Tuesday, July 16 2019




Zuma before Zondo: Too Gupta to be true

Former president's first day of testimony is a bizarre mix of paranoia, conspiracy theories and 'memory lapses'

Amil Umraw
6 min read

He’s still our No 1, say Zuma’s praise singers

Supporters take swipes at the Zondo commission while listing the former president’s ‘achievements’

By Penwell Dlamini and Zingisa Mvumvu
4 min read




We put the biggest plastic culprits on the spot

Some manufacturers and brand owners are still not designing with recycling in mind. We ask them why

Wendy Knowler
Consumer journalist
2 min read

Divided royalties: Mpumalanga chief’s battle is far from over

The dethroned leader’s legal team says they are not giving up just yet

Shain Germaner
3 min read

Don’t panic – but if you do, there is help

Panic attacks are a terrifying illness, but there's no need to suffer alone because it's highly treatable

Tanya Farber
2 min read

Convicts leave the cops for dust ... and everyone’s happy about it

A prison soccer team have won 25 of their 29 matches and turned into instant local celebrities

Bobby Jordan
3 min read

Ain’t no mountain high enough for this cancer warrior

From cancer to Kilimanjaro: how a Durban man conquered both in six months

2 min read



The lyin’, the snitch and the warlord: What ‘The Lion King’ teaches us

The terrifying, dystopian satire - and its 2019 remake - tell us all we need to know about the SA we live in

Tom Eaton
4 min read

In a basement far, far away: Comic-Con’s 50-year journey to greatness

The world’s largest celebration of pop culture never used to be about A-listers and huge licensing deals

3 min read

Better one friend you can lean on than thousands you can’t unfriend

Today, a ‘friend’ might be someone you’ve never met, even though you are privy to details of their private life

By Jane Shilling
3 min read


Supporters of former president Jacob Zuma gather outside Hill on Empire in Parktown, where Zuma appeared before the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture on Monday.
IN BLACK AND WHITE Supporters of former president Jacob Zuma gather outside Hill on Empire in Parktown, where Zuma appeared before the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture on Monday.
Image: Guillem Sartorio/AFP

Six things about SA you need to know

100 pupils in hospital after mystery gas leak

A teacher is in critical condition and as many as 100 pupils have been taken to hospital after they inhaled an unknown gas at Vukuzakhe High School in Umlazi, south of Durban. Paramedics were called to the school on Monday where, according to teachers and pupils, a small unknown substance exploded and was inhaled by a number of pupils. Three pupils were first transported to a nearby clinic. When paramedics got to the school they found teachers and pupils complaining about itchy throats, burning eyes and shortness of breath. There were reports of “multiple patients collapsing", said Rescue Care paramedic spokesperson Garrith Jamieson. He said later about 100 people were taken to hospital. KwaZulu-Natal education spokesperson Kwazi Mthethwa said they weren’t sure what caused the incident but “we will be investigating”.

Water cuts in Bloem as council fails to pay

Bloem Water imposed restrictions on the Mangaung metro municipality on Monday due to non-payment of bills. The decision comes after the municipality failed to honour several resolutions made to settle its outstanding accounts, and also follows two mediation processes on February 21 and July 4. "The mediation processes … ruled that the Mangaung metro municipality should pay the outstanding accounts. Unfortunately, that has not been happening,” said Bloem Water. It had been resolved that the municipality settle its outstanding debt and that interest on it would be written off. However, this did not happen. “Even under the continuous non-payment, Bloem Water has always been supplying full capacity of bulk water services to the metro. This situation has put Bloem Water in an untenable situation which left it with no option but to reduce the bulk water supply,” it said.

SA Aids scientist inducted into Royal Society

SA’s leading Aids researcher and scientist, Prof Salim Abdool Karim, has been inducted as a fellow of the prestigious science academy, the Royal Society. The London-based society was established in 1660 by royal charter and has included many of the world’s leading scientists over the past four centuries, from Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin to Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking. Fellowship is awarded to an individual who has made a “substantial contribution to the improvement of natural knowledge, including mathematics, engineering science and medical science". Abdool Karim joined about 40 leading scientists globally who were inducted as fellows of the oldest academy at a ceremony in London. He is the director of the Centre for the Aids Programme of Research in SA (Caprisa), and Caprisa professor of global health at the Maliman School of Public Health at Columbia University in New York.

AA expects petrol hike, but drop in diesel

While the rand won ground against the US dollar in July, international oil prices have increased, offsetting the gains. This is according to the Automobile Association (AA), which was commenting on unaudited monthly fuel price data released by the Central Energy Fund. "The rand has progressively appreciated against the US dollar since July 1, dipping below the R14/$ mark," the AA said. "However, international oil prices, which pulled back further in the first week of July, have raced upwards again on concerns over international inventories and ongoing political instability in the Middle East." The increase in the refined cost of fuel was higher for petrol than for diesel, setting up the unusual situation where diesel users were set for a price reduction while petrol seemed likely to increase. The data show a 7c/litre increase for petrol, with a 20c decrease for diesel. Illuminating paraffin should be 14c a litre cheaper.

Troops in Cape played peacekeepers in DRC, Sudan

SA National Defence Force troops who arrived in Cape Town on Monday have performed peacekeeping duties in countries including Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. SANDF spokesperson Brig-Gen Mafi Mgobozi said on Monday the troops were already in Cape Town. The troops, comprising soldiers from different parts of the country, were undergoing "mission-ready" before official deployment, which aims to help police curb gang violence and killings, particularly on the Cape Flats. The troops were reportedly from 8 South African Infantry Battalion. During a walkabout in Philippi East on Sunday, police minister Bheki Cele said the army would be deployed within days. The soldiers would be expected to support and help the police. It was reported that there were 43 murders at the weekend in Cape Town.

New Robben Island ferry to boost visitor numbers

Robben Island is set to increase its passenger-carrying capacity by more than 270 people with the introduction of a new catamaran ferry in Cape Town. The ferry, which arrived on Friday, has been named Krotoa, after the first female political prisoner on the island. “This will enhance our carrying capacity as a key component to ensuring high visitor numbers and a seamless visitor experience,” said Ellerick Olckers, visitor operations specialist at the Robben Island Museum. Krotoa has a passenger capacity of 285. She is expected to make her maiden journey after being given the all-clear by the SA Maritime Safety Authority. The museum has said numerous tours had to be cancelled in 2018 due to a lack of ferries able to operate in rough seas. As a result, visitor numbers declined. A ferry named Thandi sank in 2017 with 70 people on board.


It’s been 50 years since the first successful trip to the moon, when Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins landed on the heavenly body and returned safely to Earth.



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



Whore lords: the truth about jihadi brides, sex and Islamic State

An ex-soldier reveals the sordid tales shared by the 70 women he rescued from IS's 'giant brothel'

By John Carney
8 min read

Bullying pain in the bum booted over boiling butter down pants

Head chef axed after subordinate blows whistle on burnings, black eyes and 'eating rabbit s**t'

By Lizzie Roberts
2 min read

Soon the far side of the moon is going to be a pretty crowded place

Plans for a giant telescope on the lunar surface are nearing completion, and hotels and mining camps will follow

By Joey Roulette
4 min read

Boy, 12, dodges Heathrow security and boards a flight to LA

The youngster, whose stunt led to the plane being emptied, was only discovered when crew tried to show him his seat

By Martin Evans
3 min read


Haitians bathe during the annual pilgrimage to the waterfall in Saut D'Eaui.
WASH AWAY THE WORRIES Haitians bathe during the annual pilgrimage to the waterfall in Saut D'Eaui.
Image: Reuters/Andres Martinez Casares

6 things you need to know about the world

The moon must wait for India

India postponed the launch of a lunar probe on Monday less than an hour before blast-off because of a technical problem, delaying its bid to become only the fourth nation to land a spacecraft on the moon. The Chandrayaan-2 (Moon Chariot 2) mission is part of India's ambitious space programme, and its success would have propelled the South Asian nation into rarefied company: Russia, the US and China are the only countries to have landed craft on the lunar surface. The spacecraft looked set for launch atop a Geosynchronous Launch Vehicle Mk III - India's most powerful rocket - from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, but countdown was halted 56 minutes and 24 seconds before the planned lift-off. "A technical snag was observed in launch vehicle system at one hour before the launch," the Indian Space Research Organisation said. – AFP

Attack of the deadly sea lettuce

Holidaymakers heading for the beaches of northern France this year have been warned about a green tide of potentially toxic sea lettuce that may have been responsible for the deaths of two men in under a week. In the growing public health scandal, an 18-year-old oyster farmer died in Morlaix Bay last Saturday, and a 70-year-old retiree in Douarnenez Bay on Tuesday. The Brittany beauty spots where the unidentified men apparently succumbed to heart attacks "in minutes" are hugely popular with tourists, including thousands who arrive from the UK in the summer. – © Telegraph Media Group Limited (2019)

Kids take stolen car on 1,000km road trip

Four children took a stolen four-wheel drive on a 1,000km road trip across the Australian outback before being nabbed by police, officials said on Monday. A 14-year-old boy, two 13-year-old boys and a 10-year-old girl began their epic journey on Saturday when they took cash and packed fishing rods in a vehicle belonging to one of their families in the coastal Queensland town of Rockhampton, police said. One of the children left a note for his family telling them of his plans. Queensland police said the car was spotted on Sunday morning in the outback town of Banana, where the kids allegedly stole petrol, before travelling south. The car was found on Sunday night near Grafton, in the neighbouring state of New South Wales, about 11 hours' drive from Rockhampton. Officers had to use a baton to get into the vehicle after the children locked themselves in, police said. – AFP

Things not aboot to change too much, hey

The Anglican Church of Canada - which has more than 500,000 members - has rejected a motion to modify its definition of marriage to embrace same-sex unions. The motion heard at the church’s general assembly, or synod, would have changed its marriage canon to remove references to unions between a man and a woman. To pass, the proposal required a two-thirds majority from each of three groups of delegates: lay people, clergy and bishops. But though lay delegates and members of the clergy voted largely in favor of the move late Friday in Vancouver, they did not meet the two-thirds threshold among the bishops. The motion had been approved in a first vote at the last general assembly three years ago, but it needed to be validated at two meetings in a row. Many in the church, which has nearly 1,700 parishes, were disappointed. - AFP

Honk if you love a royal swanning about

Royal officials clad in scarlet outfits took to the River Thames in traditional boats on Monday for the annual "Swan Upping" ceremony, an 800-year-old tradition of counting the swans owned by Britain’s Queen Elizabeth. Teams in old fashioned skiffs will row up a stretch of the river over the next five days to carry out the annual census of the birds, shouting "all up" when they come across a mute swan and its family. The swans and their young cygnets are then counted, weighed and checked for injury. – Reuters

Vatican red-faced over tombs riddle

The Vatican’s attempts to help the family of an Italian teenager who went missing 36 years ago have merely deepened the mystery surrounding her fate, and risk backfiring, analysts say. Emanuela Orlandi, the daughter of a Vatican employee, was last seen leaving a music class in Rome at the age of 15, and theories have circulated for decades about who took her and where her body might lie. Two tombs at the Teutonic Cemetery in the Vatican were opened last week after an anonymous tip-off that they might contain her remains. But in a surprise twist, not only was there no trace of Orlandi, the remains of two princesses believed to have been buried there were gone too. The Vatican immediately promised an inquiry, saying the bones may have been moved during work on the cemetery and Pontifical Teutonic College during the 1960s and 1970s. - AFP



Leadership: Between the ego and the Idi lies certain failure

Wannabe dictators are many, but there is great risk in placing too much power in the hands of one person

By Mark Barnes
3 min read

Auditing watchdog tears into Deloitte over Abil rights issue

Concerns about bank not disclosed to shareholders, who saw African Bank go under eight months later

By Londiwe Buthelezi
1 min read

Rival diamond miners can’t wait for Rio to stop the glut

Rio Tinto’s Argyle mine has flooded the market and suppressed prices for smaller, lower quality diamonds

By Allan Seccombe
1 min read



Just for the record: Get Ziggy and jiggy with jazz

A fortnightly review of music on vinyl

By Andrew Donaldson
10 min read

The prime of Jackson Brodie

After a run of literary hits, Kate Atkinson returns to her detective series with ‘Big Sky’. The result is a triumph

By Jake Kerridge
4 min read



SPORTS DAY: Caster’s battle is huge for sport as a whole

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

Mninawa Ntloko
Sports editor
7 min read
Sport FREE

Mabena Mabena translates into two words: Baxter out!

The name Mabena has become synonymous with out of step and clumsy, and the coach must take the blame

3 min read

Blasts from the past: Prop Okey kicks out NZ in 1949

Today in SA sports history: July 16

David Isaacson
1 min read