Friday, March 1 2019

THE BIG ISSUES

LEADING THE AGENDA

Mbalula’s sobbing Gupta confession: Now he’s ready to tell all

The former sports minister salutes Trevor Manuel for setting the tone at the ‘very important’ Zondo probe

Amil Umraw
Journalist
3 min read

He was full of joy, then he was killed: dad describes Thoriso’s final hours

Thrilled about a gift, he told his dad he wanted to 'live right for you'. A short while later he was beaten to death

4 min read

Talk about a revolution: this is how much bull Mabuza needs to get by

His load-shedding views were a lie, but what a shit-show his take on the Fourth Industrial Revolution was

Tom Eaton
Columnist
2 min read

SMART NEWS

IN ONE TAKE

Fungus and burial: a match made in eco-heaven

Design Indaba speaker gives food for thought on what we should do with our bodies after we die

Tanya Farber
Journalist
3 min read

The doc who worked 491 hours a day, and other tales of healthcare fraud

Medical fraud costs the industry up to R28bn a year, a summit on the scourge has heard

Alex Patrick
Journalist
3 min read

Huh? Medaid body facing fraud probe hosts anti-fraud summit

The medical aid regulator does not, however, see any irony in hosting the event

3 min read

Thousands of state vehicles gathering dust

With a huge repair backlog, the fleet maintenance contract is ending, but a new service provider is yet to be appointed

Mpumzi Zuzile
Journalist
2 min read

From good wives to society leaders - Inanda’s 150-year history

The historic low-fee KZN seminary has been a launchpad to success for a number of its pupils

Nivashni Nair
Journalist
3 min read

IDEAS

FEEDING YOUR MIND

My neighbour let me into her nightmare. Or was it a dream?

The old lady next door told me about something that happens at night, so I wanted to hear it for myself

7 min read

Deadly medicine: when ‘science’ justifies racism and murder

A chilling exhibition on eugenics has touched the lives of over 6,000 South Africans

Tanya Farber
Journalist
7 min read

SNAPSHOT

Members of a karate club exercise on the mountains near Benjawen, Iraq.
THE ODDS ARE STACKED AGAINST HIM Members of a karate club exercise on the mountains near Benjawen, Iraq.
Image: Reuters/Ako Rasheed

Six things about SA you need to know

MPs dress up in support of Caster

MPs from across the political spectrum have put their differences aside in all-round condemnation of the International Association of Athletics Federations' (IAAF) bid to force star athlete Caster Semenya to take substances to lower her testosterone levels. The MPs, dressed in government-sponsored black T-shirts engraved with words such as "We condemn subtle hatred and racism", in the National Assembly were reacting to a statement by sports minister Tokozile Xasa in which she asked the country's MPs to back her campaign against the IAAF's attempt to medically reduce Semenya's competitiveness. Xasa recently led a high-powered delegation at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland in a government-led mission to oppose the IAAF's proposed regulation to limit testosterone levels of the female athlete. The court is expected to deliver its judgment on the matter towards the end of March.

Workers disrupt Free State varsity classes

Classes were disrupted after outsourced workers at the University of the Free State (UFS) embarked on an unprotected strike on Thursday. UFS spokesperson Lacea Loader said the workers were demanding in-sourcing of all jobs at the university. Some students and student organisations had also taken part in the strike. Students and workers from the workers and students forum (WSF) handed over a memorandum to the institution's management during the Shimla Park commemoration prayer service last week Friday. Management requested to "initiate a formal process of engagement and consultation on the proposed outsourcing". "The WSF did not accede to this request and decided to embark on today’s [Thursday] unprotected strike action.

Chickens cross the road, but it’s no joke

Chickens were running around on the N1 near Midrand after the truck they were being transported on crashed on Thursday, Arrive Alive said. The road safety information portal said the accident occurred just before midday between Allandale Road and the Buccleuch interchange. "Paramedics found that one of the vehicles had been transporting live chickens which had escaped when the vehicle overturned. Several lanes are closed to traffic and there are delays from Midrand towards Johannesburg," Arrive Alive said. Two people had been injured in the crash and taken to hospital. "The SPCA is also at the scene," it added.

McBride contract non-renewal endorsed

Parliament’s police committee has endorsed the decision by police minister Bheki Cele not to renew Robert McBride’s contract as executive director of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid). However, DA MPs criticised the committee’s decision and boycotted the session during which the report was adopted. The party argued that its views on the matter were completely ignored. “The fact is that there are no compelling, substantive reasons not to renew McBride's contract,” said DA MP Zakhele Mbhele. “All that the minister gave to the committee in his submission of reasons were allegations that are, as yet, untested and unproved. Nor can anything else that has surfaced be assessed as being egregious enough to warrant non-renewal.” ANC members argued that the relationship between Cele and McBride had clearly broken down. Various MPs also stated McBride does not have a legal right to an automatic extension or renewal of his contract.

Afrikaans singer labels Noah a ‘race hater’

Afrikaans pop star Jay du Plessis has slammed SA-born comedian Trevor Noah and labelled him a "racist" over the inside Xhosa joke he made at the Oscars. Noah took to the Oscars stage on Sunday to present Black Panther as a Best Picture nominee and mocked those who thought Wakanda may be a real place by using the Xhosa phrase abelungu abazi ubu ndiyaxoka. Noah said it meant "in times like these, we are stronger when we fight together than when we try to fight apart." However, the phrase actually means "white people don't know I'm lying". In a tweet that has since been deleted, Du Plessis said: "Trevor Noah is a race hater who promotes the anti-white feeling in the US. Talented and deservedly rich, but just a hater and racist."

Petrol price set to rise by 73c in March

Rising international petroleum prices have resulted in South Africans facing substantially higher fuel prices in March. This is according to the Automobile Association (AA), which was commenting on unaudited month-end fuel price data released by the Central Energy Fund. The AA said the price of petrol was predicted to increase by about 73c a litre, diesel by 92c and illuminating paraffin by 74c. "The rand/ dollar exchange rate has worked slightly in South Africa's favour during February, giving savings of up to nine cents a litre. However, this has been shouldered aside by fuel price rises which have come off their January plateau and advanced considerably," the association says.

THE VISUAL SIDE


CROSSWORDS

GIVE YOUR BRAIN SOME EXERCISE

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

WORLD

THE NEWS YOU DON'T NORMALLY GET TO HEAR

Suddenly, being President Trump isn’t any fun at all

Between North Korea-US summit and Michael Cohen's explosive testimony, Potus can’t catch a break

By AFP
3 min read

Tesla needs Musk the revolutionary disruptor, or it will fail

His antics might drive the SEC, shareholders and lawyers up the wall, but his imagination and vision are golden

By Harry de Quetteville
4 min read

Studying to music is not in tune with your brain power

Listening to Eminem songs may improve your swimming, but it does absolutely nothing for your creative mind

By Sarah Knapton
1 min read

Prince William puts boot into football clubs over mental health care

He says they disregard the mental health of players, seeing them simply as financial assets

By AFP
2 min read

SNAPSHOT

Movie crew members film a scene in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
HEROICS IN HONDURAS Movie crew members film a scene in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
Image: Reuters/Jorge Cabrera

6 things you need to know about the world

Bon appe-teeth: ‘molar’ in airline meal

A horrified Australian traveller discovered a suspected human tooth in a meal on a Singapore Airlines flight, prompting the carrier to apologise and launch an investigation. Bradley Button was eating rice on the flight when he heard a crunch and spat out what appeared to be a molar. He told the Australian Associated Press a flight attendant was "adamant" that she needed to take the object away for testing and that it was a small rock. After the discovery, Button said he was given a voucher to use on the airline's duty-free products. Singapore Airlines confirmed that a customer travelling on a service from Wellington to Melbourne found "what appeared to be a foreign object in their meal". "We sincerely apologise to the customer for this negative experience and for the inconvenience this has caused. We are currently investigating this incident and have sent the object for analysis to determine what it is," it said. – AFP

You’re in the army now, pupils told

It was the beginning of a new school year and the group of 13- and 14-year-olds listened with a mixture of surprise and curiosity as the sergeant told them the rules have changed. From now on, it's military discipline all the way, Sergeant Nunes told them. They will enter into classrooms single file -- hair short for the boys, a bun for the girls. Their school, the CED 07 educational centre on the outskirts of Brasilia, is one of four public schools - 7,000 students in all - that are being transformed into military-run schools. President Jair Bolsonaro, a former paratrooper, promised to establish more of these state-run military secondary schools during his 2018 election campaign. By the end of the year, there should be around 40 of the new military schools, a spokesman for the Federal District's education secretariat, Mauro Oliveira, told AFP." – AFP

Politicians want to run jogging hijab out of town

The French sportswear -retailer Decathlon has scrapped a plan to sell a sports hijab for Muslim women in France following a bitter political row and a public outcry. French politicians, including one from President Emmanuel Macron's party, had called for a boycott of the firm's products if it marketed the lightweight sports headscarves, designed for jogging, in France. Agnès Buzyn, the health minister, said the sports hijab embodied "a vision of women that I do not share … Everything that leads to differentiation bothers me. I would have preferred a French brand not to promote the headscarf. "Her objections echoed an acrimonious controversy in France three years ago over the "burkini" swimsuit, favoured by some conservative Muslim women. – © The Daily Telegraph

Birds of a feather croc together

Crocodiles and birds may not seem the most obvious bedfellows, but scientists now say a prehistoric fossil find in Romania suggests that at one time the two species may have shared nests. In 2011, Romanian palaeontologist Matyas Vremir found fossilised eggs and eggshell fragments dating back roughly 68 million years on a river bank in the Oarda de Jos area of central Romania. About two million years later, land-based dinosaurs were wiped out by a cataclysmic event, probably an asteroid strike that may have also triggered massive volcanic activity. Vremir analysed the find with an international team of researchers who found that the eggs belonged to two bird species as well as two reptile species, the ancestors of modern crocodiles and geckos. – AFP

Trump’s ex-lawyer stirs up a porn storm

Porn star Stormy Daniels praised Donald Trump's disgraced former attorney Michael Cohen on Wednesday for telling the "truth" to Congress about hush money payments he made on behalf of the president. Cohen testified before a US House committee that he paid $130,000 to Daniels shortly before the 2016 presidential election to silence her about a sexual liaison she had with Trump. "Michael, I'm proud of you for finally beginning to tell the truth about what you did, and trying to repair some of the harm you have caused," Daniels said. The adult film actress, real name Stephanie Clifford, addressed Cohen’s claim that he felt threatened by Trump: "You spoke about how the president and his attorney put you and your family in danger by calling you a liar and a rat and disparaging you in public. I understand your fear, Michael. I have a family too." – AFP

You can buy this statue, but you must destroy it

Want to burn a statue of Spain's King Felipe VI? For €200,000, it's a deal - a contractual obligation, even - at Madrid's ARCO contemporary art fair, where two artists known for courting controversy are showing a giant effigy of the monarch. The 4.44m statue reproduces the king standing tall and looking firmly ahead, wearing a dark-blue suit, green tie and white shirt. The sale has a special clause obliging the buyer to "commit to the artwork being burnt", Luis Navarro, who works with Santiago Sierra, one of the artists, said. "The specificity of this sculpture is that it isn't conceived to endure in time, to be collected, but for the pleasure of being destroyed.". - AFP

THE BUSINESS

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Long arm of the law still fingering Steinhoff’s collar

More litigation likely, says the embattled retailer, even while the group’s European and UK operations shine

By Warren Thompson
2 min read

Bleeding bottom line drains interest in Advanced Health

Group is in a sweet spot by offering more affordable day surgery procedures, but profits aren’t rolling in yet

By Marc Hasenfuss
1 min read

What now for Truworths as MultiChoice takes its place?

The JSE listing of the subscription TV service company has pushed the fashion retailer out of the top 40 index

By Karl Gernetzky
1 min read

LIFESTYLE

CULTURE COMES ALIVE

The movie that made cubicle rats quit their daily grind

Cult 1999 comedy ‘Office Space’ had a real-life effect on the workplace, never mind inspiring Ricky Gervais

By Michael Hogan
12 min read

‘I woke up like this’: Growing Fonda the no-makeup selfie

There is nothing wrong with ageing gracefully without looking dolled up, as the Hollywood stars have proved

By Nomsa Motale
1 min read

Won’t you take us to the bioscope?

The films opening in our cinemas this week

By Critics’ choice
1 min read

SPORT

FINISH LINE ESSENTIALS

SPORTS DAY: Marx as Lions captain is a capital idea

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

David Isaacson
Journalist
3 min read

Test icicles form around those frozen out by Kolpak contracts

Duanne Olivier was the 42nd SA player to sign a Kolpak deal, thereby he is ineligible for international selection

Telford Vice
Journalist
3 min read

Blasts from the past: Muir destroys Olympic medallists

Today in SA sports history: March 1

David Isaacson
Journalist
1 min read