Tuesday, March 12 2019




We’re grounding the Boeing ... even though we don’t have to: Comair

Airline, facing backlash over decision to continue to operate its Boeing 737 MAX 8, has grounded its aircraft

By Graeme Hosken, Ernest Mabuza, AFP and Reuters
8 min read

Couple falls pregnant, sues obstetrician for R1.4m, and loses

The pair claimed they thought the specialist had sterilised her. His notes said otherwise

By Tania Broughton
3 min read

Man hit by Uber in ICU: fiancée tells of horror night

Pretoria North woman says they told allegedly 'reckless' driver to pull over, then he drove over her fiancé's leg

2 min read



‘Koko told me to take Guptas’ reject coal’

Zondo inquiry hears how former Eskom chief exercised undue influence in favour of a Gupta company

Amil Umraw
4 min read

Packham’s wife ‘slain after pledge to renew vows’

But daughter also tells court wife was unhappy that Packham had said he still had feelings for his mistress

2 min read

SA’s black market in taxman’s crosshairs

Sars will conduct year-long research into how the illegal economy is bleeding the fiscus dry

Graeme Hosken
3 min read

It’s bad governance, not the rain, say flood-hit KwaMashu residents

Politicians are out in full force as frustrated residents count the cost to their homes and pockets

3 min read

Tech and the city: urban guru’s design tips for SA

MIT urban expert shares solutions for congestion, pollution and social segregation with SA

Tanya Farber
4 min read

Why breast practice is so hard for HIV-positive moms

Their decision to choose formula instead is driven by fear of transmitting HIV to their babies, new research reveals

2 min read



Beware the crude shepherd who divides the lions and the sheep at poll time

As the elections loom, look out for us-versus-them rhetoric, the crude binaries trumpeted by politicians

Tom Eaton
4 min read

Why rich white people are getting angst in their pants

President still has some way to go in repairing the trust deficit between the government and the taxpayer

By Claire Bisseker
3 min read

Death can be tragic, but it’s what we do, so stop being so miserable

I feel no yearning for my youth or fear for my future, just gratitude that I cheered up in time to relish my life

By Julie Burchill
4 min read


Six things about SA you need to know

Presidency mum on apartheid spies claim

The presidency has declined to respond to former president Jacob Zuma’s allegation that two members of the high-level review panel on the State Security Agency were known apartheid spies. "No, ma'am" was all presidency spokesperson Khusela Diko would say. The panel, chaired by former police minister Sydney Mufamadi, was appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa in June 2018 to assess the structure of the State Security Agency (SSA) relative to its mandate and to inquire into its systems and capacity. The presidency released the 10-member panel's report on Sunday, which revealed that various financial and operational abuses took place at SSA to favour Zuma and his political allies. The report found that various individuals who opposed Zuma were illegally spied on. On Sunday, Zuma tweeted that he was never asked spoken to by the panel, and warned that people may be "opening a can of worms that they might regret".

Suspect in Themane murder trial walks free

The state has withdrawn a charge of murder against one of three adult suspects accused of killing Thorisho Themane. Prosecutor Disebo Kgoelenya told a packed Polokwane Magistrate's Court on Monday that he was withdrawing the charge against one of the male suspects who was arrested last week. Kgoelenya did not give reasons for the withdrawal. Two other adults are proceeding with a formal bail application, while six teenagers arrested in connection with the slaying will appear in court again on Thursday. The bloodied body of the 27-year-old musician was discovered on a street in Flora Park, Polokwane, on February 25 after he was assaulted. He later died in hospital.

R40k reward up after 22 monkeys poisoned

Animal activists are offering a R40,000 reward for any information that will lead to the arrest of people involved in the poisoning of a troop of monkeys in Umdloti, north of Durban. Of the 22 found at an Umdloti home on Saturday, 13 died. Steve Smit, the founder of Monkey Hotline, which helps rescue monkeys and educate people about them, said he believed the animals were poisoned with bread laced with pesticide. “When we got to a home in Umdloti, it was a horrible sight. There were monkeys lying all over the floor, foaming at the mouth, with some hanging off a tree, convulsing,” he said. Smit called the killing "malicious and deliberate", adding that it was one of the worst incidents he had seen.

Protesters ‘assault’ Siam Lee murder accused

The man accused of kidnapping and murdering 20-year-old escort Siam Lee was allegedly assaulted outside the Durban High Court on Monday. The 30-year-old businessman, who faces a raft of charges following Lee’s disappearance and murder, as well as the rape of another woman, made a brief appearance in court. The case was adjourned to April 11 for a pre-trial date hearing. The man cannot be named until he pleas to the rape charge. Minutes after the man left the court to walk to his car with his attorney, he allegedly came under attack. His attorney, Reial Mahabeer, said a woman who was protesting outside court allegedly slapped his client and threw rocks at him. They were not planning on opening a charge against the woman.

Man arrested after body found at Bloem school

The body of a 22-year-old man was found in the early hours of Monday at a Free State school. Police spokesperson Sergeant Ikobeng Hlubi said the body was found at about 4am at Joe Solomon Primary School in Heidedal, Bloemfontein. It was behind a pile of bricks in the schoolyard, with a stab wound to the right eye. "According to witnesses, the deceased was being chased by two males who were driving a kombi, and he jumped the fence of the school," said Hlubi. A 38-year-old man was later arrested at a local hospital while getting stitches. He was charged with murder and is expected in court soon.

Pupil injures jaw after another schoolyard fight

The Gauteng education department has condemned yet another assault on a pupil - this time at a school in Edenvale, east of Johannesburg. The incident, caught on video on Friday, shows a fight between two pupils at Edenvale High School. "The perpetrator was precautionarily suspended with immediate effect, pending the disciplinary hearing in due course," the department said. Parents of both pupils were notified of the disciplinary processes. "Psycho-social support has already been provided to the victim, who unfortunately sustained minor jaw injuries. This support will also be extended to the perpetrator," the department said. Meanwhile, Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi visited Crystal Park High School where girls were filmed beating a defenceless classmate. Lesufi said he was not opposed to criminal charges being laid against the perpetrators.
The burning Bastille fortress during the celebration of Maslenitsa, a farewell ceremony to winter, in Russia.
STORMING THE BASTILLE IN MOSCOW The burning Bastille fortress during the celebration of Maslenitsa, a farewell ceremony to winter, in Russia.
Image: Mladen Antonov/AFP


Marelize Horn, 19, and her mother Heidi — who uttered the immortal words after her daughter cycled into a rugby post — were flown south from their home in Windhoek, Namibia, by Cape Town Cycle Tour sponsor Pick n Pay, and arrived on Saturday for her cycling training from the Velokhaya Life Cycling Academy team.



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



Ubers in the sky in five years: revolution or flight of fancy?

The e-hailing firm says it will launch its air taxis in 2023, but critics say it's all a pipe dream they've seen before

By Olivia Rudgard
6 min read

It’s time Prince Harry put a cork in it and listened to his gran

The queen is getting increasingly miffed by the way he is flouting the royal rule book and dabbling in politics

By Camilla Tominey
6 min read

Horror and hunger: Inside IS’s last stronghold

The terror group's last remaining 'caliphate' in Syria plays host to a battle locked in a deadly stalemate

By Roland Oliphant
4 min read

Dotgone: ‘Fat and happy’ eBay seemed untouchable - big mistake

A shadow of its former self, the dotcom icon is on the verge of a breakup as Amazon surges ahead

By James Titcomb
5 min read


6 things you need to know about the world

Not exactly a selfie-friendly kitty

A jaguar clawed an Arizona woman who climbed over a barrier to take a picture at the Wildlife World Zoo near Phoenix, officials said, and the zoo assured animal lovers the big cat would not be put down. Cellphone video of the incident showed at least one gash on the woman’s left forearm as she writhed on the ground in pain on Saturday. “I hear this young girl screaming: ‘Help, help, help’ ... and the jaguar has clasped its claws outside the cage around her hand and into her flesh,” witness Adam Wilkerson told Fox 10 television. Wilkerson’s mother distracted the jaguar by pushing a water bottle through the cage, and Wilkerson said he pulled the woman away. Cellphone video later showed the animal chewing on a plastic water bottle. The identity of the woman, in her 30s, was being withheld, said Shawn Gilleland, a spokesman for Rural Metro Fire. She was taken to a hospital and treated, then later returned to the zoo to apologise, Gilleland said. “She wanted to take a selfie or a picture of the animal, and she put her arm close enough to the cage that the cat was able to reach her.” - Reuters

Thief took the Mickey out of Disneyland

A suspended driver’s licence and a stash of drugs are an unsurprising find for California cops. But $10,000 worth of Disneyland merchandise as well? That’s what authorities discovered when they caught a thief who had been stealing from the “happiest place on Earth”, reports foxnews.com. California Highway Patrol officers said they seized the goods after pulling over a man in Rosamond who had sped past a school bus with its red light flashing and stop sign displayed. It was not clear how the unidentified man, who was driving a Nissan Sentra when he was pulled over, had managed to steal the merchandise. Google Maps puts Rosemond about 173km from Disneyland. – Staff reporter

From pots to pot for Martha Stewart

She is 77 years old and best known for dispensing advice on such vital matters as how to tidy up a linen closet or make the perfect cheesy vegetable frittata. Now, Martha Stewart is branching out into the marijuana business, as America's most celebrated domestic goddess teams up with a Canadian cannabis business, Canopy Growth Corporation. In perhaps the most eye-catching demonstration of how cannabis has entered the mainstream, Stewart will help the company develop an array of products for humans and animals. Recreational use of cannabis is now legal in 10 states in the US and four others – New Jersey, Utah, New Mexico and Missouri – will probably join their ranks in the foreseeable future. According to one study, as many as 55 million people – roughly 17% of the US population – are regular cannabis users. – © The Daily Telegraph

Socrates may be able to park off again

It is one of the least green cities in Europe, but Athens hopes to change that by opening up a long-hidden river that flows through the historic heart of the capital. In ancient times, the Ilissos River was an idyllic, winding watercourse shaded by plane trees where Socrates once taught. “Let us turn aside here and go along the Ilissus; then we can sit down quietly wherever we please,” Socrates told his followers, according to an account by Plato. But in the 1930s it was covered over and a tram line was built on top it. Poor maintenance and the rumble of thousands of trams have caused structural damage to the tunnel beneath the track, and in October the tram line was closed down. Urban planners suggest that rather than spending millions on reinforcing the tunnel and repairing the track, the tram line should be diverted and the river opened up. They also propose creating a park along a 1.6km stretch of the formerly forgotten river. – © The Daily Telegraph

Quack-down roots out bogus doctors

The label should have made it clear that the medicine was not for people. With pictures of camels, horses and cows, as well as the words “Veterinary use only”, there could be little doubt about the intended recipient of the vial of steroids. Yet as far as the poor – and often illiterate – patients being given injections at Mohammad Kashif's backstreet clinic knew, they were receiving the best of care. His lucrative business was halted one evening earlier this month by the abrupt arrival of Dr Saeed Ashgar, deputy director of Punjab's Anti-Quackery Department. As Dr Ashgar burst in through the clinic door accompanied by an armed policeman, the bogus doctor appeared ready to bolt until the health official took his arm and his defiance wilted. “Many times a quack shows violence and sometimes their nearby relatives come and join in,” Dr Ashgar explained later. Dr Ashgar and his anti-quackery cell are at the forefront of a crackdown on unregistered doctors in Pakistan who can wreak medical havoc on patients and who officials say are a public health menace. – © The Daily Telegraph

Pipes call the wee bairns of Punjab

Umer Farooq’s grandfather and father made bagpipes. Now he is the third generation to take up the tradition in Pakistan, which is thousands of kilometres from Scotland yet sells thousands of bagpipes each year. In the Mid East factory in Sialkot, Punjab province, where Farooq is a manager, workers carve the wood and polish it. Rosewood or ebony serve as the blowstick, into which players exhale. The drones - long pipes with a lower tone - follow a similar process. They are then attached to a bag, and often covered with tartan. “In my family, all the boys know how to make a bagpipe, step by step,” said Farooq. South Asia has had for centuries its pungi, a wind instrument used for snake charming, and shehnai, a traditional oboe. But the bagpipe had to wait until the mid-19th century for British colonialists to bring it to subcontinental India, of which Pakistan was a part before independence and partition in 1947. - AFP
Bereaved people look for the name of their family to mark the anniversary of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
REMEMBRANCE Bereaved people look for the name of their family to mark the anniversary of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
Image: Kyodo/via Reuters



Do you think Apple’s bank will work? Why not, old fruit?

Apple has more cash than it knows what to do with. What the hell, start a bank already!

By Mark Barnes
4 min read

Spectre of Steinhoff hovers as Tongaat sinks into the mire

Shareholders continue to react to last week’s news that certain past accounting practices were being reviewed

By Ann Crotty
1 min read

Woolies is onto a winner with former Clicks boss Kneale

Under CEO David Kneale, Clicks went from being a solid performer to a stellar retailer

By Larry Claasen
1 min read



Just for the record: When old age creeps up on you

A fortnightly review of music on vinyl

By Andrew Donaldson
9 min read

Book extract: Shady doings off the coast of Mozambique

A Royal Navy stalwart and MI6 agent must protect a yacht’s high-profile passengers from a terrorist threat

By Edmund-George King
5 min read

Las Vegas hotel makes Hirst story - for $100,000 a night

Controversial artist is laughing all the way to the bank after his latest project at The Palms Resort & Casino

By Tymon Smith
1 min read



SPORTS DAY: Old hands back as selectors continue to tinker

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

David Isaacson
4 min read

Do Banyana really have a prayer at the World Cup?

Performance in the recent Cyprus Cup was disappointing, but many lessons were learned in defeat

By Nick Said
3 min read

Blasts from the past: That unforgettable 438 run chase

Today in SA sports history: March 12

David Isaacson
1 min read