Tuesday, December 11 2018




Matric exam markers caught drunk on job

What happens to examiners who hit the bottle? Eight of them found out

Prega Govender
3 min read

ANALYSIS: How the timeshare report affects you

The National Consumer Commission has drawn up a list of ways to wipe the dazzlingly fake smile off the industry's face

Wendy Knowler
Consumer journalist
4 min read



War against illegal miners goes hi-tech

Scientists from Council of Geoscience to use satellites, aircraft, radar and lasers to map tunnels

Graeme Hosken
2 min read

Law CRISPR-clear on cloning, but not gene editing

Lawmakers must prepare for gene-edited babies, says local expert

Nivashni Nair
2 min read

‘Mining is a slow poison’: Xolobeni wins case, but is still wary

Community still views government with suspicion despite the court victory that halts mining on their land

3 min read

How a fruit-loving San artist is linked to the pesky fly in your bowl

The San’s taste for marulas was key to setting fruit flies on course to global domination, according to scientists

Dave Chambers
Cape Town bureau chief
3 min read

SA man’s swim around Barbados is a world first

Businessman has an insatiable hunger for unusual exertion, and a charitable soul to match

Bobby Jordan
2 min read

Connect to the waves this December - the wifi waves

Beaches in Umhlanga, Durban, have an added attraction: free wifi access

1 min read



’Twas a fortnight ’til Xmas. St Cyril came bearing ... niks

SA deserves its own, new poem of yuletide cheer

Tom Eaton
3 min read

Michelle Obama is wrong: Women still need to Lean In

The truth is that in the battle of feminisms, it’s Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, not Michelle, who wins

By Zoe Strimpel
4 min read

The sheer terror of being stranded at sea without a mast

When solo sailor Susie Goodall's yacht flipped in the Southern Ocean, memories flooded back

By Nigel King
6 min read



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


Six things about SA you need to know

SAHRC receives ‘kill the whites’ complaints

The SA Human Rights Commission said on Monday it had received a multitude of complaints through its social media platforms against Black First Land First (BLF) leader Andile Mngxitama. "We have the complaints, but we can't prejudge it. We have to subject it to a particular assessment process to determine if there are human rights violations," spokesperson Buang Jones said. Mngxitama came under fire over the weekend for his latest controversial remarks about the killing of white people. During a rally in Potchefstroom, in North West, on Saturday, Mngxitama threatened to kill five white people for every black person killed. "You kill one of us, we will kill five of you. We will kill their children, we will kill their women, we will kill anything that we find on our way," Mngxitama said. The DA has condemned the comments, and AfriForum is expected to lodge Equality Court papers against Mngxitama on Tuesday.

SA better off than 25 years ago: De Klerk

Monday marked 25 years since former presidents Nelson Mandela and FW de Klerk stood side-by-side to accept their joint Nobel Peace Prize - and De Klerk believes SA has had a mixed bag of successes and failures, but is a better place than it was before. Mandela and De Klerk were announced joint Nobel Peace Prize winners in October 1993 for their work in the peaceful termination of the apartheid regime, and for laying the foundations for a new, democratic SA. The award ceremony was held in Oslo two months later. "We have come a long way since 1994 but we still have a very long way to go to achieve our constitutional vision," De Klerk said on Monday. “We remain a vibrant and genuine multiparty democracy but struggle sometimes to ensure openness, responsiveness and accountability.”

No ‘new dawn’ under Ramaphosa: Maimane

While DA leader Mmusi Maimane has a better personal relationship with President Cyril Ramaphosa than he had with Jacob Zuma, he is adamant that Ramaphosa's "new dawn" is no better than Zuma's regime. "Despite the change of leadership in the ANC, no significant reforms have taken place," he said on Monday. "When you reflect on this year, it is very clear that in an ANC government, despite Ramaphosa, no significant reforms have taken place. Furthermore, the governance architecture has not become better. In certain instances it has become worse." Presenting his party's view of how the national government performed in 2018, Maimane said that while Ramaphosa came to office promising tough action on corruption and to get the economy growing to create jobs, progress on both fronts has been elusive. Despite his complaints, Maimane described his relationship with Ramaphosa as "a very good relationship, certainly one that is better than Mr Zuma".

Long way to go in HIV fight, says TAC

The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), which played a key role in getting the government to provide anti-retroviral drugs to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV, says there is still a long way to go in the fight against the virus. Epidemiologist Quarraisha Abdool Karim said the country had achieved much in terms of reducing transmission to babies and getting people to have their treatment, but there were still a number of challenges. "We have about 4.5 million people on treatment but we have to keep reminding ourselves that South Africa is home to one in five new infections that are taking place each day globally," she said. "We have about 1,000 infections taking place each day in SA. We cannot say we have turned the tide, and that’s what we need to keep reminding ourselves. Our battle against HIV is far from over.” Scores of people marched to the highest court in the land, the Constitutional Court in Johannesburg, on Monday to deliver a memorandum of demands and to celebrate 20 years of the TAC’s existence.

Racism complaints ‘highest in Gauteng’

Most of the highest number of complaints received by the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) over the past year were race related. This is according to a trends analysis report launched by the commission in Johannesburg on Monday. Speaking about equality-related rights violations, the commission's Alexandra Fitzgerald said the majority of complaints were related to allegations of racial discrimination against black South Africans. Gauteng, according to the commission, had the highest number of equality-related complaints, with 38% of recorded cases, followed by the Western Cape with 15% and KwaZulu-Natal with 14%. "Race-based discrimination presents the greatest challenge to the work of the commission," said Fitzgerald. The SAHRC said most race-based complaints it litigated included the use of the k-word as well as other derogatory terms such as "baboon" and "monkey".

Football bosses to meet minister over cup bid

The South African Football Association's (Safa) top brass hope to meet sports minister Tokozile Xasa within the next two days to be able to finalise a bid to step in as emergency hosts of 2019’s African Nations Cup. Safa has until midnight on Friday to confirm its intention to host the tournament, but still needs government backing if it is to go ahead with the process. A host country is being sought to replace Cameroon, which was stripped of the right to host 2019’s finals by CAF at the end of last month. Xasa said last Friday the government would be keen but has yet to meet Safa. “We have asked for a meeting to appraise her of the whole process‚” Safa acting chief executive Russell Paul said on Monday. It will be a tight timeline for Safa to persuade government to foot the bill for the tournament. Gabon was the last host of the Nations Cup in January 2017.
A tourist rides a beach buggy near the Red Sea in Egypt.
KICKING UP DUST A tourist rides a beach buggy near the Red Sea in Egypt.
Image: Reuters/Mohamed Abd El Ghany



The news you don't normally get to hear

‘Siege warfare’ as Democrats talk of impeaching Trump over new allegations

Left is reinvigorated as it emerges president’s ex-lawyer admits paying women to stop them blabbing about affairs

By Rob Crilly
2 min read

Siberian cop killed 78 women to ‘clean up’ his city

Mikhail Popkov was already in jail for 22 killings when courts added another 56 - and a second life sentence

3 min read

Brutality on display as Belgium confronts its heart of darkness

The reopening of colonial museum may not be enough, as the DRC president demands the repatriation of artefacts

By James Crisp
2 min read

Meghan served dope at her first wedding, says her dad

The father has startled the media with a dossier of 'evidence' that he and his daughter once had a closer relationship

By Hannah Furness
2 min read



Korean taxi drivers fired up, literally

A South Korean taxi driver burned himself to death on Monday in protest against an Uber-like ride-sharing service being introduced by the country's largest mobile chat app, reports said. South Korean taxi drivers have angrily protested against the car-pooling service created by KakaoTalk, saying it would threaten their jobs and livelihoods. US giant Uber has only a minimal presence in the country, offering only taxi- and licensed-hire vehicle hailing after closing its main ride-sharing service in 2015 in the face of an extensive backlash from drivers. But Kakao is used by more than 80% of South Koreans. The 57-year-old driver, surnamed Choi, set himself alight in front of the national parliament in Seoul, according to the police and Yonhap news agency. He was taken to hospital but died hours later. – AFP

Hurry up, we need babies, Serbs are told

"Give birth, don't delay!", says a rousing call by the Serbian state to young couples. "Let babies' cries be heard!" is another of the baby-making slogans Serbia is busy producing - while it struggles to increase actual births. Women say they need better support not words of encouragement to grow the country's population. Massive emigration coupled with the plummeting birth rate, which at 1.5 children per family is among the lowest in Europe, has brought Serbia's population down to under 7 million. According to the United Nations, Serbia's population is expected to shrink a further 15% by 2050.Desperate to reverse the trend, Serbian officials have made some head-scratching proposals, including a plan announced in June to build "lower-storey homes" in areas with the lowest birth rates, based on a study showing couples have nearly double the number of children in two-to-four storey homes than in blocks of flats. – AFP

The checkout is about to check out

Amazon plans to open a futuristic checkout-free store near Oxford Circus in London, in a sign its efforts to bring the “Amazon Go” concept to the UK are accelerating. Industry sources said the push to open the store in the West End, Europe’s busiest shopping area, was being orchestrated by Amazon’s US team, and not out of the UK. Amazon is thought to have been looking for sites which are between 3,000 to 5,000 square feet in size. Sources said the Oxford Circus site would probably act as a flagship UK store for Amazon. – © The Daily Telegraph

For good grades, take your teacher home

Teachers at a school in Middlesex are going home with students to cook them meals in a bid to improve grades. Staff at Reach Academy in Feltham have also had to set bedtimes for students and use home visits to check they have a clear space where they can do their homework. Ed Vainker, the school's executive principal, estimated the school had staged 50 to 60 of these "interventions" over the past three years. "Where a child is very fussy, our teachers will go home and cook a meal with the parents and child and eat it all together. We take a hands-on approach," he said. In one case, teachers had to coax a pupil into widening his diet after he insisted he would only eat food of one colour. - © The Daily Telegraph

Apple fight rages, China chips in

A Chinese court ordered a ban in the country on iPhone sales in a patent dispute between US chipmaker Qualcomm and Apple, according to Qualcomm on Monday. It said the Fuzhou Intermediate People’s Court had granted Qualcomm’s request for two preliminary injunctions against four subsidiaries of Apple, ordering them to immediately to stop selling the iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X. The move marked the latest in a long-running dispute over patents and royalties between the two California tech giants playing out in courts and administrative bodies worldwide. Don Rosenberg, Qualcomm executive vice-president and general counsel, said: “Apple continues to benefit from our intellectual property while refusing to compensate us.” Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment. – AFP

Don’t play the Grinch in Texas

Police in Texas say they arrested a 31-year-old protester who told children that Santa Claus was not real. Aaron Urbanski was arrested for trespass after officers were called to a church in Cleburne, North Texas, which was hosting breakfast with Father Christmas. Heather Johnson, a mother of four young children, said two men confronted her as she made her way into the church with her family and said, "Do you let your kids believe in a fake Santa or do they know who Jesus is?” "When I told them not to ruin Santa and Christmas for my kids they started to shout out that Santa was not real and that I was wrong for teaching them that," she told NBC 5. "I got really verbal with them over it." © The Daily Telegraph
A stranded passenger in Cologne during a railworkers’ strike across Germany.
ERM ... WHERE’S EVERYBODY? A stranded passenger in Cologne during a railworkers’ strike across Germany.
Image: Reuters/Wolfgang Rattay



Tax the rich to grow the middle class, but find a middle ground

How do you tax the rich without blunting the spearhead they create to drive economic growth?

By Mark Barnes
5 min read

Clap for steely Transnet. There’s a caveat though

The company’s decisive actions show it has the capacity to give a world-class service

By Allan Seccombe
1 min read

Coal hard cash: The stakes are high in SA’s energy future

The lobbying behind SA's energy blueprint shows just how much big business is at stake

By Lisa Steyn
1 min read



Just for the record: Xmas music that won't make you bring up your turkey

A fortnightly vinyl review

By Andrew Donaldson
8 min read

The Nutcracker as you’ve never seen it comes to Joburg

It's the first time the much-loved ballet has been translated into a theatrical circus

By Sara Pearce
2 min read

P is for Pterodactyl: The ‘worst alphabet book’ is a bestseller

Rapper and a computer programmer came up with it as a joke. Now it's a modern classic

By Tymon Smith
1 min read

Female Caravaggio follower severed art’s chauvinist head

The painter is now a major investment in her own right

By Colin Gleadell
1 min read



SPORTS DAY: Chiefs manager plays down coach ‘negativity’

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

Mninawa Ntloko
Sports editor
7 min read
Sport FREE

Son rising: Rugby turns a blind eye to nepotism

The latest case at the Sharks reminds us that why sound rugby decisions shouldn’t be clouded by family matters

3 min read

Blast from the past: Southpaw Makambi retains his crown

Today in SA sports history: December 11

David Isaacson
1 min read