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