Friday, February 8 2019



Can it be? Action against the state capture crooks at last?

Cyril's Sona announces new directorate to look into all the allegations that have emerged from probes

By Thabo Mokone and Qaanitah Hunter
3 min read

Cyril’s top 10: key points from president’s manifesto for SA

Ramaphosa's address contained almost 9,000 words, and we read all of them so you don’t have to

Dave Chambers
Cape Town bureau chief
3 min read

Driehoek: How, with whatever they could grab, hero dads saved trapped kids

Local journalist tells the heroic story of a community who pulled together as an unspeakable tragedy unfolded

By Staff reporter
1 min read

Assaulted, raped, thrown down a bank: gran who got into fake Uber

Susan Dey testifies at the trial of the so-called Uber gang, who used the app to find their targets

Shain Germaner
5 min read



CSIR development boffs hit hi-tech note

From radar and drones to cyber security, SA researchers are punching well above their weight globally

Graeme Hosken
3 min read

Family must leave home - for golf estate

They must break down their Eastern Cape home and exhume their relatives to make way for the luxury spread, court rules

Bongani Fuzile
4 min read

SA’s trafficking scourge crops up on KZN farm

Migrants were rescued from a Kokstad farm as police investigate a case of child labour and human trafficking

Mpumzi Zuzile
3 min read

Seeing the beggar picture: snappy scheme helps the homeless

Instead of hitting the street with cap in hand, these Durban beggars are being snapped in a novel outreach campaign

Jackie Clausen
3 min read

Happening right now under the sea off SA ... evolution!

Study of little critter on west and east coasts challenges a long-held belief about the evolution of marine species

Dave Chambers
Cape Town bureau chief
2 min read

Four years later and school furniture case is still in limbo. Why?

Former education head Mthunywa Ngonzo has still not appeared in court over an 'irregular' R46m tender

Mpumzi Zuzile
3 min read



Ideas FREE

A tale of two visas

It was the best of times and it was the worst of times ...

6 min read

One beeeellion barrels spoiled Cyril’s Sona after-party

The French had hit paydirt in Mossel Bay and he felt like chopped liver - then uBaba phoned

Tom Eaton
3 min read
Ideas FREE

Art and editors managed fine before this rotten egg was laid

A column to satisfy your inner grammar nerd

Sue de Groot
4 min read


Six things about SA you need to know

Ex-prisons boss Mti granted R20,000 bail

SA’s former prisons boss, Linda Mti, was granted bail of R20,000 in the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on Thursday afternoon. Mti, who arrived from the Eastern Cape, handed himself over to police at the Pretoria police station. NPA spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said earlier an agreement had been reached between Mti's lawyers and the Hawks for him to hand himself over. He was listed as a suspect by the Hawks along with former Bosasa chief operations officer and state capture whistle-blower Angelo Agrizzi, former correctional services chief financial officer Patrick Gillingham and former Bosasa executive Andries van Tonder. Agrizzi, Van Tonder and Gillingham appeared in the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in Pretoria on Wednesday. They were also released on R20,000 bail each. According to the draft charge sheet at court on Wednesday, Mti scored benefits worth nearly R1m. They are all expected to appear again on March 27.

Helicopters scrambled as fire threatens Camps Bay

Three helicopters were called in to water-bomb flames consuming a large area of vegetation near Camps Bay on Thursday afternoon. The fire broke out in The Glen as temperatures in Cape Town soared towards a forecast of 38°C, and Cape Town fire and rescue spokesman Theo Layne said there was "some danger" to property. "No evacuations have been ordered at this time," Layne said at mid-afternoon. He said 14 city council firefighting vehicles were on the scene, assisted by Table Mountain National Park firefighters. The fire was set to disrupt peak-hour traffic on a day when road closures caused by the State of the Nation address were expected to bring chaos to central Cape Town.

Mine rescue hampered by safety fears

Rescue officials have experienced difficulty retrieving people still trapped underground following a blast at a non-operational Gupta-owned mine near Middelburg on Thursday. Police spokesperson Brigadier Leonard Hlathi said mine officials had said that the rescue efforts were being hampered by the fact that the mine shaft was not safe and there was insufficient ventilation. Electricity supply was also problematic. "Efforts will resume after the electricity supply to the shaft has been fixed, following excessive cable theft which the mine is experiencing,” he said on Thursday afternoon. It was reported earlier that people were trapped underground after a gas explosion on Wednesday while stripping cables at the mine, which has been closed for several months. Police placed the death toll at five on Thursday. It was unclear how many people were still trapped.

Teacher, pupil suspended after slap fracas

The teacher and pupil involved in a fracas in a Cape Town high school classroom have been suspended. A video of the argument at Sans Souci Girls' High School in Newlands – which culminated in a shoving match and the teacher slapping the Grade 9 pupil - went viral on Wednesday. Jessica Shelver, Western Cape education MEC Debbie Schäfer’s spokesperson, said: "The learner and the educator are not at school today. They have both been informed by the school governing body that disciplinary steps will be taken against them. They have been suspended pending the disciplinary hearing." Police confirmed on Wednesday that the teacher and pupil had opened criminal cases against each other.

Students’ public violence case dropped – for now

A case of public violence against four Durban University of Technology (DUT) students has been temporarily struck off the court roll by the NPA. The case was opened against the students, believed to be members of the Economic Freedom Fighters’ Student Command, following unrest at the campus on Tuesday. Tensions at the beleaguered institution have been running high after final-year student Mlungisi Madonsela, 20, died on Tuesday fighting for free education. He was allegedly shot during a scuffle with security personnel on the Steve Biko campus. Provincial police spokesman Colonel Thembeka Mbele confirmed on Thursday that the case had been struck off the roll “pending further investigations”. Zamani Ncama, a lawyer who represented the students in court, told TimesLIVE: “The charges were dropped and the case was struck off the roll due to insufficient evidence.”

Inmates stab 3 guards at EC prison

The department of correctional services says it is appalled by the stabbing of three officials at St Albans prison in the Eastern Cape by inmates on Thursday. “The incident took place around 11.30am as officials were busy with lock-up following the mandatory daily exercise," said spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo. He added that the guards were in a stable condition, getting the best possible care, and an internal investigation had been launched. "Although the inmates involved have been identified, an internal investigation has been established which will shed more light on this unfortunate incident," he said. The attack has been reported to the police. Nxumalo described the incident as a clear act of hooliganism which would never be tolerated by the department.




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



The ‘truth’ about Meghan: Her inner circle speaks out

The duchess’s close friends reveal what happens behind the scenes, including the troubled relationship with her father

By Hannah Furness
8 min read

Tim Cook’s ‘successsor’ quits, but it won’t upset the Apple cart

Angela Ahrendts's resignation as Apple's retail head is a surprise, but perhaps it's a blessing

By James Titcomb and James Cook
4 min read

Liam Neeson’s dark shadow: why his shocking confession isn’t a surprise

His life, the roles he chooses and the way he prepares for them all give hints about his inner demons

By Robbie Collin
4 min read

‘It’s (not) all right, mama’: misery of the only woman Elvis really loved

Gladys Presley and her son were inseparable, but behind the pictures lay a darker truth

By Bethan Roberts
8 min read


6 things you need to know about the world

Gucci retreats red-faced over ‘blackface’

Gucci pulled a black polo neck sweater from its shops on Thursday after it sparked comparisons with racially offensive golliwog and "blackface" imagery. The "balaclava jumper" can be pulled up to the eyes with the mouth visible through large red lips. "Happy Black History Month y'all," one African American fashionista tweeted ironically, with others pointing out the resemblance to a golliwog. It is the third Italian brand to be hit in recent months by race rows, after Prada was forced to pull a line of accessories in December because of their resemblance to blackface imagery. Dolce & Gabbana is reeling from a boycott in China after a calamitous advertising campaign featuring a Chinese woman struggling to eat spaghetti and pizza with chopsticks was decried as racist. – AFP

Revived museum is a mutt-see

Dogs play cameo roles in some of the West’s most iconic paintings, yet man's best friend has arguably gotten short shrift in the global museum hierarchy. But a museum addition in Manhattan restores the animals to what canine afficionados will no doubt view as their rightful place at the centre of the picture. The American Kennel Club's Museum of the Dog contains a smorgasbord of works of varying aesthetic ambition, along with interactive displays. The museum's opening has been timed to coincide with the start of Westminster Week, an annual midwinter canine fest that attracts dogs and dog lovers from around the world and culminates in the Westminster Dog Show and the selection of "Best in Show" at Madison Square Garden. The collection comprises more than 2,000 paintings, photos, sculptures and artefacts and includes a healthy supply of works that document what the ancestors of today's pets looked like in the 19th century and earlier. – AFP

Doc does not feel good about James Brown’s death

James Brown's doctor has claimed that the Godfather of Soul could have been murdered - 12 years after he signed the death certificate saying the singer had died of natural causes. Brown died in Atlanta on Christmas Day 2006, at 73. The official cause of death was a heart attack and fluid in his lungs. But Marvin Crawford, his doctor, said he had long suspected the singer died under suspicious circumstances. Brown's condition "changed too fast", the doctor told CNN. "He was a patient I would never have predicted would have coded," he said, using a term to refer to heart trouble. "But he died that night, and I did raise that question: What went wrong in that room?" Crawford and a dozen other witnesses, interviewed in a CNN documentary, believe there was more to Brown's death than meets the eye. He suspects his death was through an overdose, deliberate or accidental. – © The Daily Telegraph

Teen won’t Lego of his prosthetic dream

David Aguilar has built himself a robotic prosthetic arm using Lego pieces after being born without a right forearm owing to a rare genetic condition. The 19-year-old Spanish bio-engineering student is already using his fourth model of the colourful prosthetic and his dream is to design affordable robotic limbs for those who need them. Once his favourite toys, the plastic bricks became the building material for Aguilar's first, still very rudimentary, artificial arm at the age of nine, and each new version had more movement capability than the one before. Aguilar uses the artificial arm only occasionally and is self-sufficient without it. – Reuters

Innocent footie fan riles shirty emirate

British man has been arrested in the UAE reportedly for wearing a Qatari football shirt during the ongoing feud between the wealthy Gulf states. Ali Issa Ahmad, a 26-year-old from Wolverhampton, travelled to the UAE in January and attended an Asian Cup match between Qatar and Iraq. Ahmad attended the matched wearing a Qatar shirt, unaware that the UAE has made it illegal to show any support for its Gulf neighbour. He was arrested at the match and claimed he was abused by UAE security officials. He was later released but went back to a police station to report the abuse. He was then arrested again and accused of making false claims against authorities. – © The Daily Telegraph

And the Oscar for host failure goes to …

This year's Oscar ceremony will go ahead without an official host for only the second time in its history, an ABC television executive said on Tuesday. Speaking just three weeks before the highest honours in the film industry are handed out, ABC entertainment president Karey Burke said the February 24 event would forgo a host and "just have presenters host the Oscars". ABC televises the Oscars ceremony and is closely involved in planning the telecast. In December, comedian Kevin Hart stepped down from hosting the Oscars after past homophobic tweets resurfaced. No replacement was announced but there had been no official statements on how the ceremony would proceed. The only other time the Oscars proceeded without a host was in 1989. - © The Daily Telegraph
A dog in a park in Kiev, Ukraine.
ETERNAL DALMATION TO FROSTBITE A dog in a park in Kiev, Ukraine.
Image: Reuters/Gleb Garanich



What business does the EFF think it’s got in business?

Party’s manifesto gibberish includes support for special economic zones, which makes sense ... up to a point

By Tim Cohen
4 min read

Sorry, mining investors aren’t buying the Cyril and Gwede act

Air of cynicism won’t disappear until incompetence is rooted out and corruption results in trials and jail time

By Allan Seccombe
1 min read

No one wants to say Woolies has a R21bn write-off, but ...

Third CEO in four years abandons his post at troubled Aussie retail chain David Jones, and the rot is still there

By Ann Crotty
1 min read



Serially, why don’t you kill some time with Ted Bundy

Five of the tastiest new streaming series to binge on 

By Tymon Smith
1 min read

Stop the real world, have some fun ... simply press ‘Pose’

A delightful drama and comedy series set in the late 1980s LGBTQI community of New York City

By Pearl Boshomane Tsotetsi
4 min read

Mads Mikkelson gets his assassin gear in ‘Polar’

A dated, silly and nonsensical action film about a killer for hire who just wants to retire. Plenty of fun, though

By Pearl Boshomane Tsotetsi
2 min read

Won’t you take us to the bioscope?

The films opening in our cinemas this week

By Critics’ choice
2 min read



SPORTS DAY: Lashings of spice on the rugby front

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

David Isaacson
3 min read
Sport FREE

Super 6 who scored for both Bucs and Amakhosi in derbies

Many players have featured for both clubs but there is a unique band of who have scored in the derby for both

Mark Gleeson
Soccer writer
5 min read

Blasts from the past: Brawl in good time for Schutte in 1975

Today in SA sports history: February 8

David Isaacson
1 min read