Tuesday, October 9 2018



‘Hyper-trauma’: Another young life lost, more desperate pleas in gangland

'Children saw someone die in front of them and 24 hours later they were playing where they saw him get killed'

Aron Hyman
5 min read

On bling and a prayer: pastor fails to dodge trial

Back to the cells for nattily dressed Nigerian charged with racketeering, human trafficking and rape

By Devon Koen
4 min read

‘Death squad’ cops: Judge cuts the claptrap. Let the trial begin at last!

After six years of bickering between lawyers and prosecutors, it's suddenly all action for the Cato Manor cops

Jeff Wicks
3 min read



Family terrified after ‘attacker’ bailed

'How could the judge do this?' asks state witness who fears for her and her son's lives after five-hour ordeal

Bongani Fuzile
4 min read

One of the ‘chosen whites’: I made Mugabe laugh

‘No one really got close to Mugabe, but in some way, I was, sometimes’

By Peta Thornycroft
4 min read

Two missing tots, two grieving moms, two men they once trusted

Geography may separate them, but these women are united in their pain as their former partners stand trial

Belinda Pheto
3 min read

Bara maternity staff clueless about deadly baby infection

Study's findings show babies' lives are at risk because doctors and nurses don't understand the risks

Dave Chambers
Cape Town bureau chief
2 min read

Thieves destroy the building blocks of Lego man’s life

And Lego fans around the world have united to help replace the stolen collection

By Rory Mulholland
1 min read



Thanks to you, Mr Nene, one child now knows lying is a no-no

The state capture probe is not just there to scrape out the rot in the ruling barrel; it's a good parenting guide

Sue de Groot
3 min read

Man up and embrace the feminist rage against injustice

The feminist dam is about to burst - let's channel the anger for the good of women the world over

By Boris Johnson
5 min read

Is blending it like Beckham a cure for thinning hair?

An expert says Becks used nanogen keratin fibres, so I tried it and the results are surprising

By Dan Jude
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


Six things about SA you need to know

Ramaphosa gets literal stamp of approval

President Cyril Ramaphosa will be presented with a stamp bearing his image by the South African Post Office on Tuesday. Current and former heads of state are the only living people who can feature on stamps. Ramaphosa is SA's fifth president to be "stamped" since the advent of democracy‚ the Presidency said on Monday. Then president Jacob Zuma was presented with his own postage stamp in 2009‚ when two-million editions of the stamps were printed and sold for R2.25 each.

Two dead in Midrand plane crash

A female pilot and a gardener are dead after a light plane crashed into a residence in Vorna Valley‚ Midrand‚ on Monday. Police spokesman Captain Kay Makhubele said the incident occurred at about 11.30am. "Both people were declared dead on scene‚" he said. The plane had not hit the house but crashed into the yard. The pilot had been flying alone, while the gardener was reportedly working in the yard the plane crashed into. Police had cordoned off the area leading to the house as aviation authorities and medics continued to comb the crash site. A fire engine was positioned outside the house as scores of neighbours stood near the tape‚ peering into the yard.

Knives, chairs fly at ANC meeting

An ANC branch meeting in Wells Estate near Port Elizabeth turned violent on Sunday‚ when members were beaten up and branch leader Thandolwethu Gebengana was assaulted and stabbed. Gebengana sustained two stab wounds in his back and he was also hit with a glass above his right eye. The chaos broke out at a branch general meeting at the Wells Estate Community Hall on Sunday afternoon, where members were drawing up a nominations list for MPs and MPLs ahead of the 2019 general elections. Gebengana was rushed to Dora Ngiza Hospital where he received stitches. He opened a case at the Swartkops police station. It was alleged that a group of young boys, led by a woman, entered the hall carrying knives‚ beer bottles and wooden planks. The woman denied bringing in weapons.

Zim renditions case provisionally dropped

The state has provisionally withdrawn all criminal charges in the renditions case against former Hawks national head Anwa Dramat and former Hawks head in Gauteng General Shadrack Sibiya. However‚ the case against their co-accused‚ Lesley Maluleke‚ continues. The three faced charges relating to allegations that while Dramat was head of the Hawks‚ he‚ Sibiya and Maluleke unlawfully handed over Zimbabwean fugitives to Zimbabwean police after they were arrested by the Hawks in 2010. This case ultimately led to the resignation of Dramat as head of the Hawks. Sibiya also left the unit. The prosecution indicated to the High Court in Pretoria on Monday that it had decided to provisionally withdraw all charges against Sibiya and Dramat after receiving representations from their legal teams. The prosecution said it was ready to proceed with the case against Maluleke, who will appear again on November 12.

Union vows to shut down Sassa offices

The National Education‚ Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) says it will indefinitely shut down offices at the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) from Wednesday. Nehawu general-secretary Zola Saphetha said the strike was the result of Sassa's refusal to resolve challenges brought about by the migration of the social grant payment system from Cash Paymaster Services to the SA Post Office. Saphetha said on Monday that after numerous attempts to avert the strike by holding talks with Sassa‚ “picket lines are the necessary way to go in trying to twist the arm of [Sassa]”. Saphetha described the action as a “a last resort after exhausting all available avenues”, including seeking an intervention from Social Development Minister Susan Shabangu. “Nehawu is prepared to wage a relentless war against Sassa‚ until they desist from undermining workers and the 17 million beneficiaries,” said Saphetha.

Healer found with bucket of body parts

Police on Sunday nabbed a traditional healer with a bucket full of human body parts in one of KwaZulu-Natal’s favourite holiday towns. Spokesman Colonel Thembeka Mbele said Margate police had received information about a man trying to peddle body parts in the south coast town. He was found in his vehicle, in which police discovered a bucket with a human skull‚ hand‚ torso and other body parts that had been cut into tiny pieces. Mbele said the man told police he used these items to heal people. “It is alleged that he identified himself as a traditional healer from Margate,” said Mbele. Police were tipped off by other traditional healers, after the man had claimed he was in possession of human body parts which were on sale for R4‚000. DNA testing was being done to determine whether the body parts were from one person.
Young people perform Georgian martial arts during the annual Tbilisoba festival in Tbilisi, Georgia.
A FIERCE YOUNG THING Young people perform Georgian martial arts during the annual Tbilisoba festival in Tbilisi, Georgia.
Image: Reuters/David Mdzinarishvili


A Banksy work has self-destructed at Sotheby's auction house at the moment it sold for nearly $1.4m. As the hammer went down, the painting was sucked into a shredder hidden in the frame.


The news you don't normally get to hear

Take that, Brat: Trump's toadies brace to be dumped by the 'blue wave'

Conservative disenchantment with Trump may give Democrats a sniff at flipping Republican districts

By James Oliphant
5 min read

A Walsh on the wild side: the 'Strictly' curse strikes again

A 'drunken' snog is the latest behind-the-scenes indiscretion contestants on the dancing show fall victim to

By Helena Horton
4 min read

‘Centre of the world’ closes for want of new monks

The closure of the historic Florence  monastery is ‘cultural and societal suicide’

By Nick Squires
2 min read

She said he said: writer sued for 'misgendering' trans woman

Lawyer launches UK's first 'deadnaming' case against Graham Linehan for using her previous male name

By Izzy Lyons
2 min read



Sit, stay! say anti-Brexit marchers

Huskies, Chihuahuas, boxers and beagles, even a lumbering Leonberger, joined a “Wooferendum march” in central London on Sunday as their pro-European owners called for a new people’s vote on Brexit. The gathering commanded politicians, actors and activists, accompanied by hundreds of four-legged friends, all united in their opposition to Britain’s departure from the EU next March. “We will not roll over, it’s time for the Wooferendum,” said Labour MP Stella Creasy, a self-confessed cat owner, in a pun-laden speech. “Go fetch people: get Britain a better future.” The parade took place two weeks before a larger pro-referendum rally planned for October 20. - AFP

Booze and bullets fly at airport

A policeman working at Tajikistan’s main international airport shot his colleague twice with his service pistol in a “drunken quarrel”, the interior ministry said on Monday. A spokesman said a 34-year-old officer at the Dushanbe International Airport shot his 30-year-old subordinate with a Makarov pistol, widely used by security forces in the ex-Soviet Union. The incident took place Saturday evening in a room used by police after both men had been drinking, and it did not affect the airport’s running. The younger policeman’s life was “not in danger”, after he was treated for wounds to the chest and leg. “Both officers have been suspended pending an internal investigation,” the spokesman said, while the alleged shooter, who was in charge of the airport’s criminal investigation department, was being held in police custody. - AFP

Blasphemous mum faces death

Pakistan’s Supreme Court said it had reached a judgment on Monday after hearing the final appeal of a Christian mother on death row for blasphemy, but that it will announce its ruling later in the notorious case, which has gone all the way to the Vatican. Chief Justice Saqib Nisar did not say when the three-member bench would reveal the fate of Asia Bibi, a mother-of-five who has been on death row since 2010 and could become the first person in Pakistan to be executed under the controversial blasphemy laws. The delay was “for reasons to be recorded later”. If the court upholds Bibi’s conviction, her only recourse will be a direct appeal to the president for clemency. Hardliners in Pakistan regularly call for her execution. - AFP

Spies? What spies?

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday the expulsion of four alleged Russian agents from the Netherlands in April had been a “misunderstanding”, calling their visit a “routine trip”. “There was nothing secret about the trip by our specialists to the Netherlands … They didn’t hide when they checked into the hotel, or when they came to the airport, or when they went to our embassy. They were detained without explanation, and asked to leave. It looked like a misunderstanding,” he said. The Netherlands said on Thursday it had expelled four GRU military intelligence agents in April for plotting a cyber attack on the world’s chemical weapons watchdog in The Hague. The men entered the country on Russian diplomatic passports on April 10 and were caught red-handed on April 13 with a car full of electronic equipment in the Marriott Hotel next to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. - AFP

Blame the devil for abuse, says pope

The devil is alive and well and working overtime to undermine the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis says. In fact, the pope is so convinced that Satan is to blame for the sexual abuse crisis and deep divisions racking the church that he has asked Catholics around the world to recite a special prayer every day in October to try to beat him back. “(The Church must be) saved from the attacks of the malign one, the great accuser, and at the same time be made ever more aware of its guilt, its mistakes, and abuses committed in the present and the past,” Francis said on September 29. Since he was elected in 2013, Francis has made it clear that he believes the devil to be real. In a document in April on holiness in the modern world, he mentioned the devil more than a dozen times. – Reuters

Blind man at sit-in falls to death

A blind Moroccan man fell to his death while taking part in a protest to demand jobs on the roof of a ministry in the capital Rabat, authorities said on Monday. The man was among dozens of visually impaired jobless Moroccans taking part since late September in the sit-in on the roof of the family affairs ministry to demand work in the public sector. He died on the way to the hospital. Since late September, members of the National Coordination of Visually Impaired Graduates have threatened to throw themselves off the ministry’s roof if their demands are not met. In 2012, a young unemployed Moroccan died after trying to set himself on fire. In March 2017, a dozen visually impaired unemployed people attempted to set themselves on fire in Marrakech. More than four out of every 10 Moroccan youngsters are unemployed. - AFP
A woman holds a stuffed rabbit toy after it was found at her destroyed home, where she said she had lost her three children in Indonesia.
LOST INNOCENCE A woman holds a stuffed rabbit toy after it was found at her destroyed home, where she said she had lost her three children in Indonesia.
Image: Reuters/Jorge Silva



Prospects for prospecting look bleak without incentives

Mining Charter provides some certainty for existing mines but holds precious little promise for exploration

By Lisa Steyn
1 min read

Let’s get real: We won’t build true value via social media

Personal tech will change from being a convenience to being an invasion, a plague. It’s started already

By Mark Barnes
4 min read

Is something vrot stinking up the Choppies shop?

Fast-growing grocery chain’s release of year-end results delayed indefinitely, causing jitters among investors

By Siseko Njobeni
1 min read



Bookmarks: Poison, paranoia and poo nappies

A bi-weekly column on books

By Andrew Donaldson
9 min read

Wim and vigour: Seeing the artist in a different light

Botha distorts and refracts themes from his storied past and his present, more free and spontaneous, state

By Lucienne van Pul
8 min read

Keyes Avenue: The fine art of turning suburbia inside out

New development in Rosebank is part of a precinct that combines secure urban living with communal spaces 

By Graham Wood
5 min read

Book extract: ‘A Passion for Opera’ by Angelo Gobbato

Italian immigrant to SA brought beautiful life to culture

By Angelo Gobbato
5 min read



SPORTS DAY: Bafana stars jet in for crucial Seychelles ties

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

4 min read

Set your alarm to go off like a vuvuzela on September 21 2019

Get ready already for the showdown in Yokohama between the Boks and the All Blacks at the World Cup

Craig Ray
3 min read

Blasts from the past: Abbott silences Aussie ODI chatter

Today in SA sports history: October 9

David Isaacson
1 min read