Tuesday, May 21 2019



People of SA ‘blinded by hatred’ of Zuma

Zuma’s defence suggests the belief that he’s ‘scum’ keeps people from seeing the ‘egregious’ way he has been treated

Karyn Maughan
3 min read

We don’t need big plot twists or grand climaxes from Cyril’s cabinet

Politics is not a blockbuster epic, and politicians can never deliver that final, deeply satisfying ending we crave

Tom Eaton
4 min read

Granny shot by cops wins mammoth damages claim

The pensioner was caught in the crossfire as police and protesters traded salvos

Jeff Wicks
Senior reporter
3 min read



Do or dial: Huawei users forced to ponder a switch

Trump’s order could affect tens of millions of consumers in Europe, its biggest foreign market

By Hazel Baker and Sankalp Phartiyal
3 min read

Packham your bags and go to jail, wife killer told

Judge paints picture of an agitated, disinterested and cheating husband, and finds him guilty of murder

By Sumin Woo
3 min read

Suicides double in Gauteng in the past year

It may indicate a trend towards a reaction to increased social, financial and political pressures, says Liberty report

2 min read

Joburg faces R130m ambulance budget cut

Already bedraggled service will also have the licence to operate its emergency vehicles pulled

Jeff Wicks
Senior reporter
3 min read

A few hiccups, but applying for schools online is working

Gauteng system went live on Monday, to be met with mixed reactions from parents but few real problems

Prega Govender
3 min read

Label of love: Cape pupil’s smart idea is food for thought

Grade 10 youngster's use of symbols and simple language on food labels scoops a top science award in China

4 min read



‘You won’t see tomorrow’ unless there’s a remedy in the Snake Belt

The race is on to halve the deaths from the world’s biggest hidden health crisis

By Colin Freeman and Paul Nuki
7 min read

‘Simply making a cup of tea can leave me pouring with sweat’

Despite the ordeals of motor neurone disease, ex-rugby player Doddie Weir is determined to enjoy his ‘living wake’

By Doddie Weir
5 min read

No cake, no wine, more kale … health advice to make you sick

To avoid a grisly early death, apparently I need to join the plant and fitness brigade - yawn

By Zoe Sadler
4 min read


Orphans from the northern city of Irbid break their fast at Amman Citadel, Jordan.
EMPTY STOMACHS Orphans from the northern city of Irbid break their fast at Amman Citadel, Jordan.
Image: Reuters/Muhammad Hamed

Six things about SA you need to know

Protector report on Vrede farm ‘unconstitutional’

The High Court in Pretoria has set aside public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane's report on the Guptas' Vrede diary farm project, declaring it unlawful, unconstitutional and invalid. The court found on Monday that Mkhwebane failed in her duties under the Public Protector Act and the Constitution in investigating and reporting on the project. Leaked e-mails that showed the Gupta family had significant control over the farm contract between Estina, a company linked to the family, and the Free State agriculture department, did not form part of the protector’s investigation. The report, however, gave no indication of the role played by then Free State premier and current ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule and then MEC for agriculture and erstwhile mineral resources minister Mosebenzi Zwane. The court held that it was “irrational” of the protector to, among others, not take into consideration the information in the public domain of evidence implicating high-ranking public officials and the Gupta family.

Bus driver found hanging after deadly crash

The driver of an Intercape bus that overturned in the Free State - killing at least eight people and injuring 45 - was found hanging near the crash scene early on Monday in an apparent suicide. The bus crashed on Alma Road in Welkom just before 5am on Monday. Police spokesperson Brigadier Motantsi Makhele said eight people died, including two children, while 45 others were injured and were taken to various hospitals. "The body of the driver was found hanging from a tree not so far from the accident scene," Makhele said, adding that an inquest docket had been opened. The Free State health department said the driver was 32 years old.

Three arrested after body found under bed

Three people have been arrested after the body of a man was found hidden under a bed in the Hopefield informal settlement north of Cape Town. Police spokesperson Colonel Andre Traut said on Monday police had received a tip-off about an unlicensed firearm and conducted a search operation in the area on Sunday evening. "The search was extended to an outside informal dwelling in the yard, where the members found a body of a 54-year-old man hidden under a bed," he said. Traut said three people living on the property - aged 22, 28 and 30 - were arrested and charged with murder. The cause of the man's death was not yet known. "It is suspected that he was killed a day before his body was discovered. The firearm that was sought is yet to be found," said Traut.

EFF MP says FF+ leader will lose his teeth

The EFF's Mpumalanga chairperson Collen Sedibe has come under fire after a tweeting that a man believed to be a Freedom Front Plus member will not finish his term "with all his teeth". "Today I met this witwolf from FF+ in the legislature. I told him straight that I hate racist whites with passion. I don't think he will finish the term with all his teeth. He must pray that they don't allocate a seat near me," he tweeted, with a picture of a man next to him. FF+ Mpumalanga leader Werner Weber confirmed that it was him in the picture. Weber declined to comment on the matter, saying Sedibe could not be taken seriously. Party spokesperson Pieter Swart said they would support Weber's decision not to take action at this stage. The EFF could not be not reached for comment.

SABC radio staff back to work after diesel spill

The SABC Radio Park building in Auckland Park, Johannesburg, has been cleared and declared safe for occupation following a four-day clean-up operation. The SABC said a final air sampling and health and safety inspection was conducted by the Johannesburg emergency services and fire departments on Sunday. "All employees based at the Radio Park building must report for duty on Monday May 20 2019 and staff from the Wellness Centre will be on standby should anyone require any health-related examination," the broadcaster said. Staff were evacuated from the building on Wednesday after a diesel tank overflowed following a power failure. A detailed report on the incident will be submitted to the labour department, as required by legislation, the SABC said on Sunday. An assessment of the damage would continue to quantify the financial implications of the diesel spill.

Fire forces Soweto hospital evacuation

The Bheki Mlangeni Hospital in Soweto was evacuated after a fire broke out in one of the rooms at the administration block on Monday morning. Some patients were transported by emergency medical services personnel to other facilities, including Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Diepkloof, while others were loaded into buses. Patients were seen sleeping on their hospital beds which had been placed in the hospital's parking area, while others were sitting on chairs while being helped by medical staff. A male patient with a drip attached to his hand said they were woken at about 6am. "There was a lot of smoke," he said. There were no injuries reported, and the City of Johannesburg said on Monday afternoon that the cause of the fire was not yet known.


Helen Zille sent the Twittersphere into overdrive after tweeting about “black privilege” on Friday May 17. Among those outraged by Zille's comments are some influential South Africans.



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



Election forecasters never saw the ‘quiet Aussies’ coming

Yet again, the pollsters got it wrong, as they did in the 2016 US election and Brexit

By Tom Westbrook and Jonathan Barrett
3 min read

Sketch spared from fire is ‘the very first Michelangelo’

The artist burnt a large number of his own drawings and sketches, making this an even greater discovery

By Dalya Alberge
3 min read

It’s not all and tiaras breakfast in bed: The daily life of a duchess

The ‘spender’ fields questions about her best and worst financial decisions, her first job and being ripped off

By John Wright
5 min read

School brings in Aristotle as an antidote to ‘superficiality’

Life lessons courtesy of the Ancient Greek philosopher are being used to counter the obsession with social media

By Camilla Turner
1 min read


The Duchess of Cambridge speaks with a visitor at her garden at the Chelsea Flower Show in London.
THEY AREN’T DOLLS, THEY’RE GNOMES The Duchess of Cambridge speaks with a visitor at her garden at the Chelsea Flower Show in London.
Image: Yui Mok/Pool/Reuters

6 things you need to know about the world

There’s a Fox in Trump’s hen house

President Donald Trump criticized Fox News again Sunday in the latest hint that he is souring on what has been his favorite and most faithful news outlet.As part of a flurry of afternoon tweets, Trump took the conservative network to task for interviewing Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg, the 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana."Hard to believe that @FoxNews is wasting airtime on Mayor Pete, as Chris Wallace likes to call him. Fox is moving more and more to the losing (wrong) side in covering the Dems," Trump wrote, alluding to the Fox interviewer.Trump added: "Chris Wallace said, 'I actually think, whether you like his opinions or not, that Mayor Pete has a lot of substance … fascinating biography.' Gee, he never speaks well of me."Trump again mocked Buttigieg, referring to him as Alfred E Neuman, the goofy cover boy of US humour magazine Mad. – AFP

Nazi end to their stint as journos

Qatari state-funded broadcaster Al Jazeera suspended two journalists on Sunday over a video they produced claiming the extent of the Holocaust was being misrepresented by Jews. The clip, posted by Al Jazeera’s online AJ+ Arabic service, claimed “the narrative” that the Nazis killed six million Jews was “adopted by the Zionist movement”. Six million Jews were systematically killed by the Nazis during World War 2. Images of the persecution of European Jews living under Nazi rule, as well as photographs of those killed, were overlayed with narration asking “why is there a focus only on them?” The video said that “along with others, the Jews faced a policy of systematic persecution which culminated in the Final Solution”. But the clip went on to suggest that because of the Jewish community’s access to “financial resources (and) media institutions“, it was able to “put a special spotlight” on the suffering of the Jews. – AFP

Tent-and-tuxedo set are a Cannes-do lot

In a tiny tent on a campsite in the hills outside Cannes, Christopher and Noe are wrestling with their tuxedos before heading off in the hope of hitting the festival's red carpet. Like dozens of other cash-strapped film fans, they have pitched up at Le Ranch, a campsite just down the road from the five-star splendour of the film festival. They arrived in Cannes on a budget train ticket after scoping out the cheapest possible way to make the festival and getting hold of a free three-day pass that the festival offers to cinema enthusiasts under 28. A 20-minute bus ride from La Croisette, the three-star campsite has become a popular haunt for festival-goers who could never afford the eye-watering prices charged by the town's hotels, whose rates skyrocket during the movie extravaganza. – AFP

Climate change denial a hot election tool

They deny global warming, oppose wind farms, defend diesel engines and coal mines, and mock teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg as a green "cult" leader. Politicians of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) have discovered climate change denial in their campaign for European Parliamentary elections. In times of bitter social polarisation, the AfD has trained its sights on those voters who see ecological issues as an elitist concern that kills jobs and hurts industry. It has become the AfD's third major issue after it protested eurozone bailouts and then Europe's migrant influx - both of which have lost much of their potential to energise angry voters. Stella Schaller of Berlin's Adelphi environmental policy think-tank said the AfD was indeed addressing an issue on many voters' minds, but with "an anti-liberal, anti-scientific ideology". – AFP

Doctors stop support for vegetative man

French doctors Monday began switching off the life support of a quadriplegic man who has been in a vegetative state for the last decade, in a hugely controversial case that has divided France. The dispute over the fate of Vincent Lambert has split his own family and even become a subject of political tension in France ahead of the weekend’s European elections. His parents, devout Catholics, have repeatedly launched court action to keep him alive — in defiance of his wife and five siblings who are in favour of his right to die. Doctors said the halt to his life-support would start Monday following a final judicial ruling to end the nutrition and hydration Lambert receives in the Sebastopol Hospital in the northern French city of Reims. – AFP

Gay brigadier cops a sacking

A former Indonesian police brigadier has filed a complaint to the human rights commission claiming he was fired for being gay, his lawyers said on Monday, in what could be a test case in discrimination in the Southeast Asian country. The resident of Semarang city in Central Java, who declined to be identified, also separately sued the provincial police in March alleging a violation of the law on discrimination. His legal challenges come amid rising government and public hostility towards the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer community community in the world’s largest Muslim-majority country. Homosexuality is not a crime in Indonesia, except in the ultra-conservative Islamic province of Aceh, but some religious groups have called for it to be banned. - Reuters



It’s about time we started writing our own success story

Foreign capital and foreign expertise will only come at the right price once we’ve got our own house in order

By Mark Barnes
4 min read

Sibanye offer: Is Lonmin nuts to hold out for a sweeter deal?

Shareholders get sniffy about the all-share bid, and decide on May 28 whether going it alone is worth it

By Allan Seccombe
1 min read

Dis-Chem Pharmacies: Pills and thrills and bellyaches

Strike was a R76m blow to Dis-Chem but it obscured how well the group performed in the past 12 months

By Larry Claasen
1 min read



Just for the record: Let me take you on a Bruce cruise

A fortnightly review of music on vinyl

By Andrew Donaldson
7 min read

Bunny money: Koons trumps Hockney as priciest living artist

At $91m, Jeff Koons’s 1986 stainless steel sculpture ‘Rabbit’ smashes record set by ‘Portrait of an Artist’

By Tymon Smith
1 min read

Book extract: ‘Two Weeks in November’ by Douglas Rogers

The astonishing untold story of the operation that toppled Robert Mugabe from power in Zimbabwe

By Douglas Rogers
7 min read

‘Kunene and the King’: Kani and Sher crackle and spark

Theatre icons light up the stage with complex humanity

Claire Keeton
Senior features writer
2 min read



SPORTS DAY: He’s won the gongs, now can he win caps?

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

David Isaacson
Sports reporter
3 min read

Nice to have you, Arnie, but where were our boxing greats?

Brian Mitchell wasn’t at the Boxing Awards, and neither were many, many other former stars of the ring

David Isaacson
Sports reporter
2 min read

Blasts from the past: Bailey earns his Man U red stripes

Today in SA sports history: May 21

David Isaacson
Sports reporter
1 min read