Tuesday, January 22 2019



Pain by numbers: From Sarafina to Guptas, it all adds up to a theft orgy

Over time it is easy to view them as different crimes, but we must keep the big picture in view

Tom Eaton
4 min read

Ire-raising testimony as Agrizzi names yet more top names

Bosasa paid for Zuma's birthday cake, and greased the palms of ministers and MPs, he tells inquiry

Amil Umraw
3 min read

Agrizzi: R671,000 paid to ANC MP by Bosasa was ‘not a loan’

Parliament has made no effort to probe alleged bribe, despite complaint to ethics committee by the DA

Karyn Maughan
2 min read



It’s a lie, says Krejcir of new escape plot claim

He says department's allegation is just to stop his prison conditions being improved

Shain Germaner
3 min read

Desperate Zimbabweans trek to SA for fuel

When they get there they find a border town hit hard by the bloody crisis in their own country

Mpumzi Zuzile
4 min read

Battle to contain rampant wildfires gets a stellar boost

New web-based system uses satellites to work out how quickly a fire is likely to spread

Bobby Jordan
2 min read

‘Moonlighting’ teacher who is earning in dollars faces stick

She stands accused of maintaining her position at a Durban primary school while teaching internationally

2 min read

Doctors too shy to talk about sex - study

Many feel they are untrained and ill-prepared, but they're missing a huge opportunity, say experts

Tanya Farber
3 min read

Varsity’s hi-tech scale weighs in as a boon to baby clinics

It eliminates risks linked to human error and faulty equipment when measuring crucial milestones such as weight

2 min read



The final chapter of my love affair with too many books

Professional organiser Marie Kondo believes 30 books are too many for one home. Are books clutter?

Nivashni Nair
3 min read

These absurd plots won’t stop Brexit - and they’re destroying public trust

Fiery former UK foreign secretary Boris Johnson explains why MPs manoeuvring to stop the plan will fail

By Boris Johnson
6 min read
Ideas FREE

My amazing fiancé and I would lie in bed ... and boy, did he lie

What is it like being in a relationship with a compulsive liar? Here is a woman who knows all too well

By Charlotte Lytton
6 min read


Six things about SA you need to know

Bullet fired after ‘gangster’ funeral kills boy

A detective task team has been set up to track down the gunmen who randomly fired into the air at a party after a funeral in Port Elizabeth at the weekend, resulting in the death of an 11-year-old child. Mbasa Dlamini died on Saturday after he was hit by a stray bullet when random shots were fired at the wake of alleged gangster Siyamthanda “Ncuncu” Ndema. Police spokesperson Captain Andre Beetge said a preliminary probe into the shooting indicated the funeral started at 7am at Ndema’s home in Makhubalo Street and ended at about 1.30pm at the cemetery in Motherwell. Many of the funeral goers then returned to Ndema’s home, where several gunshots were fired by unknown gunmen in the street. Ndema was gunned down on January 7 outside Gqalane's tavern in Makhanda Street, Zwide. Detectives suspect the killing is linked to an ongoing dispute between robbery gangs in the area.

Lesufi warns Vodacom over ‘Please Call Me’

Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has challenged Vodacom to pay “Please Call Me” inventor Nkosana Makate by the end of January 2019. “Hi @Vodacom, the countdown starts now … Please pay him by 10 am, 31st January 2019 or face the wrath of the nation. We are the economy and we can shut it down,” Lesufi said on his Twitter timeline. Lesufi’s tweet comes after the network operator announced this month that it had reached a settlement agreement with Makate and would pay “reasonable” compensation to him for his call-back service idea. However, Makate rejected Vodacom’s announcement.

Prophet Bushiri's services postponed

The controversial Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) church has suspended its services until further notice. The announcement came after its leader, Prophet Shepherd Bushiri, said "it was not the right time to have a service" and invited pastors to join him in a mountain prayer and fasting service. Spokesperson and attorney for the church Terrence Baloyi confirmed this on Monday. The church is under police investigation following a stampede that claimed the lives of three women and left dozens injured. The stampede occurred on December 28 during a service attended by dozens of congregants.

Tribunal slaps Computicket with R20m penalty

The Competition Tribunal has found that Computicket abused its dominance and has ordered the local ticketing giant to pay an administrative penalty of R20m. The tribunal’s decision follows protracted litigation and an earlier investigation by the Competition Commission into the company’s use of long-term exclusive agreements to exclude new entrants from the outsourced ticket-distribution market. The matter relates to the period between 2005 and 2010. The commission led evidence that Computicket required or induced its customers not to deal with competitors. In a statement, the competition authorities said the company’s exclusivity contracts increased dramatically in terms of quantity and duration following its takeover by Shoprite in 2005. In addition, from at least December 2006 to September 2009, Computicket’s personnel aggressively enforced the exclusive agreements among its clients, including theatres, music promoters and event organisers.

Dog-attack victim loses two-week fight for life

A Phoenix, Durban, man who was mauled by dogs as he walked through the neighbourhood of Northcroft nearly two weeks ago, died as a result of his injuries at the weekend. Dharmaseelan Moodley was walking home after visiting a friend when he was attacked by a pit bull cross and a boerboel on January 10 2019. His sister, Sarah Naicker, said the dogs had savaged her 49-year-old brother. "He was very badly injured and his neck was badly damaged … he ended up on a ventilator. He was practically bitten from head to toe," she said. Moodley, a driver, was taken to the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Hospital and underwent several surgical procedures. Naicker said he was eventually transferred to the Nkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital for specialist treatment, but succumbed on Saturday.

Outrage over church ‘abuse’ video

Video footage of what appears to be a woman beating two girls has sparked outrage on social media, with many calling on officials to take action. DispatchLIVE reported that the woman beating the young girls is a church leader at the Endumisweni Faith Mission in Mdantsane, near East London. The two girls in the video footage, which has gone viral, said they were being punished for a short video they had posted on WhatsApp in which they were seen dancing at a shopping centre. DispatchLIVE reported that at least 15 other members of the church have come forward since the video emerged, detailing their experiences at the church. As the video made the rounds on Twitter, people accused the church of being a cult and called for action.
Devotees offer prayers by rolling on the ground during the Swasthani Brata Katha festival in Nepal.
PRAYER KEEPS YOU GROUNDED Devotees offer prayers by rolling on the ground during the Swasthani Brata Katha festival in Nepal.
Image: Reuters/Navesh Chitrakar




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



I’m being royally screwed: Prince Philip’s crash victim

Passenger who broke wrist is whining about her treatment from the police and Buckingham Palace

By Hannah Furness
3 min read

AI, captain: The ‘new space race’ to steer the tech ship is on

The question is no longer whether AI is shaping our world, but who is shaping AI

By Harry de Quetteville
8 min read

There’s no Planet Nine after all, but there is another explanation

Scientists have a much simpler hypothesis for the strange orbits of 13 objects in the outer solar system

By Sarah Knapton
3 min read

It’s Uber simple: Just summon a bike and it’ll drive itself to you

The electric scooters and bicycles will also find their way around cities to charging points

By James Cook
1 min read


6 things you need to know about the world

Bull-horn grabbing is an idiom, you idiots

At least two spectators were gored to death at a bull-wrestling festival in India that animal activists say is cruel and want banned, police said on Monday. The bulls broke through barricades separating fans from the action in the arena on Sunday in Pudukottai, a town in Tamil Nadu where thousands had swarmed to watch the Jallikattu festival. "Two spectators were hit by the bulls near the arena. One of them died on the spot and another died at the hospital," P Sangaraj, a police officer in Pudukottai, said. Authorities said dozens of participants were also injured on Sunday while trying to grab the charging bulls by their horns and rumps in the hope of winning prizes. More than 100 people have been hurt since the festival, an annual fixture, kicked off on Wednesday. – AFP

Gold-snaffling ‘police’ cop jail terms

Thieves who dressed up as police officers to con victims out of nearly 160kg of gold worth $7m were handed lengthy prison sentences on Monday. In 2016, the three fake cops stopped a group of men carrying briefcases with the gold bars in the city of Fukuoka and ordered them to hand them over, telling them they knew the gold had been smuggled. Apparently taken in by the disguise, the victims gave the pretend police what they asked for and simply watched as they drove off. On Monday, the Fukuoka district court ordered "a seven-year jail term for 36-year-old Tomonori Shiraishi and 5.5 years in prison for Takahiro Shirane, 28, and Takumi Uchida, 26", a court spokesman said. The heist happened as the men were on their way to sell the gold. The men who were robbed later told the real police they had bought the metal the day before. – AFP

How to lure early birds: use your noodle

One of Tokyo's most crowded subway lines is hoping the way to reach their customers' hearts is through their stomachs, and offering free food to ease rush hour congestion. About 7.2 million people use Tokyo's mammoth metro system every day, with some lines suffering notorious crowding during commuting hours. Among the worst affected is the Tozai line, which is now trying to entice users to take trains before the worst of the morning rush hour starts. If it can convince at least 2,000 commuters to take earlier trains over the next two weeks, Tokyo Metro, the company operating the line, will offer each of the early birds free tempura. And if 2,500 people complete the challenge to ride into work earlier every day over the period, they will each get a free bowl of soba. If more than 3,000 commuters get on board, they'll get a soba-and-tempura combo. – AFP

Entirely the wrong zoo enclosure to break into

An Indian was mauled to death by a lion after he scaled the wall of a zoo in Punjab state, officials said on Monday. The man climbed the 6m wall of Chhatbir Zoo, home to four lions, on Sunday and entered the restricted area where he was attacked. Hearing his screams, staff rushed to try and rescue him. "He was an intruder in the zoo. We took him to the hospital but he succumbed to his injuries," said Roshan Sunkaria from the state forest department. The animal that attacked the man was an Asiatic lion, a critically endangered species and a major tourist draw. Only about 500 exist in the wild, all in the Gir sanctuary in the state of Gujarat. - AFP

WhatsApp limits text forwards to curb rumours

Facebook’s WhatsApp messenger service is globally limiting the number of times a user can forward a message to five, in a bid to fight "misinformation and rumours", company executives said on Monday. "We're imposing a limit of five messages all over the world as of today," Victoria Grand, vice-president for policy and communications at WhatsApp, said. Previously, a WhatsApp user could forward a message to 20 individuals or groups. The five-recipient limit expands globally a measure WhatsApp put into place in India in July after the spread of rumours led to several killings there. – Reuters

It’s London’t answer to Trainspotting … with eels

You’d think eels in the Thames had it bad enough because, well, they live in the Thames. Now, scientists say the poor slippery critters are becoming hyperactive because of the high levels of cocaine in the city’s waste water, reports the Evening Standard. A King's College London team raised fears for the river’s wildlife after finding that concentrations of cocaine and benzoylecgonine remained high in wastewater throughout the week, the report added. The city “is known as one of the highest consumers of cocaine and this suggested everyday usage", the scientists wrote. They had found a constant low level of cocaine entering the river, The Sunday Times reported. – Staff reporter
The ‘super blood wolf moon’ during a total lunar eclipse in Marseille, France.
A SANGUINE VIEW The ‘super blood wolf moon’ during a total lunar eclipse in Marseille, France.
Image: Reuters/Jean-Paul Pelissier



If you’re broke, don’t try to fix it by borrowing

The real problem is the habit-forming nature of the debt drug, and the angst that it’ll give you

By Mark Barnes
4 min read

Naspers dodges a bullet in India ... and takes a fat profit

Sale of e-commerce business to Walmart came just in time as India tightens up its online sales rules

By Nick Hedley
1 min read

Would you Riskowitz it all for a slice of Domino’s Pizza?

Investor has ploughed millions into troubled holding company Taste Holdings, pushing his stake above 90%

By Larry Claasen
1 min read



Madiba as artwork: Doing good or too bad to be true?

One well-meaning project raises funds for poor schools, but other depictions of Mandela just raise objections 

By Zola Zingithwa
3 min read

Me and my book: Trees talk to trees – how amazing is that!

The author discusses her novel The Last Stop Safari Shop set in SA, Zimbabwe and Tanzania 

By Clair Cholajda
2 min read

Artspeak: Insert impenetrable obscurantist blather here

Why do artists, critics and galleries have to speak about art in language no one understands?

By Laura K Jones
2 min read

Use your stress to thrive, not merely survive, this year

Author of The Stress Code shares five essential tips

By Richard Sutton
1 min read



SPORTS DAY: ‘I’m such a fighter, I just never give up’

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

David Isaacson
4 min read

Age will not wither the debate about youth versus experience

Zubayr Hamza and Pieter Malan are at different ends of the spectrum, but both deserve a Proteas look-in

2 min read

Blast from the past: Zuma money-grab haunts Bafana

Today in SA sports history: January 22

David Isaacson
1 min read