Tuesday, July 2 2019




Taps are dry but compassion flows in Mpumalanga towns

While Rand Water punishes the municipality over an unpaid R106m, residents bear the consequences

Belinda Pheto
4 min read

As SA’s cricket and politics both prove, winners are made, not born

Why have they both collapsed into a gloomy procession of mediocrity and failure? Let's talk about competence

Tom Eaton
4 min read

Makhura talks tough, and his executive have their work cut out

His Gauteng state of the province address was scant on detail, but his cabinet were ordered to find solutions - fast

Zingisa Mvumvu
4 min read



Earthlings, remove aliens that hold SA’s rivers in a chokehold

Clearing aliens plants from SA would fill the equivalent of three Theewaterskloof dams a year

Claire Keeton
3 min read

A ‘sawtooth’ nips alien havoc in the bud to save rivers

Celebrities join scientists, activists, farmers and community leaders to clear the Cape's clogged waterways

Claire Keeton
4 min read

What is the main reason for SA gay men staying closeted?

And are you, despite your good intentions, one of the reasons they cannot live openly?

4 min read

‘Just Dudu as I SAA’: Working for Myeni was a bumpy ride

Former SAA chair used her power illegally to influence contracts, state capture probe is told

Amil Umraw
4 min read


People seek relief from the European heatwave at a beach in Cayeux-sur-Mer, France.
baby it's gold outside People seek relief from the European heatwave at a beach in Cayeux-sur-Mer, France.
Image: Pascal Rossignol/Reuters

Six things about SA you need to know

Billions in mining royalties lost

Billions in mining royalties intended to uplift poor communities are potentially being squandered, stolen or diverted due to in-fighting and maladministration of these funds. That’s the conclusion of Mmashudu Masutha and Deborah Mutemwa-Tumbo, authors of Corruption Watch’s Mining Royalties Research Report 2018, which examined communities in Limpopo and North West and found that the payment of royalties to affected communities was mired in “greed, competition for a finite financial resource, deliberate exploitation, mismanagement of funds and resources, poor administrative oversight and a lack of will, accountability and commitment on various levels to repair and transform the pay-out of mining royalties.”

Testing time for pupils, teachers in dark

Eastern Cape teachers were forced to print exam papers at home and pupils wrote tests in cold, dark classrooms due to unpaid electricity bills. More than 10 schools in the Alfred Nzo municipality have been operating without power for weeks after Eskom pulled the plug on defaulting customers. A teacher from Burgersdorp Primary School, in the Joe Gqabi district municipality, told TimesLIVE that the school had been without electricity for more than six weeks. She said exam papers had to be printed at a colleague's home. Pupils wrote exams in "cold classrooms", in poor light. "It has been an extremely difficult and cold term. The power has really hindered us. Other teachers had to go to the local library or an internet cafe to print their work.

Sardine sellers fish for high prices

Crates of sardines that were netted in Amanzimtoti on Saturday and Sunday sold for R1,500 each. The first crates of at least 30 dozen fish are usually the most expensive. By the end of the sardine run‚ a dozen fish will cost between R10 and R20. On Sunday, a dozen of the tiny silver fish went on sale for about R60. KZN Sharks Board received reports of netting of sardines south of Durban on Saturday and Sunday afternoon. "The netting in that area continued on Sunday, with about five nets of actual sardines being netted. There were many missed nets in between, where an attempted netting comes back empty," said the board's acting head of operations, Greg Thompson.

Activists to protest at ‘horrific’ Durban July

A group of animal rights activists will gather outside Durban's Greyville Racecourse on Saturday morning to protest against the country's biggest horseracing event. Ban Animal Trading SA said the protest was not aimed at bringing the 123rd Vodacom Durban July to a halt. "Just like last year, the aim of our protest against the Durban July this year is to raise peaceful awareness about the horrific realities of the horseracing and betting industry in South Africa. We are not going to bring the event to a halt at all, as we believe in creating awareness and encouraging people to make compassionate choices," the organisation's Saihashna Rajkumar said. She said behind the glitz and glamour lay "a very dark side to the horseracing or betting industry that the general public isn't aware of". "These include unethical training methods and illegal stimulants, and horrific injuries and deaths on the course.

Teen arrested after boy, 14, shot dead

A 16-year-old boy has been arrested after he allegedly shot and killed a 14-year-old boy in a flat in Sophiatown, Johannesburg, at the weekend. A 16-year-old boy has been arrested after he allegedly shot and killed a 14-year-old boy in Sophiatown, Johannesburg, at the weekend. "It is alleged that the teenagers were in the same apartment when the suspect, who was carrying a firearm, pulled the trigger and the bullet hit the deceased," Gauteng police spokesperson Captain Mavela Masondo said. Masondo said the firearm had been stolen in Moffat View, south of Johannesburg CBD, last month. He said police arrested a 19-year-old, who was allegedly responsible for the theft. The arrests were made during the O Kae Molao operation by various law-enforcement agencies. More than 900 suspects were arrested and the operation resulted in the recovery of 16 unlicensed firearms, stolen vehicles, counterfeit goods and drugs.

Magician shoots assistant in head

A magician accidentally shot his co-performer in the head with a crossbow when "magic show" went horribly wrong at the National Arts Festival (NAF) in Makhanda on Sunday. The freak accident happened in front of a horrified crowd. Assistant performer Li Lau was rushed to Settler’s Hospital to have an arrow lodged in his head removed after lead performer Brendon Peel fired a single shot to the head, NAF CEO Tony Lankester confirmed to DispatchLIVE. Lankester said the crowd was immediately evacuated from the packed Masonic Front Hall where it had gathered to watch the duo’s 'Carnival Sideshow and Other Magical Things' performance. Lankester told DispatchLIVE the accident happened during an illusion being performed by Peel. “Mr Lau was taken to Settlers Hospital where he has received treatment. We are informed that the crossbow did not penetrate his skull, and Mr Lau is fully conscious.”


A video of a motorist clocking 322km/h on the R21 outside Kempton Park went viral on social media on Sunday. It is unclear when the video was taken, but the time on the car's screen shows it was just after 4pm.



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 town that killed itself: Germany’s silent suicide epidemic

A new book reveals why, in one town, 1,000 residents killed themselves as the Nazi regime fell

By Joe Shute
6 min read

Not pale, male and under 30? Forget about a job in Silicon Valley

Big tech is, to say the least, not an inclusive environment - but that may be about to change

By James Titcomb and Hasan Chowdhury
6 min read

It’s not just in SA: France pays staff 25 years’ full pay for doing nothing

Thirty 'phantom' bureaucrats come back to haunt the government as the French chafe under austerity

By David Chazan
2 min read

Who, me? Never! The best excuse is blaming someone else

Cambridge academic has discovered how best to get yourself off the hook, albeit not completely

By Camilla Turner
2 min read


The iconic still from the movie 'Titanic' is recreated using different varieties of rice in a paddy in Shenyang, China.
MY HEART WILL GROW ON The iconic still from the movie 'Titanic' is recreated using different varieties of rice in a paddy in Shenyang, China.
Image: STR/AFP

6 things you need to know about the world

A spot of Jesus might be needed online …

The Church of England on Monday urged Christians to follow the example of Jesus when interacting on social media, as it launched a new charter to create a "positive atmosphere" online. Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby visited the British headquarters of Facebook to launch the digital charter, which asks individuals and churches to pledge to be truthful, kind and welcoming online. "Social media has transformed the way we live our lives. As Christians we are called to engage in a way which is shaped by the example of Jesus," he said in a statement before the visit.He added: "Each time we interact online we have the opportunity either to add to currents of cynicism and abuse or to choose instead to share light and grace." – AFP

… but not God in Bollywood

A Bollywood actress who starred in India's highest-grossing movie said she is quitting acting because it is incompatible with her Islamic faith, sparking a social media storm. In a lengthy social media post on Sunday, Zaira Wasim said she was leaving the profession because becoming a Bollywood star had "damaged" her relationship with God. The 18-year-old won major awards for her two film roles to date and was considered a rising star of Indian cinema. Some took to Twitter to criticise Wasim for invoking Islam as her reason for leaving acting. "Exit is your choice, reason, by all means. Just do not demean it for everyone else. The industry where all work shoulder to shoulder, no differences, caste, religion or where you come from," wrote actress Raveena Tandon. – AFP

Tut tut … auction sparks king-size outcry

A 3,000-year-old head sculpture of an eternally-young Tutankhamun - the Egyptian pharaoh known as King Tut - goes under the hammer this week in London despite an outcry from Cairo. Christie's expects the 28.5cm brown quartzite relic from the Valley of the Kings to fetch more than £4m on Thursday. The Financial Times reported that it was the first such Egyptian statuette to go on the market since 1985.The pharaoh's finely chiselled head - its serene eyes and puffed lips emoting a sense of eternal peace - comes from the private Resandro Collection of ancient art that Christie's last sold in 2016 for £3m. But Egyptian authorities want to see the auction halted and the treasure returned. Former antiquities minister Zahi Hawass said the piece appears to have been "stolen" in the 1970s from the Karnak Temple complex of Egypt's great monuments. – AFP

High hopes for Loon balloons

Google's bet on balloons to deliver cell service soon faces a crucial test amid doubts about the viability of the technology by some potential customers. Loon says its balloons will reach Kenya in the coming weeks for its first commercial trial. The test with Telkom Kenya, the nation's No 3 carrier, will let mountain villagers buy 4G service at market-rate prices for an undefined period. Kenya's aviation authority said its final approval would be signed this month. Hatched in 2011, Loon aims to bring connectivity to remote parts of the world by floating solar-powered networking gear over areas where cell towers would be too expensive to build. Its tennis-court-sized helium balloons have demonstrated utility. Over the past three years Loon successfully let wireless carriers in Peru and Puerto Rico use balloons for free to supplant cellphone towers downed by natural disasters. – Reuters

Cliff Richard chimes in on sex offence rules

British singer Cliff Richard joined forces with other high-profile figures in the media on Monday to demand that those people accused of sexual offences are given anonymity until they are charged. Richard, 78, one of Britain's best-known entertainers, was investigated by police over allegations of historical child sex offences but cleared in 2016. He successfully sued the BBC after the corporation broadcast a police raid on his house. Under the current rules alleged victims of sexual offences receive anonymity but suspects can be named. Police and prosecutors have argued in the past that naming those who have been accused of sexual offences can encourage other victims to come forward. – Reuters

Fruit and veg hot picks for thirsty Italians

Fruit and vegetable purchases jumped 20% last week in Italy as a heatwave gripped the country, agricultural association Coldiretti said on Monday. The heat pushed consumers to "change their menu and bring fresh and healthy food to the table or beach", while climatic conditions "favoured the production of very sweet fruits," it said. The heat was exceptionally intense for June in Europe last week, with temperatures of more than 40 degrees in Italy. Some crops on the Po plain in northern Italy were severely affected, with losses of between 10% and 30% of produce such as watermelons and peppers, said Coldiretti. Animals also suffered, with stressed cows on some farms producing up to 10% less milk than usual, it said. – AFP



Cash used to be king, but cryptos are here, ready or not

The greenback will not rule for much longer as trading in all markets migrates online

By Mark Barnes
4 min read

If SA fixes its finances, who will be left to build anything?

If the government turns things around it will find all the contractors and engineers on their knees

By Nick Hedley
1 min read

Fallen property darlings give themselves the Hyprop

The company’s share price has floundered for a couple of years because of a weak economy

By Alistair Anderson
1 min read



Just for the record: More voodoo than Mardi Gras

A fortnightly review of music on vinyl

By Andrew Donaldson
13 min read

Letters for the ages: the past at the end of a pen

'Written in History' celebrates letters and the importance of words and ideas, says author Simon Sebag Montefiore

By Sanet Oberholzer
5 min read

To this day, Orwell’s truth defies our deepfake reality

A review of 'The Ministry of Truth' by Dorian Lynskey

By Robin McGhee
4 min read

Good, man! SA art hits London, and it’s got a corker venue

Goodman Gallery owner believes international arts discourse needs African voices and perspectives

By Lifestyle reporter
2 min read



SPORTS DAY: Anderson makes sunny start at Wimbledon

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

David Isaacson
5 min read

It’s a numbers game: The plan behind India’s shenanigans

Once they knew England were on their way to victory, Kohli's men had to take as few risks as possible

Telford Vice
3 min read