Tuesday, April 2 2019

THE BIG ISSUES

LEADING THE AGENDA

Andile Ramaphosa: The sins of the son come to visit?

There’s a  good story to be written on how Cyril made his money. For now, Blue Crane and Bosasa isn’t it

By Peter Bruce
9 min read

She lived the high life, allegedly on stolen cash, now can’t afford bail

Suspected serial con-artist Tracy Morrison back court and looking haggard after months in prison

Shain Germaner
Journalist
2 min read

Prosecutor hates me, Zuma says in latest court salvo

Former president says prosecutor Billy Downer is seeking his prosecution and conviction 'at all costs'

Karyn Maughan
Journalist
3 min read

Suicide fears and cop uniforms: veil lifted on Krejcir’s life behind bars

A criminal case against him has brought to light some shocking behind-the-scenes info on his incarceration

Shain Germaner
Journalist
3 min read

SMART NEWS

IN ONE TAKE

Home affairs lashed for banning blind woman’s dog

The department must apologise to the woman after she and her guide dog were refused entry to Mossel Bay branch

Belinda Pheto
Journalist
3 min read

This is the carrot medical aids should be dangling

They could save billions in healthcare costs by rewarding people for eating healthier, a study has found

2 min read

Heavy metal in SA sharks rocks the underwater world

Levels of metals such as mercury in great whites indicate the health of the ecosystem, with implications for humans

Dave Chambers
Cape Town bureau chief
2 min read

Protector blasts KZN health over state of public mortuaries

Mkhwebane wants morgues monitored after probe finds department 'prejudiced bereaved families'

4 min read

Government spends R3bn fixing shoddy RDP houses

Thousands of low-cost homes had to be demolished and rebuilt, and hundreds of companies have been blacklisted

Mpumzi Zuzile
Journalist
3 min read

IDEAS

TO FEED YOUR MIND

So, seriously, why will over 50% of us vote for the ANC despite all?

The majority of those who keep the party in business do so because their lives depend on it

Tom Eaton
Columnist
4 min read

Thanks to Moody’s, Cyril gets a lucky breather to fix Eskom

He needs time to set the country right again, as he has promised he will do. Rating agency is prepared to wait

By Carol Paton
4 min read

Rather a much-wed lothario than a Scrooge who has never said ‘I do’

Some of the kindest and most attractive men march under the much-married banner - we should treasure them

By Rowan Pelling
3 min read

SNAPSHOT

Cherry blossoms begin to bloom in Washington, U.S.
Take a bower Cherry blossoms begin to bloom in Washington, U.S.
Image: Carlos Barria/Reuters

Six things about SA you need to know

Cyril mulls NPA report on Jiba and Mrwebi

Justice Yvonne Mokgoro has submitted her report on whether senior National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) officials Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi are fit to hold office. It is not yet known what Mokgoro and her fellow panellists have recommended to President Cyril Ramaphosa. Early this year, the inquiry heard six weeks of evidence dealing with, among other things, prosecutorial decisions taken on politically sensitive cases, such as the decisions to withdraw charges against former crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli and to institute racketeering charges against former KZN Hawks head Johan Booysen. Ramaphosa suspended Jiba and Mrwebi on full pay in October 2018, pending the finalisation of the inquiry. Inquiry spokesperson Bongiwe Gambu confirmed that the report had been submitted to the president. Ramaphosa's spokesperson, Khusela Diko, said the president was studying it.

Strike at Sars half-over as union accepts deal

Half of the workers at revenue service Sars had ended their strike by Monday afternoon. This after the Public Servants' Association (PSA) reached a wage agreement with the employer. However, the National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) was still consulting its members about the offer presented by Sars. The tax authority's executive for remuneration and benefits, Takalani Musekwa, confirmed that the PSA had signed an agreement. According to the agreement the PSA signed with Sars, employees will receive a salary increase of 8% from April 1 this year. Both unions have more than 4,000 members each at Sars. "We trust that Nehawu will come back and accept the offer that has been put on the table," Musekwa said.

Murder accused mayor gets R20k bail

Newcastle mayor Ntuthuko Mahlaba has been granted bail of R20,000 following a brief bail application in the Madedeni Magistrate's Court on Monday. He was arrested more than a week ago in connection with the 2017 murder of former ANC Youth League official Wandile Ngobeni. Mahlaba, a medical doctor who was sworn in as mayor in February, was remanded in custody after his first appearance last week Monday. He remained in prison until his bail bid. His supporters gathered outside court called for his immediate release, brandishing placards saying "Mahlaba fights corruption".

System upgrade blamed for ID, passport glitches

Home affairs branches were experiencing problems on Monday after a live-capture system upgrade at the weekend, the department said. Technical teams were working on the problem. "Some offices are still unable to process Smart ID card and passport applications due to technical errors today," it said. "All other services are available at front offices across the country, like processing and issuing of certificates for births, marriages and deaths." The department apologised for the inconvenience, saying the upgrade was necessary.

Soldiers studying in Cuba suspended after AWOL

The SA National Defence Force suspended 35 soldiers last week after they went absent without leave in Cuba for more than a month while they were on a course there. “These members were sent to Cuba in 2018 to study medicine and have been on AWOL since February 2019,” SANDF spokesperson Brigadier General Mafi Mgobozi said. “The Military Command Council wants to state it emphatically that the SANDF will not tolerate any ill-discipline within the SANDF and drastic action will be taken against any member of the SANDF who brings the defence force into disrepute.” Defence minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said during her 2018 defence budget vote speech that there were 202 students training to become doctors in Cuba.

Striking municipal workers trash Mthatha

Striking King Sabata Dalindyebo municipal workers trashed several streets in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape on Monday morning. The affected area includes the busy York Road, Sutherland Street and Madeira Street. The strikers want mayor Dumani Zozo to be suspended until the completion of a forensic report instituted by the national treasury into claims of maladministration, fraud and corruption at the troubled municipality. They also want their allowances reinstated and more than 200 Expanded Public Works Programme and casual employees to be made permanent municipal employees. Municipal spokesperson Sonwabo Mampoza confirmed that work had come to a standstill in the area owing to the strike.

THE VISUAL SIDE

Former president Jacob Zuma was seen living his best life during the weekend. He posted a picture of himself and one of his daughters relaxing in his 'Nkandla firepool' and captioned it with Muhammad Ali's famous line about the secret to winning: 'Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.'


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

New Japanese imperial era ‘Reiwa’ takes name from ancient poetry

It's meant to reflect the beauty of Japanese culture and  dreams coming true, but not everyone's convinced

By Elaine Lies and Malcolm Foster
4 min read

Tribe suffers in deadly battle for riches of Venezuela’s El Dorado

'Blood gold' has turned the Gran Sabana into a killing ground that could shape the troubled country's future

By Hannah Strange
6 min read

Skrillex stops mozzie bloodsucking in his tracks

Pests are so entertained by the dubstep artist's music that they bonk far less and cut down on their blood feasting

By Telegraph reporters
2 min read

Gucci-coo: R1.6m gold dummy, cashmere tops await royal baby

The booming luxury baby goods market is being given a diamond-encrusted helping hand by Harry and Meghan

By Jayson Mansaray and Marie-Louise Gumuchian
2 min read

SNAPSHOT

Tightrope walkers over the Emmaus Monastery in Prague.
wires and spires Tightrope walkers over the Emmaus Monastery in Prague.
Image: David W Cerny/Reuters

6 things you need to know about the world

Student mistook killer’s car for Uber

A US college student was murdered after getting into a stranger's car that she thought was her Uber ride, police say. Officers in South Carolina said they have arrested a suspect for the murder and kidnapping of Samantha Josephson, 21. She was last seen by roommates early on Friday in the city of Columbia, but they became separated from her. Worried, they later called police, Chief William Holbrook said. Officers initially began a missing person's investigation, distributing photos of her talking on a phone on the street, and of a car she was seen getting into. The driver had "approached the victim... while she awaited transportation, Holbrook said. "She had summoned an Uber ride and was waiting for that Uber ride to come. We believe she mistakenly got into this particular car" instead of the Uber. Hunter's found her body in a "very rural" area outside the city that same day. – AFP

Russia fines Jehovah's Witness for ‘extremism’

A Russian court has found a Jehovah's Witness guilty of participating in an extremist organisation and ordered him to pay a $5,000 fine, authorities and the religious movement said. The prosecution had demanded three years in jail for 56-year-old Sergei Skrynnikov, who was the second Jehovah's Witness to be convicted in Russia of having links to an extremist organisation. Last month, the same court imprisoned a Danish Jehovah's Witness, Dennis Christensen, for six years. The Jehovah's Witnesses, a US-based Christian evangelical movement, decried the verdict. Russia brands the movement a totalitarian sect and in 2017 designated it as an extremist organisation, ordering its dissolution. In recent weeks the movement has reported a growing wave of raids on the homes of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia. – AFP

Catholic priests burn Harry Potter books

Catholic priests in the northern Polish city of Koszalin burned books they say are sacrilegious this weekend, including tomes from British author JK Rowling's Harry Potter series of fantasy novels. "We obey the Word," priests said in a Facebook post showing photographs of the public book burning and quoting Biblical passages from the book of Deuteronomy in the Old Testament. One passage exhorting believers to destroy the enemies of God includes the passage "burn their idols in the fire". The post shows three priests carrying a basket of books and other items including an African-styled face mask through a church to an outside fire pit. – AFP

Unknown footage of Lennon, Ono found

Fifty years after John Lennon and Yoko Ono famously staged a honeymoon “bed-in” for peace in an Amsterdam hotel, a Dutchman has unearthed 30 minutes of colour footage of the event from his cellar. The couple spent a week mostly under the sheets at the Hilton hotel to spread a pacifist message. The European leg of their honeymoon, which included an unusual press conference in Vienna with the glamour pair obscured inside a giant “bag“, was a huge media event, each step captured by photographers and videographers. This included a Dutch team shooting footage for a two-part, 84-minute documentary. It was broadcast only once, shortly after the honeymoon, and shown at the Edinburgh Film Festival the same year before disappearing into the archives of broadcaster KRO, where Jan Hovers was employed in the 1980s. During a major clean-up of used film reels he stumbled upon a tin marked: “Mr & Mrs Lennon’s Honeymoon” earmarked for the rubbish heap. – AFP

Comic may have last laugh in polls

A comedian whose political experience is limited to playing the president on TV is likely to top the first round of voting as Ukrainians go to the polls Sunday. Actor Volodymyr Zelensky’s bid started as a long shot but he has leapfrogged establishment politicians amid public frustration over corruption and stagnating living standards. The 41-year-old star of the political comedy Servant of the People, is polling above 25%, well ahead of his nearest rivals. If Zelensky wins the presidency he will lead a country of 45 million people that in recent years has known war, loss of territory and uprisings, and remains one of the poorest nations in Europe. – AFP

Death by gas denied

The US Supreme Court on Monday denied a Missouri murderer a chance to avoid execution by lethal injection after his lawyers argued that the procedure might inflict undue agony because of a rare medical condition in an unusual case concerning which method should be used to impose the death penalty. The justices ruled 5-4 that Russell Bucklew, 50, had failed to present enough evidence for them to let him ask a lower court to allow him to be executed by lethal gas because lethal injection might rupture blood-filled tumours on his body that result from a congenital condition called cavernous hemangioma. - Reuters

THE BUSINESS

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

When the red mist descends, how about we just chill out?

We’ll only solve our challenges as partners. If we fight now, there’ll be nothing left to fight for once we’re done

By Mark Barnes
4 min read

Allan Gray takes big chunk of Kap off Steinhoff’s hands

Other investors could now be tempted to buy into one of the few remaining, and well-run, industrial stocks

By Ann Crotty
1 min read

Ascendis shareholders take another vicious shellacking

Problem is that it’s not clear how many shares Shayne and, by extension, Coast2Coast will still have to offload

By Giulietta Talevi
1 min read

LIFESTYLE

CULTURE COMES ALIVE

Bookmarks: Nazis, spies, porky pies and mushy peas

A fortnightly look at books, writers and reviews

By Andrew Donaldson
10 min read

Read into this bestseller list what you like, but at least read

SA’s most popular books in March

By Jennifer Platt
6 min read

Book review: Sex and drugs and tupperware bowls

In ‘How Was It For You?’, Virginia Nicholson wonders what it was really like being a woman in the 1960s

By Lynn Barber
6 min read

‘Nyasaland Analysand’: The tangling of Samson Kambalu

Artist weaves his Malawian roots into films, installations, paintings and drawings now on show

By Tymon Smith
2 min read

SPORT

FINISH LINE ESSENTIALS

SPORTS DAY: Brawling hookers make up, but too late

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

David Isaacson
Journalist
3 min read

Stink of Brexit taints the hallowed turf of Wembley

Maybe the stadium being sold out on Saturday was a delusion – or that it was filled with deluded sellouts

Telford Vice
Journalist
4 min read