Monday, November 12 2018

THE BIG ISSUES

LEADING THE AGENDA

Dad claims R500,000 in bitter squabble with his kid’s school

He won a case against it but it's refusing to pay. Now he wants the school bus ... and to change the law

By Tania Broughton
3 min read

Jamie, 3, was beaten to death. Many knew of her abuse. They did nothing

As her mother goes to jail for the horrors she inflicted on her child, some very difficult questions are being asked

Lwandile Bhengu
Journalist
4 min read

Hogan, Gordhan know a lot of Gupta dirt. Now they're dishing it

Former and present public enterprise ministers to testify on pressure to make state-capture deals

Amil Umraw
Journalist
2 min read

SMART NEWS

IN ONE TAKE

Councils add to Eskom’s multibillion-rand headache

Ten defaulting municipalities, themselves the focus of graft claims, owe the struggling parastatal R11.7bn

Amil Umraw
Journalist
4 min read

‘It’s a witch-hunt’: Minister cries foul over ‘dodgy’ probe

Public works minister says there are ulterior motives behind claims the hiring of his CFO was irregular

Thabo Mokone
Journalist
2 min read

What do a king, wild dogs and 35 lions have in common?

Tribal council steps in to resolve feud between conservationists and park over endangered animals

Alex Patrick
Journalist
4 min read

Young men crumbling under the weight of muscle mania

Dieting, steroids, binge drinking and depression dog young men who are obsessed with their muscles

Claire Keeton
Journalist
3 min read

IDEAS

TO FEED YOUR MIND

Trump’s plague of lying, deflecting populism has infected Africa

From Tanzania to Zimbabwe, African leaders emulate the US president by ignoring the plight of their own people

Justice Malala
Columnist
4 min read

Uber drivers at high risk of being rear-ended by insurers

The cost of insurance means Uber and Taxify drivers often find themselves out in the cold

Wendy Knowler
Consumer journalist
4 min read

Can SA unite to remember our war dead one stone at a time?

The real change in understanding that all South Africans shared the burden of war might come through building cairns

By Professor Peter Vale
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

The great spook purge ‘aimed at Zuma loyalists’

The minister of state security has ordered a re-vetting of all intelligence officials in a bid to root out spies accused of looting the slush fund of up to R1bn. But insiders at the State Security Agency say the exercise is nothing but a purge of spooks deemed loyal to former director-general Arthur Fraser and, by extension, former president Jacob Zuma. In a terse communiqué to staff on Tuesday Dipuo Letstatsi-Duba announced she would be re-vetting all agents using the intelligence divisions of the SA Police Service and the SA National Defence Force. This was due to “recent developments in the SSA, which border on serious misconduct and ill-discipline by intelligence officers”. The misconduct “borders on a serious security risk and threatens the integrity of the institution”. She said she took the drastic decision when staff revolted at plans to change the management and reporting lines at the agency.

Ex-cop arrested over rape suspect’s escape

A former police constable has been arrested for allegedly helping a suspected rapist escape from custody in Wolmaransstad, North West, police said on Sunday. Lieutenant Colonel Adele Myburgh said the 38-year-old ex-constable was arrested by the provincial organised crime unit on Friday. In August, Johannes Batsibile was arrested after he was linked to 28 cases of rape and one case of murder. Myburgh said it was believed that Batsibile was a friend of the ex-constable from Wolmaransstad. The former constable allegedly helped Batsibile escape from the town's holding cells. The escape was shortlived as he was re-arrested shortly afterwards. The ex-constable is expected to appear in the Wolmaransstad Magistrate's Court on Monday.

‘Bird Island’ author Minnie’s death ruled suicide

The preliminary investigation into the death of co-author of controversial book The Lost Boys of Bird Island, Mark Minnie, shows his death was a suicide. Minnie‚ 58‚ was found dead on August 13 with a gunshot wound to the head on a friend’s smallholding in Theescombe, Port Elizabeth. Former policeman Minnie and journalist Chris Steyn wrote the book, which implicated high-ranking National Party cabinet ministers and a businessman in the abuse of young boys during the 1980s. The gun found lying next to Minnie’s body was owned by his friend and former colleague, Brent Barnes. Forensic results confirmed that gunshot residue was found on Minnie’s hands and clothing, as well as on the firearm. Police spokesperson Colonel Priscilla Naidu said the forensic results confirmed suicide. A police handwriting expert also confirmed the suicide note was written by Minnie. “Chrissy‚ don’t give up now‚” Minnie wrote to Steyn in what he called his “last piece of writing”.

Cash-strapped varsities pay bosses huge salaries

Cash-strapped universities have cut spending, but the executives who run them are pocketing multimillion-rand salaries. Of SA’s 26 universities, 19 have disclosed the 2017 annual salaries of their vice-chancellors. They range from R2.5m to R4.5m. Stellenbosch University vice-chancellor Wim de Villiers tops the list. His R4.5m included a R30,000 bonus. Close behind was former University of Venda head Peter Mbati, who pocketed R4.2m. Former University of Johannesburg vice-chancellor Ihron Rensburg received R17.6m last year, the final year of his 10-year tenure. Of this, R13.7m was in retention incentives accumulated over the 10 years, which works out to an average annual incentive of R1.3m. The salaries and perks paid out to some vice-chancellors - the academic world’s equivalent of CEOs - have sparked calls for the department of higher education to investigate.

Guard one of 7 held for fire-hit building

City Power security officers arrested seven suspects for cable theft early on Sunday morning in Johannesburg's inner city. The officers are part of teams deployed to protect the critical underground tunnels in the CBD that house valuable equipment, including cables that ensure the city has power all the time, said City Power spokesperson Isaac Mangena. "City Power security spotted a suspicious Hyundai truck near Helen Joseph Street and attempted to stop it. The truck driver did not stop but sped off. The officers gave chase and the vehicle finally stopped around Braamfontein," he said. Seven suspects were arrested in possession of 48m of 120×4 core copper cable, two flat-screen TVs and 136 circuit breakers. "The suspects stated that they stole the items at the Bank of Lisbon, the building that burnt in Johannesburg two months ago," said Mangena. One of the suspects is a security guard from Mjayeli security services who was deployed at the same building, he said.

Soweto author Tlali honoured by Google

Late author Miriam Tlali, who was named as an icon of the acclaimed series 21 ICONS South Africa, an annual collection of photographs and short films of South Africans who have reached the pinnacle of achievement in their respective fields, has been honoured by Google in SA. Born on November 11 1933 in Doornfontein, Johannesburg, Tlali grew up in Sophiatown. Her family was forcefully removed to Moroka, Soweto, in 1962. She later lived in the same house. Tlali, who died in 2017, was the first black woman in SA to publish a novel, Muriel at Metropolitan, a semi-autobiography which was based on her time as a clerk at a furniture store in downtown Johannesburg during the height of apartheid. She was also the author of the critically acclaimed Amandla, which reflected on the 1976 student uprising.
A woman sits in the General Cemetery during the Day of Skulls celebrations in La Paz, Bolivia.
REGENERATION A woman sits in the General Cemetery during the Day of Skulls celebrations in La Paz, Bolivia.
Image: Reuters/David Mercado

VISUAL SIDE


THE WORLD

The news you don't normally get to hear

Michelle Obama: Why I'll never forgive Trump

In her memoir the former first lady also opens up about her IVF treatment and getting marriage counselling

By Ben Riley-Smith
2 min read

This is how climate change is making wildfires much worse

We all know that massive fires are increasing. Now scientists tell us exactly why this is happening

By AFP
3 min read

Beggars belief: Twins toil between superstition and poverty

Seen as a strange and even supernatural, in Ivory Coast they are doomed to being fairground attractions and beggars

By AFP
4 min read

Long may he meddle: Please, Prince Charles, don’t stop

The heir to the throne has often been proved right, and he will be a better and happier king if he expresses his views

By Harry Mount
3 min read

SNAPSHOT

SIX THINGS ABOUT THE WORLD YOU NEED TO KNOW

Shark chomps yet another Oz surfer

A surfer was bitten on the leg by a shark in Australia on Sunday, the latest in a spate of attacks that saw another man killed. The surfer, aged in his 20s, was on his board south of Perth when the attack happened. A witness said the man was with another surfer in the water when a large school of salmon swam past them and the shark alarm went off. ‘He had been attacked on the lower part of the leg, with a couple of meaty bites,’ the witness said. The man pulled himself onto a rock after he was bitten and was taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries. - AFP

Not a bad price for Jacko’s jacket

Michael Jackson's iconic black ‘Bad’ jacket, which he wore on his first solo tour, has sold for $298, about three times its original asking price, at a New York auction which featured items from music legends Prince, Madonna, John Lennon and others. Julien's Auctions had an original asking price of $100,000 for the jacket that Jackson signed on the back with a silver permanent marker and was worn throughout the singer's ‘Bad’ world concert tour from 1987-89. – Reuters

Trolley-load of cash for homeless hero

A homeless man who used a shopping trolley to fend off a knife-wielding attacker as he stabbed at police in Melbourne has been unexpectedly rewarded by grateful citizens who had donated more than A$50,000 by Sunday evening to help him. Michael Rogers, nicknamed ‘Trolley Man’ on social media, repeatedly tried to ram the attacker, Hassan Khalif Shire Ali, who was lunging at police and had earlier stabbed three people, one fatally, in Friday's attack. - Reuters

Labour MP in hot water for trans-gression

The UK’s Labour Party has threatened a member with disciplinary action for referring to a transgender woman as ‘a man’. Janey Hutton made the comment on a closed Facebook group, writing: ‘Its (sic) painful to see biological women say trans women (men) are sisters. The desperation to appear PCWOKE is vomit inducing. These are MEN.’ She then received a letter from Labour’s national executive committee, saying ‘abuse of any kind, whether direct attacks or pejorative language which may cause offence is not acceptable and will not be tolerated in our party’. Hutton has responded by making a complaint to Labour that her human rights have been breached. – The Daily Telegraph

Rats’ bad is seabirds’ good

A threatened seabird is breeding on a remote Scottish island following a four-year programme to rid the area of rats. The European storm petrel has never nested on the Shiant Isles, but since the eradication of rodents conservationists have found the first signs of chicks. The islands are an important seabird habitat but the numbers of species of birds like puffins, razorbills and guillemots were declining because rats were feeding on their eggs. – The Daily Telegraph

His Philby done in Moscow

Moscow has named a square in the city in honour of British double agent Kim Philby, in a seemingly provocative response to the Skripal poisoning affair. Sergei Sobyanin, the mayor of Moscow, who is one of President Vladimir Putin’s closest allies, personally made the request for an obscure intersection in the south west of the city be renamed Kim Philby Square. The decree was published on Moscow city’s local government website last week. Local residents expressed astonishment that the junction was being renamed after Philby, when he never lived in the neighbourhood. – The Daily Telegraph
Fishermen arrive at the Fisherman's Wharf in La Libertad, El Salvador.
EACH MAN PULLS HIS WEIGHT Fishermen arrive at the Fisherman's Wharf in La Libertad, El Salvador.
Image: Reuters/Jose Cabezas

THE BUSINESS

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

History shows ANC’s race-based agenda has failed

There is a way to address schooling, housing, healthcare, skills and jobs without resorting to skin-deep change

By Michael Morris
4 min read

Gold Fields digs deep to survive yet another setback

Protest over job losses has led to a 'write-off year' as the mine focuses on hitting the rest button for 2019

By Allan Seccombe
3 min read

Running on empty: Huge debt takes heavy toll on Sanral

E-toll uncertainty renders its going-concern status as uncertain due to significant amounts owed to investors

By Bekezela Phakathi
2 min read

LIFESTYLE

CULTURE COMES ALIVE

Now you can virtually buy a meal with bitcoin in Kenya

A pioneering little restaurant in Nyeri accepts cryptocurrencies despite widespread suspicion

By Zola Zingithwa
2 min read

Truth be told, you cannot tell a fib if you want to get into EU

AI lie detectors to be tested at border points

By Natasha Bernal
1 min read

It's against nature! Netflix poaches Attenborough from BBC

As it did with 'The Crown', the US streaming giant is encroaching on hallowed foreign territory

By Anita Singh
3 min read

SPORT

FINISH LINE ESSENTIALS

SPORTS DAY: No Faffing around for Proteas

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

Mahlatse Mphahlele
Journalist
2 min read

I’ll Buc the trend and walk the plank with Pirates

Despite a propensity for mutiny, Orlando Pirates have a hunger that makes me believe this is their year

Marc Strydom
Journalist
5 min read

Blasts from the past: India spoil SA’s first-ever ODI series

Today in SA sports history: November 12

David Isaacson
Journalist
1 min read