Thursday, June 13 2019



Two toddlers died from poison at crèche, grieving moms claim

Two women describe how horrific events unfolded, culminating in the deaths of their children

Alex Patrick
4 min read

Pupils to pass even if they fail? SA’s schooling goes from bad to worse

There is an official document that claims ‘children who repeat, on the whole, gain absolutely nothing’. What?

4 min read

Neglected and beaten SA kids now used as human shields

Little ones are often put on the front line to prevent the public order police from shooting, activists say

3 min read

Dada, talk to the baba – the yada yada is too good to pass up

Speech therapist says baby talk is cute, but adults should also have ‘normal’ conversations with babies

3 min read



Nxasana dishes the dirt about Jiba’s attempts at digging up dirt

Former NDPP had plenty to say to Zondo probe about Nomgcobo Jiba’s alleged campaign to discredit him

Amil Umraw
4 min read

The moment Trevor Manuel realised democracy was in danger

The former finance minister finally reveals why he resigned when Thabo Mbeki was recalled

Mpumzi Zuzile
2 min read

Rural town has huge success in Aids fight. How did it manage it?

Eshowe in KZN has reached the UN’s 90-90-90 goals a year ahead of schedule

3 min read

Packham goes down muttering: Wife-killer begins 22-year sentence

Seemingly discontented throughout sentencing, the 'disloyal and deceitful' 58-year-old was given a lengthy term

By Sumin Woo
3 min read



Trans women at last get credit for ‘throwing the brick’ at bigotry

Forsaken by the very gay community they helped liberate, trans pioneers are finally getting recognition

By Daniel Trotta
5 min read
Ideas FREE

Malkovich to play Weinstein, and to hell with the chattering classes

Upsetting people is the point of theatre, he says as he prepares to stage the Harvey Weinstein story for laughs

By Dominic Cavendish
8 min read

Strippers and stupid seatbelts: Former child prodigy fights sexism

Stemettes founder Anne-Marie Imafidon is taking on sexist attitudes by encouraging girls into sciences

By Ellie Zolfagharifard
5 min read


A dead animal amid the damage at the site of an attack on the Dogon village of Sobane Da, Mali.
CORPSES AND CARCASSES A dead animal amid the damage at the site of an attack on the Dogon village of Sobane Da, Mali.
Image: Reuters/Malick Konate

Six things about SA you need to know

EFF, ANC fight as new MPs introduced

Newly elected National Assembly speaker Thandi Modise was forced to "physically" separate EFF and ANC MPs as they tried to assault each other during an induction session on Wednesday. DA MP Annelie Lotriet, who was presiding over the session, said matters degenerated when EFF and ANC MPs threatened to attack each other during the session on law making. "The first round of questions went well and in the second round a member of the EFF stood up and started with a speech instead of asking a question. As I could hear from the interpretation he was also insulting the ANC, so the ANC got quite upset," said Lotriet. Her attempts to douse the flames failed and “[a] member of the EFF started walking across the floor with other members of the EFF following her towards the ANC, and the ANC then started to retaliate". At that point, Modise, a stickler for the rules, was called in to defuse the tension, which lasted for about three minutes.

Protector confirms Cyril implicated in Bosasa probe

Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has confirmed in a letter to DA leader Mmusi Maimane that President Cyril Ramaphosa is implicated in her investigation into the R500,000 donation he received from Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson. In the letter she tells Maimane, who asked her to investigate whether Ramaphosa deliberately lied to parliament about that donation, the protector confirms she served the president with a section 7(9) notice on May 30. A section 7(9) notice formally notifies a person that they are implicated in a public protector investigation and gives them 10 days to respond to the findings against them. Mkhwebane told Maimane that Ramaphosa requested an extension until June 28 to respond to her Bosasa report, but she gave him until June 21. According to Mkhwebane, the president had also asked to cross-examine some of the people she had interviewed as part of her investigation, including Maimane.

Triple murderer rearrested after brazen escape

Police have rearrested a convicted murderer who brazenly escaped from the Wynberg Magistrate's Court after spending "sleepless nights" tracking him down. Phelo Mtala had been on the loose since May 17. He slipped past police and court security by pretending to be a person who was due to be released on the day. Mtala was meant to go back to Pollsmoor Prison but was released after placing his fingerprints on the documents of the accused who was supposed to be released, Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana said. "The convicted escapee was arrested [on Tuesday night] after his vehicle was pulled over in Durbanville while he was on his way back from Malmesbury. Since he escaped from the court the team had sleepless nights in pursuit of him. With the help of brave informers, police pounced on him.”

Hanekom headed for top ‘envoy-like’ post

Former tourism minister Derek Hanekom may have resigned from parliament, but will soon take up a position in the state. It is understood that President Cyril Ramaphosa offered Hanekom a position in the presidency last week, which led to his resignation from the National Assembly on Tuesday. Hanekom is expected to take up an “envoy-like” role in Ramaphosa’s administration after serving in government for 25 years. He was excluded from Ramaphosa’s executive announced two weeks ago and said at the time he had no intention of leaving parliament. It is understood that last week the president offered Hanekom a redeployment in the state which would not allow him to stay on as an MP. Hanekom is a known ally of Ramaphosa and was part of the campaign to have him elected ANC president in 2017. Hanekom would not comment on his pending redeployment.

‘Baby snatcher’ drops bail bid to plead guilty

A Soweto woman who is accused of kidnapping a baby at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital last week wants to plead guilty to the charge. Kereleng Ramoisa, 27, appeared in the Protea Magistrate's Court on Wednesday. Her case was postponed to June 21 for her to plead. The matter was initially set down for a bail application. However, her lawyer Gift Makate told the court that his client intended to plead guilty. Makate said he needed to consult Ramoisa to get proper instructions. Ramoisa will remain in custody until her next court date. The baby’s mother, Bikokuhle Hlatshwayo, gave birth to Mpumelelo last Wednesday, but woke up to an empty baby cubicle less fewer 24 hours later. Police found the baby on Friday at a house in Diepkloof, and returned her to her mother. It is alleged that the baby was sold for R2,500.

More than 100 held in raid on ‘bad buildings’

More than 100 people were taken in for questioning as authorities raided "hijacked" and problem buildings in Hillbrow and the Johannesburg CBD on Wednesday. Ultimately, 25 were arrested. Several people rounded up for questioning were surprised by the arrests. Their building was one of several raided during an integrated "bad buildings" operation by Johannesburg metro police, SAPS, Midvaal traffic police and a security company. The aim was to weed out criminal elements and determine if municipal by-laws were being broken. Metro police spokesperson Wayne Minnaar said a gun was confiscated in a block of flats on the corner of Esselen and Edith Cavell streets, and one person was arrested for possession of ammunition. Inside Vannin Court on Kotze Street, a search yielded four Okapi knives, a pair of scissors, an axe and a machete. Police took 57 people in for questioning. Vannin Court is one of the buildings that Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba has described as a city-owned property hijacked by slumlords.


During a cage diving trip in Mossel Bay in March, a huge great white shark lunged up and grabbed the head of a tuna, shaking it from side to side while dragging it underwater.



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



Charity cover-up case: Oxfam sent abuse victims back to warzones

The victims of sexual abuse were reportedly sent back after raising complaints

By Gabriella Swerling
3 min read

You’re eating a credit card’s worth of plastic every week

From the bottom of the Mariana trench and the remote French Pyrenees to your plate, it's everywhere

By Sarah Knapton
2 min read

Now you can practise with a full orchestra in your own bedroom

New app extracts instrument of your choice from a score so that you can play along as if it's for real

3 min read

Reborn in the USA: The Boss is back with a new sound

Springsteen's gravelly voice is still there, but for his new album the inspiration has changed

2 min read


A Hungarian boat that sank in Danube River is seen through a wreath as it is moved away in Budapest, Hungary.
A GRAVE OPERATION A Hungarian boat that sank in Danube River is seen through a wreath as it is moved away in Budapest, Hungary.
Image: Reuters/Lisi Niesner

6 things you need to know about the world

Now you can clean up in a big way at auction

A toothpaste company has been put up for auction on e-commerce giant Alibaba's Taobao, the immensely popular shopping portal in. Tianqi toothpaste, a household name in China, was listed for auction on Tuesday at a starting price of $23.6m. The auction notice did not explain why the company was being sold or why Taobao was chosen for the transaction. The company went unsold in the first round, after only two buyers signed up. – AFP

Willy is now really free in Canada

Canada has passed a bill banning the capture and breeding of whales, dolphins and porpoises for entertainment, after a lengthy campaign by animal rights activists. The legislation, dubbed the ‘Free Willy bill’, was first proposed in 2015 and was finally approved on Monday. It places restrictions on importing and exporting cetaceans, and bans making them perform for entertainment, with fines of up to $200,000 for breaches .The legislation contains a grandfather clause, meaning marine mammals currently held captive can stay confined but cannot continue breeding. – Telegraph Media Group Limited (2019)

Fear as Ebola spreads to Uganda

Pressure is mounting on the WHO to declare an international emergency after the Ebola epidemic raging the DRC spread to Uganda. A five-year-old boy has been diagnosed with the deadly fever, the first case in Uganda has seen since the outbreak started in neighbouring DRC 10 months ago. The child has been isolated in a special treatment centre and at least two family members he was travelling have symptoms of the disease. It is believed the boy entered Uganda either on either Sunday or Monday with members of his family through the Bwera border post. – Telegraph Media Group Limited (2019)

Fish fall in love just like us

Fish separated from their mate pine for each other and become pessimistic, challenging the belief that sexual emotional attachment is unique to humans. Researchers allowed 33 convict cichlids to spend two days choosing a mate, then monitored them for three weeks when they were paired with a fish that they had not picked. The experiments showed that when females were kept away from their preferred mate they spawned later, spent less time looking after their eggs and had fewer fry. In a second test, the fish were taught to open a black box containing food, and leave a white box which was empty. But when presented with an ambiguous grey box, the fish that were separated from their partner took nearly twice as long to look in the box, proving that they were feeling more pessimistic about life. ‘Our results suggest that the relationship between affective state and pair-bonding has evolved not only in humans but also in at least one other monogamous species, the convict cichlid,’ researchers said. – Telegraph Media Group Limited (2019)

Nepal has become a drag, in a good way

Batting colourful lashes and swinging their silky wigs, drag artists danced to a cheering crowd at a Nepali restaurant in the country’s first such show. The floor of the Pink Tiffany, Nepal's first LGBTI-friendly restaurant, was packed on Tuesday evening to applaud the debut performances, with many in the audience also wearing glittery makeup and vibrant outfits. Meghna Lama, the restaurant's owner and a transgender woman, said she was excited to host the groundbreaking event. The show was headlined by American artists, but Lama hopes it will open doors for Nepali drag enthusiasts to take to the stage. - AFP

Da Vinci found secreted on MBS’s yacht

‘Salvator Mundi’, the Leonardo da Vinci painting that disappeared without trace after it sold in 2017 for a record $450m, is reported to have surfaced on a superyacht belonging to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The painting, which has been at the centre of a controversy over its authenticity, ‘was whisked away in the middle of the night on MBS's plane and relocated to his yacht, the Serene’, according to, which cited two unidentified people involved in the transaction. – Telegraph Media Group Limited (2019)



BULL’S EYE: The short end of a long stick

Legend says that beyond hubris lies one’s nemesis. Mine met me with a flying headbutt - but there is reason for optimism

By Jeremy Thomas
3 min read

SA Corporate Real Estate’s home truth could be residential

Shareholders say the firm's investment strategy has not paid off, and needs a rethink

By Nick Wilson
1 min read

It’s man versus machine in mining’s new battleground

For SA mines, adopting the technology being deployed by Rio Tinto is sure to come with major social unrest

By Allan Seccombe
1 min read



Fear and clothing: Praise be to Season 3, says Kylie Jenner

A weekly reverie on the vagaries and charms of fashion

2 min read

Photographer puts new complexion on vitiligo

He's snapped people with the skin condition for a decade, but Reatile Moalusi feels there is more to be done

By Sanet Oberholzer
2 min read

The reboot giving fashion that 1970s flare

Flares are back: are you brave enough to give them a whirl?

By Stephen Doig
2 min read

Tut tut Christie’s! That’s our King Tut, say Egyptians

A 3,000-year-old head of the pharaoh is subject of a bitter dispute between auction house and Egyptian government

By Tymon Smith
2 min read



SPORTS DAY: Caster wins Budd misses the mark

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

David Isaacson
5 min read

World Cup chiefs want to transform rugby into a truly global sport

The ambition for future World Cups is to expand to new markets — and Japan is just the beginning

By Kate Rowan
5 min read

Blast from the past: Gibbs drops the ball - and the cup

Today in SA sports history: June 13

David Isaacson
1 min read