Friday, November 23 2018

THE BIG ISSUES

LEADING THE AGENDA

Just be patient, SA. We'll be rid of Bathabile soon enough

Right now she's got power over Cyril, but after May that will change and the happy day will at last arrive

Tom Eaton
Columnist
2 min read

The real story of Black Friday is lost in the myths of time

Whatever its origins, you can't escape it - but there is a cure, thanks to a guy who sold harpsichords

Sue de Groot
Journalist
4 min read

SA’s rich brigade living the high-walled life

Security is top of the list for SA's wealthy, who are increasingly moving to plush residential estates

Suthentira Govender
Journalist
3 min read

Confusing and bizarre: The short, shocking farce of Van Rooyen's reign

Lungisa Fuzile tells state capture probe what it was like during Des van Rooyen's brief stint as finance minister

Ranjeni Munusamy
Associate editor: analysis
4 min read

SMART NEWS

IN ONE TAKE

'No warning shots' billboard comes under fire

The ad for a security firm promotes illegal behaviour and should be removed, say experts

Alex Patrick
Journalist
4 min read

Taken for granted: Sassa has left poor ‘poorer’

The matter has been taken to the Human Rights Commission as many haven't received grants since May

Bongani Fuzile
Journalist
3 min read

Rescued circus lions to be removed from sanctuary after six die

Judge orders move in scrap between sanctuary and animal rights group over the big cats

Bongani Fuzile
Journalist
3 min read

We don’t want to be Black Friday man-bags, cry SA men

Men have turned to social media to rant about their Black Friday woes

Nivashni Nair
Journalist
2 min read

Six-star wars coming soon to a hotel near you

SA's tourism grading council is taking the country's accommodation establishments up a notch

By Suren Naidoo
2 min read

Imagine that: To conquer your fear you can use your head

'Unlearning' is a highly effective way of banishing anxiety and fear-related disorders, say scientists

Claire Keeton
Journalist
4 min read

IDEAS

TO FEED YOUR MIND

Siesta and desist from work, and avoid flying too close to the sun

A good night’s worth topped up by a siesta is the real golden thread that links the world's long-lived cultures

7 min read

‘I had a sex change, only to realise I’d made a terrible mistake’

The growing number of those regretting changing gender is rarely discussed

By Cara McCoogan
6 min read

For peat’s sake: Hydroelectric dams ‘worse than coal plants’

Huge areas are flooded behind new dams, and it can create a very big greenhouse gas problem

By AFP
3 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

DA opens case against EFF, Malema

DA MP Kevin Mileham has opened a criminal case in connection with the "looting" at VBS Mutual Bank against the EFF, party leader Julius Malema and his deputy, Floyd Shivambu. Mileham deposed an 11-page affidavit at the Cape Town police station on Thursday, quoting various news articles about the bank. He said, "l rely upon the veracity of the newspaper reports referred to and that I am deposing this affidavit on the presumption that the reports are factually accurate." He said in the affidavit that it was well documented how vulnerable people such as mine workers' widows and hard-pressed municipalities had money stolen from them by politicians and corrupt officials through the VBS Bank heist, through a variety of illegal schemes.

No escaping charges for ‘Krugersdorp killers’

Applications for a discharge on certain counts by two of the three Krugersdorp murder accused were dismissed on Thursday by the South Gauteng High Court. Cecilia Steyn, Marcel Steyn and former insurance broker Zac Valentine are on trial for their alleged involvement in the murder of 11 people between 2012 and 2016 in Krugersdorp on Gauteng's West Rand. The trio have pleaded not guilty. Three other people are already serving lengthy jail terms in connection with the killing spree, including Marcel’s mother, Marinda Steyn. Valentine had applied for a discharge on counts related to fraud, murder, and possession of firearms and ammunition. Marcel wanted charges against her relating to racketeering, and possession of firearms ammunition and explosives to be dropped. Judge Ellem Jacob Francis also dismissed the pair's applications for the court to disallow hearsay evidence tendered by witnesses.

Electoral commission gets more time for addresses

The Constitutional Court on Thursday gave the Electoral Commission of SA until November 30 2019 to have on the national voters’ roll all addresses that were reasonably available after December 17, 2003. The law requires that the commission have the addresses of all voters registered after that date. The judgment followed an urgent application by the commission in May to extend the suspension of an order that the Constitutional Court made in June 2016. In the 2016 order, the court declared that the commission’s failure to record all available voters’ addresses on the national common voters’ roll was inconsistent with its rule of law obligations. In its 2016 judgment, the court suspended the declaration it had made until June 2018. Although the commission had made substantial progress in garnering addresses to fulfil its obligations, a significant shortfall remained. This prompted the commission to approach the court in May for an extension of the 2016 order until November 2019, months after the general election in May.

Fired Transnet boss loses bid to set aside dismissal

The Labour Court has dismissed with costs a bid by fired Transnet chief executive Siyabonga Gama to have his dismissal set aside. Judge Connie Prinsloo was not convinced by Gama's argument that the termination of his contract by the Transnet board was in contempt of a court order granted on October 19. "The primary issue to be determined is whether the order granted on October 19 2018 interdicted the respondents [Transnet and its board members] from terminating the applicant's employment contract," reads part of the judgment. "The applicant has failed to establish that the respondents refused to comply with the order granted on October 19." Gama argued that his sacking did not follow procedure as the allegations of misconduct that he was facing were not investigated and referred to a disciplinary hearing. Prinsloo did not agree.

Taxi driver turned serial rapist gets life in jail

One of two taxi drivers behind abductions, rapes and the robbing of female taxi commuters in Gauteng has been sentenced to life imprisonment. SowetanLIVE reported that Lebogang Gift Mokoena was sentenced to 13 life sentences and 340 years in prison in the South Gauteng High Court sitting in Palm Ridge, Ekurhuleni, on Thursday. On October 12, the court found Mokoena guilty of 13 counts of rape, nine of kidnapping, nine of robbery with aggravating circumstances, nine of pointing an object that resembles a firearm, two of aiding and abetting someone to commit an offence and one of sexual assault. He raped eight women.

One dead, five held as cash heist foiled

The Hawks and crime intelligence operatives thwarted an attack on an armoured cash-in-transit truck travelling through QwaQwa in the Free State on Thursday. Officers tracking the gang became embroiled in a dramatic shootout with the gang, during which one of the gunmen was killed and five others arrested. Hawks spokesperson Brig Hangwani Mulaudzi said their operatives, augmented by Free State police, had been following the gang as they moved through the province. "The suspects were being followed … we had a project which was running with the view that this group was planning to execute a cash-in-transit heist," he said.
A medium dressed as a deity performs during the traditional Kartik Dance Festival in Nepal.
IN THE HEAT OF THE MOMENT A medium dressed as a deity performs during the traditional Kartik Dance Festival in Nepal.
Image: Reuters/Navesh Chitrakar

VISUAL SIDE


THE WORLD

The news you don't normally get to hear

US ‘missionary’ crying Jesus killed by isolated tribe

Armed with gifts and waving a Bible, his cries of 'Jesus loves you' were met by a hail of arrows

By Rozina Sabur
3 min read

Sect crimes and cruelty in South Korea’s sordid cults

The otherwise sophisticated nation has a history of numerous cults and charismatic religious leaders

By afp.com
3 min read

What the Dickens?! Long-lost portrait of writer found in SA

Small painting discovered in KZN portrays Charles Dickens as he looked when he wrote 'A Christmas Carol'

By Anita Singh
3 min read

Star Trek-style ionic plane the biggest thing since Wright brothers

Using electrically charged air molecules, it's the first time a plane with no moving parts has flown

By Jamie Merrill
2 min read

SNAPSHOT

SIX THINGS ABOUT THE WORLD YOU NEED TO KNOW

Proof that religion is a racket

From grumbling neighbours to witty memes of the Buddha imploring a man with speakers to “stop your noise”, the cacophony around Myanmar’s annual Tazaungdaing festival is revving up debate over the modern racket accompanying religious customs. Myanmar is 90% Buddhist, and October and November are packed with donation drives in the aftermath of Buddhist lent. The religious season culminates in the Tazaundaing festival, which ends late on Thursday with amusement park rides and block parties. But some residents in the commercial capital Yangon want the volume turned down as religious chants, sermons and entreaties for donations blared over speakers compete with electronic dance music, Burmese rap and rowdy evenings. In 2016, a Dutch tourist was arrested in Mandalay and spent three months in jail after unplugging a speaker relaying a late-night sermon. – AFP

That’s several hundred fewer doggie steaks

South Korean officials have begun to dismantle the country’s largest canine slaughterhouse complex, as animal rights activists push to end the custom of eating dog meat. About one million dogs are eaten a year in South Korea, often as a summertime delicacy with the greasy red meat - invariably boiled for tenderness - believed to increase energy. But the tradition has earned criticism abroad and has declined as the nation increasingly embraces the idea of dogs as pets instead of livestock, with eating them now something of a taboo among young South Koreans. The Taepyeong-dong complex in Seongnam city, south of Seoul, housed at least six dog slaughterhouses that could hold several hundred animals at a time, and was a major source for dog meat restaurants across the country. It will be cleared over two days and transformed into a public park, Seongnam city officials said. – AFP

Oldest Pearl Harbour survivor dies

The oldest surviving US veteran of the Pearl Harbour attack that plunged the IS into World War 2 died in California on Wednesday, domestic media reported. Ray Chavez, 106, died in his sleep early in a hospice, his daughter Kathleen Chavez told the San Diego Union Tribune. Chavez frequently attended commemorative events around the US, including a visit to the White House on Memorial Day weekend, the newspaper reported. The bombing of Pearl Harbour at 7.55am on December 7 1941 killed 2,390 Americans and the US declared war on Japan the next day. Fewer than 200 survivors of the attacks there and on other military bases in Hawaii were alive in 2016. Chavez was a member of the crew of the USS Condor, a minesweeper, at Pearl Harbour on the morning of the attacks. – Reuters

Some would call it a lotto nonsense

Superstition and looking for luck are a part of daily life in Thailand. In one temple in central Bangkok, visitors hope to find it hidden in the bark of an ancient tree. Hundreds flock to the Kunnatri Ruttharam temple every week to pay respects to the enormous dead tree trunk, which is draped in flowers and offerings from worshippers who believe rubbing its bark can reveal winning lottery numbers. The state-run lottery business is booming in the kingdom, with ticket vendors on almost every street corner and buyers poring over numerology charts to pick the luckiest sequence. The state lottery contributed 40.8 billion baht (R17bn) to government revenue in 2018, according to data, the highest of any state-owned enterprise and more than double that of the state energy company. – Reuters

Holocaust reminder Frankly overdue

Teenage diarist Anne Frank has long been a symbol of humanity amidst the horrors of the Holocaust, but the house where she hid from the Nazis is now trying to teach a "new generation" about anti-Semitism. After two years of work the museum in Amsterdam unveiled a fresh look on Thursday to make it more relevant to young people who may lack knowledge about World War 2, in an era when hate crimes are soaring. Dutch King Willem Alexander was the guest of honour as the museum, built around a secret annexe in the canalside house where the Franks hid from 1942 to 1944, showed off its "renewed" appearance. "Every year 1.2 million people visit the Anne Frank House and half of those visitors are under the age of 30, so we have a very young audience," museum executive director Roland Leopold said. – AFP

Monks shed more than worldly possessions

Every morning Buddhist monk Pipit Sarakitwinon takes walks around his temple and does hundreds of arm exercises, part of a new regimen aimed at shedding pounds as a health overhaul for members of the clergy gathers pace in Thailand. Followers have been showering monks - who are deeply respected in the kingdom - with foods loaded with sugar, fat and oil, contributing to a brewing health crisis. With cases of diabetes, hypertension and knee problems skyrocketing, Thai health and religious officials last December published a “Monk Health Charter“, instructing members of the clergy to watch what they eat. Thais seeking to earn merit and honour their ancestors often provide food to monks on their daily rounds, but they can be generous to a fault. Heavy curries, sugary sweets, sodas and salty snacks are among the array of unhealthy alms. – AFP
Nitro Circus live in Glasgow with stunts from performers.
COUCH SURFING Nitro Circus live in Glasgow with stunts from performers.
Image: Euan Cherry/WENN

THE BUSINESS

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Mr Price confounds bleak expectations in grand style

Analysts impressed by clothing retailer’s results, despite the ominous outlook for consumer spending 

By Larry Claasen
3 min read

Timing of Amcu strike has turned into a deadly mistake

Mineworker killed after Sibanye’s takeover of Lonmin was already approved by the Competition Tribunal

By Allan Seccombe
1 min read

Shivers in big four as Capitec gets into business banking

Purchase of Mercantile, serving small and medium-sized businesses, is a coup for the consumer bank

By Warren Thompson
1 min read

LIFESTYLE

CULTURE COMES ALIVE

Now and zen you really need to get away from it all

Loosen up at the two-day Yoga Flow Full Moon Safari

By Pearl Boshomane Tsotetsi
3 min read

Paper-thin plot proves that journos are just plain boring

‘Shock and Awe’: What should have been a tight, punchy exposure of political hubris simply plods along

By Tymon Smith
2 min read

Won’t you take us to the bioscope?

The films opening in our cinemas this week

By Critics’ choice
2 min read

Straight outta Mzanzi: the classic roots of Darkie Fiction

Duo’s sound echoes with SA music lovers in its purest form, emanating from kwaito, hip hop and neo-soul

By Caira Blignaut
1 min read

SPORT

FINISH LINE ESSENTIALS

SPORTS DAY: Rassie keeps the faith in hard-charging Boks

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

David Isaacson
Journalist
5 min read

When the boxing bug strikes, you’re knocked out for life

For a boxing tragic like me, it’s just a hook and a jab from one hot corner of the global ring to another

Telford Vice
Journalist
6 min read

Blast from the past: Hansie oversees historic ’96 duck run

Today in SA sports history: November 23

David Isaacson
Journalist
1 min read