Thursday, November 8 2018

THE BIG ISSUES

LEADING THE AGENDA

Gordhan smells state capture rat as PP launches new probe into him

I believe the fightback is aimed at countering the work done this year to ‘recapture’ the state, he says

Ranjeni Munusamy
Associate editor: analysis
3 min read

Vet the hell? Dead MK 'soldiers' to get huge SAPS pay hikes

And that's not to mention the many others who are being promoted even though they don't qualify

Graeme Hosken
Journalist
4 min read

Should the Zulu king get rent for his trust land? Let the court decide

Several outraged groups have served him with papers over Ingoyama Trust Board's change of policy

Bongani Mthethwa
Journalist
4 min read

SMART NEWS

IN ONE TAKE

Hannah’s friend 'relieved' as killers found guilty

Nobody should walk freely after what they did, says Cheslin Marsh, who finally wears a smile in court

Aron Hyman
Journalist
3 min read

Susan Rohde's soul lost amid cold forensics as defence states its case

Her body becomes the site of a forensic battle in her husband's bid to wash his hands clean of her murder

Tanya Farber
Journalist
3 min read

Hell and high water bills: Cape tariffs are the world’s highest

Rise in water prices were about 100 times higher in 2018 than global average, new survey shows

Claire Keeton
Journalist
2 min read

Meet ‘the protector’, a KZN vet who’s helped 2,500 rhino

Now Dr Dave Cooper will receive lifetime achievement award for his dedication to Africa’s wildlife

Tony Carnie
Journalist
3 min read

Believe it or not: Teens use screens to get healthy

Youngsters are into wellness apps, and are good at picking the best ones, say researchers

Claire Keeton
Journalist
2 min read

IDEAS

TO FEED YOUR MIND

Lessons from the middle of a gangster’s paradise

A miracle school on the Cape Flats has found a way to turn its very limited resources into results

Jonathan Jansen
Columnist
4 min read

Oprah and Co, shut up – you're helping Trump

These entitled A-listers are not vote winners, and they've learnt nothing from the 2016 Hillary debacle

By Celia Walden
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

Hawks ramp up probe into VBS looting spree

The Hawks told parliament's finance committee on Wednesday that statements from at least 65 potential witnesses had been obtained as part of its investigation into the looting of VBS Mutual Bank. And the National Prosecuting Authority said it was considering racketeering charges against those implicated in the scandal. Hawks chief advocate Godfrey Lebeya was part of a team of law enforcement agencies‚ including the NPA and the SA Reserve Bank‚ who presented a progress report on their criminal investigation into the R1.9bn looting spree. The 65 preliminary witness statements did not include any from the 53 politicians, executives and other associates implicated in “The Great Bank Heist” report. Lebeya said they had dedicated 10 police investigators to the VBS probe. The Reserve Bank has approached the high court for the liquidation of VBS and the matter is due to be heard next Tuesday.

Saunders guilty of rape‚ murder of 3-year-old

Mortimer Saunders has been found guilty of the rape and premeditated murder of three-year-old Courtney Pieters in Cape Town. Judge Pearl Mantame made the finding at about noon on Wednesday after delivering a lengthy judgment. Saunders confessed to killing Courtney‚ who lived in Elsies River‚ with ant poison and claimed that he had then committed necrophilia. She was murdered in May 2017 and her body was only found days later after a massive search. Mantame rejected the murderer’s version that he did not rape the child but only inserted his fingers into her after she had died. The gallery erupted in applause after the judgment. Mantame granted Courtney’s mother‚ Juanita Pieters‚ immunity from prosecution. A calm Saunders expressed no emotion as he was convicted. The matter has been postponed to December 4 for sentencing.

Armed robbers hit school for visually impaired

The Gauteng education department confirmed that a school for the visually impaired in Pretoria was robbed early on Wednesday. Department spokesperson Steve Mabona said the incident occurred at about 5.30am at the Prinshof School for the Visually Impaired. Three robbers broke into the premises and threatened to attack a staff member with a knife. They also threatened the housekeeper with scissors and robbed her of a cellphone. Security officers heard screams and rushed to help, but the robbers fled. Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi condemned the robbery. “We will work with law enforcement agencies to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to book and justice is served‚” he said.

IEC worried about lack of young voters

The IEC’s chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo said on Wednesday that alarmingly low registration by young voters was cause for concern. Mamabolo revealed at the IEC head office in Centurion that only 15.6% of eligible 18- and 19-year-old voters were registered to vote. There were only 56.7% of eligible voters in the 20-29-year group on the national voters’ roll. There are about six months before next year's elections. Mamabolo said that commission would go on a registration drive and “will be urging young‚ first-time voters to register”. The IEC also announced that its final registration weekend will be on January 26 and 27 next year. It was confident that elections would take place in May.

Durban bomb probe to go beyond SA

The criminal pursuit of 12 alleged Islamic State loyalists with ties to the fatal Shia Verulam mosque attack and a wave of bombings across Durban is set to extend beyond the borders of SA. The 12 have been remanded in custody for more than a month and have all applied for bail. On Wednesday in the Verulam Magistrate’s Court‚ specialist prosecutor Adele Barnard said their investigation had gone beyond SA’s shores. The state had recovered evidence that accused Ahmed Haffejee had made Facebook posts with strong anti-Shia sentiment. “The state has made certain preservation orders of the Facebook account of [Haffejee] and that can only be done in the United States. There will [also] be requests made to the Democratic Republic of Congo as well as Tanzania with regard to financial investigations that we are pursuing there‚” Barnard said. Magistrate Irfaan Khalil is expected to make a ruling on bail on November 27.

KZN councillors go ‘back to school’

Councillors across KZN municipalities who did not have suitable qualifications have heeded a call by cooperative governance and traditional affairs MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube to become empowered by obtaining them. Scores of councillors‚ some of whom do not have matric‚ will be conferred with qualifications on Thursday after enrolling in courses to empower themselves so they can better serve their communities. Dube-Ncube revealed in May that more than 200 councillors across the province did not have matric and that there was an urgent need to build capacity at local-government level. Department spokesperson Lennox Mabaso said the qualifications obtained by the councillors would help them perform effective oversight‚ comprehend legislation‚ and assist in audit matters and other key issues in local government.
A llama standing on the grounds of a farm holds a leaf in its mouth in Germany.
THIS LLAMA IS COOLER THAN YOU A llama standing on the grounds of a farm holds a leaf in its mouth in Germany.
Image: Karl-Josef Hildenbrand /dpa/AFP/Germany OUT

VISUAL SIDE

Two men were arrested by Marshall Security after they broke into a vehicle in the Berea area of Durban on November 2. The suspects were later spotted in Greyville and arrested. A case of theft out of a motor vehicle is being investigated by the Berea SAPS.


THE WORLD

The news you don't normally get to hear

Democrat-run House poised to give Trump the blues

Tax returns, dodgy deals, Russian meddling - Democrats are about to make Trump's life miserable

By David Morgan and Susan Cornwell
4 min read

Street fighters, old fogies and a porn star’s lawyer: who’ll take on Trump?

Democrats have their work cut out trying to beat the Donald. Here is their bewilderingly open array of possible picks

By Nick Allen and Ben Riley-Smith
5 min read

Too much to bear: The cold truth behind a 'heartwarming' viral video

Experts condemn drone operator who scared bear and cub into the life-threatening drama that has gripped the world

By Jamie Johnson
2 min read

2018's Word of the Year has been announced. You'll never guess what it is

The words that crept into our vocabularies include the obvious MeToo. But you'll be forgiven for not knowing the top one

By Anita Singh
2 min read

SNAPSHOT

SIX THINGS ABOUT THE WORLD YOU NEED TO KNOW

They should have asked Keanu Reeves for help

A huge runaway train laden with iron ore had to be derailed remotely after speeding 90km through the Australian outback for almost an hour. The 268-wagon train started on its solo journey when the driver got down from his cab to carry out an inspection, and was soon hurtling along at up to 110km/h. Mining giant BHP, which owns the four-locomotive train, decided to derail before it reached the town of Port Hedland near its Western Australia Pilbara site, and flicked the points. The train crashed off the rails, damaging around 1,500m of tracks, but hurting no one. — AFP

How the heil can you believe 40,000 voters?

An avowed Nazi running as a Republican lost a House race in suburban Chicago on Tuesday. Arthur Jones, who called the Holocaust ‘the biggest, blackest lie in history’ and described himself as a former leader of the American Nazi Party, lost by a 50-point margin to incumbent Democrat Dan Lipinski. Jones still managed to get more than 40,000 votes, according to official figures. The 70-year-old Jones’s primary win was a major embarrassment for party leaders. They disavowed the retired insurance agent who told CNN earlier this year that the Holocaust was ‘nothing but an international extortion racket by the Jews’. — AFP

Some just looked at the guy in the next seat

A cargo of pungent durian fruit led an Indonesian plane to be delayed for an hour after passengers turned their noses up at the funky freight and refused to fly. Durian is highly popular in Southeast Asia but very divisive. While some consider it the ‘king of fruits’, likening its creamy texture and intense aroma to blue cheese, detractors consider its odour to be closer to sewage, stale vomit or damp socks. Passengers on a Sriwijaya Air flight from Sumatra to Jakarta complained to staff after smelling the fruit and refused to get on the plane — repulsed by the pungent payload. The airline admitted it was carrying more than two tonnes of the whiffy wares but insisted they posed no danger to the flight, adding the smell would dissipate once the aircraft took off. — AFP

Be very afraid of the age of the superbug

Millions of people in Europe, North America and Australia will die from superbug infections unless countries prioritise fighting the threat posed by bacteria immune to most known drugs. The OECD warned of ‘disastrous consequences’ unless basic hospital hygiene is boosted and unnecessary antibiotic use slashed. Drug-resistant bacteria killed more than 33,000 people in Europe in 2015. The OECD said 2.4 million people could die from superbugs by 2050 and said the cost of treating such infections would balloon to an average of $3.5bn a year in each country included in its analysis. As humans consume ever more antibiotics — either through prescriptions or agriculture and livestock products given medicines to stave off infection — strains of bacteria are developing that resist the effects of drugs designed to kill them. — AFP

They missed the mortar-shaped handbag

A woman carrying a grenade-shaped belt buckle on a train from Barcelona to Madrid caused havoc on Wednesday, forcing railway stations to be evacuated as well as delays. Police in Barcelona said they were advised by security personnel in the city’s main Sants station that ‘they had seen by scan an object that could be an explosive artefact’. Police subsequently evacuated two high-speed trains at the Barcelona station and the main Atocha station — the scene of one of Europe’s worst terror attacks in 2004 when 191 people were killed in explosions on commuter trains. When the train arrived, they checked the luggage and found that the grenade-like object was actually a belt buckle, police said. — AFP

As long as it stops them stealing your socks

‘Go on Rocky, find it! Good boy!’ The labrador wags his tail, happy to have found the hidden treasure as he graduates from Italy’s ‘truffle dog university’, doing his master proud. Giovanni Monchiero is the dean of the unusual academy in Roddi in northwestern Italy and, like his father, grandfather and great-grandfather, transforms dogs into expert seekers of the lucrative fungus. Graduates then delight in unearthing the knobbly fungi lurking among the roots of oak, linden, willows or poplar trees. White truffles fetch €350 for 100g, with an average truffle weighing 20g. The university was founded by his great-grandfather in 1880. ‘The animal can smell a truffle from 20m away,’ Guaraldo said of his graduate dogs. The three-week education costs €400. — AFP
A rainbow forms over the US Capitol as evening sets on midterm election day in Washington DC.
THE POLITICAL SPECTRUM A rainbow forms over the US Capitol as evening sets on midterm election day in Washington DC.
Image: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

THE BUSINESS

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Guess which SA insurer beat the daylights out of Buffett over 20 years?

Sanlam shares rose 1,208%, while Berkshire Hathaway has returned a piddling 382%. Why, you may ask?

By Tim Cohen
5 min read

Rocks and hard places strike sparks in mining wage talks

Sibanye and the unions have very little wiggle room 

By Allan Seccombe
1 min read

Spun out of Wiese’s orbit, has Mettle got it to make it?

New deal to provide working capital to attorneys might well be the start of a bouquet of niche financial services

By Marc Hasenfuss
1 min read

LIFESTYLE

CULTURE COMES ALIVE

SS19: These are the new must-have accessories

They’ve gone from add-ons to showstoppers: here's a hit list of hip bags, shoes, hats, earrings and headbands

By Keneilwe Pule
1 min read

Chaumette: Local wares fired with a global glaze

Collaboration shows off furniture smalls, accessories and décor items with a refined African undercurrent

By Mila Crewe-Brown
1 min read

SPORT

FINISH LINE ESSENTIALS

SPORTS DAY: Boks are slowly getting over their indignation

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

Marc Strydom
Journalist
4 min read

Thanks for coming, Rory - can’t say much for your mates

Nedbank Golf Challenge is struggling for identity, if not relevance, and cannot draw the big names any longer

Liam Del Carme
Journalist
3 min read

Blasts from the past: Morne ends epic run on a high note

Today in SA sports history: November 8

David Isaacson
Journalist
1 min read