eject Lutho Sokudela‚ a recently sworn-in DA councillor‚ from the chamber. At the first council meeting with the DA in the opposition benches‚ councillors from the party formed a human shield around Sokudela to prevent security from removing him. It all started as Sokudela and Victor Manyati arrived for the meeting. Sokudela was sworn in as Manyati’s replacement, but a Port Elizabeth High Court ruled last Thursday that Manyati remained a DA member and a councillor until he resigned or the party concluded his disciplinary hearing. Manyati was instrumental in helping the ANC‚ UDM‚ EFF‚ AIC and United Front in removing the DA-led coalition from power a month ago. The meeting was eventually adjourned until Thursday.

New travel rule ‘not enough’ to boost tourism

The Tourism Business Council of SA (TBCSA) says the relaxing of entry requirements for foreign minors arriving in SA did not go far enough to remove barriers affecting tourism. Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba said on Tuesday that rather than requiring all foreign minors to carry documents proving parental consent for travel‚ the department would strongly recommend that travellers carry this documentation. “Our immigration officials will only insist on documentation by exception – in high-risk situations – rather than for all travellers‚ in line with practice by several other countries,” he said. TBCSA CEO Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa said that while the department strongly advised travellers to carry this documentation‚ the documentation would still be required. “We have not removed the barriers to entry for tourists into the country. We are trying to preserve the barriers. The arrival figures attest to this‚” said Tshivhengwa.

SABC to follow law to the letter in retrenchments

The SABC will follow the Labour Relations Act to the tee regarding possible retrenchments at the financially struggling broadcaster. Board chairperson Bongumusa Makhathini told MPs it was not an accurate reflection that the SABC's turnaround strategy only focused on retrenching staff‚ saying this notion ignored a lot of work being done to drive the corporation forward. “We have done quite a number of things that have helped us to stabilise the SABC. The turnaround plan has three main elements: dealing with the legacy and governance issues‚ looking at regulatory and policy issues, and the third element talks to the commercial and operational issues‚” said Makhathini. He was addressing the National Assembly’s portfolio committee on communications which convened an urgent meeting on Tuesday during the parliamentary spring recess to deal with issues related to the SABC. He revealed that made up 42% of total revenue‚ which he said was an “anomaly‚” said Makhathini.

Call for heads to roll over Vaal River contamination

Save the Vaal Environment (Save) has called for someone to be held accountable and even face jail for the sewage that has been running into the Vaal River. The call was made during Save’s presentation at a SA Human Rights Commission-led inquiry into the situation. “Our recommendation is that the necessary authorities must take full responsibility for the sewage‚ get the necessary funding from Treasury to stop the pollution and the breakdown of the Vaal River system. The best way to resolve the ongoing sins is to hold people accountable … take them to court and put them in jail for what has happened to the people of Vaal and the people using the river for their lives‚” said Save chairperson Malcolm Plant. In June this year‚ Gauteng Premier David Makhura placed the Emfuleni local municipality under administration because it faced serious financial problems after receiving threats from Eskom and Rand Water to shut down services to the people.

Date set for Phoenix murder case bail application

The man accused of committing a gruesome Phoenix triple murder will spend eight days behind bars before he can make a bid for bail. Collin Pillay was arrested on Saturday night in connection with the murders of Phoenix mother Jane Govender‚ 44‚ and her two daughters‚ Denisha‚ 22‚ and 16-year-old Rackelle‚ who were found dead in their Tasvir Mansion flat on Friday. Pillay’s first appearance in the Verulam Magistrate’s Cour was delayed after he suffered an anxiety attack and had to be treated by paramedics. The case was delayed by 30 minutes‚ while Pillay recovered. In court, the state requested the bail hearing take place on October 16 because the investigating officer needed to conduct more investigations crucial to the matter – but Pillay’s lawyer argued against this saying “the issue of bail is urgent”. The case was adjourned to October 3 for a formal bail application.
Ugandan musician turned politician Robert ‘Bobi Wine’ Kyagulanyi at his home in Kampala, Uganda. Police have banned his rallies.
BANS AND BANISTERS Ugandan musician turned politician Robert ‘Bobi Wine’ Kyagulanyi at his home in Kampala, Uganda. Police have banned his rallies.
Image: Reuters/Newton Nambwaya


This python got itself wedged in the engine of a woman's car. A snake handler was called who wrangled the snake free from the car's motor and took it away in a sack.


The news you don't normally get to hear

Paralysis cure sends shiver down scientists’ spines

Hope for patients with spinal cord injuries as new technique helps them to walk unaided again

By Sarah Knapton
3 min read

Germany won't jail doctor from Nazi paedo sect

Evidence falls short against man convicted of rape and sexual abuse of minors at hellish Chilean slave village

2 min read

Spies in paradise: Hollywood dives into 'Zionist Bond story'

Tale of a Sudanese 'resort' used by Mossad to spirit Jews out of refugee camps will be partly filmed in SA

4 min read

Facebook videos gave me PTSD: moderator sues

She claims the company didn't train her to deal with the 'extreme and graphic violence' she had to watch

By Laurence Dodds
3 min read



Israel copied apartheid. It now has a ‘Gautrain’

Israelis climbed aboard the country's new high-speed train on Tuesday as it partially opened to whisk passengers from Jerusalem to Ben Gurion airport, a massive project years in the making. The new station is 80 metres underground in Jerusalem. The train will eventually connect Jerusalem to Tel Aviv with a high-speed link that will take only 28 minutes. It is capable of travelling at 160km/h. The new line was due to open in March, but work to prepare it has been slower than expected. The $1.8-billion project had already been pushed back multiple times over the years, with a 2008 opening having originally been set under an earlier work programme. – AFP

Does it fit? Who cares? I’ll take Versace for $2.1bn

Fashion house Michael Kors said it had bought Versace. Michael Kors, with roots in the United States, but headquartered in London, has struck a deal to buy Versace for $2.1 bn. Donatella Versace, artistic director and vice-president of the Italian group, said the takeover was ‘essential to Versace’s long-term success’. The deal is the latest push by Michael Kors into high-end luxury after it bought British shoemaker to the stars Jimmy Choo in 2017 for $1.4bn. – AFP

Not so fast: ‘Dead’ Maori language gets revival

Regarded as a dying language a few decades ago, dozens of students watch entranced a play performed entirely in the Maori language. Some audience members are close to tears as the production in Wellington ends. Although attitudes have changed, Te Teo was banned in schools for much of the 20th century, which, combined with the urbanisation of rural Maori, meant that by the 1980s, only 20% of indigenous New Zealanders were fluent in it. That number was virtually unchanged by 2013, when census figures showed that just 21.3% of the Maori population could converse in Te Reo. An official report published in 2010 warned the language was on the verge of extinction. The language is enjoying a surge in popularity among Kiwis – Maori or otherwise – embracing their South Pacific nation’s indigenous culture. Te reo courses are booked out at community colleges, while bands, poets and rappers perform using the language. – AFP

Instagram founders’ big Facebook log-off

Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger have announced they’re leaving the photo-sharing app bought by Facebook six years ago, setting a new test for the parent company as it works to quell mounting turmoil. ‘Mike and I are grateful for the last eight years at Instagram and six years with the Facebook team,’ Systrom said. ‘We're planning on taking some time off to explore our curiosity and creativity again.’ Systrom, 34, created the app in 2010 with 32-year-old Krieger, now the outgoing ‘chief technical officer,’ when they were students at Stanford University in the heart of Silicon Valley. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg praised the departing Instagram leaders for ‘their combined creative talents’. – AFP

Sexual harasser called to the front to face new law

A man who slapped a woman's bottom on a bus near Paris has been jailed for three months and, in a first under a new law against catcalling, also fined for lewd remarks about her physique. The man, inebriated when he boarded the rush-hour bus, smacked the 21-year-old on the buttocks and made an insulting comment about her breasts, before a squabble with the bus driver, who jammed the doors shut while police were alerted. A judge sentenced the man, in his 30s, to three months behind bars for the slap, considered an act of outright sexual aggression, and added a fine of 300 euros ($353) for the offending comments. Court and justice ministry officials said the fine was the first imposed under legislation that seeks to deter predatory remarks and harassing actions such as wolf-whistles, which are fairly commonplace in public life in France. – Reuters

China cracks down on ‘zombie’ websites

China will crack down on government departments responsible for ‘zombie’ websites that have not been updated for years, telephone lines that are never answered and fake statistics, the ruling Communist Party said on Tuesday. President Xi Jinping's has also taken aim at lazy bureaucrats who waste time on red tape and simply mouth slogans without putting into effect government policies. In its latest missive to crack down on such behaviour, the party's anti-graft watchdog the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection officials who hold meetings simply for the sake of holding meetings, ‘mechanically’ spout slogans, and ‘swallow dates whole’, or read hastily and without thinking what they are actually looking at, the watchdog said. Officials have to take seriously the concerns of their citizens and try to tackle their problems with enthusiasm, and are not allowed to run ‘zombie’ websites that are never updated and service telephone lines which are never answered, it added. Economic issues are mentioned too, specifically those that involve officials sitting on their hands or acting ‘chaotically’ when it comes to economic work and reform, such as faking statistics. China has long tried to rein in fake statistics. – Reuters
A Shi'ite Muslim takes part in the Ashura festival at a mosque in Myanmar.
A DANGLING MOMENT A Shi'ite Muslim takes part in the Ashura festival at a mosque in Myanmar.
Image: Reuters/Ann Wang



Presenting the third coming of the Randburg Waterfront

Tekkie Town founder dives in to a neglected old centre

By Alistair Anderson
3 min read

Don’t be shocked about MTN, it’s always been a bit gung-ho

Operator seems to relish plunging into the most risky markets, so Nigerian hiccup should come as no surprise

By Ann Crotty
1 min read

Airbnb throws municipalities a hospitality pass

Coming up with regulations to restrict Airbnb is one thing. Enforcement it is a different kettle of fish

By Siseko Njobeni
1 min read

Whatever you think of labour brokers, Workforce does a job

Unions hate recruitment firms but they’re here to stay

By Chris Gilmour
3 min read



Bookmarks: Stars looking for the sleazy way out

A bi-weekly column on books

By Andrew Donaldson
5 min read

No, silly, that yoghurt you’re eating is plain pudding

Make your own sweet or savoury labneh instead

By Andrea Burgener
2 min read

How to take a bloody nice bit of meat and burn it a bit

Once you know your rump from your ribeye, go for it

By Tomé Morrissy-Swan
7 min read

Welcome to our city, just don’t dare sit down or eat

New rules for tourists in Venice are offputting for visitors, but may just save the city

By Tymon Smith
5 min read



SPORTS DAY: Broke Celtic now beg PSL to pay their players

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

David Isaacson
5 min read

McCarthy’s trials include another SuperSport grilling

Will the Bafana legend’s transition from celebrated player to successful coach finally be confirmed? 

Mark Gleeson
Soccer writer
2 min read

Blasts from the past: Fordyce cracks 2nd London-Brighton

Today in SA sports history: September 26

David Isaacson
1 min read