Thursday, November 1 2018

THE BIG ISSUES

LEADING THE AGENDA

De Lille might revive ID, despite the ‘idiots’

But first, after quitting as Cape Town mayor, and the DA, she says she has some scores to settle

Philani Nombembe
Journalist
3 min read

Hunt for a ‘killer’ who ‘dreamed he was death’

Dual Facebook accounts paint eerie picture of a man wanted for the murder of seven people

Iavan Pijoos
Journalist
3 min read

This ‘Blade Gunner’ costume is never getting an Oscar

The Halloween costume is complete with a toy gun and prosthetic legs - and it's on sale online

Kgaugelo Masweneng
Journalist
2 min read

SMART NEWS

IN ONE TAKE

VIDEO: Singeing fires and singing firemen

Here’s a clip from the moment the Times Select team heard singing voices emerge from the flames

Aron Hyman
Journalist
2 min read

What the blazes? Row over lack of fire trucks gets ugly

Johannesburg has only 10 fire engines to service 31 stations. It needs 29

Alex Patrick
Journalist
4 min read

Eastern Cape IT boss suspended for second time

Chief information officer accused of contravening local government security policy

Bongani Fuzile
Journalist
3 min read

Why young SA women have extra PrEP in their step

But despite evidence that HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis works, many still can't access to it

Sipokazi Fokazi
Journalist
4 min read

Home is where the heartbreak is for Angolans

About 2,000 former refugees say they are still without residency after two decades

Bobby Jordan
Journalist
3 min read

IDEAS

TO FEED YOUR MIND

In Pittsburgh and Citrusdal, gestures banish hate

As Madiba understood, powerful gestures let our common humanity outshine old enmities

Jonathan Jansen
Columnist
4 min read

Africa’s LGBT+ refugees in Kenyan nightmare

Malevolent attitudes and a tight refugee policy push many into a shadow life, selling sex to survive

By Nita Bhalla and Sally Hayden
5 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

School sex-assault sentencing postponed

The case against Collan Rex‚ a former assistant water polo coach at Parktown Boys' High School‚ was postponed on Wednesday to next month - to the dismay of parents and child activists supporting them. Rex‚ appearing at the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court in Katlehong‚ east of Johannesburg‚ is out on bail of R3‚000. His case was postponed to November 27 for the probation officer’s report. A group of parents protested outside the court after the matter was postponed. Child rights groups also protested against the delay in the court proceedings‚ criticising the Social Development Department for failing to ensure its probations officers completed their reports. Luke Lamprecht‚ representing Women and Men Against Child Abuse‚ said: “I am devastated for the boys and their parents‚ who expected this case to end today.” Rex was found guilty of 12 counts of assault and a further 144 of sexual assault.

We are technically insolvent‚ says SABC

After days of speculation over the future of SABC employees‚ the broadcaster’s CEO has come out to say that the company is technically insolvent. Madoda Mxakwe said: "We are technically insolvent as the SABC. We are not able to fulfil our monthly obligations … it's important to understand as an organisation we are not able to fulfil our financial obligations." Had the SABC been a private institution‚ Mxakwe said they would have been recapitalised. Mxakwe stressed that they were engaging with different stakeholders and trying to extend their borrowing limit. TimesLIVE reported this week that the SABC planned to implement a Section 189 process which would result in the retrenchment of close to 1‚000 staff as part of a restructuring effort‚ which it estimated would result in a cost saving of about R400m per annum. It also planned to halve the number of freelancers it used‚ from 2‚400 to 1‚200.

Police revive Bird Island cold case

Police are investigating the cold case of an alleged paedophile ring linked to apartheid-era politicians. Tafelberg Publishers released a book on the allegations this year. “The police opened an investigation‚ led by the Western Cape head of the Family Violence Unit‚ Brigadier Sonja Harri. Several people with knowledge of the alleged paedophile ring have given valuable information to the police‚” the publishers said on Tuesday. Tafelberg published The Lost Boys of Bird Island‚ co-authored by former policeman Mark Minnie and journalist Chris Steyn. “A number of victims have come forward and have given written statements of alleged sexual abuse related to the allegations in the book‚” the publisher said. The Lost Boys of Bird Island implicated high-ranking National Party cabinet ministers and a businessman in the abuse of young boys during the 1980s.

Bid to oust Nelson Mandela Bay mayor

Mayor Mongameli Bobani will face a fresh attempt to remove him from office at Friday’s Nelson Mandela Bay council meeting. The ACDP and COPE submitted a motion of exigency to the office of the speaker‚ Buyelwa Mafaya‚ on Tuesday. The motion states that allegations against the mayor are a “serious‚ pressing matter and in the public interest”. It follows a report in The Herald that the Hawks were investigating allegations of corruption against Bobani‚ details of which are contained in an affidavit that accompanied the search warrant served on the mayor when his office was raided a few weeks ago. Bobani did not respond to a request for comment.

Mkhize rejects VBS donation claim

Former ANC treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize has denied knowledge of a R2m donation the party allegedly received from the controversial VBS Mutual Bank during his tenure at Luthuli House. Mkhize‚ the minister of cooperative governance and traditional affairs‚ confirmed that he had met with the troubled VBS management, but that "this was a formally arranged meeting with the [treasurer-general’s] office". According to his version‚ the meeting was “never" about favour for VBS but rather about the ANC's transformation vision. Mkhize says he has no "personal recollection" of VBS donating R2m to the ANC when he was the party's money man. According to Mkhize‚ when he met VBS management he was "unaware" of their relationship with municipalities. Said Mkhize: "My views about the VBS saga remain as expressed in parliament; that it was a case of the greedy robbing the poor.”

Five injured in Joburg car dealership blast

One person has been airlifted to hospital and two others are in critical condition after an explosion at the Eagle Ford dealership in Bramley‚ in the north of Johannesburg. Chief operating officer at Emer-G-Med, Jurgen Kotze, said two other people were moderately injured in the dealership's workshop on Wednesday morning. According to Kotze, the explosion was caused by an oxyacetylene torch. Oxyacetylene welding or oxy-fuel welding uses fuel gases and oxygen to weld and cut metals. The injured were taken to dedicated burns facilities at Netcare Union and Netcare Milpark hospitals.
A student holds a sign with an image of Brazil's president-elect Jair Bolsonaro reading ‘Not Him’ in Sao Paulo.
SEEING RED A student holds a sign with an image of Brazil's president-elect Jair Bolsonaro reading ‘Not Him’ in Sao Paulo.
Image: Reuters/Nacho Doce

VISUAL SIDE

Leeuwkop Prison is one of SA's most crowded correctional centres. Housing some of the country’s most notorious criminals, it is also a centre that goes to great lengths to rehabilitate inmates, offering them an opportunity to change their lives for the better.


THE WORLD

The news you don't normally get to hear

Parkinson’s brain implants could be used to control people

Hackers could overload or stop brain implants, and fiddle with our memories, scientists have claimed

By Natasha Bernal
1 min read

I’m Muslim, I’m American and I’m all for Trump

Omar Qudrat looks set to be the first Muslim Republican to take a seat in Congress

By AFP
4 min read

‘Infighting’ skyrockets as Musk goes ballistic over satellites

The billionaire has fired at least seven members of the launch programme’s senior management team

By Eric M Johnson and Joey Roulette
6 min read

Are PC paroxysms screwing the on-screen sex scene?

Spawned in the MeToo milieu, let's hope 'intimacy directors' mean the death knell for sex and nudity in film

By Celia Walden
4 min read

SNAPSHOT

SIX THINGS ABOUT THE WORLD YOU NEED TO KNOW

Hey, don’t we need yet another Madiba statue?

India inaugurated the world’s tallest statue on Wednesday amid an outcry over the soaring cost of the 182m sculpture of independence hero Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. More than 5,000 armed police guarded the huge site in a remote corner of Gujarat state. Protesters have condemned the decision to spend 29.9 billion rupees ($400m) — much of it public funds — to build the statue over a nearly four-year period. The statue is more than twice the size of New York’s Statue of Liberty and also dwarfs the 128m high Spring Temple Buddha in China, the world’s next-biggest statue. It is made up of nearly 100,000 tonnes of concrete and steel. India is also working on a giant statue of 17th-century warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji, riding a horse and brandishing a sword, which should dominate the Mumbai shoreline from 2021. The current design would make it 212m high. — AFP

Trade in your old Sinclair for one of these

Apple has unveiled a new version of its MacBook Air laptop, this time made of recycled aluminum and plastic, as well as a new Mac Mini and an iPad Pro, all pricier than their predecessors. Nearly 10 years after the launch of the first MacBook Air, the latest version of this PC is just 1.56cm thick, compared to 1.94cm. Last year Apple announced it would aim for a circular production system for its iPhones, which would allow for making new products with recycled materials. A report by Greenpeace last year called Apple among the best performers in the industry in terms of going easy on the environment. The MacBook Air will be available on November 7 in the US at a price of $1,199, which is $200 more than the simplest current version of the computer. The Mac Mini will go for $799, compared to $499 for the most affordable version today. — AFP

Wannabe necrophiliac cannibal bust in Texas

A Texan has been arrested after advertising online that he wanted to try necrophilia and cannibalism with a young girl. Alexander Barter, 21, was arrested after an undercover cop posing as a father willing to offer his daughter responded to the post on the dark web. The investigation began when a police officer noticed a bizarre ad on the internet. ‘I’d like to try necrophilia and cannibalism and see how it feels to take a life,’ Barter’s post read. The officer contacted Barter and made out that he was a man willing to make his underage daughter available to him. ‘I’m not into role playing. I want to actually rape, kill and cannibalise her,’ Barter warned as he accepted the man’s offer. The officer travelled to Texas to meet Barter, who put up no fight as he was arrested on October 19. — AFP

Italy’s weird land-for-babies scheme

Italy’s populist government plans to reward parents who have a third child by awarding them a piece of land in a bid to reverse the country’s plummeting birth rate. The plan, cooked up by the far-right League and included in the draft budget for next year, would see the state concede parcels of agricultural land for 20 years to parents who have a third child between 2019 and 2021. Italy has the lowest birthrate in Europe. Last year some 464,000 births were registered, a record low, leaving Italy with a significantly older population and a demographic time bomb. The land-for-children idea will be limited to married couples, rather than those in civil unions. Foreigners interested in the offer would need to have been resident in Italy for at least 10 years. — AFP

Thalidomide-type nightmares haunt France

France has launched a probe into incidents of babies being born with either missing or malformed arms after abnormal rates of birth defects have sparked a public health scare. Authorities reported an additional 11 cases in the Ain area near the Swiss border between 2000 and 2014 which had not previously been made public. A relatively small number of cases have been detected so far in total — about 25 over the past 15 years in the regions of Brittany, Loire-Atlantique and Ain. So far, no explanation has been found for the deformations despite tests on the mothers to see if they were exposed to common substances. Some have claimed pesticides or other chemicals could be to blame — the cases are clustered in rural areas. In the 1950s and 1960s, thousands of babies around the world were born with missing or stunted limbs linked to the use of the drug thalidomide, which was used to treat nausea in pregnant women. It was banned in the 1960s. — AFP

Grisly find in the Vatican could solve mystery

The family of a teenager who went missing in Italy in 1983 has called on the Vatican to provide more details on the discovery of human remains in one of its properties. The bones were uncovered on Monday by builders refurbishing a building owned by the Vatican in Rome, in a potential breakthrough for police investigating one of Italy’s darkest mysteries. Since the grisly find, speculation is that they could shed light on the fate of two teenagers who went missing in the 1980s. The remains were discovered in a building in the leafy grounds of the Holy See’s embassy to Italy. The property had been left to the Vatican in 1949 by a Jewish businessman who belonged to the Nazi party and later converted to Catholicism. Both girls were underage when they went missing separately in Rome in 1983. — AFP
Shoes of passengers of Lion Air flight JT610 at a port in Jakarta, Indonesia.
TATTERED COCKPIT Shoes of passengers of Lion Air flight JT610 at a port in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Image: Reuters/Beawiharta

THE BUSINESS

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

That clicking is the sound of a company getting it right

The Clicks share price may be flat for 2018, but it rose over 1,000% in the past decade. Is there more to come?

By Tim Cohen
4 min read

For Zuck’s sake, let’s hope these results help Tencent too

Facebook’s largely positive results will hopefully help to stem the bleeding from the tech sector in recent months

By Nick Hedley
1 min read

New Imperial phase dawns as Motus drives itself offstage

Split in the automotive and logistics businesses of Imperial Holdings will see new listing on the JSE

By Siseko Njobeni
1 min read

LIFESTYLE

CULTURE COMES ALIVE

Wanna know why Mother City Hardware is cool and groovy?

Kick-ass industrial style for the smart modern home

By Mila Crewe-Brown
2 min read

Can the Model of the Year change the face of fashion?

Here’s hoping that this year’s accolade, like last year’s, goes to someone wanting to set the agenda

By Caroline Leaper
3 min read

Wow, these are flattering - now learn how to wear them

Flatforms should be your go-to summer shoes. Here are some stylish ways to pair them with your wardrobe

By Kenilwe Eleanor Pule
1 min read

SPORT

FINISH LINE ESSENTIALS

SPORTS DAY: Still a Wayde to go, but Van Niekerk nearly fit

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

David Isaacson
Journalist
4 min read

How will Boks Papier over the Faf-sized scrumhalf cracks?

Absent De Klerk means Embrose Papier is up against Currie Cup-winning Sharks captain Louis Schreuder

Liam Del Carme
Journalist
2 min read

Blasts from the past: Fifer by Kallis for SA’s first ICC trophy

Today in SA sports history: November 1

David Isaacson
Journalist
1 min read