Tuesday, March 19 2019



Whooping cough epidemic in SA throws up shockingly low vaccination rates

Poor vaccine coverage is one of the causes of the spike, as crisis reveals unsettling stats for other diseases as well

4 min read

ANALYSIS: Ramaphosa has begun the load-shedding we do want

Don't worry, the Zuma faction is on the wane and the president's plan seems to be working

By Peter Bruce
3 min read

She hoped her ‘vibrant’ girl would be alive and return. Neither happened

A two-week-long search for her missing daughter ended in heartbreak for a KZN mother

By Orrin Singh and Lwandile Bhengu
2 min read

Vicki Momberg is at it again, except she’s still singing the same old song

Convicted racist is trying to appeal her crimen injuria ruling using arguments similar to the ones in her failed defence

Shain Germaner
5 min read



Madonsela and other bright minds have a plan for SA’s recovery

The former public protector is aiming for a more just and equal SA by 2030

Tanya Farber
4 min read

Ballito’s Muslims want a mosque. They get a bureaucratic brick wall instead

Zululand Islamic Society's three-year fight to secure a site has again and again been defeated by red tape

4 min read

Wits students create app to take genetics to the masses

The idea is to spread the word that it's not just about cloning and X-men, and that genetics isn't outlandish

Tanya Farber
1 min read

Things Saffers can’t live without: water, oxygen and phones

Most South Africans say owning a cellphone represents freedom, and it turns out we're not alone in our obsession

Nivashni Nair
1 min read



Sharpeville was horrific. Let’s not shroud it in euphemism

We should reflect on our history as it really happened, and take heed of its warnings about the future

Tom Eaton
4 min read

News flash (again): socialism is a stupid, rotten way to run a country

This supposed paradise has never been achieved anywhere - how many times must we try it out to see it doesn't work?

By James Bartholomew
2 min read

Fast friends: seeking a chum for my empty-nester mom

Are platonic match-making sites the answer to helping older women find new confidants?

By Helen Chandler-Wilde
6 min read


Venezuelan artist Deborah Castillo performs in Sao Paulo, Brazil, as a form of protest against totalitarianism and oppression.
AND SHE GAVE A LICK TO BOOT Venezuelan artist Deborah Castillo performs in Sao Paulo, Brazil, as a form of protest against totalitarianism and oppression.
Image: Nelson Almeida/AFP

Six things about SA you need to know

KZN mayor to appear over Magaqa slaying

Harry Gwala municipality mayor Mluleki Ndobe is expected to appear in the Umzimkhulu Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday in connection with the 2017 murder of former ANC Youth League leader Sindiso Magaqa. A second man, who has not been named, is also expected to appear. Ndobe serves on the ANC’s provincial working committee and previously served as the deputy provincial secretary. His arrested was confirmed by the ANC’s KwaZulu-Natal leadership on Sunday. Magaqa and two fellow councillors came under attack outside his Umzimkhulu home. Although he survived the hail of bullets, he died in a Durban hospital despite appearing to be on the road to recovery. At the time of his death, Ndobe was refused entry to Magaqa’s home by angry protesters.

Gupta naturalisation was ‘incorrect’

Parliament's home affairs portfolio committee has recommended that the SA citizenship granted to Ajay Gupta's family be revoked, saying it was granted fraudulently. The committee’s report follows an investigation into the early naturalisation application, and the "preferential treatment" the family enjoyed with home affairs during the tenure of Malusi Gigaba as minister. The committee also recommended that Ashu Chawla's SA citizenship be revoked because he was the "central person" in the manipulation of application processes and the facilitation of illegal visas for Gupta-linked Indians. Chawla is a naturalised South African of Indian descent who allegedly acted as a fixer for the Guptas. The committee added that Chawla and members of the Gupta family should be criminally charged for having submitted false information in their application. The committee found it was reasonable to conclude that the Gupta family and Chawla "had a degree of influence over affairs of the department of home affairs and Gigaba".

Fix train crisis or heads will roll: Cyril

ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa has lamented the crisis for SA’s train commuters, saying the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) must fix the situation immediately "otherwise heads will roll". Ramaphosa was on an elections campaign drive in Tshwane on Monday, taking a 50km train journey from Mabopane to Pretoria. The experience was far from positive. The trip took three hours because of delays and the train getting stuck along the way. "We saw for ourselves how the train service is really bad … We also saw that at the stations, essential services such as toilets are dysfunctional and we saw that there is no safety at the stations nor inside the train,” said Ramaphosa. “We are going to talk to Prasa to get things right or otherwise heads must roll."

Cops nab 2 for KZN teacher’s murder

Police have made a breakthrough in connection with the recent murder of a teacher who was gunned in his school cottage in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Thulani Zwane said two men, aged 23 and 27, were arrested in connection with the murder of Phakamani Terrence Nxumalo, who was a maths and science teacher at Lugaju High School in Impendle. Nxumalo, 35, was gunned down in his cottage in the Inzinga area in Impendle just before midnight on March 7. Zwane said the two suspects, Thokozani Dladla, 23, and Nkosinathi Ngingi, 27, appeared briefly at the Impendle Magistrate’s Court on Friday and the matter was adjourned until Tuesday.

Ashes of SA woman on way from Bahamas

An Umlazi, Durban, woman who died in the Bahamas last month was cremated on Sunday. Mbali Bhengu, the sister of Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) cruise waitress Buhle, 30, confirmed on Monday that Buhle had been cremated after the family viewed her body. Mbali and three family members left SA for the Bahamas on Friday to join two other relatives who had flown to the holiday island in the Caribbean after all efforts to repatriate Bhengu’s body to SA failed owing to international health standards and safety concerns. Bhengu - who was due to return home on Wednesday next week after her contract with MSC ended - fell ill in January and died in February from what authorities said was tuberculosis. However, her family refuse to accept this and claim they have been given three different diagnoses. The family is expected to return home on Wednesday with Buhle’s ashes.

‘Major’ power outage hits northern Joburg

Stage 4 load-shedding wasn’t Johannesburg’s only problem on Monday as a "major" power outage left a large swathe in the northern parts of the city without electricity. "A high-voltage Eskom power line feeding most City Power substations in the north of Johannesburg has tripped, causing a major outage in the northern areas, including parts of Midrand," tweeted City Power, adding that technicians were attending to the outage. The affected suburbs included Strydom Park, Ferndale, Bryanston, Cresta, Linden, Blairgowrie, Robindale and Noordwyk. It was not immediately clear when the power would be restored.




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



What the world needs now is more leaders like Jacinda Ardern

She had her doubters, but her response to the terror attack has been labelled ‘extraordinary’

By John Mair and Praveen Menon
3 min read

Facebook censored NZ terror clips – but too late to avoid censure

Worldwide fury at social media's refusal to take vetting of content seriously could have long-term consequences

4 min read

Hail shale: the sweet saviour of US energy ambitions

The second wave of the US fracking revolution is about to gush onto the market, with huge geopolitical implications

By Jillian Ambrose
4 min read

Poor old eggs are no longer flavour of the morning

Eating as few as three a week raises risk of heart disease, study suggests, although the Chinese beg to differ

By Sarah Knapton
2 min read


A demonstration on a beach asking for urgent measures against climate change in Marseille.
THE BEACH WON’T BE DRY FOR LONG A demonstration on a beach asking for urgent measures against climate change in Marseille.
Image: Reuters/Jean-Paul Pelissier

6 things you need to know about the world

‘When I die, ignore the Chinese’

The Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism, said on Monday it was possible that once he dies his incarnation could be found in India, where he has lived in exile for 60 years, and warned that any other successor named by China would not be respected. Sat in an office next to a temple ringed by green hills and snow-capped mountains, the 14th Dalai Lama spoke a day after Tibetans in the northern Indian town of Dharamshala marked the anniversary of his escape from the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, disguised as a soldier. He fled to India in early 1959 after a failed uprising against Chinese rule, and has since worked to draw global support for linguistic and cultural autonomy in his remote and mountainous homeland. China, which took control of Tibet in 1950, brands the 83-year-old Nobel peace laureate a dangerous separatist. - Reuters

Olympics’ greatest fan won’t see them

A Japanese Olympic mega-fan who attended every summer games since Tokyo in 1964 has died, just over a year before his home city was to host its second Olympics. Tokyo businessman Naotoshi Yamada, 92, who died on March 9 from heart failure, was a national celebrity in his own right with his repeated, gleeful appearances in Olympic stands. "Uncle Olympics", as he came to be known, was an omnipresent fixture for Japanese TV watchers cheering on the Japan team at the "Greatest Show On Earth". Often sporting a gold top hat, a kimono and a beaming smile, Yamada also became a darling of the international media. "After 92 years of his life spent cheering, Naotoshi Yamada, international Olympic cheerleader, was called to eternal rest on March 9, 2019," said his web site, managed by a firm he founded. – AFP

Air so clean they have to bottle it

As much of Asia wheezes, coughs and sniffles its way through another smog season, one isolated and windswept corner of Australia is serving as the global standard for clean air. With panoramic views of swaying tussock grass and the vast crystalline expanse of the Southern Ocean, Tasmania's beautiful Cape Grim peninsula is an unlikely reference point for the scientific world. But, since 1976 this wild and blustery spot has been home to the Cape Grim Baseline Air Pollution Station -- a small Australian government facility with the seemingly eccentric task of bottling air. "Our job is essentially to find air as clean as you're likely to find anywhere in the world and measure just how polluted it is," Sam Cleland, the officer in charge of the station, said. – AFP

Far-right politico lurches a little too left

A far-right politician in Sweden is facing possible expulsion from his party after proposing that the municipality where he serves as a councillor build a mosque to attract more immigrants to the city. Mark Collins, 63, an American who moved to Sweden in 1974, represents the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats on Kramfors municipal council. He said he believed attracting enterprising immigrants was the best way to fight population decline. "My idea is that if you have a mosque and a cultural centre, then you empower the Muslims to be responsible for our town and the area up here," he said. "Hopefully we will get a lot of them to come up and stay." The town, he said, was losing 100 people a year, with young people in particular moving south to Stockholm and Gothenburg in search of jobs. The surrounding Västernorrland county, meanwhile, was losing as many as 500 citizens a year. The Sweden Democrats' central leadership quickly condemned Collin's proposal as "sickening". – © The Daily Telegraph

Toll hits 157 as Idai batters Zim, Mozambique

Cyclone Idai killed at least 157 people in Zimbabwe and Mozambique as it tore across Southern Africa, officials and state media said on Monday. Vast areas of land have been flooded, roads destroyed and communications disrupted. The Mozambican port city of Beira has suffered huge damage, the Red Cross said. The storm has also pounded Malawi. It seemed 90% of Beira had been destroyed, said Jamie LeSueur of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. In Zimbabwe, the Chimanimani district has been cut off by torrential rains and winds of up to 170km/h that swept away roads, homes and bridges and knocked out power and communication lines. Information ministry official Nick Mangwana said 89 deaths had been confirmed countrywide. The Mozambican state news agency put the death toll in Beira at 68, although television channel TVM said about 84 people had died across Mozambique. - Reuters

Death row man’s racist claim spurned

The US Supreme Court on Monday paved the way for a black Georgia death row inmate to be executed, turning away his bid to challenge his death sentence for the 1990 murder of his sister-in-law on the basis that the trial was tainted by a racist white juror who questioned whether black people have souls. Keith “Bo” Tharpe was convicted and sentenced to death by a jury of 10 white people and two black people in Georgia’s Jones County. The allegations of racial bias arose from an interview with one of the jurors years later, not comments made during the trial. – Reuters



In the scramble for Africa, we need to start picking friends

Say China, India and Africa were an economic bloc. You’re talking about over 50% of the world population

By Mark Barnes
4 min read

Steinhoff: Crikey, PwC, was this the best you could do?

Fourteen months and 100 auditors later, all we have is a 10-page sanitised overview of the Steinhoff saga

By Ann Crotty
1 min read

Did a mining minister really set out to hobble the industry?

Concerns that spurious safety stoppages were enforced by Mosebenzi Zwane to punish some companies

By Allan Seccombe
1 min read



Bookmarks: Kurt Vonnegut Jr and how the banned played on

A fortnightly look at books, writers and reviews

By Andrew Donaldson
10 min read

Book extract: ‘The Suspect’ by Fiona Barton

If you liked ‘Gone Girl’ and ‘The Girl on the Train’ ...

By Fiona Barton
10 min read

Just chilling: art at the cold heart of climate change

‘News from Another World’, an exhibition by Robyn Penn, reflects on a world that is warming

By Alexandra Dodd
5 min read



SPORTS DAY: Uefa reckons CR is just a very naughty boy

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

David Isaacson
4 min read

World Cup 2019: On this form, Wales could take it as red

If the All Blacks’ hold is going to be broken, it’s a fair bet it will come from the rugby-mad team wearing scarlet

Craig Ray
3 min read

Blasts from the past: Tragedy in 1956 for Willie Toweel

Today in SA sports history: March 19

David Isaacson
2 min read