Wednesday, October 31 2018



Lawyer’s murder brings gangs back to Cape suburbs

Killing of Pete Mihalik and wounding of his son is a brutal reminder that Cape Flats gangs are on their doorstep

Dave Chambers
Cape Town bureau chief
4 min read



‘The animals call for food, but we have nothing’

Tearful farmers tell of their drought nightmare as trucks arrive in Springbok with fodder and food parcels

Aron Hyman
5 min read



Supra faces ANC NEC head-on. His weapon? Mpofu

The advocate is expected to argue the decision to dissolve North West ANC leadership was not justified

2 min read

‘Hidden hand’ in Durban bombings makes bail bid

Businessman Farhad Hoomer’s lawyer claims the state’s case is weak, and that bail is a must

Jeff Wicks
3 min read

Nine die in Garden Route fires - and there’s no sign of rain

One devastated Rheenendal family lost a pregnant woman, five children and a baby

Aron Hyman
2 min read

The private sector's biggest cyber enemy is on the inside

Expert urges companies that have been hacked to come forward so others can plug data leaks

Tanya Farber
2 min read

Home Affairs blocked guide dog ‘because of apartheid’

Blind woman was 'humiliated' when guards refused to let her in, but department says they were right

2 min read

Dating apps crack down on an off-putting buzzkill: ghosting

The phenomenon could be putting off love-seekers, giving dating apps such as Tinder reason to panic

By Helena Horton
1 min read



Gigaba's home-grown gaffes deserve their own prime time slot

There's no shortage of material for a comedy series about our home affairs minister

Andile Ndlovu
4 min read

It’s coming up roses for Cyril, but life stinks for the rest of us

Despite crises, Ramaphosa is sitting pretty for next year's polls, but SA is not having as fabulous a time

Ranjeni Munusamy
Associate editor: analysis
5 min read

A picture that 'speaks' 1,000 words is worth fokkol in the bank

At least that's what you would have got out of Mediclinic and its photographic 'competition'

Tom Eaton
2 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

Reserve Bank applies to wind up VBS

The SA Reserve Bank's Prudential Authority (PA) has lodged an application in the High Court in Pretoria for the final liquidation of VBS Mutual Bank. The PA said there was no prospect of entering into any resolution plan for the bank. The application for the final winding-up was lodged on Monday. “While VBS is currently under curatorship pursuant to a decision taken by the minister of finance on March 10, the PA is of the view that curatorship must now be terminated and VBS must be placed in final winding-up,” it said. “This is as a result of the fact that VBS is hopelessly insolvent and massive frauds have been perpetrated against it.” The PA expected the application to be heard in the high court on November 13.

DA’s support base plummets

The DA’s support base is estimated to be half the number of votes it received in the last election, according to a survey report by Afrobarometer ahead of general elections scheduled for next year. Almost half (48%) of South Africans say that if elections were held tomorrow‚ they would vote for the ANC. The DA and EFF would tie for second place with 11% each‚ said Afrobarometer. The survey found that the ANC was considerably stronger in rural areas (59%) than it was in the cities (43%). The DA‚ in contrast‚ triples its rural share (4%, as opposed to 14% in urban areas)‚ while the EFF shows an urban-rural balance. Afrobarometer said its team interviewed 1‚800 adult South Africans in August and September 2018.

Whale carcass washes up near luxury hotels

The carcass of a huge humpback whale washed up at the foot of upmarket hotels The Oyster Box‚ Pearls and the Beverly Hills in Umhlanga on Tuesday. The 30-ton whale carcass was initially spotted on a beach near Umdloti‚ on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast‚ on Monday. Marine experts and eThekwini municipality workers began the process of removing the humpback whale when the rising tide forced them to abandon their effort. “The whale was taken by the tides on Monday afternoon. It travelled about 3km and landed on the Umhlanga beach‚” said Jennifer Olbers of Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife. Dozens of tourists and locals watched from the promenade and pier as municipal officials resumed the process of clearing the carcass and disposing it at a landfill.

DA vows criminal case against Mkhize

The DA has promised it will open a criminal case against Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Zweli Mkhize for his alleged involvement in the VBS Mutual Bank looting scandal. This comes after the Sunday Times reported on text messages exchanged between alleged looting mastermind Tshifhiwa Matodzi and former head of treasury at VBS‚ Phophi Mukhodobwane‚ who claimed they had paid Mkhize R2m in his capacity as ANC treasurer-general at the time. The two alleged in their conversation that the R2m donation in 2016 was paid with the undertaking that Mkhize would help raise money from municipalities and state institutions. DA cooperative governance spokesperson Kevin Mileham said a police investigation was needed to bring those implicated in looting VBS to book.

ANC Gauteng chief whip Hlongwa quits

Controversial ANC Gauteng chief whip Brian Hlongwa has resigned from the provincial legislature amid a pending report from the party’s integrity committee for him to step down. Hlongwa said on Tuesday he asked the ANC to relieve him of his duties to focus on the accusations against him. “This decision has been informed by the need to resolve the eight-year-long accusations‚ without having the matter aired in the courts of the country‚” Hlongwa said. A report by the Special Investigating Unit implicated Hlongwa in alleged corrupt and fraudulent dealings worth R1.2bn in the Gauteng health department during his tenure as MEC. When the report was made public this year‚ the ANC in Gauteng said Hlongwa would be subjected to the party’s integrity committee. ANC caucus spokesperson Kgapa Mabusela denied that Hlongwa stepped down because he was pre-empting the integrity committee report.

‘Woman-beater’s’ bail conditions relaxed

The Randburg Magistrate’s Court has relaxed the bail conditions of alleged woman-beater Andrew Turnbull. Turnbull is out on R10‚000 bail after being accused of assaulting his former girlfriend‚ Chere Gray. His original bail conditions were that he was not to contact the complainant‚ her family or ex-husband and his family. He was not allowed to leave the Eastern Cape‚ except to attend court and report to the police daily. His lawyer asked the court on Tuesday to relax those conditions, and the court ruled that Turnbull could report to the Port Alfred police station three days a week and that he be allowed to travel between Port Elizabeth and East London. A video recorded by Gray's cousin and played in court earlier showed Gray in a chokehold before being tossed aside by Turnbull during an alleged assault. His case was postponed to November 29 for further investigation.
A model at the China Fashion Week in Beijing.
IMPERIAL INDIGO A model at the China Fashion Week in Beijing.
Image: Reuters/Stringer


Late hip-hop star HHP’s partner and well-known publicist Lerato Sengadi struggled to fight back tears at his memorial in Johannesburg on Tuesday.


The news you don't normally get to hear

Banning gun ownership would not make America safe

It would see growth in the criminal market comparable to that which took place during the Prohibition era

By Charles Moore
2 min read

Democrats back in the House will give Trump the blues

If Republicans lose control they are in for a headache on hot-button issues like Russia and North Korea

By Patricia Zengerle
4 min read

WW1: When men picked up guns, women wore the pants

From teaching and engineering to farming and factory work, the Great War kick-started a revolution

3 min read

Crouching tigers, hidden cameras: Nepal counts big cats

Wild tigers are clawing their way back from extinction, with their numbers almost doubling in recent years

4 min read



Iraqi women wrestle tradition

Sports teacher Nehaya Dhaher was asked to set up the country's first women's wrestling squad. Taking on a sport largely reserved for men in a region with strict traditions was quite a challenge but one that both Dhaher and young female sports fans embraced. ‘Recruiting wasn't a problem,’ said Dhaher, a tight blue hijab framing her round face. ‘On the other hand, it's been difficult to convince society because our traditions aren't really headed in this direction,’ the 52-year-old told said. Dhaher never imagined that one day she would be coaching a group of young female wrestlers in her conservative city of Diwaniyah. But when the Iraqi Wrestling Federation approached her two years ago with the opportunity to lead the team due to her proven track record with women athletes, she leapt at the chance. To start off, she found five volunteers at her local sports club to train the Al-Rafidain. Today, the team has about 20 members aged from about 15 to 30 who train regularly after school. At first unsure what to make of the sport's new female competitors, today people in Diwaniyah come out to support the team during competitions, according to Dhaher. Al-Rafidain's success has pushed others elsewhere in Iraq to try the same, with women’s teams popping up in the ethnically mixed city of Kirkuk, north of the capital, and in Basra in the country's far south. – AFP

Irish Islamophobes forget intolerance isn’t OKKK

Ireland police said Tuesday they were investigating as a hate crime reports that a group of nine people dressed in Ku Klux Klan costumes posed outside an Islamic centre. A picture published on social media showed the group, also carrying crucifixes, close to the Bangladesh Islamic Centre in Newtownards on Saturday, and there were reports of them visiting bars in the town. A pig’s head was left outside the centre in August last year, British media reported. The group also posed for pictures at a pub in the town with Sharon Mellor, the girlfriend of Tony Martin, leader of the fringe far-right group National Front, the Belfast Telegraph reported. The newspaper published a picture showing Mellor with someone dressed in a KKK costume spattered with blood holding a beer. She told the paper the people were ‘random strangers’. – AFP

Israeli film pulled from Iraqi festival

A film festival in Iraqi Kurdistan has removed an Israeli picture from its official competition, prompting the jury to protest by refusing to present a top award. Israeli director Yona Rozenkier’s The Dive was screened this month at the Duhok International Film Festival in northern Iraq. But festival organisers said Saturday they had ‘unwillingly’ withdrawn the film from the world cinema competition, ‘due to regional complications and considerations’. The move led the jury to refuse to announce a winner for the best international feature film, saying in an online statement the change to the selection ‘compromised our ability to make a final decision’. Jury president Kristian Feigelson said in a separate statement that the film’s withdrawal was the result of ‘political pressure coming officially from Baghdad’. But Iraq’s culture ministry denied interfering in the festival. – AFP

Gay witch-hunt: ‘Give me their names’

The governor of Tanzania’s economic capital Dar es Salaam on Monday launched an anti-gay crackdown, threatening to arrest people suspected of being homosexuals. ‘I have information about the presence of many homosexuals in our province,’ Paul Makonda told reporters on Monday, calling on citizens to begin reporting homosexuals for round-ups to begin next week. Under British colonial-era laws, homosexuality is illegal in Tanzania, with same-sex acts between men punishable by a maximum life sentence. ‘These homosexuals boast on social networks,’ said Makonda, a fervent Christian and loyal ally of President John Magufuli. ‘Give me their names,’ he demanded. ‘My ad hoc team will begin to get their hands on them next Monday.’ Makonda said he expected criticism from outsiders for his hardline stance but added: ‘I prefer to anger those countries than to anger God.’ Anti-homosexual sentiment is rife in Tanzania, forcing most gays, lesbians and other sexual minorities to live in secrecy. – AFP

‘Fake news’ after jet crash a real headache

Indonesia warned social media users on Tuesday against spreading hoaxes, as rescue teams searched for human remains from a horrifying jet crash. A string of false stories have been circulating online since the Lion Air plane plunged into the sea off Jakarta on Monday with 189 people on board. ‘For all of us, please don’t spread photos of victims and hoaxes. Please be wise,’ Indonesia's disaster mitigation agency spokesman, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, tweeted. Sutopo, who has made a name for himself as a straight-talker, highlighted a number of pictures and videos that are making the rounds. They included Facebook postings showing a photograph of a baby in a life jacket purportedly rescued from the plane’s wreckage. One of the posts – shared nearly 5,000 times in the first 24 hours – gave fictional details about the apparent rescue. Search and rescue agency officials have all but ruled out finding any survivors from Monday’s disaster. Indonesia has a long-standing problem with internet hoaxes, and fake news is never far behind after a disaster. – AFP

A wave of innovation hits Norwegian seas

Norway has built the world’s biggest salmon-farming industry. But it wants to go bigger. With their lucrative oil fields now in decline, Norwegians have ambitious plans for aquaculture to power their economy far into the future. Climate change could make those dreams harder to realise. Salmon feed is based on fishmeal, produced by grinding up wild-caught fish. With warming waters and ocean acidification pushing underwater ecosystems to the breaking point, Big Aquaculture is seeking ways to feed fish that aren’t hostage to increasingly unpredictable seas. ‘Feed has a couple of bottlenecks: We’re still using marine resources, for example fishmeal and fish oil, to then put into fish. This is not necessarily sustainable in the long term,’ said Georg Baunach, co-founder of Hatch, an accelerator focused on supporting aquaculture startups. ‘And that's why we need innovation in feed.’ Entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and scientists are racing to identify alternatives, turning the Norwegian cities of Bergen and Stavanger into a Silicon Valley of the Sea. – Reuters
A Central American migrant hitchhikes on a truck along the highway to Santiago Niltepec, Mexico.
THE LIMIT A Central American migrant hitchhikes on a truck along the highway to Santiago Niltepec, Mexico.
Image: Reuters/Hannah McKay



Joffe’s got plenty of guts - all we need now is the glory

Investors in Long4Life trust the former Bidvest CEO can sprinkle some of his legendary magic dust

By Chris Gilmour
2 min read

Offshore deals come back to bite Famous Brands, Woolies

These poisoned chalices show that major shareholders need to scrutinise target companies more closely

By Nick Hedley
1 min read

Sandton’s tallest building lives in a world of its own

The pièce de résistance is a 3,300m² triple-storey penthouse that is on the market for a whopping R250m

By Joan Muller
1 min read



How to have a frightfully, preciously PC Halloween

Here’s hoping you won’t become the centre of a viral shaming campaign by the end of it 

By Michael Hogan
4 min read

Veuve and vim: Fix a cocktail with some va-va-voom

Pink champagne on ice is the drink of the summer

By Andrea Nagel
1 min read

At R40,000, this is a goblet-smacking extravagance

Only three of these cocktails will ever be served in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Umhlanga on November 1

Claire Keeton
1 min read

Why it takes Dutch courage to play Russian roulette

Geographical idioms keep us dreaming of distant places

By Oliver Smith
5 min read



SPORTS DAY: Ngidi revs up to give Oz’s Aaron Finch the bird

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

David Isaacson
5 min read

Lessons from history in Bucs’ come-from-behind triumph

The last derby comeback was achieved in 1995 in what was the 100th meeting between the Soweto giants

Mark Gleeson
Soccer writer
1 min read

Blast from the past: Bungu bashes his 12th title defence

Today in SA sports history: October 31

David Isaacson
1 min read