Thursday, January 3 2019

THE BIG ISSUES

LEADING THE AGENDA

Politicians are going to try and divide us in 2019. We must resist

As we approach the elections, our politics is going to become even more conflictual and divisive

4 min read

Taxing questions remain as top Sars exec slips quietly off

Revenue service won't say why law enforcement head Mogola Makola resigned in mid-December

Graeme Hosken
Journalist
4 min read

Class of 2018: The best just keep getting better

Private school pupils outdid the previous year's results in the Independent Examinations Board exams

Prega Govender
Journalist
2 min read


SMART NEWS

IN ONE TAKE

The long walk to free education

Students' trek from KZN to Union Buildings reminds Thuli Madonsela of Mahatma Gandhi

Nico Gous
Journalist
2 min read

Searching for Endurance: SA ship begins Antarctic expedition

Team will investigate one of the last pristine wildernesses - and hopefully solve a century-old mystery

Bobby Jordan
Journalist
3 min read

Life’s a breach: After a year from hell, can Facebook refresh?

The social network suffered the greatest one-day stock market loss of any US company in history

By Laurence Dodds
8 min read

UK museums vow to come clean over ‘stolen’ treasures

Staff hired to rewrite labels and acknowledge controversial origins of key colonial-era objects

By Hannah Furness
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 you need to know

Moz terrorism arrest a ‘set-up’

The wife of Andre Hanekom, the man accused by Mozambican authorities of being one of the leaders of a jihadist group in northern Mozambique, says her husband is innocent. Francis Hanekom said “influential people” wanted to implicate her husband in a crime as they desired her husband’s property on the beach in Palma, northern Mozambique. Francis was responding to a news report on New Year’s Day that Mozambican prosecutors had named her husband and two Tanzanians as leaders of a group established to create instability, prevent the exploitation of natural gas in Palma and later create an independent state. Andre Hanekom has been living in Mozambique for 25 years where he is a businessman. His family maintain that his arrest in August, when he was shot, was unlawful.

DA blasts Zuma’s recording deal

The DA in eThekwini has slammed the city’s decision to reach an agreement with former president Jacob Zuma to record his popular struggle songs. The municipality’s parks, recreation and culture unit reached the agreement with Zuma last Friday. Zuma would lead a yet-to-be-formed Durban mass choir. The deal was struck after the city’s head of parks, recreation and culture Thembinkosi Ngcobo led a delegation which included the creator and producer of popular SABC 2 soapie Muvhango, Duma ka Ndlovu, and Lamontville cultural activist Mandla Ka Nozulu Kheswa to Nkandla on Friday. Zuma is known for his good rendition of struggle songs such as Awuleth’ Umshini Wami — the revolutionary song that became synonymous with his tribulations. DA eThekwini councillor Nicole Graham said the record deal was “blatant patronage where the people’s money will be used to finance the former president’s lifestyle.”

Showroom car thieves posed as guards

Five suspects have been arrested in connection with the audacious theft of high-end vehicles from the showroom floor of a dealership in Northcliff, Johannesburg. Paul Maher Ford said on Facebook seven suspects robbed its dealership on Beyers Naude Drive at 10.30pm on December 29, escaping with a Wildtrak 4x4; a Ranger XLT 4x4; a Ranger FX4 2.2 double cab; an Everest 3.2 XLT; and an Everest 3.2 LTD. "Two of the suspects … gained control of the night guard, tying him up and stripping him of his uniform at gunpoint. One of the suspects then put his uniform on and posed as the guard when armed response vehicles." The suspects had got in by cutting through the tin roof, and used grinders to open the safes containing the cars' keys. Captain Xoli Mbele said the suspects aged between 23 and 27 are due to appear in court on Wednesday. The vehicles had not yet been recovered.

Holy ruckus after women dare enter temple

Violence erupted in southern India on Wednesday after two women defied traditionalists to enter one of Hinduism’s holiest temples for the first time since a landmark court ruling. Police fired tear gas, stun grenades and water cannon as protests and clashes between rival groups erupted across the state of Kerala. The Supreme Court in September overturned a decades-old ban on ‘impure’ women of menstruating age — deemed as those between 10 and 50 — setting foot inside the gold-plated Sabarimala temple. In a surprise pre-dawn operation on Wednesday, police enabled two women to penetrate the hilltop temple and then leave again undetected. As soon as news of the breach spread, the temple head priest ordered the shrine closed for a purification ritual. Later violent clashes were reported between scores of people chanting slogans in front of the state parliament in Thiruvananthapuram. — AFP

If you think flying is risky, you’re dead wrong

A total of 556 people died in 15 plane crashes in 2018, significantly more than the previous year, but long-term trends show safety improving. The year 2017 was the safest year in aviation history with only 44 people killed in 10 airliner accidents, said the Aviation Safety Network. Last year was still the third-safest year in aviation history in terms of the number of fatal accidents and the ninth-safest in terms of lives lost. Three of last year’s deadly accidents involved operators blacklisted by the European Union. A review of the last five years’ figures showed that loss-of-control accidents were a major safety concern, responsible for 10 of the 25 deadliest crashes. Last year’s deadliest accident was the October 29 loss of a Boeing 737 plane operated by Lion Air, which crashed off Indonesia killing all 189 people on board. — AFP

Oldest-ever woman may have been ‘only’ 99

A record held by a Frenchwoman as the world’s longest living person could be fraudulent and involve an identity swap, Russian researchers have claimed in a report that has sparked widespread controversy. Jeanne Calment died at the age of 122 years and 164 days in 1997, setting a record as the world’s most long-lived person that is still unsurpassed. The elderly woman used to joke that God must have forgotten about her. But Russian mathematician Nikolai Zak has concluded that Jeanne Calment’s daughter Yvonne assumed her mother’s identity. Zak suggests that in 1934 it was not Calment’s daughter Yvonne who died of pleurisy, as official records say, but Jeanne Calment herself. Yvonne then took on her mother’s identity in order to avoid paying inheritance tax. If that is so, the woman who died in 1997 was in fact Yvonne, and she was aged just 99. — AFP
A performer gets ready backstage at the 35th Cochin Carnival, held annually to welcome the start of the New Year in the state of Kerala, India.
THIS YEAR, WE PAINT EVERYTHING NEW A performer gets ready backstage at the 35th Cochin Carnival, held annually to welcome the start of the New Year in the state of Kerala, India.
Image: Reuters/Sivaram V

LEISURE

THE FUN STUFF THAT MAKES LIFE WORTH LIVING

Scents and sensibility: putting the art into artisanal fragrance

Local artisanal perfumers Fettle & Frisson have a deeply rooted connection to the natural world

By Mila Crewe-Brown
3 min read

Do not attempt Veganuary until you’ve digested this

As a quarter of a million people try veganism for a month, you need to know how to meet the challenge

By Flic Everett
3 min read

Off the bat, Pakistan must fix willow woes against Proteas

After SA’s bowlers caused havoc in the first Test, Pakistan know they’ll need to up their batting game

By Reuters
3 min read