Monday, February 4 2019



Listen up, Cyril: it’s the economy that needs fixing

While our economy is in crisis, our leaders will  insist on playing politics – and we can’t afford it

4 min read

Light at end of tunnel for farmers who ‘come clean’ on Eskom debt

Small farmers are demanding more than just a rebate, though. They want a preferential rate

Bongani Fuzile
4 min read

How one woman ended an alleged serial rapist’s reign of terror

The suspect was forced to visit a clinic after a botched rape attempt. His target also happened to be there

Shain Germaner
2 min read



There shouldn't be shocks in your car rental bill

When a Joburg family returned from their holiday, Avis charged an extra amount they didn't know about

Wendy Knowler
Consumer journalist
5 min read

Yes, I killed my wife, admits SA man in Australia

Their marriage had ‘complex matters in the background’. Now he's also facing charges for fraud

2 min read

Another Ponzi scheme? ‘Metals firm’ fleeces millions from South Africans

A pensioner left distraught after losing burial society savings and his daughter’s nest egg for varsity fees

Shain Germaner
3 min read

‘Bogus doctor misdiagnosed me and put my foot in a cast’

A clinical nurse contracted to work at Kasselsvlei Clinic, in Bellville, pretended to be a doctor and acted like one

3 min read

‘Bullying’ sends minister before public service commission

Chief director of communications at rural development department accuses her bosses of victimisation

Mpumzi Zuzile
3 min read

Roots of the problem: how safe is your traditional medicine?

New study on wild garlic red-flags potential danger and says far more rigorous testing is needed

Tanya Farber
2 min read



I’ll battle for Britain in Brussels - and I’m determined to deliver

In her own words, the UK prime minister explains how she's planning to sort out the Brexit mess

By Theresa May
4 min read

Tech is seriously harming kids, and big firms need to own up

Social media is like the new tobacco, and parents are helpless to fight the scourge on their own

By Belinda Parmar
4 min read
Ideas FREE

Who knew? Why I married for the first time at 50

When the actress ties the knot for the first time, I will know how she feels

By Lucy Cavendish
6 min read


Justice and correctional services minister Advocate Michael Masutha officially introduced the new national director of public prosecutions, Advocate Shamila Batohi, to the management and staff of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA). Advocate Batohi started in her new role on Friday, February 1.
I GOT THIS Justice and correctional services minister Advocate Michael Masutha officially introduced the new national director of public prosecutions, Advocate Shamila Batohi, to the management and staff of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA). Advocate Batohi started in her new role on Friday, February 1.
Image: Alon Skuy

Six things about SA you need to know

Funding woes force 12 libraries to close

Twelve libraries in the Dr Beyers Naude municipality in the Eastern Cape, which includes the historic town of Graaff-Reinet, are to close on Monday. The provincial department of sport, recreation arts and culture has allegedly failed to pay over a funding grant. DA councillor Samantha Graham said on Facebook on February: "Because the Eastern Cape Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture has failed to pay over the library grant 6 months into the financial year, our cash-strapped municipality has no choice but to close all 12 libraries in our municipal area," Graham wrote. The DA's spokesperson for the department, Nomvano Zibondo, said grant funding of R2.4m had been due for longer than six months. "The cash-strapped municipality has been carrying the costs of the libraries but has reached a point now where there are no longer funds to cover operating costs or pay staff." The department could not immediately be reached for comment.

BLF reported over ‘racist’ Driehoek remarks

The DA youth league is expected to lay complaints at the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) against Black First Land First (BLF) over their "racist" remarks made about the Hoërskool Driehoek tragedy. DA Gauteng chairperson Pogiso Mthimunye said on Sunday they would lay the complaints on Monday. BLF spokesperson Lindsay Maasdorp had tweeted that the deaths at the school should be celebrated. Maasdorp backed a comment made by Facebook user Siyanda Dizzy Gumede on the SABC's post that at least three children died at the school on Friday when a walkway collapsed. Gumede wrote: "Don’t have heart to feel pain for white kids. Minus 3 future problems." The post was deleted after it met with outrage from several Facebook users. Maasdorp said on Twitter: "Syanda Gumede is correct! God is responding, why should we frown on the ancestors’ petitions to punish the land thieves including their offspring.”

Fourth pupil dies after walkway collapse

A fourth Hoërskool Driehoek pupil has died following this week's tragic walkway collapse at the school, the department of education said on Sunday. Department spokesperson Steve Mabona said the pupil died at a local hospital on Saturday evening. Initially, three pupils had been reported dead following the collapse on Friday morning. "His condition was worrisome, as he went in and out of theatre on several occasions. Unfortunately, he succumbed to [his] serious injuries," Mabona said. The department said it would visit his family on Sunday morning. The school remained closed until further notice. The other deceased pupils have been identified as Marli Curry, Jandre Steyn and Rayden Olckers. About 20 pupils received medical attention for multiple injuries they sustained in the disaster. Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has reportedly instructed an independent team of structural engineers to find what caused the walkway to collapse.

Bloody murder spree shocks New Brighton

The brazen, bloody violence in the Port Elizabeth township of New Brighton continued on Friday when two men were killed and another injured in a small vegetable shop –200m down the road from another earlier killing on Monday. This brings the murder toll in the area to at least five since Monday when Black Business Caucus co-ordinator Baba Ningi, 48, was gunned down outside the Lifa and Mafa Butchery in Koyana Street. Six hours later, Nkululeko Ngcakasi, 44, who owned two businesses, was shot several times on Tshiwula Street, New Brighton. Marina Ntamo, 37, was shot dead in Tshangana Street on Wednesday. On Friday, police tape was used to cordon off the unnamed shop attached to a small house on the corner of Msimka and Tshiwula streets. Police spokesperson Captain Andre Beetge said most of the details surrounding the attack were still unknown. But it is believed a lone gunman fired several shots into the shop.

Secret tape reveals Survé’s Ayo deal plot

An explosive secret recording has revealed how media owner and businessman Iqbal Survé colluded to withhold key information from the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) that led to the fund manager controversially investing R4.3bn of government pension money in one of his companies. In the recording, Survé can be heard plotting with board members of Ayo Technology Solutions, an IT company in which he has a significant stake. They discuss withholding from the PIC information about a crucial transaction they promised in the deal that would now be off the table. On Friday, the directors of the PIC asked finance minister Tito Mboweni to relieve them from the board. Yesterday, Survé admitted to having addressed the Ayo board over the PIC's concerns, but said it was only to clear the confusion around whether the BT deal was still happening or not.

Spin doctor guilty of assault, racist rant

One of the men employed to polish the public image of the police has turned into a PR nightmare after being fined for assaulting a traffic officer and hurling racial slurs. Siyabulela Tom, the spokesperson for deputy police minister Bongani Mkongi, was fined R9,500 by the Cape Town magistrate's court on Tuesday. The 34-year-old was found guilty on two counts of crimen injuria and one of assault. According to the prosecution, he insulted City of Cape Town traffic officer Jeremy Minnie at a roadblock in Green Point in July 2016. Police said a "riotous" Tom told Minnie: "You p***, f*** you. Julle f***en coloured people and white people think you are in charge ... and saying you are f***ing coloured and you are covering up for a f***ing white man." According to court documents, he also "hit him on the chest with his fist".




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



Daughter of Hitler’s architect on mission to return Nazi loot

How the girl in the pink dress, whose father, Albert Speer, was a favourite of Hitler, escaped from the führer's shadow

By Justin Huggler
4 min read

You heard it here first: the solar panels that are the future of energy

Polish boffin's cost-cutting production method may just have solved world energy poverty

4 min read

Cold facts: Genocide in the Americas caused the Little Ice Age

The scale of slaughter by Europeans led to a huge drop in CO² from the atmosphere, and it even froze the River Thames

By Henry Bodkin
2 min read

Rodent ragu: grey squirrels are a surprising hit on British menus

Britons are increasingly after cruelty-free wild meat, and are helping the poor red squirrel in the process

By Helena Horton
3 min read


6 things you need to know about the world

Nepali women dying for having their period

A Nepali woman died on Sunday of suspected smoke inhalation while banished to a hut during her period, just weeks after the deaths of a mother and two children in similar circumstances sparked outrage. Many communities in Nepal view menstruating women as impure and in some remote areas they are forced to sleep in a hut away from the home. Last year, Kathmandu introduced a three-months jail sentence and a 3,000 rupee ($30) fine for anyone caught enforcing use of the huts. – AFP

In Oz, it seems it never rains but it pours

Once-in-a-century floods have turned streets into rivers and forced thousands to abandon their homes in northeast Australia, with authorities warning of tornadoes and more rain over the next few days. Australia's tropical north experiences heavy rains during the monsoon season at this time of the year, but the recent downpour has surged far above normal levels. Thousands of residents in the city of Townsville in Queensland were without power and cut off by flooded roads. - AFP

Chips nearly exploded with more than flavour

A German World War I hand grenade was found among a shipment of French potatoes imported for a Hong Kong crisp factory, police said. The device was safely detonated after it was discovered at the factory on Saturday. ‘All the information to date suggested that the grenade was imported from France together with the other potatoes,’ a spokesperson said. The grenade is believed to have been left in a trench during World War I and accidentally gathered up with potatoes planted a century later in the former battlefield. - AFP

Hondurans turn to saint to save them

Thousands of Hondurans made desperate pleas on Saturday to their country's patron saint, begging for social equality and protection from violent crime. About two million people make the annual trek to the sanctuary of Our Lady of Suyapa who has been revered for the past 272 years, many crawling as a sign of weakness, over the 10 day event. – AFP

Amazon profits soar after workers get big pay hike

Amazon has revealed a record profit as a jump in Christmas sales meant it shrugged off the impact of a hefty pay increase for its staff. The online retail giant said revenues in the final three months of 2018 grew by 20% to $72.4bn, while profits surpassed $3bn for the first time. The results were the first to show the impact of Amazon’s pay rise for hundreds of thousands of workers in the US and the UK. In November, the company raised minimum pay for warehouse staff from £8 to £9.50 in the UK, and more in London, and to $15 in the US. on Amazon over Christmas. – The Daily Telegraph

It looks like Cadbury’s purple reign is over

For more than a century, Cadbury's Dairy Milk chocolate bars have been wrapped in a distinctive purple. But now the sweet manufacturer has been dealt a legal blow in a long-running ‘chocolate war’, weakening its ability to prevent rivals using ‘Cadbury purple’ on chocolates. Experts predict that a recent UK Court of Appeal ruling against Cadbury, and the confectioner's subsequent withdrawal of a 24-year-old trademark, could see competitors packaging chocolates swathed in the purple so strongly associated with the company. - The Sunday Telegraph
Yellow butterflies are dedicated to a former South Korean ‘comfort woman’ during her funeral in Seoul.
FLUTTERING HALO Yellow butterflies are dedicated to a former South Korean ‘comfort woman’ during her funeral in Seoul.
Image: Reuters/Kim Hong-Ji



Who will replace Ramos at Absa? Here are the front runners

One thing's for sure, the winner won't be an internal candidate, what with Absa's poor employment equity record

By Hanna Ziady
3 min read

Wake-app call: once red-hot smartphone market cooling

And although it's not all doom and gloom, growth is likely to be sluggish in many saturated markets in future

3 min read

It’s tempting to tax the rich, but it’s not as simple as that

It's a simplistic call based on complex assumptions, and fails to take in the ethics and economics of higher tax rates

By Tim Harford
4 min read



On the udder hand I reckon we’re being milked by ‘mylk’

We can argue til the cows come home about why plant-based so-called milks are just an expensive gimmick

By Andrea Burgener
3 min read

Grub’s up: If you don’t fancy goggas, try Frankenmeat

The hunt for alternative protein means insects are very much on the menu, with lab-grown meat not far behind 

By Robin Pagnamenta
4 min read

Need a checkup on the go? Simply drive a Volvo

From 2020 you can opt for an in-car camera that will monitor your health and call for help if you need it

By Motoring staff writer
1 min read



SPORTS DAY: SA edge Pakistan to win T20 series

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

Mninawa Ntloko
Sports editor
7 min read

Now this is how you give transformation a sporting chance

Thabiso Nkwe and Ashwell Prince show how much can be achieved by giving coaches a chance to thrive

2 min read

Blasts from the past: Kallie wins on an all-white night

Today in SA sports history: February 4

David Isaacson
1 min read