Friday, June 21 2019



Yet again, Cyril’s big on ideas but small on details. And what about Eskom?

President's Sona was packed with lofty ambitions. There was no update, though, on how Eskom's unbundling is going

Ranjeni Munusamy
Associate editor: analysis
2 min read

It’s easy to see why Beast had a beef with De Villiers, but is it fair?

The Bok coach certainly didn’t pay enough attention to newer players. There's another side to the story, though

3 min read

‘Good witness’ Duduzane’s dad slammed for being a bad witness

Jacob Zuma jovial by his quiet son’s side while, in another part of Joburg, the former president got a dressing down

4 min read



Airbnb: planned bill to choke it is too airy-fairy

The booking platform has made some suggestions that could sustain both informal and formal industries

3 min read

The rush to save modern medicine from its antibiotic plague

The growing use of antibiotics in agriculture comes as the world faces a future without antibiotics

4 min read

How the state is trying to pick apart racist Momberg’s arguments

There has been little verbal argument from the prosecutor, but written submissions might seal her fate

Shain Germaner
5 min read

Kalahari weavers’ intricate duets show they’re far from bird-brained

When one calls, its partner joins the song within a fraction of a second, in perfect coordination, a study reveals

By Sumin Woo
1 min read

New Kirstenbosch curator returns to his roots

Werner Voigt's heart has always been in the botanical garden, now he's finally 'home again'

By Sumin Woo
3 min read



Ideas FREE

I’ll take 11 Malian women over our withered whiners any day

They might never win anything, but how beautiful is this world for having this miraculous cricket team in it

7 min read

Betting on Proteas, the Shitter, and other ways to make R200bn

There are obvious ways to plug the R200bn hole we know as South Africa's state-owned enterprises

Tom Eaton
2 min read
Ideas FREE

Rebel press beware the angry Mexican elected to high orifice

A column to satisfy your inner grammar nerd

Sue de Groot
3 min read


The stars of the Trolly Dollies, Molly (Rudi Jansen), Cathy Specific (Brendan van Rhyn) and Holly (Christopher Dudgeon) arrive on the red carpet of the Sona on Thursday. They were invited by the DA.
START OUR ENGINES, MR PRESIDENT The stars of the Trolly Dollies, Molly (Rudi Jansen), Cathy Specific (Brendan van Rhyn) and Holly (Christopher Dudgeon) arrive on the red carpet of the Sona on Thursday. They were invited by the DA.
Image: Esa Alexander

Six things about SA you need to know

Police ‘shot 2 Manenberg civilians’

Two civilians in their 20s were shot in Manenberg, Cape Town, on Thursday, allegedly by police officers responding to a shootout involving rival gangs. The shootings prompted an angry community response. Multiple sources from the community said one man was shot in the head and the other in his buttocks. The Independent Police Investigative Directive was unavailable for comment.

Man gets 25 years for raping nine-year-old

The Siyabuswa Regional Court in Mpumalanga has sentenced a man to 25 years behind bars for raping a nine-year-old girl in 2013. Samuel Zoo Kubhayi, 29, from Vaalbank, was sentenced last week. ‘The court heard how the accused dragged the girl who had been playing with her friends to the bushes and raped her on that fateful day, before assaulting her,’ police spokesperson Col Mtsholi Bhembe said on Thursday.

Joburg has plans to ease water outage

The city of Johannesburg will implement contingency plans to minimise the impact of maintenance on some of the city's main water lines from Monday. CoJ environment and infrastructure MMC Nico de Jager said on Thursday that Rand Water's purification plant will remain operational to replenish reservoirs. The shutdown is on the B11 pipeline to install a 2,500mm butterfly valve from Lethabo to Vereeniging pumping station. This will result in limited water supply to all Rand Water customers.

Strong cold front set to hit Cape

A cold front is expected to hit the Western Cape on Friday, before spreading to the rest of the country at the weekend. The SA Weather Service warned that strong winds might damage settlements and infrastructure, adding that falling trees and dust could affect travelling times. Rain is expected to start in the Western Cape on Friday at midday, before spreading eastward inland over the rest of the province during the late afternoon and evening.

Cops killed: Police seek more suspects

Police are searching for more suspects in the killing of two Durban metro cops. This was revealed in an affidavit by W/O David Cele, the investigating officer, in the murders of Sgt Zephinia Dladla and Const Sonto Mhlanga, who were gunned down while standing guard outside the home of Ward 52 councillor Moses Zulu in Bhambayi, near Phoenix, last month. Cele’s affidavit was read out during the bail application of one of the accused, Musawenkosi Ndebele, at the Verulam Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday where he appeared alongside his two co-accused, Bonginkosi Msomi and Thamsanqa Mabaso. Nokululeko Zuma, the fourth accused, was not in court as he was being treated at the Westville Prison hospital.

ANC delays charging Steve Hofmeyr

The ANC has changed its plans to charge controversial Afrikaans singer Steve Hofmeyr barely 15 hours after announcing it would open a case of crimen injuria against him. After issuing a statement on Wednesday night saying it would open the case on Thursday in Cape Town, the ANC on Thursday said it had postponed the move for next Monday in Johannesburg. ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe said the party had decided it would make more sense to lay the charge in Johannesburg, where the ANC head office is located, for purposes of monitoring the case's progress.


A man is mugged in Hillbrow in less than 20 seconds. The young man carrying a backpack is accosted by two men.



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



The Deciders: Meet the voters who hold Trump’s fate in their hands

These are the people in whose counties voting decisions continue to upend politics as usual

By Letitia Stein
9 min read

How hip and currency! Facebook will change money forever

Though the tech giant is just one of many companies in the project, it’s clearly the most enthusiastic

By James Titcomb
3 min read

Stars are found underground: Thai cave boys deal with fame

A year after their rescue, most of the 12 ‘Wild Boars’ still live in their poor hometown, which is now full of tourists

4 min read

Montagues and the crap-you-get: Finding the Bard in jail

Darren Raymond, who discovered Shakespeare in prison, is now putting a remarkable spin on his language

By Dominic Cavendish
5 min read


Enthusiasts practise yoga in a mountain village in Zhangjiajie, China. Friday is International Yoga Day.
BOULDERS AND SHOULDERS Enthusiasts practise yoga in a mountain village in Zhangjiajie, China. Friday is International Yoga Day.
Image: STR/AFP

6 things you need to know about the world

Russian job for Uncle Ho

Vietnam has enlisted a team of Russian and local experts to help preserve the body of embalmed revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh, whose corpse has lain in a sprawling concrete monument in central Hanoi since his death nearly 50 years ago. Uncle Ho, as he is affectionately known, enjoys demigod status in the country, revered as the communist hero who led his country to independence. His embalmed corpse lies in state in a huge concrete tomb in Hanoi, modelled after Lenin's mausoleum in Moscow's Red Square. Hanoi has now set up a state council of 11 specialists - four from Russia, the rest Vietnamese - to "evaluate the status of the body of president Ho Chi Minh", according to the government's official website. – AFP

‘Attack squirrel’ goes nuts on meth

Police in the US state of Alabama made an unusual seizure this week during a drug raid: a squirrel high on methamphetamine. The apartment’s occupant wanted to make sure his caged “attack squirrel” was sufficiently aggressive so he fed it animal methamphetamine, the Limestone County’s sheriff’s office told The News Courier, a local newspaper. Drugs and munitions also were seized during the Monday raid. Alabama law forbids holding wild animals so, on the advice of environmental protection agents, the squirrel was set loose. “It ran into the woods and did not attack the deputies who released it,” the sheriff’s office said on its Facebook page. - AFP

Batman makes way for Holy Land heroes

An American comic book illustrator once feted for a portfolio including Batman and Wonder Woman covers has found a new calling in the Holy Land: drawing the everyday good and bad guys he sees on all sides. Michael Netzer's own life is laden with drama: Born Mike Nasser to US-Lebanese Druze parents, he found in art a release from childhood polio, worked for franchises including Marvel and DC Comics, learnt he had Jewish roots and moved to Israel, ending up in a settlement in the occupied West Bank. Netzer, 63, paints portraits or superhero reproductions on commission to a clientele that he says includes Palestinians - an unusual interaction for a religious settler. He also takes to the road, sketching passers-by of all stripes, for free. - Reuters

The Zimbabwean, the zol and a 3D gun

A student has been convicted of manufacturing a firearm using a 3D printer, in what London’s police said they believed was the first such successful prosecution in Britain. Tendai Muswere, 26, pleaded guilty to making the gun, in a hearing at Southwark Crown Court. Police searched Muswere’s central London home on drugs grounds in October 2017. They found evidence of cannabis cultivation and components of a 3D-printed gun, capable of firing a lethal shot. Zimbabwean Muswere, who does not hold a firearms licence, said he was printing the gun for a university film project and claimed he did not know that the components were capable of firing. “He later refused to comment on what his film project was about,” London’s Metropolitan Police said. – AFP

Oh, all right, we’ll let the orcas go

Russia has started releasing a group of captive killer whales whose detention in Russia's Far East has caused an international outcry, state TV said on Thursday. Russian deputy prime minister Alexei Gordeyev said the whales would be taken back to where they were caught and released within four months. This operation would take about four months. A state TV reporter said two orcas were initially being freed. The plight of the 10 captive killer whales, which are being held with 87 beluga whales in cramped conditions in a bay near the port of Nakhodka, triggered an international outcry, with celebrities such as actor Leonardo DiCaprio joining a petition that raised nearly 1.5 million signatures calling for their return to the ocean. - Reuters

Brain clues boost Parkinson’s hope

Scientists said on Thursday they had found the earliest signs of Parkinson's disease in the brain years before patients show any symptoms, a discovery that could eventually lead to better screening for at-risk people. Parkinson's, a neurodegenerative disorder that causes patients movement and cognitive problems, is diagnosed by a build-up in the brain of a specific protein, a-synuclein, the cause of which is unclear. However, some people are born with a genetic mutation that makes them almost certain to develop the disease at some stage. Researchers from King's College London compared data from 14 individuals carrying the mutation with that of 65 non-genetic Parkinson's patients and 25 healthy volunteers. They found that changes in the serotonin system in the brains of Parkinson's sufferers started to malfunction well before other symptoms occurred. – AFP



New MAS CEO banks on firm’s change of direction

The property company is shifting its attention from Western to Eastern Europe

By Alistair Anderson
4 min read

Investors make up their own minds about Steinhoff report

Within hours of the release of the annual report, the Steinhoff share price had slumped

By Ann Crotty
1 min read

Brimstone needs to step in and mop up weak share sellers

The desultory offloading could easily spark speculation that someone is trying to manipulate the share price

By Marc Hasenfuss
1 min read



Boxing alone doesn’t make Muhammad Ali the GOAT

A new documentary about the legend is a satisfyingly hopeful, victorious and sad hero’s journey

By Tymon Smith
3 min read

Riaad Moosa really wants to be a nice guy, but ...

Comedy doctor jokes about the trials of getting older in a freewheeling show

Claire Keeton
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

Unheard tracks add more gems to Prince’s lustrous crown

The musician had a whole collection of music that has not been released – until now

By Neil McCormick
2 min read

Five twisted yoga classes you probably didn’t know about

Friday is International Yoga Day. There are a few unconventional ways it has been used to balance mind and body

By Tswelopele Maputla
1 min read



SPORTS DAY: Beast’s book launch beaten back

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

David Isaacson
5 min read
Sport FREE

The Proteas’ crash, Bangladesh, and what the hell really happened

The SA cricketers may not deserve sympathy, but we can at least feel a little empathy for them

Telford Vice
2 min read

Blast from the past: Gary Player bags career slam

Today in SA sports history: June 21

David Isaacson
2 min read