Tuesday, June 25 2019

THE BIG ISSUES

LEADING THE AGENDA

Cops race to find source of bullets, explosives and poison

Raids on Pretoria premises yielded enough ammo and gear 'to start a small war'. We speak to one of the 'buyers'

Graeme Hosken
Journalist
4 min read

‘The Zim market was self-dollarising ... it was out of control’

Finance minister explains move to ban the US dollar, but experts say the consequences are 'unimaginable'

By James Thompson
3 min read

Zuma will attend Zondo probe, but will he answer questions?

The former president’s lawyers take issue with the inquiry treating him as if he’s ‘the acccused’

Karyn Maughan
Journalist
3 min read

SMART NEWS

IN ONE TAKE

Discovery, don’t touch me on my Tom Tom

Vitality members are outraged that they can no longer earn points with the watches they bought for R4,000

4 min read

It was their fault that I beat them, says serial rapist

The Randfontein attacker has admitted he committed the crimes, but he blames the women, and drugs

Shain Germaner
Journalist
4 min read

KZN student’s accident is a train smash for Prasa

She stepped off a train that was supposed to stop at a station but didn’t. Now rail authority has been found liable

Shain Germaner
Journalist
2 min read

Teacher union now has its own bank, but ‘be careful’

There are advantages to co-operative financial institutions, but one economist has a few warnings

Belinda Pheto
Journalist
3 min read

She has 8 fingers and 7 toes ... and a Wimbledon wild card

Rising tennis star Fran Jones refuses to be limited by people's opinions or her rare genetic disorder

By Sarah Lumley
2 min read

IDEAS

FEEDING YOUR MIND

Smart cities, bullet trains are one man’s fantasy, not a nation’s comfort

Ramaphosa was supposed to restore the faith of an exhausted people, but we got something much more alarming

Tom Eaton
Columnist
4 min read

Cancer patients ignore science and die for a quack’s hard sell

Social media is the breeding ground for a movement similar to the antivaxxer phenomenon

By Margarette Driscoll
7 min read

Yes, old rockers are fading, but nobody packs a stadium like they do

Forget Taylor Swift and Beyoncé, when it comes to selling tickets the rock generation still rule

By Neil McCormick
4 min read

SNAPSHOT

Fireworks explode over the Brig ‘Rossiya’ (Russia) on the Neva River during the Scarlet Sails festivities marking school graduation in Saint Petersburg. Reuters/Anton Vaganov
IF YOU MISSED IT, THAT SHIP HAS SAILED Fireworks explode over the Brig ‘Rossiya’ (Russia) on the Neva River during the Scarlet Sails festivities marking school graduation in Saint Petersburg. Reuters/Anton Vaganov
Image: Reuters/Anton Vaganov

Six things about SA you need to know

Joburg to ‘expropriate’ factories for housing

The City of Johannesburg says it has identified 37 abandoned factories that it plans to expropriate to convert into low-cost affordable housing. Mayor Herman Mashaba said this came after the council's 2018 resolution to make 84 city-owned properties available for creating quality low-income housing in the inner city. The 84 buildings would generate an expected R21bn in investment, 11,000 construction jobs and more than 6,000 affordable housing units. “Arising from [the factories’] large stand sizes, the yield of these properties will offer nearly 3,000 housing opportunities in multistorey buildings,” he said. The factories were in Kew, Devland, Rabie Ridge, Doornfontein, Booysens and Nancefield. The municipality would prepare a proposal to council in August, which would allow the city to begin legal proceedings to expropriate the properties.

More Cape Jewish headstones smashed

Headstones were found pushed over and graves damaged at the Jewish cemetery in Strand in the Western Cape at the weekend. The local Jewish community has filed a complaint with the police. Four headstones were knocked over and smashed. This is the third incident in a week in which Jewish graves have been vandalised in the province. Stuart Diamond, head of the Cape Jewish Board of Deputies, said the vandalism is not believed to have been an antisemitic act - unlike an incident in Wellington in 2018 when 39 Jewish graves were specifically targeted. Israeli newspaper Israel Hayom reported that police feared the recent incidents were connected to an "active neo-Nazi cell" - although both Diamond and Hertzel Brodovsky, chairman of the Strand Jewish community, distanced themselves from these claims. The SAPS said they could not confirm whether there was any such neo-Nazi organisation in operation.

Mineworkers remain underground for sixth day

About 290 Numsa members at Lanxess’s Rustenburg chrome mine remained underground for a sixth day on Monday, as the union was due to meet managers to discuss workers’ grievances. Numsa said its members did not come up after their shift ended on Wednesday afternoon, as they demanded action be taken against a mine captain who allegedly sexually assaulted and victimised one of Numsa’s female members. They have been underground ever since. The union said no action had been taken against the alleged perpetrator. A meeting was scheduled for Monday. The union also called for no disciplinary action to be taken against the 290 members who remained underground because they had been provoked by the company's failure to take action against the mine captain. Lanxess was not available for comment on Monday morning. On Friday, the company said it viewed the action as an unprotected strike.

Passengers flee as bus, truck set alight

A Golden Arrow bus and a truck have been set alight in Philippi, Cape Town, where protest action has forced road closures. Golden Arrow spokesperson Bronwen Dyke-Beyer said the bus was carrying passengers but no one was injured. "Our bus came under attack by an unknown group … who surrounded the bus, which was carrying passengers, and started pelting it with stones," she said. "After the driver and passengers fled, they set the bus alight." Jermaine Carelse from the City of Cape Town fire and rescue services said they attended to the bus before moving to the burning truck. No injuries have been reported. Carelse said the truck was destroyed. Protesters are angry about service delivery and the growing crime epidemic on the Cape Flats.

Drivers to be screened after girl, 12, raped

A 12-year-old girl from Amanzimtoti, south of Durban, was raped and impregnated, allegedly by the driver of her scholar transport vehicle, who is still free three months later. The incident has prompted the department of social development in KwaZulu-Natal to call for the screening of all scholar transport drivers. According to the department, the girl told her family she had been repeatedly raped by “uMalume” - a term commonly used for scholar transport drivers - who also impregnated her. The girl has since given birth to a girl and is receiving trauma counselling. KZN police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele said a docket on the statutory rape had been handed to a prosecutor for a decision on prosecution. KZN social development MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza called for the speedy arrest of the accused. “He must be thrown in jail.”

Five Joburg metro cops in court for corruption

The Hawks have arrested five Johannesburg metro police officers for corruption. Gauteng Hawks spokesperson Captain Ndivhuwo Mulamu said the officers were arrested on Monday morning at JMPD headquarters in Johannesburg. The officers, aged between 26 and 38, appeared in the Germiston Magistrate's Court on Monday on charges of corruption and defeating the ends of justice.

THE VISUAL SIDE

Twenty-year-old Siam Lee wanted to become a teacher and travel the world, but in January 2018 she was abducted from a house in Durban North workplace by a man who police say was obsessed with her. Siam’s body was found two days later in a sugarcane field 100km outside Durban. A businessman was arrested for the crime, but would Siam’s family ever receive justice? This is the visual investigation into what police and investigators say happened to the young Durban woman.


CROSSWORDS

GIVE YOUR BRAIN SOME EXERCISE

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

WORLD

THE NEWS YOU DON'T NORMALLY GET TO HEAR

Boris will move girlfriend into No 10 despite huge row

Aides to the front runner in the PM race say the bust-up over spilt wine was really just a minor tiff

By Robert Mendick and Anna Mikhailova
4 min read

Facebook wants to turn Africa’s saggy internet into a roaring trade

In the under-24 age group, fewer than half of Africans are online, and less than 13% of Africans use Facebook

By Chris Williams
6 min read

Kushner’s Middle East peace pitch fails before it even starts

His plan has not found purchase among suspicious Palestinians, even those who haven't read it

By Raf Sanchez
3 min read

Family and misfortune: what happened to Jacko’s bunch?

Ten years after his death we look at what's become of the star's kids, family, lawyers and ex-wives

By AFP
4 min read

SNAPSHOT

A participant in the Equality March, organised by the LGBT community in Kiev, Ukraine.
POINT CAMERAS, NOT GUNS A participant in the Equality March, organised by the LGBT community in Kiev, Ukraine.
Image: Reuters/Gleb Garanich

6 things you need to know about the world

Russia proves it is a grape power

Russia said on Monday it was tightening controls on Georgian wine as tensions rose between the ex-Soviet neighbours after days of anti-Kremlin protests in Tbilisi. Consumer watchdog Rospotrebnadzor said it had noticed a "deterioration" in the quality of Georgian wine and had "tightened control" of all Georgian alcoholic beverages entering Russia. Russia banned wines from Georgia in 2006 amid tensions between Moscow and the pro-Western Georgian leadership at the time, only lifting the ban in 2013 after a new government was elected. On Friday Russian President Vladimir Putin banned Russian airlines from flying to Georgia and Georgian air carriers travelling to Russia starting July 8. – AFP

‘Tree Man’ wants hands sawn off

A Bangladeshi known as the "Tree Man" because of bark-like growths on his body said Monday he wanted his hands amputated to relieve him of unbearable pain. Abul Bajandar has had 25 operations since 2016 to remove growths from his hands and feet caused by a rare syndrome. Doctors had believed they had beaten the disease but Bajandar fled a Dhaka clinic in May last year following a relapse. The 28-year-old father of one was readmitted to hospital in January because the condition worsened, with some growths several centimetres long. "I cannot bear the pain anymore. I can't sleep at night. I asked the doctors to cut off my hands so I can at least get some relief," he said. His mother, Amina Bibi, supported the plea. – AFP

Arson charge follows suicide bid

An Indian man who tried to kill himself by setting fire to his room at a refugee camp in Papua New Guinea faces charges of arson and attempted suicide, police have said. Punjabi asylum seeker Ravinder Singh, who is in his 30s, locked himself in a shipping container room at a camp on Manus Island on Friday and started a blaze that engulfed two other rooms before being brought under control. Manus provincial police commander David Yapu said Singh - who sustained burns to his face and right hand - had been questioned and would be charged, but was taken to Port Moresby for treatment. "We will wait for his return and lay charges," Yapu said. Singh is one of roughly 500 refugees and asylum seekers stuck in Papua New Guinea, having been stopped from reaching Australia. – AFP

Mars methane spike could mean life

Nasa’s Curiosity rover has detected another methane "spike" on Mars, in what could be a sign of alien life. According to The New York Times, which published an e-mail written by senior Nasa scientists, the rover detected "startlingly high amounts of methane in the Martian air". The data hints at an even greater discovery - life on Mars - because methane is often generated by underground microbes, known as methanogens, which can survive without oxygen. "Given this surprising result, we've reorganised the weekend to run a follow-up experiment," wrote scientist Ashwin Vasavada in the e-mail. It is not the first time Nasa's robot has detected methane levels on the planet, and scientists are still not sure whether the gas is caused by living microbes, because geothermal reactions, with no biological life, can also create methane. – © Telegraph Media Group Limited (2019)

Now, a ‘female Viagra’ without a booze warning

The US drug regulator on Friday approved Palatin Technologies and Amag Pharmaceuticals’ drug to restore sexual desire in premenopausal women, the latest attempt to come up with a therapy that some have dubbed as “female Viagra”. The therapy, Vyleesi, will compete in a market which has seen previous attempts fail. Analysts have said a drug that safely and effectively treats loss of sexual desire in women could eventually reach annual sales of about $1bn. Vyleesi, chemically known as bremelanotide, activates pathways in the brain involved in sexual desire, helping premenopausal women with hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD). The drug will compete with Sprout Pharmaceuticals’ Addyi, a once-daily pill that was approved for HSDD in 2015 with a warning restricting alcohol use when on the medication. – Reuters

Hong Kong laughs up mother of an insult

Hong Kongers have displayed a characteristically riotous embrace of satire during their huge anti-government protests over an attempted China extradition law. The legions of tech-savvy youngsters never miss an opportunity to invent new chants, memes, banners and slogans that often turn the criticism against the movement on its head. Outside the city’s parliament, a shrine has sprung up for the finance hub’s pro-Beijing leader Carrie Lam. A banner underneath reads: “Suspend your mother”. The first word is a reference to protester demands that the extradition bill be permanently taken off the table, not just suspended. But the last two words reference a favourite local insult: “F*** your mother”. Cantonese is an uproariously caustic language with misogynistic insults to an opponent’s mother thrown around liberally. But after police were filmed shouting “Reporter, your mother!” to journalists - questioning their credentials - demonstrators seized on the phrase, immortalising it in WhatsApp stickers, banners and printing it on T-shirts. - AFP

THE BUSINESS

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Law have mercy: Hong Kong’s hybrid can be a model for SA

SA’s dreams will simply not materialise without foreign direct investment – and yet we also dare not sell out

By Mark Barnes
4 min read

Transnet refreshes the parts other SOEs cannot reach

Success of manganese line goes to show what goodwill between the private and public sector can achieve

By Allan Seccombe
1 min read

Alexander Forbes: Counting the costs before cutting them

As the pension fund administrator turns its eye to retail financial advice, IT and personnel costs have rocketed

By Londiwe Buthelezi
1 min read

LIFESTYLE

CULTURE COMES ALIVE

Bookmarks: Foul harassers, molesters and moonwalkers

A fortnightly look at books, writers and reviews

By Andrew Donaldson
12 min read

Lebo Pule: How to heal from the hustle.

‘We need stories like mine,’ says the author about failing and finding yourself as an entrepreneur in SA

By Anna Stroud
6 min read

Art house move: Stevenson skedaddles into suburbia

Gallery ups sticks from Braamfontein to be closer to Joburg’s buzzing art precinct in and around Rosebank

By Graham Wood
3 min read

‘On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous’ (with a bit of luck)

Review of TS Eliot Prize winner Ocean Vuong's elliptical, ambitious and poetic debut novel

By Tristram Fane Saunders
7 min read

SPORT

FINISH LINE ESSENTIALS

SPORTS DAY: Time for SA to do an England-style reboot

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

David Isaacson
Journalist
3 min read

Six Nations prefer to sit pretty rather than expand the sport

It has become clear that rugby’s globalisation is held to ransom by a handful of European heavyweights

Liam Del Carme
Journalist
2 min read