Thursday, January 31 2019




Hardcore prawn: How Bosasa made fishy money

Bosasa’s former CFO has revealed all on how the company used a Krugersdorp prawn farm to launder cash

Amil Umraw
5 min read

It’s too late for forgiveness, says Coligny victim’s mother

Agnes Moshoeu says her son's killers can regret what they did all they want, but 'I don’t have my child'

Iavan Pijoos
3 min read

Chicken Licken advert: Colonialism? What colonialism?

Times Select sits in on appeal hearing where ad agency defends the controversial Big Mjohnana advert

5 min read

What would you do with a huge, venomous spider in your garden?

This KZN couple befriended it, and made a discovery about it that has changed their lives

Nivashni Nair
3 min read




Return of Casspir, the ghost of apartheid past

eThekwini metro cops have revived the apartheid symbol to help quell ongoing protests

3 min read

‘Black bi*ch’ and ‘ka***r’ are hurtful and harmful, court rules

Cape Town man ordered to apologise to black woman over his racial slurs - but it's unclear whether he will

Belinda Pheto
3 min read

Military hospital takes a bullet after CT scanner goes missing in action

Crucial machine has been broken for some time, and the hospital can't perform biopsies either

3 min read

‘It won’t end well’: Why women are reluctant to start the snip discussion

Many fear raising the subject of circumcision will lead to accusations of infidelity and physical abuse, study finds

Dave Chambers
Cape Town bureau chief
1 min read

Scenery, service, size impress SA’s top-end travellers

New ratings report reveals their top picks for hotels and game lodges across the country

2 min read



Deep down, we are all like the Schweizer-Reneke teacher

Far too many of us sort out humans into groups based on race, religion and culture

4 min read

Why science education interventions flop for most pupils

Only top pupils from under-resourced schools benefit, say local researchers who are shining light on closing the gap

Tanya Farber
2 min read

Theresa and Philip May: who really wears the trousers?

Reports that he's at the centre of a No 10 rift raise the question of how much power the British PM's husband wields

By Camilla Tominey
6 min read
Ideas FREE

The buzz is bust: Buzzfeed’s fall red-flags digital future

Once described as 'the most important news organisation in world' it is cutting jobs across the globe

By Christopher Williams
4 min read


Six things about SA you need to know

Cyril must tell us what he told Mkhwebane: DA

DA leader Mmusi Maimane has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to publicly disclose his statement to public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane regarding her investigation into the R500,000 campaign donation from Bosasa. This comes after Ramaphosa's meeting with Mkhwebane on Tuesday, which stems from a complaint filed with her office by Maimane in 2018 after the president made verbal and written statements to parliament that were contradictory regarding his son Andile's business contract with the controversial government service provider. Maimane said Ramaphosa needed to "play open cards" with the public. "South Africans must be fully assured that the president is not applying any undue pressure or trying to influence a sensitive investigation into allegations of wrongdoing on his part,” he said. The EFF also put pressure on Ramaphosa to make a public statement on the Bosasa matter, saying his failure to do so would result in them disrupting his State of the Nation address next Thursday.

Hunter gets six years for murder

The hunter who killed a man he had mistaken for a warthog will serve six years behind bars, Limpopo police said on Wednesday. Stefan Hepburn was sentenced by the Modimolle Regional Court on Tuesday, said Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo. His victim was 23-year-old Jan Railwa. He was convicted in December on a culpable charge. Railwa was shot dead on February 11 2017 at about 8pm. At the time, Mojapelo said Hepburn had been hunting with a woman that evening. He fired a shot when he heard noises in the bushes. Mojapelo said when the two reached the spot they realised they had shot a human being and the police were informed. Railwa had been employed at a neighbouring farm and lived in the vicinity. Provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Nneke Ledwaba warned authorised hunters to make proper identification before shooting.

Call to cancel Vodacom contracts

The "Please Call Me movement" and the ANC's Liliesleaf Farm branch in Midrand have called on South Africans to cancel their Vodacom contracts and boycott sports events sponsored by the company. Activists – who are demanding that "Please Call Me" inventor Nkosana Makate be paid for developing the product in November 2000 - unveiled their plan of action against Vodacom on Wednesday. ANC Gauteng deputy chairperson Panyaza Lefusi, speaking in his personal capacity, called on all South Africans to boycott Vodacom if the stand-off was not resolved and Makate was not "appropriately compensated" by February 1. Lesufi, who is also Gauteng’s MEC for basic education, said activists, including himself, were willing to lobby the government and government institutions to cancel contracts associated with Vodacom.

Men murdered, buried in Jeppe shack

Police are asking the public to help track down two suspects who beat two men to death before burying them inside a shack in Jeppe, Johannesburg. Spokesperson Captain Richard Munyayi said on Wednesday officers were alerted on Tuesday by a neighbour who suspected foul play. The two men had been beaten up for several hours, with the perpetrators questioning them about the whereabouts of a firearm, according to eyewitnesses. Munyayi said sniffer dogs made straight for a bed, which was moved to reveal a "gruesome discovery". The attackers - who are on the run - dug a shallow grave into which they placed the bodies and covered them with a mat, before the bed was moved into place. A 30-year-old woman, who has been taken into custody, allegedly beat the deceased and cleaned up the scene.

Crisis talks to prevent Zim public sector strike

Zimbabwe's government was set to hold last-ditch negotiations with public-sector unions on Wednesday to try to avert a national strike that could trigger more unrest after this month's violent protests. But the main teachers’ union said it was not expecting any progress and was already making plans for a February 5 walkout. President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s spokesperson said troops would remain on the streets and the state would block the internet again if violence erupted. Teachers and other state workers are demanding wage rises and payments in dollars to help them stave off spiralling inflation and an economic crisis that has sapped supplies of cash, fuel and medicines.

Mbete ‘anxious’ about her future

National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete has revealed that she is anxious about her future since she doesn't know where she will end up after the 2019 elections. "It's actually a time of anxiety because you don't know what's coming in the next couple of months … unlike an ordinary South African who has a job and knows they have a job up to the end of the year," said Mbete. She was addressing journalists alongside other parliamentary presiding officers about the state of readiness ahead of next week's State of the Nation address, which will also be the last of this fifth term of parliament. This year's address will be significantly scaled down, with parliament budgeting R2.5m for the event compared with R4.7m in 2018. The actual expenditure in 2018 was R1.9m.
Activists at a protest in front of the Brazilian mining company Vale SA headquarters in Rio.
BLACK VALE Activists at a protest in front of the Brazilian mining company Vale SA headquarters in Rio.
Image: Reuters/Pilar Olivares




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



Silicon Valley of death: Why the tech hub’s golden days are over

Other parts of the US and the world now have what made Silicon Valley special

By Margi Murphy
4 min read

‘Appalling’: Facebook paying teens to spy on their phones

Project Atlas is an apparent effort to gather information about the social media giant's competitors

By Laurence Dodds
5 min read

Wrangle over Jeep gay jokes: The Grand Tour boys are at it again

Pop Idol Will Young says he’s fed up with Clarkson and Co and is on the warpath to stop their anti-gay slurs 

By The Daily Telegraph
2 min read

Rising early puts mental health struggles to bed

Researchers have found that genes influence our body clocks and, in turn, our well-being

By Henry Bodkin
1 min read


6 things you need to know about the world

Tourists pay to have their wurst night ever

Sausages on the menu, sausage motifs on the wallpaper, sausage mobiles hanging from the ceiling — and to top it off, a sausage-shaped pillow on your bed. What sounds like a vegetarian’s nightmare is the audacious dream come true of Claus Boebel, a fourth-generation butcher and proprietor of what he calls the world’s first and only sausage-themed hotel. Located near Nuremberg, the Bratwurst Hotel has done brisk business since its opening in September. Behind the quirky initiative is a Hail Mary bid to keep alive the local butcher’s shop — but a heavily carnivorous diet is fading from German life, with meat consumption down 8% since 1991. The hotel’s decor includes coat racks recalling butcher’s knives and giant pigs on the frosted glass doors to the bathrooms, where sausage-shaped soap awaits in the shower. — AFP

A taste fit only for the stinking rich

Two durian fruits have sold for nearly $1,000 each in Indonesia, an eye-watering price that lit up social media and prompted awestruck fans to take selfies with the pungent pair. Fetching $990 (about R13,500) each, the spiky fruits were displayed in a clear case on red satin and surrounded by fake flowers at a supermarket in Tasikmalaya, a city in West Java province. The price tag was about eight times the local monthly minimum wage. Known as the ‘king of fruits’, durians are popular across Southeast Asia. Fans rave about their creamy texture but many detractors liken their intense aroma to sewage or sweaty socks. — AFP

‘Lord Valdemort’ hexes his insurance clients

A disgruntled insurance agent who took on the identity of ‘Lord Voldemort’, Harry Potter’s nemesis, and threatened to harm clients unless they paid him bitcoins has been jailed in Singapore. Myanmar national Ye Lin Myint targeted several clients after they missed appointments or cancelled insurance policies. He sent e-mails and letters which threatened that they and their families would be harmed unless one bitcoin was transferred to him. At the time of the offences in August and September 2017, one unit of the cryptocurrency was worth about $4,900 (about R67,000). In the Harry Potter books, Lord Voldemort is a greatly feared and powerful dark wizard responsible for killing Harry’s parents. — AFP

Last-gasp efforts to fight toxic smog in Bangkok

Toxic smog forced hundreds of Bangkok schools to close on Wednesday, as authorities struggle to manage a pollution crisis that has stirred widespread health fears. The Thai capital has been shrouded in murky haze for weeks, prompting rare scenes of residents donning masks on streets and on public transport. Reasons given include exhaust from traffic, unfettered construction, the burning of crop stubble, and pollution from factories getting trapped in the city. Authorities have seeded clouds to provoke rain, sprayed overpasses with water to catch micro-pollutants and even asked people not to burn incense sticks and paper during Chinese New Year celebrations. Stocks of pollution masks have run out in many shops. — AFP

Hydra-headed horn smugglers live on

A suspected wildlife trafficking kingpin accused of smuggling $1m worth of rhino horns to Thailand has had the case against him dismissed, in a surprise Thai court verdict slammed by conservationists. Boonchai Bach, a Vietnamese national with Thai citizenship, was arrested in January 2018 in connection with the smuggling of 14 horns from Africa to Thailand. But the case was dismissed by a judge because of a lack of evidence. Critics allege there is incriminating information to show the Bach family is part of the sprawling Southeast Asian crime syndicate dubbed ‘Hydra’. The syndicate smuggles elephant ivory, rhino horn and tiger parts to Chinese and Vietnamese dealers. — AFP

Shocking case of Aussie horse trainer

A Melbourne Cup-winning horse trainer was arrested on Wednesday over corruption allegations following a police investigation into the use of electric shock devices to gain a racing edge. Police arrested three men after raids netted an unregistered firearm, some cocaine and four taser-like devices — known in the industry as jiggers. The banned electronic devices have been used by jockeys during races and training in order to shock horses into running faster. The names of the men were not released but one was widely reported by Australian media to be horse trainer Darren Weir. A veteran of the sport, Weir is renowned for training Prince of Penzance, which Michelle Payne rode to victory in the 2015 Melbourne Cup. — AFP
A grey heron walks on a partly frozen lake on the outskirts of Minsk, Belarus.
WALKING ON THIN ICE A grey heron walks on a partly frozen lake on the outskirts of Minsk, Belarus.
Image: Reuters/Vasily Fedosenko



Public service is probably the best place for Maria Ramos

By almost every pure banking or market metric, the performance of Absa under her watch was abysmal

By Tim Cohen
4 min read

How could anyone bugger up something like Burger King?

Grand Parade Investments is still battling to turn the fast food joint into the black, despite shareholder revolt

By Marc Hasenfuss
1 min read

Perfect timing by Whitey as Shoprite hits trolley-wobble

Basson is far from the scene of the worst-ever results reported by a group he built from modest beginnings

By Ann Crotty
1 min read



Fear and clothing: What? Has someone lost their marbles?

A weekly reverie on the vagaries and charms of fashion

4 min read

‘The Favourite’ running first in the fashion frilly stakes

Inspired by the 18th century, designers are taking their cue from the latest hotly anticipated period drama

By Chloe MacDonnell
2 min read

Snazzy new bling by Louis Vuitton is music to the ears

Brand brings sexy back into luxury tech fashion

By Sylvia McKeown
1 min read



SPORTS DAY: No more excuses – Pote puts his foot down

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

David Isaacson
5 min read

The sound of a rugby union repeatedly shooting its feet

Loaded with talent, the Stormers should be in the Super Rugby running - but for internal strife ruining the team

Craig Ray
4 min read