Tuesday, February 12 2019



EXPLAINED: This is why Eskom has doomed SA to new load-shed misery

Power utility says it's not to blame. So, who is?

By Carol Paton
3 min read

Is Eskom reminding us what power means, and who has it?

When we find ourselves in uncharted territory at Stage 4, you have to ask: who benefits from this omnishambles?

Tom Eaton
4 min read

Corruption crusader gunned down after death threats

Rooting out ghost teachers was just one of the campaigns fought by the Gauteng education official

Belinda Pheto
4 min read



ANALYSIS: How Cyril's got it wrong on NHI

Experts say his remarks in his Sona contradict the NHI Bill, and punch holes in the policy itself

4 min read

Scene staged to look as if man killed mom, then himself. Cops aren’t fooled

Rope around victim's neck not enough to maintain murder-suicide ruse. Now search for real killers is on

Jeff Wicks
1 min read

Transnet spends R98m to lure ships back to Cape Town

At the moment, the port ‘is like Cape Town Airport without airplanes’

Bobby Jordan
2 min read

Is Spar ‘there for you’? Risky milk calls that into question

There has been controversy over a dairy product sold without meeting the retailer’s safety requirements

3 min read

Heart of gold: It’s official, Joburg is SA’s city of love

International survey shows Egoli ranks among the world's top cities to find romance

Graeme Hosken
3 min read



He took a £105m Bitcoin code to his grave. Now what?

In the digital era, how will families and spouses get access to password-protected online lives?

By Harry de Quetteville
5 min read

This means you’ll never have to plug in your phone again

A breakthrough wireless power set-up that uses infrared light might spell the end of the last cord left in our lives

By James Titcomb
4 min read


Six things about SA you need to know

Treasury boss in hot water for hiding record

President Cyril Ramaphosa has asked higher education minister Naledi Pandor to take disciplinary steps against national treasury director-general Dondo Mogajane for failing to disclose his criminal record when applying for the job. Ramaphosa initiated remedial action in line with the report of the public protector on Mogajane's appointment, the presidency said on Monday. Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane issued a report in December on improper conduct regarding Mogajane's application for the position of director-general at the treasury, and his subsequent appointment. She found that Mogajane had failed to disclose a criminal record, and that this failure constituted impropriety or dishonesty and amounted to improper conduct. The presidency said the current finance minister “may be conflicted”, and therefore delegated the disciplinary process.

KZN doctor hails ‘miracle’ baby in drain

A miracle. That's what Dr Timothy Hardcastle called the newborn who survived being trapped in a stormwater drain in Newlands East, north of Durban, on Monday. Hardcastle was on call at Chief Albert Luthuli Central Hospital when the baby, believed to between one and three days old, was brought in after a gruelling three-hour rescue. "I think any child who survives any amount of hours - and it sounds like it was at least four to five hours - in a stormwater pipe on days two or three after birth is a miracle. It is mercy from above that she is alive," said Hardcastle. He said the little girl was healthy and in good spirits, besides having mild hypothermia on arrival. KZN health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, who visited the baby, said she would be moved to a smaller hospital, then discharged to a place of safety. "This matter will have to be investigated to find the parents," he added. "A case of attempted murder was opened at Newlands East police station for investigation," said KZN police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele.

Lost phone stalls ‘Uber gang’ case

The case against four men accused of using the Uber e-hailing app to kidnap, rape and rob multiple women in 2016 could not continue on Monday because the prosecutor lost her cellphone. A few moments before the case was due to resume in the South Gauteng High Court, prosecutor Preshelia Ranchod discovered that her cellphone was missing. It was not clear where she had lost it. Ranchod said she “cannot focus on the matter”, and the matter was stood down until Tuesday. Judge Ramarumo Monama agreed, adding that when a person lost their cellphone it was was like “one had lost part of oneself”. The case of Elias Mankgane, Daniel Maswikaneng, Treasure Bonga and Themba Mkhwanazi began last week. They have pleaded not guilty to a number of counts including rape, robbery, kidnapping and assault of women in 2016, under the guise of picking them up in Uber vehicles.

Midmar Mile‚ Dusi rake it in for KZN

More than R150m is expected to have been generated from the world's largest open-water swimming event, the Midmar Mile. In the event on Saturday and Sunday, thousands of swimmers took to the water at the Midmar Dam near Howick in KwaZulu-Natal. Tourism KwaZulu-Natal (TKZN) said the economic bonanza had increased from R142m in 2018 to R150m this year. "The province’s next big crowd-pulling sporting event is the Dusi canoe marathon from February 14 to 16. "With Valentine’s Day falling between the two high-profile sporting events‚ the hospitality and tourism industry is anticipating a bumper two weeks‚" said Phindile Makwakwa‚ acting head of TKZN. Previous TKZN research revealed that visitors to these sporting events would recommend KwaZulu-Natal as a tourism destination based mainly on the beaches‚ the warm climate‚ the scenery and the people.

No water just garbage in ‘cursed’ Makhanda

Water outages, power blackouts, litter-strewn streets and sewage trickling into people’s homes has become a norm for residents of Makhanda (formerly Grahamstown), prompting some to ask if they are cursed. But their dry sense of humour is intact. On Monday, Nomawethu Budaza commented on social media, "There's no chill in Makhanda - water gone, electricity gone." Leonie Yendall responded, "Just the garbage is left … " A municipal town hall meeting with residents has been called for Monday evening as the city stares down a water Day Zero, precipitated by a drought compounded by years of shoddy local government management. The city of 70,000 residents has faced prolonged water outages and dirty water coming out of the taps owing to poor management of its ageing infrastructure, but now the water supply to the western half of the city, including Rhodes University, is drying up due to the drought.

Primary pupil accused of raping six-year-old

Provincial education authorities have established a task team to investigate the alleged rape of a Grade 1 girl by an 11-year-old boy in Grade 5 at Matsulu in Mpumalanga. The two children attend the same primary school. Department spokesperson Jasper Zwane said the six-year-old was allegedly raped on February 1. It was not immediately clear where the incident occurred. "An investigating team from the department has been established. The team will consist of officials who will conduct the required psychosocial support of the victim and her parents," Zwane said on Monday. "They will also advise the school about steps to be undertaken to bring the suspect to book.” Police spokesperson Colonel Mtsholi Bhembe confirmed that a rape case had been opened.




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



It would make a fantastic film: How Syrian heroes escaped certain death

They had saved hundreds of lives in bombed cities. Then government forces started closing in

By Roland Oliphant
5 min read

Figure of hate: Blasphemy still rules 30 years after Rushdie’s fatwa

Many say it was a catastrophe for freedom of thought, but the novelist is still reviled in the Muslim world

4 min read

Choc tactic: ‘Big Brother’ helps clean up palm oil’s image

Deforestation fears force big players to trial new satellite technology to track the scourge

By Ana Ionova and Martinne Geller
7 min read

Return of an eara: Kate wears Princess Di’s pearl earrings

The Duchess of Cambridge wore the jewellery at the Baftas as a tribute to Princess Diana

By Sarah Royce-Greensill
2 min read


6 things you need to know about the world

Duke crash victim whines down

A woman who broke her wrist in a car crash involving the Duke of Edinburgh has said she feels “safer” now he has given up his driving licence. Emma Fairweather, 46, who was a passenger in a Kia Carens that collided with the Duke's Land Rover last month, said: "He's making the most sensible decision he can. It's a shame he didn't make it a bit sooner, but it's the right thing to do.” The Duke, 97, voluntarily surrendered his licence after “careful consideration”, Buckingham Palace announced this weekend. Nick Freeman, the lawyer known as Mr Loophole for his successful defence of celebrities charged with traffic offences, said: “What would be the point in prosecuting a 97-year-old man who has dedicated the majority of his life to public service and who has already given up his licence?” Such a move would have “achieved nothing”. – © The Daily Telegraph

AI helps kids sold for sex in hotels

Scientists are hoping artificial intelligence (AI) can help identify and rescue child victims of sex trafficking via an app and more than a million crowdsourced pictures of hotel rooms.Researchers launched an app in 2016 to collect photographs of 50,000 hotels around the world that could be matched up with online adverts placed by traffickers, who often use selfies taken by their victims in hotel rooms.Hotels-50K can be used to identify where trafficking victims are being held - and ultimately to rescue them, according to a paper written by a group of scientists and presented at a conference on AI in Hawaii. – AFP

Don’t forget to jog to remember

Exercise could protect against Alzheimer's by triggering a hormone which helps regrow brain cells, a study has found. Scientists have known for some time that exercise reduces the risk of developing dementia, but did not know if there was a direct link or whether ill people were simply unable to work out. Now a new series of studies had shown that a hormone released during exercise, called irisin, is depleted in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s, and can protect animals against memory loss and brain damage. Mice who swam nearly every day for five weeks did not develop memory impairment despite getting infusions of beta amyloid - the brain-cell clogging protein implicated in Alzheimer's. It suggests not only that exercise really does protect against dementia, but also that a drug which mimics irisin could be the answer to preventing the disease. – © The Daily Telegraph

King spoils political party for princess

Thai Princess Ubolratana has been formally disqualified for running for prime minister, ending her brief and ill-fated political union with a party allied to the powerful Shinawatra clan, just days after a stern royal command rebuking her candidacy was issued by her brother, the king. Uncertainty and conjecture have coursed through Thailand since Friday when the Thai Raksa Chart party made the explosive announcement of Princess Ubolratana, King Maha Vajiralongkorn's elder sister, as their candidate for premier after the March 24 election. Her tilt appeared to some to be a masterstroke of back-room dealings by Thaksin Shinawatra, the billionaire self-exiled ex-premier, just weeks before the poll. But just hours later it fell apart. A royal command from the king on Monday put a pin in her unprecedented political aspirations, insisting the monarchy was above politics and describing his sister's candidacy as "highly inappropriate". – AFP

Arctic melt becoming too much to bear

A Russian Arctic archipelago has declared an emergency situation over an "invasion" of dozens of aggressive polar bears that have entered homes and public buildings. Russia's northeastern Novaya Zemlya archipelago, which has a population of about 3,000, has appealed for help to tackle "a mass invasion of polar bears into inhabited areas," regional authorities said. Russian authorities have so far refused permission to shoot the bears but are sending a commission to investigate the situation and have not ruled out a cull. Polar bears are affected by global warming with melting Arctic ice forcing them to spend more time on land where they compete for food. – © The Daily Telegraph

Hissteria over scales of justice

Police in eastern Indonesia have apologised for using a snake to torture a man in custody, after footage of the reptile-assisted interrogation went viral online. An officer in the Indonesian province Papua, which borders Papua New Guinea, was filmed wrapping a large snake around a man who had his hands bound as the animal slithered around him. The man, who screamed during the ordeal as onlookers laughed, was suspected of having stolen a cellphone. As well as apologising, Papua police said that the officers involved in the incident had been relocated for work and were being investigated. The torture victim is believed to be a native Papuan. Lawyers and activists said his treatment may have been racially motivated, part of a culture of persecution by Indonesian authorities against indigenous people in the Papua and West Papua provinces. – © The Daily Telegraph
Rapper Cardi B at the 61st Grammy Awards in Los Angeles.
FLOWERING Rapper Cardi B at the 61st Grammy Awards in Los Angeles.
Image: Reuters/Lucy Nicholson



PIC has totally fouled the concept of fair market value

Grossly extravagant payments made for services that no track record could justify as even vaguely defensible

By Mark Barnes
4 min read

Woolies CEO will be in for a really rough ride at AGM

Are shareholders really comfortable with Ian Moir running Woolworths remotely from Australia?

By Larry Claasen
1 min read

Plenty of lateral thinking going on in office rentals

Large offices turned into shared workspaces rented to one tenant, who then sublets to smaller operations

By Alistair Anderson
1 min read



Just for the record: Down to business with The Boss

A fortnightly guide to music on vinyl

By Andrew Donaldson
8 min read

Nothing like rude bits with a dollop of old-fashioned sauce

Some of the British Library’s naughtiest books are finally available for the public to read

By Tymon Smith
2 min read

Waiting while the new MoMA wises up to its fringe benefits

When New York’s Museum of Modern Art reopens in October it’ll focus more on the overlooked and unusual

By Tymon Smith
1 min read



SPORTS DAY: Bulls had better beware full-strength Stormers

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

Mninawa Ntloko
Sports editor
3 min read

No tears shed as second-tier clubs knock out the topflight

Nedbank Cup last 32 is packed with National First Division teams that have closed gap on premiership

By Nick Said
2 min read

Blasts from the past: Spook gives rebel Windies a skrik

Today in SA sports history: February 12

David Isaacson
3 min read