Thursday, May 23 2019



Dead end? Just what is going on with the M2 highway in Joburg?

Leaked minutes from a City of Joburg meeting suggest not much has been done since its closure in February

4 min read

Zim said Mugabe spy boss was ill, but autopsy says he bled to death

A report - seen by Times Select - starkly contradicts the official version of Peter Munetsi's demise

By James Thompson
3 min read

Happy ‘weirdos’: Family swaps city stress for camper van adventure

Home schooling, a tight squeeze and engine problems didn't put a damper on road trip of a lifetime

3 min read



It’s our land, labour tenants tell Hilton College

Claimants want to convince the highest court in the land to appoint a special master to oversee their claim

4 min read

Killer Packham’s daughter dotes on her ‘wonderful’ dad

‘He was a wonderful father, and I hope that he can one day have the same impact on my kids as he did on me’

By Dan Meyer
3 min read

Former top cop abducted and raped girls, paid R50 for their silence

Judge says the former superintendent is ‘an accomplished liar’ after he denied raping nine-year-old and a teenager

Shain Germaner
3 min read

Cape Town coffee school lays down grounds for change

Woza Coffee School targets local young adults, turning them into top-flight baristas

By Sumin Woo
3 min read

Zim shot down for lifting ban on buffalo bow hunting

Move to lure loaded foreign hunters is a dreadful development, says one wildlife expert

By Peta Thornycroft
1 min read



Action will tie young whites – and blacks – to Cyril’s tree

Leaving SA is no longer a race issue - South Africans of all hues are escaping the harsh realities of post-apartheid SA

4 min read

Meet the 99-year-old ouma standing up to Vietnam’s coal rush

They bulldozed the house she has called home since birth, but the country's fossil fuel addiction won't budge her

4 min read
Ideas FREE

The naked truth: are diners fed up with Jamie Oliver?

Overexpansion may be just one reason for the collapse of the celebrity chef’s restaurant empire

By Oliver Gill
3 min read


Six things about SA you need to know

Bungling as MPs nominate speaker

ANC’s Thandi Modise was named as the National Assembly speaker after a vote by newly elected MPs on Wednesday. The voting was done by secret ballot after the DA nominated its member, Richard Majola, to challenge Modise. The two parties made their nominations just before the lunch break, following a swearing-in ceremony presided over by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, during which new and returning MPs took the oath of office. But there were glitches, since both the ANC and the DA committed administrative gaffes that were picked up by the chief justice and parliamentary officials assisting him. Modise was nominated by planning, monitoring and evaluation minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, with former tourism minister Derek Hanekom seconding her candidacy. This included the form nominating Modise reflecting her already as the speaker. DA chief whip John Steenhuisen then moved to nominate Majola, but there was a bungle on their forms. Modise won the vote 250 to 83.

Mabuza asks not to be sworn in as MP

ANC deputy president David Mabuza has asked not to be sworn in as a member of parliament. ANC presidency head Zizi Kodwa made the announcement on Wednesday ahead of a swearing-in ceremony of newly elected MPs. Kodwa said Mabuza had decided to "postpone" his taking the oath of office until he had addressed the ANC's integrity commission, which has red-flagged him and other party figures as not suitable to represent the governing ANC in parliament. Kodwa said Mabuza had sent his request to the ANC top six office bearers, who include President Cyril Ramaphosa, and they had agreed to it. "In the meantime, he [Mabuza] has decided nevertheless to follow the dictates of his conscience and postpone his swearing-in as a member of the National Assembly out of respect for the ANC’s institutions and processes,” said Kodwa. Mabuza's announcement could have an implication for the composition of Ramaphosa's cabinet.

Makhura narrowly retains Gauteng premiership

Gauteng ANC chairman David Makhura headlined a list of ANC nominees who were voted in as provincial premiers on Wednesday. Makhura beat the DA’s Solly Msimanga by 38 votes to 32 during the first sitting of the provincial legislature. Elsewhere, the ANC’s majority meant that its representatives took the top positions in provincial cabinets. In KwaZulu-Natal, Sihle Zikalala was sworn in, while Oscar Mabuyane was sworn in as premier in the Eastern Cape. Stan Mathabatha will return as Limpopo premier, and Refilwe Mtsweni will take up the position in Mpumalanga. Zamani Saul was elected premier in the Northern Cape, while Job Mokgoro and Sefora Ntombela were elected in North West and the Free State respectively. The DA’s Alan Winde was sworn in as premier of the Western Cape - the only province where the ANC does not have the premiership.

Murder-accused mayor elected deputy speaker

The appointment of Mluleki Ndobe as deputy speaker in the KwaZulu-Natal legislature on Wednesday has raised eyebrows. The provincial legislature sat for the first time on Wednesday. Ndobe was recently charged with the murder of ANC Youth League secretary-general Sindiso Magaqa. However, the charges were provisionally withdrawn due to a lack of evidence. His election did not go down well with the IFP, which regained its status as the official opposition after the May 8 elections. On Tuesday, the three men still charged with Magaqa's murder were denied bail in the Umzimkhulu magistrate's court.

It’s ‘jealous down’ as Ramaphosa praises Malema

A video in which President Cyril Ramaphosa congratulates EFF leader Julius Malema on his party's growth, using the term "jealous down", has gone viral on Twitter. The two bumped into each other in parliament on Tuesday during the registration of new members of the house, ahead of them being sworn in on Wednesday. "Congratulations. I was telling deputy that you worked very hard. Jealous down," to which Malema said, "thank you", as they both laughed at Ramaphosa's choice of words. "Jealous down" means that one is impressed. The 19-second video had more than 8,000 likes and more than 400 comments by Wednesday morning. Many praised the two for not taking politics personally and for being civil towards each another.

Mokonyane withdraws from ANC MP list

Outgoing environmental affairs minister Nomvula Mokonyane was not sworn in as an MP despite being scheduled to on Wednesday. This came after she declined the offer to take up a seat in the National Assembly, just hours before MPs were due to be sworn in. The ANC confirmed that she had withdrawn her name from the ANC MP list. ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe said: “Comrade Nomvula has since advised the ANC that due to family responsibilities and her being in mourning … she believes she would be unable to diligently and with commitment fulfil her duties at this stage.” The ANC's national executive committee had designated Mokonyane to become the National Assembly's chair responsible for portfolio committees, a position known as the chair of chairs.


With the ANC's new top 10 set to be sworn in on May 22 2019, we look at the top 10 and its most controversial figures. Subscribe to TimesLIVE here:



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



Looks like China is raring to unearth a weapon of mass production

There are fears of fierce retaliation to the US should China weaponise its ‘important strategic resource’

4 min read

The princess and LA shaman: a spiritual guide to wedded bliss

He is LA's favourite 'healer 'and Martha Louise of Norway's new boyfriend. So what is behind Shaman Durek's charm?

By Anna Maxted
7 min read

May in the last-chance saloon where support has run dry

Her latest Brexit deal is an attempt at pleasing everyone that succeeds in pleasing no one

By Camilla Tominey
3 min read
World FREE

French mayor decides it takes free Viagra to raise a village

With falling birth rates, Jean Debouzy decided to take the bull by the horns

By Henry Samuel
1 min read


Flares are set off from a guided-missile destroyer and navy vessels during a military drill near Hualien, Taiwan.
FLAREUP INTO A CLOUD Flares are set off from a guided-missile destroyer and navy vessels during a military drill near Hualien, Taiwan.
Image: Reuters/Tyrone Siu

6 things you need to know about the world

You may look strong, little lady, but ...

‘Game of Thrones’ may have been lauded for strong female characters but men still took the limelight with about three quarters of speaking time. Men dominated the final season most of all, according to data research firm Ceretai, suggesting that what women think and say is still not seen as important. Women are known to be consistently under-represented on screen. They took only 40% of all speaking characters in US prime time television in 2017-18, according to research by San Diego State University. — Reuters

Where wolf? There wolf! Bang!

The German government on Wednesday relaxed rules on culling wolves as the population of the predator has grown since its return to the country two decades ago. In cases of repeated attacks against sheep flocks or cattle herds, individuals can be hunted down even if it is unclear which animal in a pack was responsible. Previously, wolves could only be culled if they were deemed to spell a real threat to human lives. The environment ministry estimates that there are 400 wolves in Germany, while the German Hunters’ Association believes the population is more than 1,000 strong. — AFP

You mess with us, Trump, we mess with Boeing

China’s three biggest airlines have asked US plane-maker Boeing to compensate them for losses caused by the grounding and delayed deliveries of 737 MAX jets. The requests come at a sensitive time in Sino-US relations, with a string of tit-for-tat import tariffs. The US administration’s latest tariff increase on $200bn worth of Chinese imports — and hints of more — has prompted fear that China could retaliate against US companies. China was the first country to ground the 737 MAX two months ago after a crash in Ethiopia killed 157 people in March, in the second such incident for Boeing’s newest aircraft. China has now grounded 96 aircraft, which is about 4% of its aeroplanes. — Reuters

Sharks feed demand for sex-selective abortion

Shady middle-men are openly advertising on Chinese social media to smuggle blood samples of pregnant women to Hong Kong to skirt the mainland’s ban on gender testing. The business thrives on an underground network that serves the huge demand for illicit sex-selective abortion in mainland China — driven by limits on family size and an entrenched cultural preference for sons. Gender testing — except on medical grounds — is outlawed in China, where sex-selective abortions have helped create a surplus of about 31.6 million men, with some 115 boys born for every 100 girls last year. — AFP

Giant park to transform Eiffel Tower area

The city of Paris has chosen US landscape architect Kathryn Gustafson to redesign a huge area surrounding the Eiffel Tower into a garden, a project that will banish almost all vehicle traffic near the immensely popular monument. Gustafson is best known internationally for her memorial fountain for Britain’s Princess Diana in Hyde Park, London. A total of 54ha, currently crisscrossed by several roads including two major thoroughfares on each side of the Seine river, will be largely turned over to pedestrians and bus and bike lanes. Seven million people visit the tower each year. — AFP

No nuclear, no coal — Germany cleans up nicely

As Germany plans to shutter its coal sector, the government pledged on Wednesday to pour €40 billion into mining regions to stimulate growth and jobs. Germany decided to phase out nuclear power by 2022, and pledged in January to also end the use of dirty coal by 2038 in order to meet its climate targets. The country meets one third of its electricity needs with clean renewables such as wind, solar and biogas. Much of the money will be spent on roads, rail lines and internet cables to make the old coal regions more attractive for investment. The aim is to attract modern high-tech businesses, such as a plant to produce batteries for electric vehicles. — AFP



Bull’s Eye: How long can you make a bubble last?

Nvidia was the darling of the boom in semiconductor stocks, falling victim to its outrageous popularity

By Jeremy Thomas
3 min read

It took a while, but Richemont has wrapped up e-commerce

Buyout of online retailers was the main reason group sales rose 27% to €14bn for the year to end-March

By Larry Claasen
1 min read

We know you like ciggies, Mr Rupert, but UK insurance?

PensCorp now represents over 30% of Reinet’s net asset value, gradually filtering out the influence of BAT

By Marc Hasenfuss
1 min read



Losing weight: Do you have to choose your ass or your face?

Can you dump kilos without gaining wrinkles?

By Maria Lally
4 min read

Tiler, the creator: Handmade ceramics are sheer eye candy

Knysna’s Akashic Tiles have drawn the gaze of style-savvy creatives, major designers and architects

By Mila Crewe-Brown
3 min read

Luxury for less: The frugal beauty of secondhand style

Companies reselling fancy brands are popping up across SA, and the discounts are pretty unbelievable

By Emma Jordan
4 min read



SPORTS DAY: Allrounder spot going begging for cup opener

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

David Isaacson
Sports reporter
3 min read

Raheem Sterling revs up his righteous rage against racism

Teams getting points deductions, getting kicked out ... this is when people start taking it seriously, he says

By Sam Dean
2 min read

Blasts from the past: Petelo shuffles closer to IBF crown

Today in SA sports history: May 23

David Isaacson
Sports reporter
1 min read