Friday, August 16 2019

THE BIG ISSUES

LEADING THE AGENDA

Chilling warning ahead of hit attempt on tobacco baron

Cigarette tycoon told of other hit attempts just hours before gunmen opened fire on industry kingpin

By Jeff Wicks and Graeme Hosken
3 min read

Yes, NHI might become corrupt ... and don’t chuck your medaid card

Health chair says you can keep your private cover, but you'll have to pay for both. Oh, and, 2026 might be optimistic

Matthew Savides
News editor
6 min read

You’ve failed SA, judge tells Mkhwebane

The public protector has been told to personally pay up in another scathing court loss

Karyn Maughan
Journalist
3 min read

Vendor in the soup for claiming food giant stole his idea

FREE TO READ | But Thando Tema, who claims Unilever nicked his smaller Cup-a-Soup idea, is not giving in

Mpumzi Zuzile
Journalist
4 min read

SMART NEWS

IN ONE TAKE

Wife-killer Rohde’s rugby jaunt on expired passport sinks his bail bid

Releasing him on bail would be a mockery of the criminal justice system, says judge

3 min read

We’re just waiting for mommy to come home, says ‘Zephany’

Despite everything, Miché Solomon says she feels lucky to have ended up with a mom who loved her

Dave Chambers
Cape Town bureau chief
2 min read

Textbooks are out, augmented reality is in for African kids

An app that helps bring learning material to life has been launched with much aplomb

Jeff Wicks
Journalist
2 min read

SA SPECIES IN CRISIS

WITH CITES 2019 STARTING ON SATURDAY, WE LOOK AT THE STATE OF SA SPECIES

As SA ghost frogs, dragon-like lizards vanish ...

These wonderful species are facing extinction, owing to a toxic mix of factors

Claire Keeton
Journalist
4 min read

… so too do the majestic giants of the veld

There is a rapid, silent extinction happening in front of our eyes, says expert

Claire Keeton
Journalist
2 min read

IDEAS

FEEDING YOUR MIND

I’ll take Epstein-killing ninjas and a smack in a kooky beard over reality

Some explanations in life are far better without the interference of Occam’s razor - and we all love to do it

4 min read

What’s that tiny whine? The ANC Women’s League falling briefly out of line

There are probably good reasons Bathabile Dlamini's threat to form another organisation fizzled out

Tom Eaton
Columnist
2 min read

Zephany Nurse’s stolen lives are not the stuff of fairy-tales

Her fate is a real-life version of an archetypal myth, except she is left with deeper, more difficult questions

Sue de Groot
Journalist
6 min read

New TB drugs banish terrible ‘kitchen sink’ approach

A new triple-drug regimen means the days of bombarding patients with medicines are over

By Francesca Conradie
4 min read

SNAPSHOT

Fireworks explode in front of the full moon to mark the feast of the Assumption of Our Lady in Mosta, Malta.
FEAST YOUR EYES Fireworks explode in front of the full moon to mark the feast of the Assumption of Our Lady in Mosta, Malta.
Image: Reuters/Darrin Zammit Lupi

Six things about SA you need to know

Molefe asks for time to repay R700,000

Former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe has written a letter to trade union Solidarity asking for 30 days to repay a legal cost order made against him to the tune of R708,102. "Mr Molefe wrote us a lovely letter to say that he wants to repay the amount. He wants 30 days in which to pay us," Solidarity’s lawyer, Anton van der Bijl, said on Thursday. "We are currently in correspondence with his attorney and we want that money to be paid within seven days or we will proceed with a warrant of execution and attach his properties.” Molefe last week failed in a bid before the Constitutional Court to appeal against a decision that he pay back some of the R30m pension money allocated to him by the power utility. The high court declared that any payment received by Molefe under any purported pension agreement between himself and Eskom was invalid. Molefe was ordered to repay such amounts.

Rand weakness weighs heavily on fuel prices

Sudden rand weakness after a lengthy period of stability has put pressure on the fuel price and left SA at the mercy of international oil markets. This is according to the AA, which was commenting on unaudited mid-month fuel price data released by the Central Energy Fund. Based on the current data, petrol is showing an increase of up to 10c a litre, illuminating paraffin 12c, and diesel as much as 16c. "We are concerned that there may be worse to come. The South African economy is in a parlous state, with ongoing policy uncertainty and a growing debt burden. The country is ill-placed to weather its domestic challenges, let alone developments on the international front, and this leaves fuel users increasingly exposed to movements in the rand," the AA said.

Cremer murder suspect faces second charge

One of the three men charged with murdering Meghan Cremer is suspected of another murder, a Cape Town court was told on Thursday. Prosecutor Envar Hartnick said Shiraaz Jaftha, 34, had another case of murder pending against him. Jaftha appeared in the Athlone Magistrate’s Court alongside Jeremy Sias, 27, and Charles Daniels, 39, for the murder of 30-year-old Cremer. Her body was found at a sand mine in Philippi early on Thursday, August 8, five days after she disappeared. Hartnick said Sias had a pending car theft case and a prior assault conviction, while Daniels had a pending theft case and a previous drug conviction. Sias and Daniels abandoned their bail applications and Daniels’s application was postponed until September 11.

Famed designer Carrol Boyes dies at 65

Iconic artist and designer Carrol Boyes has died at the age of 65. Carrol Boyes (Pty) Ltd confirmed Boyes’s death on Thursday. “We are saddened by the loss of Carrol, who passed away last night after a brief illness,” it said. Boyes was the founder, creator and chief executive of the Cape Town retailer. “She was an iconic South African artist and designer who crafted upmarket home and lifestyle items,” the company said. Boyes established her company in 1991. She built her business from a one-woman show run from her Hout Bay studio, supplying a single gift shop in Cape Town, to one that provides jobs for several hundred people and has outlets all over the world.

Cops hunt looters of foreign-owned shops

Shopkeepers feeling vulnerable after a night of looting in various areas of Soweto are closing shop and moving to safety for fear of fresh flare-ups. Townships affected by Wednesday night's looting of foreign-owned spaza shops included Meadowlands, Zola, Emdeni, Moletsane, White City, Zondi and Rockville. Reasons for the lootings are unclear. Gauteng police spokesperson Capt Kay Makhubule said no arrests had been made on Thursday, but investigations were under way as the looting sprees had been captured in a series of videos. The situation was calm in the townships on Thursday, but a significant number of foreign-owned shops had been closed, with some owners fleeing the area.

Ramaphosa's bank statements to be sealed

Bank statements linked to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s CR17 campaign for the ANC presidency will not be publicly released. However, other evidence related to Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s report on that campaign may be made public – depending on whether Ramaphosa’s lawyers are satisfied that it was lawfully obtained and is not confidential. This follows a meeting between the parties on Thursday. Mkhwebane’s office has expressed her unhappiness with the decisions taken by Pretoria High Court Deputy Judge President Aubrey Ledwaba in regard to the so-called “Rule 53 record” she filed as part of her efforts to explain the findings she made against the president and his campaign. Ledwaba is understood to have agreed that the Ramaphosa campaign bank statements should be sealed, and given Ramaphosa’s lawyers until August 26 to raise any further issues with evidence they believe should be sealed.

THE VISUAL SIDE

A video has circulated of what is allegedly a teacher slapping pupils across the face in class at a Limpopo high school on Wednesday. Other pupils watch, while a commotion can be heard in the background. The education department says it has been alerted about the 'shocking video', and that corporal punishment 'cannot be tolerated'. District officials have been sent to the school to investigate and determine what course of action needs to be taken.


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

Beijing Putin on a show of force as Hong Kong gives dictators the jitters

The protests are supercharging the growing global divide between democracies and authoritarian states

By Peter Apps
4 min read

My war dog: this soldier rescued a Syrian pup, then she saved his life

Battling PTSD, Seán Laidlaw went back to Raqqa, where he found a stray who helped him save himself

By Guy Kelly
6 min read

Disney sweats as Nazi satire goose-steps all over its family image

When it bought Fox the studio inherited a cutting-edge hot potato thanks to a Kiwi comic actor

By Ben Riley-Smith
2 min read

From horsey to haute couture: how Princess Anne became a fashion icon

As she turns 70, she may be eclipsed by Kate and Meghan, but no one can beat her for effortless style

By Bethan Holt
5 min read

SNAPSHOT

An emergency landing in a field near Zhukovsky International Airport in Moscow Region.
HORIZONTAL PLANE An emergency landing in a field near Zhukovsky International Airport in Moscow Region.
Image: Reuters/Stringer

6 things you need to know about the world

Life’s a king-size drag, my friend

Melodie Rousseau is an actress by day, but at night, the 33-year-old Canadian makes herself up as a man - and takes the stage at Montreal’s cabaret halls as a drag king. Performing in drag is not only a means of artistic expression, it’s a political statement by Rousseau and others looking to step out of the formidable shadow of the better-known drag queens. While drag queens are in the mainstream, drag kings are still under the radar. Rousseau, who performs as Rock Biere, says: “There is of course a political side to it all, for a woman to take on a male persona. It’s a bit dangerous for a woman to dare to adopt the physique of the dominant sex.” For sociologist David Risse, the director of the Center for Diversity Research and Cultural Activities in Montreal, the act of being a drag king is a “statement - it’s empowerment.” – AFP

Next life will have to wait for old tusker

A skeletal 70-year-old elephant has been withdrawn from a high-profile annual Buddhist pageant in Sri Lanka following a social media firestorm against parading the feeble animal. The chief custodian of the Temple of the Tooth - which organises the event - Pradeep Nilanga Dela said Tikiri would not be part of the grand finale, involving dozens of jumbos. Dela said the elephant’s “medical condition” meant her owners told him she would not be part of Kandy city’s parade and said: “Tikiri is being treated.” Animal lovers lambasted the authorities for forcing the aged animal to parade several kilometres wearing elaborate clothing at the hugely popular night festival. Asian elephant expert Jayantha Jayewardene described the animal’s treatment as inhumane: “Obviously the animal is severely undernourished, it is close to death.” – AFP

Holy cows are a deadly business

An Indian court has acquitted six people accused of murdering a Muslim man who was attacked while transporting cows, which Hindus revere. Pehlu Khan, a 55-year-old farmer, died after about 200 vigilantes attacked trucks carrying cattle on a highway in the western state of Rajasthan in April 2017. Nine people were accused of killing Khan, with six of them acquitted by a local court in Rajasthan. The three other accused are minors and are being tried in a juvenile court, Indian media reported. The Khan family’s legal team said the prosecution planned to appeal against the verdict. Cow slaughter is illegal in many Indian states and vigilante squads that roam highways checking livestock trucks for animals being transported across state borders have proliferated since Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party came to power in 2014. - AFP

Temple keeps Bali butt-splashers in Czech

A Czech couple slammed for disrespecting a Balinese temple took part in a ritual purification ceremony on Thursday, after their antics sparked warnings that boorish tourists may be kicked off the Indonesian holiday island. Sabina Dolezalova and her boyfriend Zdenek Slouka set off a firestorm of criticism over an online video that showed the woman laughing as she hiked up her skirt while Slouka splashed her backside with holy water. It was the latest in a string of embarrassing tourist gaffes on the Hindu-dominated island, which attracts millions annually. On Thursday, the sombre-looking couple touched pressed hands to their heads as a show of respect at the Beji Temple, located inside a monkey sanctuary in Ubud, the island's cultural heart. The pair, dressed in traditional clothing, sipped holy water while a Hindu priest led the ceremony as bells rang and incense was burned. – AFP

Furious Chinese get shirty with Amazon …

Chinese social media users directed their fury at online retailer Amazon.com on Thursday, after discovering T-shirts on its website sporting slogans that support anti-government protesters in Hong Kong. The hashtag "Amazon T-Shirts" became the fourth-top trending topic on China's Twitter-like Weibo in the latest backlash for an overseas company that broached matters regarding Hong Kong's territorial status. The widely-read Global Times tabloid, published by China's state-owned People's Daily, said many Chinese internet users found the T-shirts for sale carrying slogans such as "Free Hong Kong Democracy Now" and "Hong Kong is Not China", among others. Legions of internet users accused the site of being insensitive towards the Chinese people, with one Weibo user writing: "Amazon has already left China, right? We need to teach this company a lesson." – Reuters

… as Sinaporeans have tech down to a tee

Researchers in Singapore have invented “smart” clothing they say can boost signals and save battery life on wireless devices such as headphones and smart watches. This "metamaterial" allows radio waves like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to glide across clothing between wearable devices instead of radiating outwards in all directions. This means sensors and wearable technology such as Apple Watches and AirPods can establish stronger connections faster and save energy, the scientists at National University of Singapore said. "This T-shirt increases the wireless connectivity of devices around my body by 1,000 times," said assistant professor John Ho, donning a sports shirt laced with comb-shaped strips of the metamaterial textile. – Reuters

THE BUSINESS

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Avon fun yet? Making mucho moolah by direct selling

Avon Justine MD Mafahle Mareletse punts it as the quickest, easiest way to create self employment

By Phumi Ramalepe
3 min read

SA bonds and the rand: It’s crazy what a little faith can do

Easy for investors to pile back into local bonds (and so beef up the rand) if the domestic situation brightens

By Karl Gernetzky
1 min read

No milk today: Clover sours on shabby service delivery

Company packs up and leaves small towns due to losses incurred by their failure to provide basic services

By Siseko Njobeni
1 min read

LIFESTYLE

CULTURE COMES ALIVE

It’s Bruce Lee, man! The one fight Brad Pitt didn’t want

Daughter of late martial arts star is bitter about Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’

By Tymon Smith
2 min read

The perils of being a randy old coot in a world of Tinder

Smug marrieds can thank their lucky stars they don’t have to emulate author Candace Bushnell

By Lynn Barber
6 min read

Won’t you take us to the bioscope?

The films opening in our cinemas this week

By Critics’ choice
2 min read

SPORT

FINISH LINE ESSENTIALS

SPORTS DAY: Wits could lose captain Hlatshwayo to Pirates

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

David Isaacson
Journalist
3 min read

Cricket, cricket, cricket, cricket, cricket, cricket, fish

Dale Steyn was supposed to play in yet another two-bit T20 tournament, but now he’s gone fishing. Why?

Telford Vice
Journalist
5 min read

Blasts from the past: Bungu makes amazing 9th defence

Today in SA sports history: August 16

David Isaacson
Journalist
1 min read