Thursday, March 14 2019



I’m issuing more death certificates than report cards: Education MEC

The education MEC is reeling after going to the scene of yet another school stabbing, this one in Mondeor

Naledi Shange
6 min read

Pupils caught in the middle as two villages feud over land

Nearly 1,000 schoolchildren miss weeks of learning amid a border dispute in the Eastern Cape

Bongani Fuzile
4 min read

My f*k Lesufi! A zone that wide and you still run into a bad policy

With leadership like ours, the mother in that viral clip said it for all of us when she uttered: ‘My f*k Marelize’

4 min read



How Eskom didn’t try to save mine from Guptas

Between the Gordhan cross-examination fracas and yet more trouble for Vytjie Mentor, it was a trying day for Zondo

Amil Umraw
4 min read

Elderly witness surprises Packham murder trial

Witness says anxious man resembling Packham sped off in a car similar to his wife's but with missing plates

3 min read

Black-on-black use of k-word: Two other cases could affect verdict

Case law emerging from two racism cases could be used in landmark legal row between two black business bigwigs

Shain Germaner
3 min read

Pour outlook: the rain has come but SA’s ‘not out of the woods’

The department of water and sanitation says surface water indicators are improving, but there is a way to go

2 min read

New treatment puts big dent in deadly drug-resistant TB scourge

Shorter drug course is is having a huge impact in SA following a four-country landmark trial

3 min read

Cyclists clock miles to put smiles on kids’ dials

Group of big-hearted riders hit the road to raise R120,000 to correct cleft lips and palates

Nivashni Nair
2 min read



Foul play: US colleges exploit athletes, and excuses don’t wash any more

It's a billion-dollar business in which coaches are richly rewarded, and it gets away with not paying any of its players

By Daniel Schofield
3 min read

Never trust a flirt – they are the reason the birth rate is falling

Flirting and sustaining a domestic relationship are very different things

By Hannah Betts
4 min read

F-bombs kicking gravestones: what went on off-camera during ‘Four Weddings’

The hit comedy's creators describe often chaotic scenes, and why they've made a sequel 25 years later

By Helen Brown
10 min read


Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro and foreign minister wait for Paraguay's President Mario Abdo in Brasilia.
PILLARS OF GOVERNMENT Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro and foreign minister wait for Paraguay's President Mario Abdo in Brasilia.
Image: Reuters/Ueslei Marcelino

Six things about SA you need to know

‘State capture’ leaders make ANC MP list

ANC leaders implicated in corruption and state capture have made the party’s list of potential members of parliament after the May 8 elections. This is according to ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule, who on Wednesday submitted the final list of names of representatives to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) in Centurion. He confirmed that controversial ANC heavyweights including Nomvula Mokonyane, Bathabile Dlamini, Malusi Gigaba and Mosebenzi Zwane are on the ANC’s list. “Anybody who has not been found guilty by a court of law is on the list,” said Magashule. This was despite the ANC saying in January it would consider unethical conduct as a reason to disqualify people from the list. Top of the list are President Cyril Ramaphosa and Deputy President David Mabuza. Third is party chairperson Gwede Mantashe, followed by Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Ronald Lamola.

Bail for taxi driver who hit teens

Siboniso Zwane, the driver of the taxi that killed three Newlands East schoolgirls, has been granted R3,000 bail. Zwane appeared in the Ntuzuma Magistrate's Court on Wednesday. He allegedly fled the horrific crash scene where the bodies of the three girls lay on a main road in Newlands East. He handed himself over to police last week. Magistrate Ravi Pillay told Zwane he was not to interfere with any of the witnesses nor enter the Ntuzuma magisterial region. He also has to report to the Tongaat police every Wednesday. Zwane faces three counts of culpable homicide. A fourth girl is recovering in hospital. It is alleged that Zwane was the driver of the taxi that ploughed into the girls while they were standing on a pavement on March 6.

Mandrax seized on Intercape bus

Drugs worth nearly R2.5m were seized on an Intercape bus in Bloemfontein, Free State police said on Wednesday. Spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Thabo Covane said the bus had been travelling between Pretoria and Plettenberg Bay. It arrived in Bloemfontein on Monday at about 10.30pm. "During offloading, five big travelling bags that could not be accounted for were found. The staff member became suspicious as the bags were not tagged," said Covane. On arrival, police inspected the bags and found mandrax tables inside. The drugs were divided into transparent bags containing about 500 tablets each. He said the drugs weighed 177kg and had an estimated street value of nearly R2.5m. No arrests have been made. Intercape management said the company had launched an investigation.

‘Feared’ taxi boss hands himself over to cops

Mamelodi taxi boss Vusi "Khekhe" Mathibela handed himself over to the police in Germiston on Tuesday evening. Police had obtained a warrant for his arrest on Monday in connection with allegations of extortion, intimidation and assault. SowetanLIVE previously reported that Mathibela was accused of involvement in an alleged extortion ring in Mamelodi. Local business people were allegedly forced to pay protection fees. Among his alleged victims were taxi owners who apparently had to pay him R200 a week per minibus.

Students set fire to university campus building

Police and security officials were on high alert for most of Wednesday after protesters set fire to a building and damaged property on the Westville campus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Student representative council president Sanele Hlongwa confirmed there was a protest on the campus on Wednesday. He said he wasn't aware of who was behind the fire or the protest, adding that the SRC had met university management on Tuesday. An agreement had been reached that students would not embark on any protest action on any of the campuses pending the finalisation of meetings to address their grievances. Footage of the building on fire has surfaced on social media with a warning to students to stay away from lectures. This follows attacks in the morning in which university property was damaged. A quad bike was torched at the risk management service building while the guardhouse windows were damaged.

R4.7bn project to ease KZN water networks

Umgeni Water announced on Wednesday that construction of its R4.7bn uMkhomazi bulk water scheme will start in 2020. Speaking at a water and sanitation department media briefing in Durban ahead of National Water Week next week, Umgeni Water CEO Thami Hlongwa said economic growth and the migration of workers in and around Durban had placed pressure on the eThekwini and Msunduzi municipalities. "For us, from the bulk-water side, we have to ensure that we have adequate plans in place to service the growth patterns that we are seeing within the N3 corridor and the metro itself.” Hhlongwa said the scheme was in the planning phase. "It is a R4.7bn scheme in terms of estimation ... It will be the biggest scheme built post-apartheid in KwaZulu-Natal."


David Beckham attended the unveiling of his official statue outside as LA Galaxy paid tribute to him. Little did he know it was a prank.



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 FREE

This is the real deal the UK needs: Theresa May needs to exit

The PM's authority has been chipped away, and she is about to lose control of events, so she really should go

By Philip Johnston
6 min read

To Pell in a handbasket: how cardinal went from Vatican flat to jail cell

He was once Australia's top-ranking Catholic, but it all came crashing down when he was convicted of child sex abuse

By Byron Kaye
4 min read

Keeping up with Kylie Jenner is a billion-dollar lesson for businesses

It would be easy to dismiss her success as the latest manifestation of dumbed-down celebrity culture, but hang on ...

By Matthew Lynn
5 min read


Fighters of Syrian Democratic Forces stand near IS fighters and their families who surrendered in the village of Baghouz, Syria.
CAPTURED Fighters of Syrian Democratic Forces stand near IS fighters and their families who surrendered in the village of Baghouz, Syria.
Image: Reuters/Rodi Said

6 things you need to know about the world

Come up to my coffin and see my etchings

For the past few weeks Harry Kajevic has been sleeping in a 2.4m x 2.4m capsule flat in a clandestine location. He is one of the first residents of a ‘beehive-style’ housing project, inspired by those in Japan or Hong Kong, which has opened in Barcelona despite not having a permit from the city authorities. Around 20 tiny ‘living pods’ include a bed and nightstand. They are housed side by side in a building with a shared kitchen, bathroom and terrace — all for €200 (about R3,240) a month. But Barcelona’s left-wing city hall says that such tiny accommodation is unfit for humans. The smallest ‘living pods’ are 2m long, 1.2m wide and just 1.2m in height, meaning an adult cannot stand up in them. — AFP

Pay attention, BLF, the Aussies have a plan

Australia’s High Court on Wednesday ruled that Aboriginal owners stripped of land rights should be compensated for ‘spiritual harm’, in a landmark ruling that could spark a slew of cases countrywide. The court ruled that the Ngaliwurru and Nungali peoples in the Northern Territory were entitled to compensation for being disconnected from their lands by the government. Portions of the land in the isolated northern town of Timber Creek were used by the state government to build infrastructure, impinging, the court said, on ‘native title’ rights and interests. The court upheld a ruling that the group was entitled to compensation not only for the value of the land and lost interest, but ‘compensation for cultural loss’. — AFP

This means nothing to us, oh Vienna

Vienna has been named the city with the best quality of life for a 10th consecutive year. The Austrian capital was one of eight European cities in the top 10 in the survey by Mercer, a human-resources consultancy. In second place was Zurich, followed in joint third place by Munich, Vancouver and Auckland, New Zealand. Dusseldorf in Germany took sixth followed by Frankfurt, Copenhagen, Geneva and Basel. The survey is based on housing, political stability, crime, leisure, air pollution, infrastructure, the health system, education and the economy. The lowest ranked city was Baghdad at 231. Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic, and Sanaa in Yemen were 230th and 229th respectively. — AFP

Why don’t you two get a room?

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday slammed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as a ‘dictator’ and ‘a joke’ in the latest exchange of insults between the two leaders. Turkey on Tuesday denounced Netanyahu’s ‘blatant racism’ after he called Israel the nation-state of ‘the Jewish people’ only, not all its citizens. Netanyahu struck back on Wednesday. ‘Turkey’s dictator Erdogan attacks Israel’s democracy while Turkish journalists and judges fill his prisons. What a joke!’ Turkey and Israel have tense relations and Erdogan, who regards himself as a champion of the Palestinian cause, is a vocal critic of Israeli policies. — AFP

No-man’s land for the posh in Big Apple

With an arts centre, posh stores, ultra-expensive apartments and lots of controversy, the largest privately funded real estate development in US history opens on Friday in Manhattan. Hudson Yards took seven years and a cool $16bn to build on a giant slab of concrete covering a rail depot. In this new neighbourhood, some apartments will fetch as much as $30m. The area between 10th and 12th avenues and 30th and 40th streets was long a no-man’s land. The complex has its own waste treatment, a blackout-proof electrical generating system and automatic underground doors to protect sensitive equipment from rising waters as a result of climate change. — AFP

Russia finally outlaws ‘Thieves in Law’

With their honour codes, elaborate tattoos and fearsome reputation, Russia’s crime bosses have for decades enjoyed a mythical status. The ‘Vory v Zakone’, or Thieves in Law, have been an untouchable mobster elite, accumulating vast fortunes with little fear of retribution. But a new Kremlin-sponsored bill, approved in its crucial second reading on Tuesday, is looking to put an end to their reigns. The ‘Thieves in Law’ emerged in the Soviet-era gulags, controlling the criminal underworld in Stalin’s prison camps. They developed their own subculture and jargon, similar to Italy’s Cosa Nostra or the Yakuza in Japan. They flourished in the chaos that followed the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, building huge criminal empires and branching out across Europe, the Middle East and North America. — AFP



Tito is right: kick politics out of the PIC, finish and klaar

To prevent abuse, it should be isolated from everything other than a mandate to make pots of money

By Peter Bruce
4 min read

Brace for PwC’s Steinhoff report — it won’t be pretty

Can it survive an onslaught of legal claims? It’s a tough call, but it might still evade the lurking crocodiles

By Rob Rose
4 min read

JSE be damned: So where to now for battling life insurers?

Poor investment returns can be blamed on local markets, so protecting capital reserves is essential

By Londiwe Buthelezi
1 min read



Fear and clothing: When the pubic goes public we love it

A weekly reverie on the vagaries and charms of fashion

2 min read

Sure, suits are cool, but keep an eye on your bum and boobs

Suits are the latest big wardrobe investment item, but make sure you choose one that flatters your shape

By Lisa Armstrong
5 min read

How common are you? Yes, you, with your ‘mindfulness’

British interior designer Nicky Haslam on what’s vulgar, which might or might not include his shiny tracksuit

By Nicky Haslam
2 min read



SPORTS DAY: Stormers roll out Trokkies for Jaguares

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

David Isaacson
5 min read
Sport FREE

Pity the poor Kolpak refugees as politics bowls a bouncer

Abbott, Rossouw and Olivier were in national reckoning when they were bitten by the Brexit bug. So now what?

3 min read