Thursday, January 17 2019




Bombshell witness breaks open Bosasa bribe bonanza

The former Bosasa COO delivered explosive – and unexpected – testimony on Wednesday at the state capture inquiry

Ranjeni Munusamy
Associate editor: analysis
3 min read

Soldiers patrol deserted Harare in wake of deadly chaos

Streets deserted in the capital, the scene of violence two days before, as stayaway over fuel hike enters third day

By Ray Ndlovu
3 min read

Zim crisis for dummies: What exactly is going on and why

A blow-by-blow on why it's the biggest challenge Mnangagwa has faced so far, and will be difficult to fix

By MacDonald Dzirutwe
5 min read




‘I’m going back to church’: lightning hits pals

One moment they were fishing at Loskop Dam in Middelburg, the next a bolt from the blue sent them flying

6 min read

It’s up to you, Mantashe tells Xolobeni

If the community says no, there will be no mining. If the community says yes, mining will proceed, the minister vows

Bongani Fuzile
3 min read

Regular park romps are likely to turn out well-behaved kids

Connection to nature lessens distress and behavioural problems, new research suggests

2 min read

Don’t fall for label fables, dietician warns

We are all too familiar with 'added sugar', 'net contents' and other terms - but do you know what they actually mean?

Tanya Farber
3 min read

MeatToo generation: What are flexitarians and why should we care?

The latest trend is for vegetarians who eat meat. Huh? Well, according to them, it makes perfect sense

Nivashni Nair
3 min read

Small Irish outfit wins epic battle against McDonald’s

'Never mind David versus Goliath, this victory is akin to the Connacht team winning against the All Blacks'

By James Crisp
1 min read



Ideas FREE

The man who built a global empire out of glass

Ronnie Lubner was the visionary, strategist and dealmaker behind the PG Group, but he also had a famously huge heart

By Chris Barron
5 min read

Children learn racism under the cloak of innocence

They quickly fall in step with a country that has not known innocence for centuries

By Tsholofelo Wesi
3 min read

Is Theresa May an excellent PM surrounded by bullying men ...

I wish half the politicians in parliament would display her dignity, her courtesy and her sense of service

By Lucy Denyer
3 min read

... or is she just a useless leader who should be dumped ASAP?

She is not just a poor communicator and bad negotiator, she has failed to build cross-party unity

By Philip Johnston
5 min read


Six things about SA you need to know

Hani's murderer Waluś denied parole again

Justice and correctional services minister Michael Masutha has again denied parole for Chris Hani’s murderer Janusz Waluś. “Having considered the various reports of psychologists and the apparent contradictions arising therein, it was difficult for me to make a determination on the suitability for placement on parole at this stage. I have therefore come to a following decision: the placement of the offender on parole is not granted,” Masutha said on Wednesday. Waluś and right-wing politician Clive Derby-Lewis were sentenced to death for the murder of the SA Communist Party leader outside his home in Boksburg on April 10 1993. Their sentences were later commuted to life imprisonment. In his decision, Masutha directed that a further profile be submitted within six months of this decision for his consideration.

Principal charged for making kids strip

The Limpopo health department on Wednesday gave counselling to a group of pupils who were allegedly made to strip half-naked and paraded before their classmates at Ntwampe Secondary High School in Sekhukhune. The punishment was reportedly meted out by their principal after the children failed to bring their calculators to class last week. The health department’s Sekhukhune district sent a team of clinical psychologists to the school to help the pupils who stripped, those who were subjected to seeing fellow pupils naked, and teachers who had to deal with the situation, the department said. Police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said a case of public indecency had been opened against the principal. "We have taken statements from those involved." It was not immediately clear whether any action had been taken against the principal by the education department, which could not be reached for comment.

Plea for Schweizer-Reneke kids to return to school

North West education MEC Sello Lehari visited the Schweizer-Reneke junior school at the centre of a segregation row on Wednesday, promising to arrange counselling for the pupils. The department said officials were appealing to parents to allow pupils to go back to school, "since they are losing a lot of work". Teaching has been disrupted at the school since a photograph was shared of black Grade R children sitting at a separate desk from white pupils on the first day of the new school year on January 9. "The parents were satisfied by the departmental intervention and promised to spread the word to other parents to bring learners to school," the department said.

More protests in 2018 than previous 13 years

There were more protests in 2018 than any other year since 2005 – but analysts are worried that there could be another spike this election year. Municipal IQ, a specialised local government data and intelligence organisation, recorded 237 protests against municipalities across the country in 2018. This beat the previous record of 191 protests in 2014. Worryingly, on Wednesday Municipal IQ raised, as one of its three key findings from 2018, the point that this new high came on the eve of an election, which could point to another rise as the country approaches polls in May.

There is limited democracy in my party: Hlaudi

If you were considering joining Hlaudi Motsoeneng's new political party, be warned: there is limited democracy in the African Content Movement. In an interview with TimesLIVE, Motsoeneng said that, unlike the ANC where the majority view informed the party's direction, in the ACM his word is final. "In my party democracy is limited … I am the one who takes responsibility on all matters. Everyone can come with their views, but if I do not believe those views will take us to heaven and transform South Africa, I say no.” Motsoeneng has an office on Commissioner Street in the Joburg CBD. His neighbour is the ANC Gauteng office. Motsoeneng has big plans for the ACM. In his world, he will be occupying the Union Buildings once the results of the 2019 general elections are announced. This is despite the party operating on a non-existent elections budget, according to his claims.

Drotske ‘just decided to attack’ during robbery

Former Springbok hooker Naka Drotske didn’t take his own personal safety into account when he charged four armed assailants last December because he believed the attackers wanted to kill. Drotske was shot twice in the attack at his brother’s Pretoria home, but his heroics saved members of his family and his friend and fellow 1995 World Cup winner Os du Randt from injury. “I was sitting on the outside patio with my back to the garden when I heard Os and my brother, Thinus, screaming ‘No, no, no.’ When I turned around I saw four guys, wearing balaclavas, armed with guns, and spraying tear gas as well. Instinct kicked in.” Drotske showed no regard for his own personal safety, even though his subsequent injuries left him close to death. He decided that attack was the best form of defence. “I believed they had a different agenda and I just decided to attack them,” Drotske said. He was in hospital for more than a month.
A Venezuelan couple sleeps near a bus terminal in Manaus, Brazil.
ANYWHERE WITH YOU IS HOME A Venezuelan couple sleeps near a bus terminal in Manaus, Brazil.
Image: Reuters/Bruno Kelly


CCTV footage has emerged, showing four gunmen entering a Nairobi hotel, wielding their rifles, before blasting their way into the complex in the Kenyan capital. At least 14 people were killed. Somali Islamist group al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack.



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



Tantrums and tiaras: What is really going on in the court of Meghan?

As her bodyguard quits, rumours swirl around the Duchess of Sussex's high staff turnover

By Camilla Tominey
7 min read

Inside Dick's head: Why Cheney was a cold warrior of the US far right

'Vice' is tipped for Oscars but it's a shallow portrait of an all-American villain

By Tim Stanley
6 min read

‘Three Billboards’ campaign targets gay conversion therapy in China

Bright-red trucks bearing bold slogans start eight-city tour in rare campaign inspired by Frances McDormand film

2 min read

Planning a stupid prank? You’re no longer welcome on YouTube

Stunts, especially under the guise of viral 'challenges', are putting people in danger and traumatising kids, it warns

By Mike Wright
2 min read


6 things you need to know about the world

Sorry Julius, no dodgy ads on Facebook

Facebook said on Tuesday it will tighten rules for political ads in countries with elections scheduled in the first half of the year. Already in the US, UK and Brazil political advertisers must confirm their identity and location before they can run Facebook ads. ‘By shining a light on political ads, news organisations, regulators, watchdog groups and people anywhere in the world can hold advertisers and us more accountable,’ it said. For upcoming elections in Nigeria and Ukraine no foreign electoral ads will be accepted, Facebook said. In India, the network will enforce authorisations before elections. It is therefore likely that SA elections in May will fall under the same rules. — AFP

That’ll teach you Pommie pervs

British lawmakers have outlawed the practice of ‘upskirting’ — secretly taking pictures up women’s skirts — following an 18-month campaign by a victim. Those found guilty face up to two years in jail. Members of the upper House of Lords on Tuesday gave the bill the final seal of approval, and it now only requires the formality of royal assent. The bill was briefly held up last year when a single MP blocked it by shouting ‘Object!’ during a parliamentary vote. Christopher Chope, a member of Theresa May’s Conservative Party, claimed he was objecting to the manner in which the bill was introduced, but was met with cries of ‘shame’ from MPs. — AFP

Italian homeless say silent thanks to fascist

A tiny Italian charity is dreaming big after its prototype for a foldable cardboard tent for the homeless went viral online — with the unwitting help of a local far-right politician. There are an estimated 4.1 million homeless people in the EU. Made of recyclable cardboard and plastic, the waterproof tent folds like an accordion into a portable backpack. The initiative went viral this month after the deputy mayor of Trieste, in northern Italy, sparked a national outcry by bragging about throwing away a homeless man’s ‘rags’. Paolo Polidori of the anti-immigrant League party, had boasted online about binning the man’s belongings to send a message of ‘zero tolerance’ against decay in the city. — Reuters

Kinda puts Nkandla into context, hmm?

Former Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto accepted a $100m (R1.36bn) bribe from drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman, a former collaborator told the kingpin’s trial. Alex Cifuentes, a Colombian who is now collaborating with US prosecutors in the Chapo trial, made the statement under examination from defence attorneys. Cifuentes said he worked with the kingpin from 2007 until being arrested in 2013 and at first even lived with him for two years in the mountains of Mexico’s Sinaloa region for two years. Guzman is accused of smuggling more than 155 tons of cocaine into the US over a period of 25 years. — AFP

Aussie outback falls off the Google map

Tourism operators in Australia’s vast outback say wild inaccuracies in Google Maps are making remote hot spots appear out of reach, deterring people from visiting the region. A number of businesses promoting their small towns as remote tourist destinations in the northeastern state of Queensland complain of cases where a typical six-hour drive has been estimated by Google Maps to take up to 11 hours. Peter Homan of the Queensland Outback Tourism Association said mapping errors had also directed people off main roads and on to vast private properties that can spread over 32,400km² — roughly the size of Belgium. — AFP

What in the world is there to worry about?

The risks of catastrophic weather and flooding from climate change are worrying business leaders heading into next week’s World Economic Forum meeting in Davos. An annual WEF survey of about 1,000 respondents shows climate change has become the dominant concern for three years running. Data theft and cyberattacks are in the top tier of worries, but respondents also highlighted anxiety about worsening international relations and the risk that poses for the world economy. The WEF report details the possibility of many low-lying cities in Asia, Europe and North America being wiped off the map by flooding. — AFP
Part of a bridge is demolished into the Hudson River in New York City.
GONE IN THE SPAN OF A SECOND Part of a bridge is demolished into the Hudson River in New York City.
Image: Reuters/Mike Segar



Eskom is too big to fail. For all our sake, here’s how to save it

Deploying PIC funds is a far better option than using the apartheid-era tactic of prescribed assets 

By Magda Wierzycka
3 min read

Oh to be a gold bug in this handbasket ride into hell

Miners are getting ready, for at some point the market is going to realise that gold is rare stuff and getting rarer

By Tim Cohen
4 min read

Quantum: What’s cracking with the JSE’s cheapest share?

Clearly there’s going to be lots to cluck about in the weeks ahead, especially if a predator decides to strike

By Marc Hasenfuss
1 min read

Palladium isn’t just an old bioscope in Springs, you know

The platinum group metal has nearly doubled in price in two years, kicking Sibanye and even Lonmin into life

By Lisa Steyn
1 min read



It’s the Year of the Pig, and we’re not talking gammon

These five fashion brands are celebrating the Chinese New Year with limited edition collections

By Aneesa Adams
1 min read

So last season! The lines bewitching your wardrobe

What to keep and what to ditch from your closet

By Nothemba Mkhondo
1 min read

Rock like Rihanna on the sunnies side of the street

Summer is just not the same without great shades

By Keneilwe Pule
1 min read



SPORTS DAY: Can Sharapova take Wozniacki Down Under?

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

David Isaacson
5 min read

Heroes caught in the Cricket SA and SuperSport love match

What was really behind dropping legendary (and extremely outspoken) SA opener Barry Richards? 

Liam Del Carme
3 min read

Blast from the past: The birth of the legend of Young Pluto

Today in SA sports history: January 17

David Isaacson
1 min read