Friday, June 7 2019



Fraud-accused billionaire Martin Levick loses bid to save assets

Palatial properties, luxury cars and other trappings of wealth are now firmly in the hands of court trustees

Jeff Wicks
2 min read

You can bank on the Bank, says Cyril amid confusion

As conflicting messages emerge over the role of Reserve Bank, president assures SAs its mandate will remain intact

Zingisa Mvumvu
3 min read

What a tweet: Why on Earth did Mkhwebane take her Gordhan spat online?

Constitutional expert says protector's new way of announcing progress in crucial probes is ‘unprecedented’

Karyn Maughan
3 min read



Shell botched the petrol attendant saga, say experts

The company should have rewarded him before the public did, but instead gave in to 'PR fluff'

4 min read

Donate R500k to a charity of his choice? Just give him that money, Shell!

When the hype dies down, Nkosikho Mbele will still be tending to cars he’ll never afford

3 min read

What makes Mbele’s kindness a different kind of Ubuntu?

Some say the story was such a big deal only because it was a black man helping a white woman

3 min read



I spy with my underwater eye fishes’ secret lives

Scientists and fishermen have teamed up to spy on SA fish, and what they've discovered has surprised them

Bobby Jordan
3 min read

Finish in sight for horse trainer in race row

A KZN racehorse owner and trainer first took Gold Circle to court on an allegation of racism in 2008

Nivashni Nair
2 min read

Comrades runners step in the right direction for their causes

Scores of runners, including activist Mark Heywood, will use the ultra-marathon to raise funds for charity

2 min read

Donating soles is soul food for Brazilian Comrades runners

A campaign by the couple has seen thousands of pairs of shoes being donated to South Africans in need

1 min read

For men serious about gender equality it starts with 50 minutes

If men took on more unpaid care work in the home it would 'tip the scale toward equality', a new report says

Tanya Farber
3 min read



By the rivers of babble-on, there I sat down

People are the worst, I thought. People should just shut the hell up. Then I thought again

5 min read

Pride and joy: 50 years on, New York’s gay scene is still fabulous

A revolution began with the Stonewall riots in 1969. Its legacy is still being celebrated in style

By Mark C O’Flaherty
7 min read

We all triumph in the sharing of miles and minds

A column to satisfy your inner grammar nerd

Sue de Groot
4 min read


A man drives a sulky across Omaha Beach on the sidelines of a ceremony in Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer, France, in homage to Native Americans who took part in the D-Day landings of WWII.
SEA-SIDELINES A man drives a sulky across Omaha Beach on the sidelines of a ceremony in Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer, France, in homage to Native Americans who took part in the D-Day landings of WWII.
Image: Loic Venance/AFP

Six things about SA you need to know

MPs in call to avoid another Nkandla

MPs want the National Assembly to establish an oversight committee to hold the presidency to account for the money allocated to it. Opposition parties - the DA and Inkatha Freedom Party specifically - have long been calling for such a committee. In the first meeting of the assembly's rules committee on Wednesday the IFP’s Narend Singh reiterated the call, citing a Constitutional Court ruling on the Nkandla matter which found that the National Assembly had failed in its constitutional duty to conduct oversight on the president. The call was roundly supported by other MPs. ANC deputy chief whip Dorris Dlakude said an earlier meeting of chief whips had touched on the matter, and discussions would continue between political parties. The Constitution says the National Assembly should provide for mechanisms to ensure all executive organs of state in national government are accountable to it.

Man beaten after ‘gang boss’, son killed

An alleged Sexy Boys gang boss and his 20-year-old son were gunned down in Lentegeur, Cape Town, on Wednesday, before the suspected gunman was kicked and beaten by residents. Police stopped the assault and arrested the man. Video footage is circulating on social media of a crowd furiously kicking and beating a man until he loses consciousness, at which point police step in and drag his limp body to a police van. The man died later in custody. Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Andre Traut confirmed the incident. He said a 20-year-old man was detained on two murder and two attempted murder charges. "It is alleged that the suspect opened fire on four people sitting in a garage. Two males, aged 43 and 20, were fatally wounded and a 19-year-old female and an unknown person were wounded.” Police say they are on alert for potential flare-ups arising from gang tensions.

Leopard kills staffer’s son in Kruger Park

A 30-month-old was killed by a leopard at the Kruger National Park on Wednesday night. The staff member’s son was attacked at the Malelane Technical Services living quarters at about 8pm. The boy was certified dead by doctors at the Shongwe hospital. SANParks CEO Fundisile Mketeni offered condolences to the family. “It is never easy to lose a loved one, especially under such tragic circumstances. This is the risk we live with on a daily basis as we help conserve our species for the benefit of all,” said Mketeni. Park officials said rangers searched for the animal on hearing of the attack. "The offending animal was found and shot dead to remove the danger of another person falling victim." Commenting on how the attack could have occurred, the park said: "Predators do interact with tourists and staff and at times it may result in species like leopard getting habituated to people and losing their fear.”

Forest High stabbing suspect in custody for now

The 20-year-old accused of the fatal stabbing of fellow Forest High School pupil Daniel Bakwela and injuring two others will be kept in police custody until Monday. He appeared in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court on Thursday. The soft-spoken pupil brought a bail application through an affidavit read by his attorney, Mudi Mavhengani. He said his application was urgent because he was a Grade 11 pupil in the middle of his midyear exams. However, the court postponed the case to Monday due to a "material defect" and error in the dates on his affidavit and for him to have a closer look at the school's age policy. Mavhengani told the court his client had been under physical attack by the STK gang and acted in self-defence. The prosecution's proposed bail conditions include that he must be moved to another address, attend another school and report to a police station every 15 to 18 hours.

Former minister Shabangu quits parliament

Former social development minister Susan Shabangu has resigned as an MP. Shabangu was left out of the new cabinet appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa last week, having been a minister for the past decade. Ramaphosa appointed her to social development in February 2018 as that department was facing a crisis around distribution of social grants to millions of poor South Africans. Before then she served for almost four years as the minister in the presidency responsible for women. Her first appointment as a cabinet minister was in May 2009 when then president Jacob Zuma made her mineral resources minister. She had been a deputy minister from 1996. Parliament said on Thursday there were seven vacancies in the 400-seat National Assembly.

Ramaphosa probe at advanced stage: Mkwebane

Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane confirmed on Thursday that her investigation into whether President Cyril Ramaphosa lied to parliament about the R500,000 Bosasa donation is at an "advanced stage". However, she has neither confirmed nor denied that she has issued Ramaphosa with a notice that he is implicated in her probe. In a video entitled "PP: Bosasa investigation ongoing, not yet at a reporting stage", Mkhwebane said she wanted to take the opportunity to deal with the investigation that was lodged by the DA against the president. "I would want to put it on record that the investigation is at an advanced stage and the report is not yet ready, so I will announce when that time comes." The presidency has referred all queries to the public protector's office.


On Monday, snake catcher Jason Arnold received a phone call from an Ottawa, KwaZulu-Natal, family to report a snake on their Piccadilly road property.



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



Thought the Rockefeller probe was big? Get ready for a Big Tech fight

With deep pockets and the finest lawyers, Google et al are tooling up for a long antitrust battle

By Robin Pagnamenta
4 min read

Clueless newbie climbers ‘drive up Everest death toll’

Top climber describes 'absolute beginners' at Base Camp, who plan to attempt summit without even basic skills

By Kate Kelland
3 min read

Camilla’s cheeky wink behind Trump’s back shows why we love her

The duchess's lack of starchiness merely further cements her status as a UK national treasure

By Anna Pasternak
3 min read

Thai trans MPs are ‘not here to decorate’ – they’re making history

Tanwarin Sukkhapisit is one of four transgender MPs planning to rock their nation's political boat

3 min read


6 things you need to know about the world

‘Uber’ drug problem gets up Europe’s nose

European authorities are seizing record quantities of increasingly pure cocaine, the EU drugs agency said in a report published on Thursday, also warning of a growing use of synthetic drugs and dealing via smartphones. The rise in trafficking on social media, darknet markets and cocaine "call centres", where dealers deliver quickly to users who order online, are creating a "potential 'Uberisation'" of the drugs trade, it said. There is a "more systematic and organised use of different social networks, messaging apps and communication methods that also use encryption" than in the past, Alexis Goosdeel, head of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), said in Brusssels. "There is a steady increase in the size of the market and sale over the internet and darknet," he said. – AFP

Maybe Twitter needs a spineless emoji

Chinese artist Badiucao, whose anonymous political satire infuriated Beijing and earned him comparisons to Banksy, has announced a protest campaign against Twitter over what he says is its pandering to China. This is the second time the social media giant has come under fire in the last week over its handling of China-related content, after it apologised for mistakenly suspending accounts critical of Beijing - just days ahead of the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown. Badiucao said he reached out to Twitter and offered to create a special tank man emoji that would appear next to the hashtag #Tiananmen30. But the platform - which is blocked in China - told him it would not be able to collaborate with him on this anniversary because "emojis are limited resources at Twitter", according to an e-mail exchange the artist shared. – AFP

Rome’s oldest café won’t to go quietly

Rome's oldest café, once frequented by such luminaries as Byron, Keats, Wagner, Casanova and Buffalo Bill, is under threat of closure, says its owner. The Antico Caffè Greco, opened on Via dei Condotti in 1760, at the foot of the Spanish Steps in the Italian capital, is fighting for its survival, according to Carlo Pellegrini, the manager. "Save Caffè Greco," says the appeal on the café's website. "The café is at risk of closure. We need your help." Flanked by designer stores such as Cartier, Damiani, Bulgari, Gucci and Prada, Caffè Greco is a top draw for tourists, and its landlord, the Israelite Hospital, wants to raise the rent from £15,000 a month. The lease expired in September 2017 and the café's management recently lost a lengthy legal battle to stay. – © Telegraph Media Group Limited (2019)

Muslim doctor ‘sterilised Buddhist women’

On May 23 Sri Lankan newspaper Divaina, known for its nationalist stance, published a front page article alleging a Muslim doctor had secretly sterilised 4,000 Sinhala Buddhist women after caesarean deliveries. The doctor, who was not identified in the article, was also described as a member of the National Thowheed Jamath, one of two local Islamist groups blamed for bombings that killed more than 250 people in hotels and churches on Easter Sunday. Reuters has no independent evidence to support these claims. The article was produced roughly a week after Buddhist mobs in the North Western Province of Sri Lanka had destroyed Muslim homes, stores and mosques in rioting triggered by the coordinated bombings in the capital Colombo and two other towns. Divaina's editor-in-chief, Anura Solomons, said the paper's story was based on police and hospital sources, whom he said he could not identify. – Reuters

WHO was itching to give us this news

More than a million people every day worldwide catch a sexually transmitted infection, with rates of chlamydia, gonorrhoea, trichomoniasis and syphilis the most worrying, the World Health Organisation said on Thursday. The vast majority of the infections are easily preventable and curable, but some diseases - in particular gonorrhoea - are evolving into superbug forms and that are increasingly difficult to treat with antibiotics, the WHO said in a report. "Sexually transmitted infections are everywhere. They are far more common than we think," Teodora Wi, a medical officer in the WHO's department for reproductive health and research, said. – Reuters

India to order Uber to plug in

India plans to order taxi aggregators like Uber and Ola to convert 40% of their fleet of cars to electric by April 2026, according to a source and records of government meetings to discuss new rules for clean mobility. Uber and Ola, both backed by Softbank Group, would need to start converting their fleet as early as next year to achieve 2.5% electrification by 2021, 5% by 2022, 10% by 2023 before hiking it to 40%, according to the person and the records. Some taxi players, like Ola, have previously tried to operate electric cars in the country, but with little success given inadequate infrastructure and high costs. New Delhi, however, is looking to push the new policy to boost the adoption of electric vehicles as it tries to bring down its oil imports and curb pollution so it can meet its commitment as part of the 2015 Paris climate change treaty. - Reuters
British Royal Navy members watch a flight display during an event to commemorate D-Day in Portsmouth.
COLLISION COURSE British Royal Navy members watch a flight display during an event to commemorate D-Day in Portsmouth.
Image: Reuters/Toby Melville



There’s no single fix for SA ... and Cyril has only a single term

Even the second term as party president is now a highly contested space, so this is Ramaphosa’s five-year ticket

By Ron Derby
4 min read

Mellow Oaks soap opera compounds Pembury’s woes

It all started with great vigour, but the lifestyle group has fumbled badly in its endeavours

By Marc Hasenfuss
1 min read

Departure of Omnia boss raises a few eyebrows

You have to be sceptical when the board chairperson leaves in the middle of talks about the firm's survival

By Siseko Njobeni
1 min read



The Dark Phoenix can’t rise from the ashes of its plot

Although enjoyable enough, the latest X-Men film is nothing to get excited about

By Zola Zingithwa
2 min read

A war film like no other: Spielberg’s masterpiece of horror

On the 21st anniversary of 'Saving Private Ryan', those who worked on it recall an astonishing cinematic feat

By Ralph Jones
12 min read

Icon of the avant-garde: The Labia cinema turns 70

The Cape Town landmark has a history of defying age, class and cultural boundaries - and its ethos is undimmed

By Georgia Carter
3 min read

Won’t you take us to the bioscope?

The films opening in our cinemas this week

By Critics’ choice
3 min read



SPORTS DAY: Ottis and Faf were just AB’s messengers

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

5 min read

Comrades women: Will we see a repeat winner in 2019?

While that task falls to Ann Ashworth, here's at look at the contenders among the pretenders

2 min read

Blast from the past: Melville smashes into the record books

Today in SA sports history: June 7

By David Isaacson
1 min read