Friday, March 8 2019

THE BIG ISSUES

LEADING THE AGENDA

Eishkom hike is going to hurt – a lot

The energy regulator has awarded Eskom an increase of almost 14%, and the experts are very worried

Alex Patrick
Journalist
4 min read

Mad Max, Juju and a R50k hit: Inside a gang war

A plea deal secured by a hitman reveals a plot to take out rival gang leaders, though accomplices are still at large

Shain Germaner
Journalist
4 min read

SMART NEWS

IN ONE TAKE

ANC boss walks plank as corruption sharks circle

KZN ANC deputy chair Mike Mabuyakhulu throws in the towel as he faces criminal charges

3 min read

TB and depression are linking up to devastate SA

Researchers went to SA’s depression hot spots and found a second epidemic

3 min read

The ART of war: fast-tracked HIV testing is proving key

Scientists have made even more great strides in the fight against the HIV/Aids pandemic

Dave Chambers
Cape Town bureau chief
4 min read

Stern sultan goes on sale ... if you have R16m to spend

Previously unknown Irma Stern painting to go on auction in Cape Town this month

Dave Chambers
Cape Town bureau chief
2 min read

A digitised Africa will bring Soshanguve up to pace with Seattle

A top SA entrepreneur told a gathering of 2,000 execs that getting Africa up to digital speed would change everything

Tanya Farber
Journalist
3 min read

Escaped apartheid prisoner Tim Jenkin can’t find himself on Oz shores

The South African escaped from prison, but Aussie visa issues mean he can't watch 'himself' do it again

Dave Chambers
Cape Town bureau chief
2 min read

IDEAS

FEEDING YOUR MIND

I’ve got those polar whiners and nappy-wearing Mars tourists beat

Sure, the explorers lost limbs, and Mars is a special kind of holiday hell - but let me tell you about my St Helena trip

6 min read

Licence demerits are a great idea ... now to find 100,000 spietkops

It's all very well making a move on bad drivers, but there are a few points to consider about SA’s anarchic highways

Tom Eaton
Columnist
2 min read

Hygiene-obsessed fish will clear your mind of a day that’s for the birds

Whether or not it's as clever as scientists say, it's still a lot smarter than thinking about a special day for women

Sue de Groot
Journalist
3 min read

SNAPSHOT

Six things about SA you need to know

NSFAS funds not spent on textbooks: booksellers

National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) allowances deposited into students accounts for textbooks are not necessarily being used to buy them, academic book sellers warned on Thursday. The SA Book Sellers' Association (Saba) said this was evident as textbook sales had declined since NSFAS had adopted a new payment system. The NSFAS had previously ringfenced the funds, allocating a portion of the allowance to be used strictly for food, another for transport and another for textbooks. The financial aid institution recently changed this and now deposits lump sums into students' accounts, saying that, among other things, it teaches students responsibility. Van Schaik Bookstores, which supplies academic textbooks nationally to 63 stores, said it had felt the pinch of a decline in sales. The company's MD, Stephanus Erasmus, warned that this could have dire consequences for the education system.

At 80, you're never too old to study

A 79-year-old man who matriculated back in 1966 has registered at North West University in Vanderbijlpark with the hope of fulfilling his dream to be a teacher. The university said Jacob Seboko said he felt he "had too much time" on his hands following the passing of his wife 10 years ago and decided to put his time to good use while ensuring that he keeps mentally fit. "I have so much time on my hands and by the grace of God, I am still blessed with good health," said Seboko. "I have always had the desire to teach and if I am still able, I would love to be a teacher. I have a head for figures and have a knack for accounting and economics, both subjects that are in great need of qualified teachers." Seboko is registered for a few subjects and after completing these, hopes to qualify for a postgraduate certificate in education, which he will start in 2020.

David Webster's killer gets full parole

Ferdi Barnard, the man who shot dead anti-apartheid activist Dr David Webster in 1989, will be placed on full parole from April 2. On Thursday, justice and correctional services minister Michael Masutha announced he had approved this. Barnard was sentenced to life imprisonment on June 4 1998 after being convicted on numerous charges, including, murder, attempted murder, defeating the ends of justice and unlawful possession of firearms. One of the two murder charges was in connection with the killing of Wits University academic Webster on May 1 1989. Barnard shot Webster outside his home in Troyeville, Johannesburg, at the behest of the apartheid police's security branch, the Civil Co-operation Bureau (CCB). The CCB told Barnard that Webster, a pacifist, was involved in terrorist activities. Masutha said he had satisfied himself that Barnard met all requirements for parole.

Pensioner takes down 16-year-old robber

A 64-year-old man from Bethelsdorp in the Eastern Cape is being hailed a hero after he chased a pair of “armed robbers” on Wednesday, catching one of them. The suspects entered a spaza shop and one of them pulled a gun on the man serving them, Colonel Priscilla Naidu said. “They demanded the gate keys, unlocked the gate and entered on the other side of the counter. Cigarettes, cash and a cellphone were taken,” said Naidu. “The elderly man residing nearby witnessed the suspects running from the shop and chased after them.” He caught up with a 16-year-old boy and apprehended him. “The cigarettes, a toy gun and some cash were recovered.” The youngster was arrested and charged with business robbery.

Probe sparks support for corporal punishment

A wave of support for corporal punishment in schools followed the Western Cape education department’s confirmation on Thursday that it is investigating Paarl Boys’ High School. Facebook comments were summed up by Adam Vuropolis, who said: “I prefer reading about this than teachers who are getting sworn at and beaten up. Keep up the good work if this is true.” Jessica Shelver, the spokesperson for education MEC Debbie Schäfer, said the department was investigating allegations against deputy headmaster Richard Visagie. She said Visagie was fined and given a final written warning in October 2018 after being found guilty of misconduct for reportedly hitting a pupil. “New complaints were received on the 23rd January 2019 from a doctor who was reportedly treating a learner that was assaulted.” News24 reported on Thursday that six sources, including a current parent and ex-pupils, had alleged that Paarl Boys’ High had a culture of corporal punishment, which was outlawed in 1996.

‘Matwetwe’ actor’s family plead with killers

Family members of Matwetwe actor Sibusiso Khwinana have issued an emotional plea to those involved in his killing to come forward. Gauteng premier David Makhura visited the Khwinana family home on Thursday and said three suspects had been identified. A police task team had also been set up to catch those suspected of being responsible for the actor’s death. In an impromptu press conference with Makhura on Thursday, one family member urged those involved in the crime to come forward so “we can get closure and carry on”. Makhura also appealed to those who knew where the suspects were to inform the police. The premier issued a stern warning to the suspects, saying “we are coming for you”, and assured the family that they were hot on their heels.
Cattle breeder Pablo Pato practises in his stable in Llanuces, Spain.
ROLLERSKATING IN THE HAY Cattle breeder Pablo Pato practises in his stable in Llanuces, Spain.
Image: Reuters/Eloy Alonso

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

Critics call Facebook’s big shift to messaging a ‘cynical’ move

Mark Zuckerberg is punting 'privacy-focused communications' over public posting in a major strategy shift

By Laurence Dodds
10 min read

Psycho active: Gwynnie’s new trip is weirder than vaginal eggs

Goop guru Gwyneth Paltrow suggests a deadly hallucinogenic drug is the next big thing

By Anita Singh
4 min read

Stray dog stuns Sherpas with 7,000m climb to Himalayan summit

Eager pooch latches onto climbing party for what may be the highest climb recorded for a dog

By Ben Farmer
2 min read

Sugar mamas, my sweetest taboo: Why I only date older women

A surge of young guys is learning the same secret that Pete Davidson, 25, has with Kate Beckinsale, 45

By Gareth Rubin
4 min read

SNAPSHOT

6 things you need to know about the world

Suddenly, bullfighting is child’s play

Portugal's bullfighting tradition is on its knees, having seen attendance fall nearly by half in the past decade. Now the stalwarts of the centuries-old practice are reaching out to children, hoping to turn them into future fans, to the dismay of animal rights advocates. Blood was conspicuously absent at a recent "Bullfighting Day" at the neo-Arabic Campo Pequeno arena in Lisbon, Portugal's premier bullfighting venue. It was a family affair, with children enjoying arena-shaped bouncy castles and demonstrations by apprentices of their bullfighting skills, stopping short of sticking the animals with lances called banderillas. The event drew criticism from animal rights group Basta, which denounced the "exposure of children to the violence of bullfighting" as contravening a 2014 opinion by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. – AFP

Super-sniffing stray is top dog in elite squad

About 18 months after been rescued from stone-throwing children, an Indian street mutt has emerged top dog in an elite bomb- and drug-sniffing squad. “Asha” (“hope” in Hindi) was rescued by West Bengal police when they found her being mistreated outside their training facility. “The dog was bleeding when she was taken inside the campus,” senior West Bengal Police Training Academy official Dipankar Bhattacharya said. Officers originally intended keeping the mixed-breed stray as a pet, but Asha turned out to have a nose every bit as good as the German shepherds and Labradors usually trained to sniff out explosives and drugs. Sajal Mondal, the head of the academy, said she passed the gruelling training with flying colours and that drugs and explosives like TNT were no match for Asha’s keen sense of smell. “She performed better than her pedigree peers, jumping nearly 2m high and crossing hurdles. She is also our fastest runner.” - AFP

Radio says ‘beat it’ to Jacko’s music

Radio stations in Australia, Canada and New Zealand are refusing to play Michael Jackson’s music in the wake of fresh allegations against him of child sex abuse. Sydney’s Nova Entertainment became the latest radio group to announce they are taking the late King of Pop off the air in response to public opinion. The move comes after the airing of a US documentary Leaving Neverland featured two men who claimed Jackson sexually abused them for years. “In light of what is happening at the moment, SmoothFM is not currently playing any Michael Jackson songs,” local media quoted Nova’s programme director Paul Jackson as saying. In New Zealand, the star’s songs are now almost totally absent from the airwaves, after being pulled by the country’s two biggest radio networks, MediaWorks and NZME, which dominate commercial radio. – AFP

China hopes Das Kartoon will hit the Marx

The Chinese Communist Party is trying a new way to woo younger people, commissioning an anime series whose hero is clean-shaven, slim and a hopeless romantic: Karl Marx. Called The Leader, the online cartoon series is designed to make Marx more palatable to China’s younger generation, which usually encounters the bearded German philosopher through thick textbooks and classes. “There is a lot of literary work about Karl Marx, but not as much in a format that young people can accept,” Zhuo Sina, one of the scriptwriters behind the online series, told AFP. “We wanted to fill this gap,” she added. Created by animation studio Wawayu but backed by China’s central propaganda department and the state-run Marxism Research and Construction Programme Office, the release of The Leader comes as the Chinese Communist Party ramps up its push for ideological rigour, especially in classrooms and on university campuses. – AFP

… and has a stab at rubber-stamp rap as well

Beijing's propaganda apparatus is pumping up the volume for its annual parliament meeting, with videos starring a rapper dropping rhymes about his "elation" for the session and an American waxing lyrical about the Chinese "system of democracy". Chinese state media regularly rolls out clips targeted at foreign audiences during important political events, and 2019’s production has again raised eyebrows among China watchers. Xinhua, China's official news agency, co-produced a rap video entitled Two Sessions: To the World from China to celebrate the annual meeting of the rubber-stamp parliament - the National People's Congress - and the country's top political advisory body. Rich in rhymes which often appear incoherent, the song boasts about the country's social and scientific achievements, from anti-pollution measures to poverty alleviation programmes and a historic moon landing. "I got elation from inspiration writing a compliment song for the nation while I'm talking about 'two sessions'," raps Su Han, the hoodie-clad singer. – © The Daily Telegraph

Brit billionaires beat a hasty tax retreat

Nearly a third of Britain’s billionaires have either moved or are relocating to tax havens, where some have broken UK law by bankrolling political parties, a major investigation said on Thursday. The Times newspaper published a series of reports detailing allegations of Britain’s ultra-rich hiding billions of pounds from the UK Treasury in taxes over the past decade. The report came out days after the government drew public fury for delaying a vote on proposed legislation aimed at ending secret company ownership in offshore territories. Prime Minister Theresa May’s government did not immediately respond to the investigation. The Times said that 28 out of the 93 British billionaires it found through public records “have moved to tax havens or are in the process of relocating”. Almost half of the 28 had left in the past decade. – AFP
Tourists ride in a vintage car at the seafront in Havana, Cuba.
A BREEZE BLUE IN THEIR FACES Tourists ride in a vintage car at the seafront in Havana, Cuba.
Image: Reuters/Alexandre Meneghini

THE BUSINESS

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Public institutions: Fix them, because they’ll save SA’s ass

To expose a country to global economic forces without tightly regulated protection is a sure way to kill it

By Jonny Steinberg
3 min read

Edcon: ‘A stuff-up of manic proportions caused by the owners’

Embattled retail group’s CEO rants about the doomed leveraged buyout and how he's trying to fix the mess

By Giulietta Taleva
4 min read

Pity the poor fools who bought the Tongaat spin

Elites made out like bandits while ‘outsiders’ relying on audited company information have been badly hurt

By Business Day
3 min read

LIFESTYLE

CULTURE COMES ALIVE

Skrik vir niks? Don’t be too sure, because ‘Alien’ is back

In space no one can hear you scream, but you can scream plenty here on Earth in the darkness of a cinema

By Tymon Smith
2 min read

It’s Noah joke: Here comes the Netflix of podcasting

Luminary has produced exclusive content from the big stars on the podcast scene, streaming it ad-free too

By Tymon Smith
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: Swys! The sound of a swinging axe at the Lions

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

David Isaacson
Journalist
3 min read

Batting collapses? Pah, they’re just par for the course

They are a mitigating factor in white-ball cricket, which might otherwise fade to a grey mass of run-glutting

Telford Vice
Journalist
2 min read