Thursday, November 29 2018

THE BIG ISSUES

LEADING THE AGENDA

Tobacco group fired up over ‘biased’ illicit cigarette report

Multinationals behind report on growing illegal trade, the independent association charges

Bongani Fuzile
Journalist
4 min read

Historic listeriosis class action one step from go-ahead

Lawyer for some of the victims says this is the first time a class action has been agreed to by the company being sued

Katharine Child
Journalist
3 min read

Season of madness: ‘Duduzane said he’d report me to daddy’

In explosive testimony, former minister Ramatlhodi said ex-Eskom boss Ngubane also threatened to report him to Zuma

Amil Umraw
Journalist
3 min read

SMART NEWS

IN ONE TAKE

Spanking vs naughty corner square up in Concourt

Legal minds to consider whether 'light chastisement' is appropriate for children in the home

By Tania Broughton
3 min read

The shocking, deadly truth about electrocutions and young men

Illegal wiring and cable theft account for about half of their deaths in Cape Town, but it may be much higher

Dave Chambers
Cape Town bureau chief
2 min read

Black Friday: More checkouts, less spend

Tough times forced consumers to curb online spending

Nivashni Nair
Journalist
2 min read

It’s not a wind-up: More cyclones will hit southern Africa

Trump denies climate change, but local researcher delivers worrying data for our region

Tanya Farber
Journalist
2 min read

IDEAS

TO FEED YOUR MIND

School awards evenings should be a win-win for all

There are a number of troubling aspects to these events, but we can harness their many positives

Jonathan Jansen
Columnist
4 min read

The world’s changed a lot in 30 years, and so have babies’ brains

Infants’ perceptions of gender and race are often of their time, but where does nature end and nurture begin?

By Dr Guddi Singh, babies, nature and nurture
7 min read

Screen sex and MeToo: Have we had our Last Tango with filmic freedom?

Good sex scenes also tell stories, and we’d do well to keep an eye on our new inclination towards censorship

By Gaby Wood
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

Leah Beyers of Irene’s Models wears a dress designed by Jerry Woldemariam from The School of Fashion in Pietermaritzburg. The college celebrates 53 years in an event at the Pietermaritzburg City Hall on December 1.
THE BENCHMARK IN STYLE Leah Beyers of Irene’s Models wears a dress designed by Jerry Woldemariam from The School of Fashion in Pietermaritzburg. The college celebrates 53 years in an event at the Pietermaritzburg City Hall on December 1.
Image: Jackie Clausen

Six things about SA you need to know

Hawks sink talons into more drug suspects

The list of people allegedly connected to a large drug-smuggling operation in Somerset West is growing after police arrested two more men. Russel Stanton Jonathan, 53, and Mark Overmeyer, 51, were arrested after police raided a storage facility in Somerset West Business Park where tik, mandrax, and heroin worth R8.9m was found. Two weeks ago the Hawks' Narcotics Enforcement Bureau and crime intelligence officers arrested Mogamat Rafiek Hayners, 24, on the premises in Somerset West. Hayners, who is also a suspect in a homicide case in the Wynberg Magistrate's Court for a hit-and-run case in Lotus River which led to the death of a six-year-old girl and her nanny, was found in possession of an unlicensed firearm at the scene where the drugs were found. Two cars were also seized. Last week Zaynisa Alfoz, 45, to whom the storage facility was being leased, handed herself over to the Hawks. Hawks spokesperson Captain Philani Nkwalase said Alfoz, Overmeyer, and Jonathan will appear in the Somerset West Magistrate's Court on Thursday for a formal bail application.

NPA drops Estina Dairy case against Guptas

The National Prosecuting Authority is dropping its hallmark state capture case against Gupta family members and business associates accused of involvement in the alleged Estina Dairy Project scam – but stressed that this doesn’t mean the prosecution is dead. In a letter to lawyers for the Guptas their associates on Wednesday the NPA said it “has not received information regarding the Mutual Legal Assistance requests made to India and the United Arab Emirates, as a result the investigations are not finalised”. The state intended to “provisionally withdraw” charges on December 4. The NPA’s Luvuyo Mfaku told Business Day the case could be reinstated “once our investigation has been finalised, and all outstanding information obtained”. Gupta attorney Rudi Krause said the family was “relieved”. The NPA had until Friday to hand over the finalised docket and indictment in the case, in which it alleged R250m intended for the upliftment of poor black farmers was siphoned to Gupta companies.

Big bill for dog owner after man loses arm

The high court has found the owner of three dogs that left a man without his left arm liable for damages. Labourer Gerhard Cloete was pushing a refuse trolley in Port Elizabeth in February 2017 when the pitbull-looking animals attacked him, resulting in his left arm having to be amputated at the shoulder. Cloete sued the owner of the dogs, Christiaan van Meyeren, in the high court in Port Elizabeth for more than R2.3m in damages. In his defence, Van Meyeren said his dogs were kept behind locked gates in Rowallan Park and escaped after an intruder broke into his property. He denied liability and negligence. According to the judgment, Cloete was saved by a passer-by. The dogs, which were covered in Cloete’s blood, were later put down. The court found Van Meyeren liable this week and ordered him to pay the legal costs. The quantum of damages is yet to be determined.

Large fuel price cuts on cards for December

Massive fuel price reductions are expected for December, but these could be tempered by adjustments in the retail and wholesale margin, and the possible continued use of the Slate Levy. This is according to the Automobile Association (AA), which was commenting on unaudited month-end fuel price data released by the Central Energy Fund. "The good news is a likely R1.85 reduction per litre in the price of petrol, with diesel coming down by an estimated R1.40, and illuminating paraffin dropping by R1.28. With these expected drops, the fuel prices will return to levels last seen around the middle of 2018," said the AA. "These massive decreases stem from a combination of substantial retreats in international petroleum prices and a slightly firmer rand, which has trended stronger against the US dollar since its most recent peak in early-September at close R15.50 to the greenback."

I was SACP member: Krugersdorp murder accused

Cecilia Steyn has many tattoos on her body and each one of them has a meaning, including the one she has of the SA Communist Party (SACP) badge. “I have an SACP badge ... I was a member of the SACP and the ANC Women’s League,” she said, while explaining the meaning of each of the tattoos she has. Cecilia, Zak Valentine and Marcel Steyn are accused of murdering 11 people from 2012 to 2016‚ as well as robbery‚ aggravated assault‚ racketeering‚ possession of an unlicensed firearm‚ fraud and identity theft. They have pleaded not guilty. On Wednesday, in the South Gauteng High Court, prosecutor Gerrit Roberts asked Steyn to explain the meaning of each of her tattoos. Included among them is one of Jesus and a Chinese dragon. The latter “is for a friend of mine who passed away. She was born in the year of the dragon”. Others include an eye, a spider, a wolf and Egyptian symbols.

Autopsy hotline opens during go-slow

Grieving families can call a hotline to determine the progress of autopsies on the bodies of loved ones while a go-slow continues at a state mortuary in KwaZulu-Natal. The provincial health department said families would be requested to leave their details in order to be contacted with an update. Bodies have been piling up at the Fort Napier Medico Legal Mortuary as forensic pathology services staff refuse to resume the normal pace of work until their grievances – including the supply of equipment and repair of air conditioners. - are addressed. A week ago the provincial health department said there was a backlog of 26 at the facility.

VISUAL SIDE

A family of three on a scooter were knocked down when the door on a truck trailer suddenly swung open. The shocking video was captured in Xiangxi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture in Hunan Province, southern China, on November 24 2018. Subscribe to TimesLIVE here: https://www.youtube.com/user/TimesLive


THE WORLD

The news you don't normally get to hear

Ghost of Khashoggi haunts Saudi prince as frosty G-20 awaits

Bin Salman is on a tour to boost his reputation, but he faces being treated as an outcast by world leaders

By AFP
4 min read

‘What Meghan wants, she gets.’ Has Kate had enough of her?

Rumours of a rivalry between the duchesses have been rumbling behind palace gates

By Camilla Tominey
5 min read

‘Racist’ Facebook has more Black Lives Matter posters than black people

An ex-employee claims there is an anti-black climate at the social media company

By Laurence Dodds
4 min read

Bloody Sunday: It was a fine day for murder in medieval London

New interactive map paints a bloody picture of how homicide was embedded in the rhythms of urban medieval life

By Sarah Knapton
2 min read

SNAPSHOT

SIX THINGS ABOUT THE WORLD YOU NEED TO KNOW

Crazy airport limbo ends in Canadian asylum

A Syrian stranded in Kuala Lumpur airport for seven months has been given asylum in Canada. Hassan al-Kontar, from Damascus, who had been working in the United Arab Emirates and refused to go home because of the civil war in Syria, was banned from entering Malaysia over a visa issue. His plight was likened to that of the lead character in the film ‘The Terminal’ as he shared pictures on social media of cutting his hair in the airport lavatories and eating donated airline meals. Kontar’s lawyer said his client was recognised by Canada as a refugee and was granted permanent residency under the country’s refugee sponsorship programme. Since 2015, more than 14,000 Syrian privately sponsored refugees have resettled in Canada. — © The Daily Telegraph

Execs nailed for opioid drug bribing scam

A former executive at Insys Therapeutics is expected to plead guilty to charges of bribing doctors to prescribe the company’s opioid drug. The case centers on Subsys, Insys’s under-the-tongue spray that is intended for managing pain in cancer patients and which contains fentanyl, an opioid 100 times stronger than morphine. The US Justice Department contends Insys paid kickbacks to doctors to prescribe Subsys, often via fees to participate in sham speaker programmes, ostensibly meant to educate medical professionals about the drug. Prosecutors allege that from 2012 to 2015 Insys conspired to pay bribes to doctors to prescribe Subsys in order to boost sales and to defraud insurers into paying for it. Opioids were involved in more than 49,000 overdose deaths in 2017. — Reuters

Last-chance balloon ride out of Brexit?

The European Union’s top court will give its opinion on December 4 as to whether Britain can unilaterally reverse Brexit. The European Court of Justice held an urgent hearing about whether Britain can revoke its notice to withdraw from the EU under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty without agreement of the other 27 states. December 4 is the same day the British parliament begins a five-day debate on Prime Minister Theresa May’s draft divorce bill before lawmakers vote on December 11. Britain is due to exit the EU on March 29, two years after London served notice in line with a June, 2016 vote to leave, but the fate of Brexit remains up in the air. The Scottish politicians behind the case hope it would pave the way for a potential second referendum, giving voters the option to remain in the EU. — Reuters

‘Rooi gevaar’ threat gets deadly for Duterte

Rights groups have raised fears after Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced plans to create a ‘death squad’ targeting suspected communist rebels, saying it would worsen the ‘calamity’ triggered by his deadly drug war. The Philippines’ 50-year fight against communist militants long pre-dates his anti-narcotics crackdown that has killed thousands. In a speech on Tuesday Duterte took aim at the communist rebels’ hit squads known as ‘sparrow units’. ‘What I lack is my own sparrow. That is where they [communists] have an edge... So I will create my own sparrow, Duterte Death Squad against the sparrow,’ the president said. ‘I will match their talent also for assassinating people,’ he added. — AFP

Chinese spy threat scuppers Kiwi 5G rollout

New Zealand’s largest telecoms network Spark said the country’s intelligence agency had barred it from using equipment provided by China’s Huawei in its 5G network as it posed ‘significant national security risks’. The Government Communications Security Bureau declined the proposed rollout, but Spark said it still expected to complete its 5G network by July 2020. Huawei — one of the world’s largest telecommunications equipment and services providers — has been under scrutiny in some countries, including the US and Australia, over its alleged close links to Beijing authorities. China has long disputed accusations of security risks and the firm’s links to state intelligence services. — AFP

Chopper airlift racket still rules in Himalayas

Nepal’s pledge to crack down on fraudulent helicopter evacuations has failed to curb the scam, with tourists still being unnecessarily airlifted from the Himalayas so middlemen can profit on the insurance payouts. In the chopper racket, dodgy trekking outfits pressure tourists into needless and costly airlifts, or bill multiple times for a single flight. Nepal launched an inquiry in June after insurers were billed more than $6.5m on 1,300 helicopter rescues in the first five months of 2018. But insiders said the scam was thriving well into the busy trekking season, with operators continuing to make thousands evacuating tourists months after Nepal promised to rein in operators, who collect kickbacks between $500 and $2,100 per flight. — AFP
A child escapes from his mother during the general audience led by Pope Francis at the Vatican.
THE MAN OF THE MOMENT A child escapes from his mother during the general audience led by Pope Francis at the Vatican.
Image: Reuters/Max Rossi

THE BUSINESS

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Despite the Gupta, Sars and VBS mess, KPMG staggers on

Auditing firm lost more than 1,000 staff members and R1bn in annual revenue following a series of botches

By Londiwe Buthelezi
2 min read

Sticking the knife into Gold Fields won’t help anybody

Gwede Mantashe tears into Gold Fields managers about the month-long strike at the South Deep mine

By Allan Seccombe
1 min read

Cash flow at Trustco: Just how far will trust go?

All eyes on the Namibian investment company’s operational cash flows after share price spike

By Marc Hasenfuss
1 min read

LIFESTYLE

CULTURE COMES ALIVE

Fear and clothing: Victoria’s got a smalls problem

A weekly column on the charms and vagaries of fashion

Aspasia Karras
Columnist
2 min read

Walls and all: Testing the very fabric of the imagination

Martin Waller and Kit Kemp bring you a dreamy collaboration that fuses folk tales and mythology

By Mila Crewe-Brown
1 min read

No matter how thick or thin your skin, care for it properly

Do it right. You'll thank yourself later

By Dominique Temple
4 min read

SPORT

FINISH LINE ESSENTIALS

SPORTS DAY: Ref Owens up over that Farrell tackle

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

David Isaacson
Journalist
5 min read

Banyana in World Cup: Joy, regret and some sadness ... but mainly joy

Celebrations as team seal an historic place at the World Cup in France, ending a 25-year wait 

By Nick Said
4 min read

Blasts from the past: 5/23 by Anderson scuppers Proteas

Today in SA sports history: November 29

David Isaacson
Journalist
1 min read