Monday, October 29 2018

THE BIG ISSUES

LEADING THE AGENDA

Yet again, America's all-Republican president bombs

Faced with a national crisis, Donald Trump turns to point-scoring and electioneering

Justice Malala
Columnist
4 min read

Taxing times: SIU struggles to claw back state money from dodgy deals

But the slow pace of litigation and unco-operative government departments hamper its efforts

Karyn Maughan
Journalist
4 min read

VBS hoodoo strikes West Rand municipality: staff not paid

Controversial R77m investment in the beleaguered bank leaves the council unable to pay its employees

Poloko Tau
Journalist
3 min read

SMART NEWS

IN ONE TAKE

Bite the ballot: The IEC’s shoestring election

Commission's budget for next year's general election is down R300m on that spent on the 2014 poll

Qaanitah Hunter
Journalist
3 min read

Schlepping into an FNB branch is a pain, and it'll cost you

The bank seems to be the only one with this strange policy

Wendy Knowler
Consumer journalist
2 min read

Uh-oh, Standard Bank, your clients want you to shine up

Survey of social media users shows they love Capitec while Standard takes over from Absa as least popular 

Katharine Child
Journalist
3 min read

Big stinkers cry foul: Suits charged over pong fight back

A 'rotten egg' smell is at the heart of a row between KZN locals and a waste company

By Tania Broughton
4 min read

Post-apartheid Kentridge drawing could fetch R6m

The 1999 artwork stems from early work which catapulted him to international fame

Alex Patrick
Journalist
2 min read

IDEAS

TO FEED YOUR MIND

Caught in the Act: Makro just wouldn't suck it up

Amazingly, retailers still deny customers their Consumer Protection Act rights

Wendy Knowler
Consumer journalist
1 min read

Almighty test: Why can't we ridicule religion?

European courts risk corroding free speech to create special status for Islam

By Tim Stanley
4 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

Gigaba bemoans tape of ‘sexual nature’

Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba revealed on Sunday that a video of a sexual nature was stolen when his phone got hacked during 2016 and 2017 and that the video was circulating among certain political figures. In a series of tweets on Sunday morning‚ Gigaba said the video had been at the centre of blackmail and extortion attempts‚ dating back to the period following his appointment as finance minister in March last year. He said he had steadfastly refused to entertain the blackmail attempts. Gigaba said these blackmail and extortion attempts, as well as the illegal interception of his communication, had been reported to relevant law enforcement authorities. He said he had been advised that the investigations were continuing.

Parliament summons top cops

The commanders of the five police stations in the country dealing with the highest incidences of violent crimes have been summoned to appear before parliament’s portfolio committee of police on Tuesday. The committee’s chairperson‚ Francois Beukman‚ said on Sunday it was critical that violent crime be addressed as the number one priority of the police. The committee had decided that the station commanders of Hillbrow‚ Johannesburg Central‚ Kagiso‚ Mitchells Plain and Nyanga police station should appear before the committee so that the police strategy on combating contact crime could be evaluated. "Murder‚ attempted murder‚ robbery and rape are the crimes that affect the safety of communities and the necessary strategic and operational measures should be taken to intervene in the top-five crime stations‚" Beukman said.

Cosatu to embark on stayaway against e-tolls

The Congress of SA Trade Unions in Gauteng will embark on a stayaway on Friday to protest against e-tolls. Cosatu will deliver a memorandum to President Cyril Ramaphosa in Pretoria. The union federation said on Sunday it was angered over Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s announcement that the government would continue with the current system of e-tolls. Cosatu’s Gauteng provincial secretary Dumisani Dakile said the e-tolls represented daylight robbery of the people of Gauteng. “We think the minister has already been captured by the dominant neo-liberal ideology within the department of finance‚” Dakile said.

Mandla Mandela wishes De Klerk speedy recovery

Chief of the Mvezo Nkosi Zwelivelile Mandla Mandela has wished former president FW De Klerk a speedy recovery following his admission to hospital on Friday. The FW de Klerk Foundation said De Klerk was being treated at the Panorama Hospital in Cape Town for pneumothorax, an abnormal collection of air in the pleural space between the lung and the chest wall. He was expected to be discharged “some time next week”. Mandela said he wished De Klerk strength and trusted that he was receiving the best medical treatment. He said De Klerk recently paid a glowing tribute to his late grandfather‚ Nelson Mandela‚ on the occasion of the Nelson Mandela Centennial Celebration at Mvezo‚ on July 18. “His words moved many to tears and his deep regard for the father of the nation was evident and palpable. He described Madiba as a man of principle and an extraordinary statesman and servant of the people.”

Assault rifle found in wendy house

An R5 assault rifle discovered by police in a wedy house in Bishops Lavis‚ Cape Town‚ on Friday is to be sent for ballistic testing to determine whether it has been used in any crimes. The rifle was discovered by the Anti-Gang Unit who were responding to a shooting in the Valhalla Park area, following a tip-off about a suspect in a murder case. Police said the assault rifle was found with 32 rounds loaded in a magazine with serial number filed off. Earlier, members of the unit on foot patrol in Hillcress Court‚ Nooitgedaght, caught a suspicious-looking man who was found to be carrying a Norinco 9mm pistol with the serial number still intact‚ and two 9mm rounds. He was arrested, and further investigation revealed the firearm was reported stolen in a Mitchells Plain case.

Five caught with hand grenade, arrested

Five men have been arrested during a police sting operation in the Hoedspruit area in Limpopo after being found in possession of a hand grenade. The men were intercepted on Friday by police who were acting on information about a vehicle travelling from Nkowankowa to Hoedspruit with illegal explosives. “The vehicle was intercepted along the R40 road with five men inside. During the search‚ police confiscated one F1 hand grenade. A white Kia motor vehicle they were travelling in was also seized. The origin and destination on this explosive is still being determined although it is believed that this might be part of a syndicate on business robberies‚ using explosives to blow up safes‚” police said. The men would appear before the Hoedspruit Magistrate's Court soon on a charge of possession of illegal explosives.
Camels after a race in Kabad area, 50 kilometres southwest of Kuwait City.
Kuwait a minute Camels after a race in Kabad area, 50 kilometres southwest of Kuwait City.
Image: Yasser Al-Zayyat/AFP

VISUAL SIDE

Ndumo Ngubelanga, of the village of KwaMachi 200km south of Durban, clings to the hope that glinting flecks of yellow in rock from a local shale quarry is a seam of gold.


THE WORLD

The news you don't normally get to hear

The killer nurse was a ‘nice guy’ who took himself for God

He caused heart failure in several dozen patients before trying to save them - and then played the saviour

By AFP
6 min read

Crying shame: Yemen's war babies starving to death

UN call for humanitarian ceasefire around food-aid distribution facilities is ignored

By AFP
2 min read

Feminism and a touch of Māori: Meghan wows Kiwis

Markle congratulates New Zealand on leading the world in women's suffrage

By Hannah Furness
4 min read

To the roo-scue: this guy's lucky the cops were around

Kangaroo saved by Aussie officers after he went for a very ill-advised surf

By AFP
1 min read

SNAPSHOT

SIX THINGS ABOUT THE WORLD YOU NEED TO KNOW

Simpsons quell ‘race’ debate Kwik-smart

After 28 years working behind the counter of Springfield's Kwik-E-Mart, Indian shopkeeper Apu is going to be dropped from “The Simpsons”, sources close to the programme claim. The character, voiced by white actor Hank Azaria, prompted debate recently after he was branded a racist caricature in a TV documentary, “The Problem with Apu”. The documentary's presenter, US comedian Hari Kondabolu, claims the character is tainted by "a little bit of the poison of racism". "Apu reflected how America viewed us: servile, devious, goofy," Kondabolu said. Rather than calling for Apu to be killed off, however, he urged the writers to "keep him" and "complicate" him, to make him less of a stereotype. But now insiders say Apu will instead be written out of the show following the racism row. Film producer Adi Shankarclaims "multiple sources" have confirmed the shopkeeper will be dropped “just to avoid the controversy. Apu has been a fixture on the show since 1990. - © The Sunday Telegraph

Chinese carrier rockets … to nowhere

A privately developed Chinese carrier rocket failed to reach orbit after lifting off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre on Saturday, in a blow to the country’s nascent attempts by private companies to rival Elon Musk’s SpaceX. The three-stage rocket, Zhuque-1, was developed by Beijing-based Landspace. The company said in a microblog post after nominal first and second stages that the spacecraft failed to reach orbit as a result of an issue with the third stage. “Before Zhuque carrier rocket was launched, its mission was already completed,” the company, without giving further details. Landspace was founded in 2015 and soon aimed to be the first Chinese private company to deliver a satellite into orbit. The company said it was the first private licensed company in China to launch carrier rockets. Zhuque-1 was carrying a satellite named “Future” built for state media China Central Television. - Reuters

Stolen Romanians become statues

Spanish police say they have smashed a trafficking ring that brought Romanians, many of them with disabilities, to Spain where they were forced to beg in the streets dressed as mimes and human statues. Officers arrested three suspected members of the gang, including its alleged leader, and freed 10 Romanians who were being held by the network in the northwestern region of Galicia, police said. Some of the six women who were freed had also been forced into prostitution. The ring would recruit its victims in Romania with the promise of jobs in the hospitality sector in Spain, but once in the country they were forced to beg in the streets of Santiago de Compostela, a world-famous pilgrimage city, on their knees or dressed as human statues or mimes “regardless of weather conditions”. Members of the ring would threaten victims to make them beg and “were especially violent when some of these people became sick and could not go out in the streets,” the police added. - AFP

Study outfoxes anti-hunting brigade

The first scientific study yet into the use of dogs to hunt foxes in the UK has found that the law banning hunting makes controlling foxes “less effective and more cruel”. The study says the law in England and Wales had led to a longer pursuit of foxes by farmers attempting to control them on their land. It suggests that Scottish law, which allows the use of any number of dogs to flush and shoot foxes, is more effective and less cruel. In Scotland the use of any number of dogs to flush and shoot foxes remains legal, compared with England and Wales where only two dogs can be employed. The study, published in the Wildlife Society Bulletin, concluded that when a pair of dogs was used, as compared with a pack, only half as many foxes were flushed. The period of active pursuit from a fox being found to being flushed was over 5 times less. – © The Daily Telegraph

Queen’s axe man does the moonwalk

A new book of stereoscopic images of the moon landing created by Brian May, the Queen guitarist, is the closest most people will ever get to walking on the lunar surface, astronauts have claimed. May, who has produced several books using the Victorian technology, said he had spent many nights compiling the images while he was on tour with the band Queen. The technique uses photographs taken at slightly different angles which give a three-dimensional effect which leaps off the page when readers wear special glasses. However most of the Apollo shots were not captured in 3D so May spent a year painstakingly altering them to get the effect ahead of the 50th anniversary of the landing next year. - © The Daily Telegraph

Jacko’s ‘Bad’ jacket under hammer

Michael Jackson’s black “Bad” jacket that the singer wore on his first solo tour is going up for auction in November and could fetch up to $100,000. Julien’s Auctions said the jacket, which Jackson signed on the back with a silver permanent marker, was worn throughout the singer’s “Bad” world concert tour from 1987-89. The jacket, with multiple zippers, straps and buckles, is one of the late singer’s most iconic costume pieces alongside his red and black leather “Thriller” music video jacket that sold for $1.8m at auction in 2011.Jackson has become one of the most collectible celebrities since his sudden death in 2009 in Los Angeles at age 50 from an accidental overdose of an anesthetic he was using as a sleep aid. - Reuters
Japan’s Naomi Osaka hits a return against Sloane Stephens of the US.
CROWNING GLORY Japan’s Naomi Osaka hits a return against Sloane Stephens of the US.
Image: Roslan Rahman/AFP

THE BUSINESS

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Cyril’s honeymoon is over: SA is in bigger trouble than we thought

Ramaphosa needs a closer ally in the private sector because it is worse than previously thought

By Stuart Theobald
5 min read

The Ramaphosa effect: Aspen to pour R3.4bn into PE plant

SA’s single biggest pharmaceutical investment on the back of a more predictable, stable economic landscape 

By Nick Hedley
2 min read

Naspers shovels R4.6bn towards president’s stimulus plan

Money will flow into SA’s tech sector, partly through a new fund that will back black-owned start-ups

By Nick Hedley
1 min read

There could be more in store for Richemont and Alibaba

Joint venture partnership with e-commerce giant to launch a retail platform for China might be just the start

By Marc Hasenfuss
2 min read

LIFESTYLE

CULTURE COMES ALIVE

Apps: Because we all know periods are not a bloody joke

Let technology help you take the guesswork out of your menstrual cycle and falling pregnant (or not)

By Aneesa Adams
3 min read

Show us the money, honey: Bees all abuzz about concrete

New concrete hives have transformed the prospects of small and emerging beekeepers across SA

By Staff reporter
3 min read

Thank your lucky satellites that our internet is (sort of) okay

Pity the world’s poorest still left in the ethereal dark

By Adrian Lovett
3 min read

SPORT

FINISH LINE ESSENTIALS

SPORTS DAY: Gio back in green and gold for Euro tour

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

Mninawa Ntloko
Sports editor
9 min read

The boys in green have four massive battles ahead

The differences between the Boks and their opponents are so slim they could just as easily win as lose

Craig Ray
Journalist
3 min read

Blast from the past: Makhaya Ntini burns through Pakistan

Today in SA sports history: October 29

David Isaacson
Journalist
1 min read