Friday, October 12 2018



How a R350m PIC credit facility to VBS was looted

A 2015 payment by the Public Investment Corporation forms part of a widespread series of heists at VBS

By Carol Paton
3 min read

Ja swell no fine: City of Gold will become city of sardines

Population is set to soar, but it will be dwarfed by Luanda and Dar es Salaam - not to mention Jakarta

Bobby Jordan
3 min read

Mom’s comfort for Hannah Cornelius’s friend as he relives nightmare

Cop also describes his courageous pursuit of the four suspects

By Aron Hyman and Anthony Molyneaux
5 min read



'SA needs to atone for the blood of our ancestors'

Gauteng group vows to up the ante until the president deals with the generational ills visited upon Khoisan descendants

Poloko Tau
4 min read

Justice for Timol: Better late than never

As alleged killer cop's trial begins, struggle hero's family speak of their hopes and fears about the case

By Tymon Smith
4 min read

Stolen slave bones to go back to their Khoi families

The skeletons of 11 enslaved farmworkers were ‘donated’ to UCT 100 years ago

Tanya Farber
3 min read

The secret’s snout: baby dino find is right on the nose

Study of tiniest Tylosaurus yet found unlocks mystery of how dinosaurs develop from one age group to the next

Tanya Farber
1 min read

'Cruel and inhumane': judge slams SA prison conditions

Report reveals shocking state of affairs with rampant overcrowding at 81 facilities

Alex Patrick
3 min read

Sea change: Struggle hero’s daughter swims from Robben Island

Her father, Saths Cooper, was once imprisoned there. Now she swam from it to save children's lives

Alex Patrick
3 min read



When free wifi doesn’t come close to being free of wifi

On a tiny Greek island open-mouthed South Africans can learn a thing or two about being connected

5 min read

Teachers' putdowns are a zing of the past – more’s the pithy

Those stinging zingers from our school reports can haunt us deep into adulthood

By Ysenda Maxtone Graham
3 min read

Squirrely carry-on about a smart arse is just plane nuts

A column to satisfy your inner grammar nerd

Sue de Groot
3 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

Mom jailed for leaving tot alone during bar spree

Police have applauded the prison sentence given to a 23-year-old mother for neglecting her one-year-old child. The resident of Kenilworth‚ a suburb near Rosettenville in Johannesburg‚ was sentenced to three years by the Johannesburg Regional Court on Monday. She had left her daughter alone at home from about 6.30pm on Boxing Day in 2017. She was arrested in the early hours of the following day, and assaulted a police officer during the arrest. The child was taken to a place of safety. This is the second recent case involving a mother being served a jail term by the Johannesburg Regional Court. This week‚ Mbele said a 26-year-old woman who beat her child with a broomstick and a beer crate in Newclare‚ Johannesburg, had been jailed for five years.

R10bn later‚ government drops set-top boxes

Many years and R10bn later‚ the government is stopping the procurement of set-top boxes meant to facilitate the switch from analogue to digital TV broadcasting‚ opting for an industry-driven "hybrid model". This is according to Communications Minister and cabinet spokesperson Nomvula Mokonyane‚ who said on Thursday the cabinet has taken the decision at its fortnightly meeting on Wednesday. The government would now stop directly procuring‚ transporting and installing set-top boxes to a projected five million poor households and would seek a public-private partnership with dominant players in broadcasting, such as MultiChoice and the SABC, to take the digital migration forward. This is the latest flip-flop in the government's policy around digital migration‚ which has been lagging behind for several years owing to policy inconsistencies.

Mboweni’s appointment bad news: Numsa

The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) denounced the appointment of Tito Mboweni as finance minister on Thursday‚ saying the working class was "doomed". "As Numsa we celebrated when Mboweni's term as Reserve Bank governor came to an end. This is because Mboweni is hostile to the working-class majority,” Numsa chairman Andrew Chirwa said. Listing what Numsa deemed Mboweni's failures‚ Chirwa said he had promoted the maintenance of high interest rates, which had a “negative impact on the economy and resulted in massive job losses‚ because hundreds of manufacturing companies closed down as a result of these policies”. He said Mboweni had also displayed wilful ignorance of the dire economic hardships faced by the working-class majority. Mboweni replaced Nhlanhla Nene‚ who resigned after disclosures that he had more extensive meetings with members of the Gupta family than he had previously indicated.

Arrest warrant for multimillion-dollar student

A warrant of arrest was issued on Thursday for a 22-year-old student who was caught trying to leave SA with more than R9m in US dollars. This was after Fayrooz Saleh failed to show up at the Kempton Park Magistrate’s Court for the commencement of her case. Her lawyer, Ori Moloi, said he had last spoken to Saleh on Wednesday‚ when she said she was ill. He did not have further clarity on whether she planned to arrive for the day's proceedings. The court issued the arrest warrant and postponed the matter to October 25. According to court documents‚ she was stopped by SA Revenue Service officials who took her to the customs area. They opened her luggage in her presence and found $630‚700 (R9m). When questioned she said she was heading to Hong Kong to buy goods.

Woman dragged by hair from speeding hijack car

A woman whose hair became entangled with her seatbelt when she was pushed from her car by hijackers, was dragged by the speeding car in Umbilo‚ Durban‚ late on Wednesday night. As the men tried to flee‚ the screaming victim was hauled across the tarmac as she struggled to free herself. The gunmen‚ who had forced her from the driver’s seat on Prospect Road‚ eventually abandoned the hijacking and fled. Community crime activist Heather Rorick said the woman was badly wounded‚ with skin ripped from her legs and arms.

Newborn saved from pit-toilet death

A baby‚ thought to be just hours old‚ is lucky to be alive after paramedics and firefighters saved her from a pit latrine near Mandini in northern KwaZulu-Natal on Thursday. IPSS Medical Rescue spokesman Dylan Meyrick said medics were alerted to the stricken child by firefighters at the scene. “On arriving at the scene they found a newborn baby had been disposed of in the pit toilet. The baby was still alive so firemen immediately entered the pit and rescued her. Paramedics on scene examined and cleaned the baby girl before transporting her to Sundumbili clinic for further care‚” Meyrick said. Police were investigating.
The top section of a high-rise block of flats damaged by Hurricane Michael in Florida, US.
CAUTION! SLIPPERY FLOORS The top section of a high-rise block of flats damaged by Hurricane Michael in Florida, US.
Image: Reuters/Jonathan Bachman


A video of a biker refusing to allow a taxi to break the rules of the road has gone viral on social media. The incident, which took place on Monday on Sloane Street, Bryanston, shows the taxi driving on the wrong side of the road. Biker Sean Nysschen was not having it. Nysschen, who stood his ground for almost 10 minutes, eventually won when the driver reversed into the correct lane.


The news you don't normally get to hear

Hanging in there: the death penalty around the world

As Malaysia becomes the latest country to ban it, we look at the state of capital punishment around the world

2 min read

Vanished Saudi journo: The truth is starting to emerge

Diplomats believe the Saudi-Qatari rivalry was behind his disappearance. These are the reasons why 

By Con Coughlin
2 min read

Female rage is getting nasty, and it won't end well

The feminist fury post-Kavanaugh needs a target, but demonising men is not the way to go

By Allison Pearson
2 min read

Royal vat-en-sit: How Yorks split and lived (together) happily ever after

It's by far the most puzzling relationship in the British royal family. This is how Andrew and Fergie have made it work

By Camilla Tominey
6 min read



Boffin shows phones the finger, and it’s creepy

A French researcher has invented a robot finger that attaches to a cellphone and can wriggle across the desk, stroke your hand and drag the phone across the table. “My PhD subject is around touch in communications,” explains Marc Teyssier, a researcher at Telecom Paristech engineering school. “When we talk with people in real life we touch each other to communicate emotions, for example a stroke on the arm, or stuff like that. But for mobile devices and interaction in general in computers, we don’t use touch at all. So my starting point was: how can we bring touch in human-computer interfaces?“ So he designed, built and patented the MobiLimb robotic finger, which plugs into a phone and looks a lot like a real finger. Friends can activate it and operate it remotely, which provides a comforting pat on the wrist for the person on the other end of the call. – Reuters

She’s feline great in her mew job

It was an unusual job advert. Wanted: Cat chief. Location: Zelenogradsk, Russia: Duties: Tending to the town’s approximately 70 stray cats. About 80 applicants applied for the new role with the municipality in the small town in the Kaliningrad region, which has also erected a cat statue and added a feline to its emblem in a bid to rebrand itself as Russia’s foremost cat-loving community. In the end, resident Svetlana Logunova was appointed guardian of the town’s felines. To help her with the task she was given a bicycle and uniform, including a bright-green jacket, black bowtie and hat. She has been given a budget of 5,700 roubles (R1,238) a month to ensure all the seaside community’s cats are happy, dishing out food, strokes and free rides in the basket on her bike. - Reuters

These firefighters bleat back blazes

Fernando Moura and his herd may not look like heroes but the Portuguese farmer and his 370 goats are the latest recruits in the country’s battle against summer forest fires. Hoping to contain wildfires that threaten its mountains each year, Portugal’s government has hired goats to munch through undergrowth and create natural, cost-effective fire barriers. Soaring temperatures often spark blazes across Portugal’s mountain ranges, forcing authorities to dispatch hundreds of firefighters, soldiers and water-dumping aircraft. More than 100 people were killed in the country’s wildfires last year, prompting criticism from firefighters over a lack of government coordination. Moura’s four-legged brigade are part of a pilot project, started this year, to clear combustible scrubland from some of Portugal’s major mountain ranges. Authorities hope this will help stop blazes spreading from one forest to another and better contain fires. – AFP

Why snowflakes hate poppies

Cambridge University’s Student Union (CUSU) has voted down a motion to promote Remembrance Sunday amid fears about the “glorification” of conflict. The motion called on the university, its colleges and faculties to be “more proactive in promoting the cause of Remembrance". This could include asking for a minute's silence on Remembrance Sunday or sending e-mail reminders to students about the availability of poppies, the motion said. It encouraged the commemoration of British veterans, adding that CUSU should "ensure that Remembrance Day becomes a well-established and well-marked event across the university”. But the motion, put forward by two members of the university’s Conservative Association, was rejected by students during their first meeting of the new academic year. – © The Daily Telegraph

This is how a modern dictator Rolls

Kim Jong-un arrived at his recent meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a new Rolls-Royce Phantom, suggesting international sanctions are no longer halting the regime’s acquisition of luxury goods. Images of Kim arriving for the talks in Pyongyang on Sunday show a jet-black Rolls with darkened windows. Kim appears to have traded in the Mercedes-Benz he previously used for important occasions, with automotive website the Drive identifying the car as a Phantom. A basic version of the Phantom starts at £318,120, although the website suggested the car would have had extensive upgrades to meet the needs of the North Korean dictator, including bulletproofing to enable it to withstand machine gun rounds. – © The Daily Telegraph

Security staff told to not grin and bear it

Airport security personnel across India have been instructed by their senior officers to smile less, since cheerful faces lead to a perception of laxness. The 144,000 strong heavily armed federal Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) tasked with securing 60 Indian airports, was recently directed to switch from ‘broad smiles’ to ‘sufficient smiles’ while on duty. Issuing the fiat to sport serious visages in their public dealings earlier this month, CISF director-general Rajesh Ranjan said his force’s mandate was security and not ‘customer service’, and ‘smiling broadly’ was not a part of this interaction. He also reasoned that ‘excessive friendliness’ and focus on passenger comfort rather than security puts airports at risk of terror attacks. He added, without elaborating, that the 9/11 strikes had occurred after US airport security staff were taken in by ‘passenger-friendly faces’. – © The Daily Telegraph
Axe throwing is a sport that started in the Canadian backwoods and is growing in popularity in US cities such as LA.
AXES & BUTTER FINGERS DON'T GO TOGETHER, DEAR Axe throwing is a sport that started in the Canadian backwoods and is growing in popularity in US cities such as LA.
Image: Reuters/Lucy Nicholson



World’s longest train will save Transnet more than R1bn

Parastatal’s next step is to target the 1.2 million tons that is hauled to harbour by road

By Allan Seccombe
3 min read

The panic about Tencent and Naspers *might* be overdone

Not one of the 50 analysts tracked by Bloomberg has a sell recommendation on the stock. So that’s a sell, then?

By Nick Hedley
1 min read

Debt (and share price) crunch at Trustco prompts odd move

CEO wants to loan his company R1bn - after raising cash by selling his shares cheaply to new investors

By Marc Hasenfuss
1 min read



More than a flicker of interest in turning books into movies

These are the adaptations to look out for, some of them serious Oscar contenders

By Tymon Smith
2 min read

True grue: Doccies that’ll give you a small-screen skrik

Dead right for Halloween, these are Netflix’s most notorious true crime movies and docu-series

By Crystal Andrews
2 min read

Won’t you take us to the bioscope?

The films opening in our cinemas this week

By Critics’ choice
2 min read

Bangers and a mishmash: The ‘A Star is Born’ soundtrack

Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper mix slick RnB with everything from grunge to country and western

By Neil McCormick
4 min read



SPORTS DAY: Mbappé is just Kylian it as ‘future of soccer’

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

David Isaacson
4 min read

Bobby, Gary, Ernie ... and now Goose steps into Hall of Fame

Retief Goosen, winner of two majors, joins famed SA trio. He tells how he got the good news, and how he felt

Craig Ray
3 min read

Blast from the past: Polly has a cracker against Pakistan

Today in SA sports history: October 12

David Isaacson
1 min read