Friday, April 12 2019



What on earth was a private lawyer doing on state team in Zuma case?

Public protector is probing the enlisting of Asif Essa's firm by the State Attorney's office

Jeff Wicks
3 min read

Zuma smells an ‘obsession’, prosecutor smells a lawsuit

Former president accused of defamation after saying in a court application that state prosecutor hates him

Karyn Maughan
3 min read

I was blocked by a ‘blue curtain’ at Ipid, says McBride

Ex-directorate boss recalls dodgy goings-on and ‘rampant abuse’ at Crime Intelligence

Amil Umraw
4 min read




Jail for Terrible Josters means joy for neighbours

Violence has dropped since these gang members were put behind bars - so that's where they'll remain, says judge

Dave Chambers
Cape Town bureau chief
4 min read

Townships’ problem ‘isn’t foreigners, it’s gangs’

Panel of xenophobia experts challenges the idea that migrants and refugees are straining township economies

By Desi LaPoole and Kamal Morgan
2 min read

Storm rages over cancer drugs that cost an arm and a leg

Activists say generic equivalents cost a fraction of what pharmaceutical companies are charging

2 min read

Uber victim has no memory of the crash and his family no answers

It has been a month and the police have still not arrested the driver, says his uncle

2 min read

Cubs put cheetahs on the fast track to a wilder future

Arrival of Karoo-born trio a vital step towards boosting the gene pool of the wild population across SA

Dave Chambers
Cape Town bureau chief
3 min read

Western Cape rocks the Cradle with new voyages into human origins

The province hopes to cash in on its ancient history by launching the Cradle of Human Culture

By Sumin Woo
2 min read



Ideas FREE

The black hole isn’t even a thing, but reminds us how little we know

This beautiful image, like each discovery we make, is a precious illumination of a vast, complicated truth

6 min read
Ideas FREE

Burning books is not protest, it’s an infantile effort to kill the truth

With echoes of the Nazis, the ANCYL’s plan to burn ‘Gangster State’ is a way to erase facts that challenge lies

Tom Eaton
3 min read

Disrespect for yummy innards is twaddle only the English can stomach

A column to satisfy your inner grammar nerd

Sue de Groot
3 min read


A Honduran migrant who lost his legs while on his way to the US in a previous trip talks to vendors in Guatemala.
DUST YOURSELF OFF A Honduran migrant who lost his legs while on his way to the US in a previous trip talks to vendors in Guatemala.
Image: Reuters/Luis Echeverria

Six things about SA you need to know

‘Your bacon is safe’ despite swine flu outbreak

The government has detected an outbreak of African swine fever on a farm in North West, but pork consumers do not need to be concerned. This is an assessment of Wandile Sihlobo, chief economist of the Agricultural Business Chamber of SA. On Wednesday, Reuters quoted the World Organisation for Animal Health as saying the outbreak killed 32 out of a herd of 36 pigs on a farm in the Ditsobotla district, with the remaining animals slaughtered. The disease is incurable in pigs but harmless to humans. Sihlobo said on his blog that he had confirmed the North West report with the CEO of the South African Pork Producers' Organisation, Johann Kotze, "who has clarified that these were specifically wild pigs". Local authorities are collecting evidence. Sihlobo said that, based on assurances from Kotze, there was no imminent threat to the SA pork industry, nor to consumers.

Crime kills the music as Oppikoppi canned

The 25th Oppikoppi music festival in the mining district of Northam, Limpopo, will not take place this year, after the 2018 event was ruined by criminals targeting attendees. It would have taken place between August 8 and 10, but the organisers decided the security cost would make ticket prices too high. They hope to bring the event back next year after reviewing their options. "This was a very big decision for us," said Theresho Selesho, CEO of Matchbox Live, owners of the festival, on Thursday. "For 24 years, Oppikoppi has been going great guns. Unfortunately, in 2018 we experienced the rampant crime currently impacting events and festivals across South Africa.”

After Eskom, next crisis will be water

SA will have a 17% water deficit by 2030 and unless urgent steps are taken to implement a range of integrated solutions, the country’s next looming crisis will be severe water scarcity. This emerged at a hard-hitting review of both Nelson Mandela Bay and the country’s water supply and use status at the Nelson Mandela University Business School on Wednesday, where experts warned of a water crisis that would mirror SA’s energy woes. Centred on drought-stricken Nelson Mandela Bay, the event – part of the “How to Build a City” series of conversations that address how the city can be rebuilt – served to elevate the metro’s prevailing drought crisis management approach to one directed at achieving long-term water security.

Private schools’ entry tests ‘aim to exclude’

SA's private schools have been accused of being exclusionary and elitist by using entrance tests to cherry-pick only the most intelligent pupils for enrolment - seemingly to secure good pass rates. Last month, Pretoria West businesswoman Innocentia Mashele, 36, was left bitterly disappointed after Crawford College Pretoria said her 12-year-old daughter, Ntshuxeko, "did not do well" in the entrance test. Mashele, who was hoping to enrol Ntshuxeko in Grade 8 in 2020, said: "They only want children who are stars yet they are supposed to produce stars in children who are average," she said. Crawford Schools managing director Morag Rees said the tests were used to determine whether a child was ready for a particular grade. "Applicants who do not meet the requirements for the expected grade have the opportunity to write again later in the year." Pupils found to still be not ready were offered a place in a lower grade.

Malema, Shivambu to sue ex-EFF MP

EFF leader Julius Malema and his deputy Floyd Shibambu said on Wednesday they were briefing their lawyers to sue former party MP Thembinkosi Rawula. Malema said he would sue Rawula, who resigned on Wednesday, to the tune of R1m, while Shivambu did not disclose details of his lawsuit against Rawula. Rawula made headlines last week when he claimed that the pair had admitted in a meeting of the party's central command team to have personally benefited from the looting of VBS Mutual Bank. Malema said Rawula would have to back up his claims in court.

Joburg spends R1bn on power, backlog is R19bn

Johannesburg will spend more than R1bn in the current financial year on upgrading its infrastructure and building new substations to deal with electricity outages. MMC for environment and infrastructure services Nico de Jager told this to TimesLIVE on Thursday ahead of the official opening of a substation in Heriotdale, south of Johannesburg. He said the substation would add stability to Johannesburg’s power grid. City Power said the new substation addresses outages experienced by residents, businesses and industries, especially in the southeastern parts of Johannesburg. " We have budgeted R1.25bn on refurbishment and new infrastructure," said De Jager. "We are spending over 70% of our budget on refurbishment and building. The other 30% will be spent on infrastructure that is not necessarily related to power." He said then that more than 27% of the city's bulk transformers operated beyond their useful lifespans‚ while the electrical infrastructure backlog stood at a staggering R19bn.


The latest Disney live action adaptation, 'The Lion King', from director Jon Favreau roars to life with new trailer.



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



It’s a sweet win for Netanyahu, but Israel’s got the Bibi blues

Despite winning a record fifth term, the prime minister teeters on a precipice between triumph and tragedy

By James Sorene
3 min read

Walrus death plunge ‘is always in my head – and that’s a good thing’

'Our Planet' director describes what really made them jump off a cliff, and has the perfect response to her critics

By Joe Shute
6 min read

How to cope when dead loved ones keep popping up on Facebook

Even Sheryl Sandberg found reminders of her late husband hurtful. But there is a an obvious solution: get off Facebook

By Jessica Barrett
6 min read

Irritable bowels: the way to your gut is through your mind

In a study, training IBS sufferers to change their way of thinking led to a dramatic improvement in the condition

By Henry Bodkin
2 min read


WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange arrives at the Westminster Magistrates' Court after he was arrested in London.
WinkyLeaks WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange arrives at the Westminster Magistrates' Court after he was arrested in London.
Image: Reuters/Hannah McKay

6 things you need to know about the world

Millennials rock the ballot

From Indonesia's hip-swivelling juggernaut dangdut to thumping rock bands and Islam-infused tunes, music could be the clincher for winning hearts, and votes, as the world's third-biggest democracy heads to the polls next week. Political platforms aside, candidates know it is entertainment that draws the crowds to campaign rallies in music-mad Indonesia. Among the examples is popular rock band Radja, which performed in support of president Joko Widodo, better known as Jokowi. Screaming "where are Jokowi's fans", Radja's energetic show and thumbs-up for Indonesia's heavy-metal music loving leader resonates with young voters who make up almost a third of the electorate. Jokowi's camp has said winning over millennial and first-time voters was crucial. – AFP

No nausea for a Virgin space cadet …

Beth Moses was in the cabin of a Virgin Galactic spaceship when it climbed to 90km above California's Mojave Desert on February 22, crossing the boundary of the atmosphere into space and becoming one of the few non-astronauts to achieve the feat. The Virgin employee, who will now train the company's future space tourists, made the vertical ascent propelled by a rocket at three times the speed of sound. "No, none at all, none at all," she said when asked if she experienced nausea during her flight. "I didn't expect to have any, and I did not have any." Virgin Galactic is one of two companies, along with Blue Origin owned by Amazon's Jeff Bezos, that is now hoping to send tourists to space for a few minutes. – AFP

… but SpaceX is full of wind

SpaceX postponed what would have been its first commercial launch with the Falcon Heavy rocket on Wednesday, citing strong wind in the upper atmosphere. The next window for the mission is Thursday, the company said. The rocket is to carry a Saudi satellite operated by Arabsat, a year after sending founder Elon Musk's red Tesla roadster into orbit as a test. The Falcon Heavy had been scheduled to lift off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 6.36pm and place the six-ton Arabsat-6A satellite into geostationary orbit about 36,000km above Earth. – AFP

‘Game of Thrones’ author waits to see ending

Game of Thrones, the fantasy epic imagined more than 20 years ago by author George RR Martin, will have its much-anticipated finale on HBO later in 2019. But in a strange twist never before seen in literature, Martin will himself discover the on-screen ending of his long-running masterwork before he has had a chance to conclude the fantasy on paper. “Obviously, I wished I finished these books sooner so the show hadn’t gotten ahead of me,” Martin recently told Entertainment Weekly before the final season begins airing on April 14. “I never anticipated that.” When the Emmy Award-winning TV series about noble families vying for the Iron Throne was launched in 2011, the American author had only written four of the seven books that make up his Song of Ice and Fire saga. His fifth, A Dance with Dragons, was published in July 2011, a few weeks after the end of the first season. – AFP

Chinese scientists up to more monkey business

Chinese scientists have implanted human brain genes into monkeys, in a study intended to provide insights into the unique evolution of human intelligence. Researchers inserted human versions of MCPH1, a gene that scientists believe plays a role in the development of the human brain, into 11 rhesus monkeys. They found the monkeys’ brains - like those of humans - took longer to develop, and the animals performed better in tests of short-term memory as well as reaction time compared with wild monkeys. However, the monkeys did not grow bigger brains than the control group. The test, the latest in a series of biomedical experiments in China to have fuelled medical ethics debates, has already drawn ethical concerns, and comparisons with dystopian sci-fi Planet of the Apes. – AFP

Justice shines for Geoffrey Rush

Oscar-winner Geoffrey Rush won damages of at least $610,000 on Thursday after a court ruled that the Australian arm of News Corp defamed him by saying he behaved inappropriately toward a co-star in a production of King Lear. The Federal Court, which found News Corp’s Daily Telegraph tabloid in Sydney failed to prove its stories were true, will later determine further damages for economic harm, such as Rush’s loss of film roles and the effect on his career. “This was in all the circumstances a recklessly irresponsible piece of sensationalist journalism of the worst kind, the very worst kind,” Judge Michael Wigney said. Rush, 67, said the articles were hastily compiled because the Telegraph wanted an Australian angle on accusations of sexual assault levelled at US film producer Harvey Weinstein. Wigney agreed and said the paper failed to properly inquire into the facts before it published. - Reuters



Sibanye-Stillwater: All about prudence and pulling levers

CEO Neal Froneman has overseen the raising of R1.7bn in fresh capital, all the while keeping an eye on Amcu

By Giulietta Talevi
5 min read

Woolies: Not quite a takeaway joint but getting pretty close

Fast-food outlets had better watch out – Woolworths and partner In2Food are deeply into ready-to-eat meals

By Larry Claasen
1 min read

Prasa: A big job to turn this rolling laughing stock around

How Ramaphosa intends keeping his election promise to make commuter trains run on time is anyone’s guess

By Allan Seccombe
1 min read



Five reasons why ‘Supa Modo’ will be your new fave movie

Kenyan superhero yarn has a 100% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes and won acclaim in Toronto

By Staff reporter
4 min read

Won’t you take us to the bioscope?

The films opening in our cinemas this week

By Critics’ choice
3 min read

How European history creeps up on ‘Game of Thrones’

Striking parallels when you look closely at George RR Martin’s characters, now in their eighth season

By Amy Blumsom
3 min read



SPORTS DAY: Bafana nipping straws for a sweet Afcon draw

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

David Isaacson
5 min read

Shame that Stormers are just going through the motions

Team should change the coach now – Robbie Fleck’s outfit has only three wins in seven games

Craig Ray
3 min read

Blasts from the past: Simon Magakwe bursts under 10sec

Today in SA sports history: April 12

David Isaacson
3 min read