Friday, August 30 2019

THE BIG ISSUES

LEADING THE AGENDA

Ace up her sleeve: ousted Durban mayor moans to Luthuli House

Zandile Gumede says she has been treated unfairly. The KZN ANC says that is nonsense

Sibongakonke Shoba
Sunday Times political editor
2 min read
News FREE

Watson was ‘highly confident’ after praying for protection at tax probe

Nephew says the Bosasa boss was in good spirits after a staff prayer session the day before he died

Graeme Hosken
Journalist
3 min read

‘Mkhwebane is being used to distract SA from state capture. She must go’

What’s more she is incompetent, says Business Unity SA CEO Busisiwa Mvuso

Karyn Maughan
Journalist
3 min read
News FREE

Doctors reinstated after seat hits the fan in Chairgate

They have been slapped with final warnings instead, so the fight is not over for the pair accused of pinching chairs

2 min read

SMART NEWS

IN ONE TAKE

Teacher accused of breaking pupil’s finger goes AWOL from school

Principal questions why the incident is referred to as corporal punishment, as department launches a probe

Prega Govender
Journalist
3 min read
News FREE

Finally! Recycling instructions that aren’t rubbish

New packaging information will help to empower consumers and relieve the headache for recycling plants

Wendy Knowler
Consumer journalist
2 min read

Tobacco shop owner and father freed after R3m ransom paid

They are among a number of kidnapped businessmen over the past six months, with huge amounts demanded

Belinda Pheto
Journalist
2 min read

Plans for more staff at hospitals are ‘gathering dust’

There is no shortage of plans to fix the lack of doctors and nurses, we simply aren't implementing them

4 min read

IDEAS

FEEDING YOUR MIND

A real man shuns idolatry until he meets a gentle man

I was a lonely boy who didn’t know how to become a man, so I looked for father figures in books

4 min read

Pig in Japan: in Shivambu’s world presidents run over reality in Aardvarks

The EFF footstool’s outrage over Cyril in a Japanese car says a lot about his relationship with the real world

Tom Eaton
Columnist
3 min read

For the Greta good: here’s how to parent your own wee eco-worrier

Fielding climate-change concerns from stressed young uns over breakfast? We asked the experts for help

By Rosa Silverman and Joe Shute
6 min read

SNAPSHOT

Cattle stand amid smoke from the burning Amazon.
SMOKED BEEF Cattle stand amid smoke from the burning Amazon.
Image: Reuters/Ricardo Moraes

Six things about SA you need to know

Mkhwebane backs down in fight with Gordhan

Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has done a u-turn and withdrawn her Constitutional Court application for leave to appeal against a court ruling preventing her office from enforcing remedial action against public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan. In July, Judge Sulet Potterill interdicted Mkhwebane and her office from enforcing the remedial action, which had been recommended in her report on the SA Revenue Service’s "rogue unit". Gordhan had asked the high court to suspend and interdict the enforcement of the remedial orders by the protector‚ pending the final determination of his review application, to be determined at a later date. Mkhwebane notified the court on Thursday that she and her office were withdrawing the leave to appeal. It was not clear why she had done so.

Zondo witness stalked by ‘strange men’ flees SA

A key witness who testified at the state capture inquiry has fled the country, saying she fears for her life. Koroneka Trading and Projects director Babadi Tlatsana told the commission in June her company had been "hijacked" by an SA Express manager and used as a conduit to siphon money from the airline and the North West government into the bank accounts of certain individuals. The commission's evidence leader, Kate Hofmeyr, announced on Thursday that the commission had received an affidavit from Tlatsana’s lawyer saying she had left SA. According to the affidavit, relayed by Hofmeyr, Tlatsana believed "strange" men were following her and monitoring her premises in Mafikeng. Tlatsana then left the country for an unknown destination. Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo said it was "concerning" and asked his team to keep him updated on the matter.

SABC denies jobs bloodbath over SuperSport deal

The SABC has allayed fears that the structure of the public broadcaster’s five-year broadcast deal with pay channel SuperSport could lead to a jobs bloodbath at Auckland Park. The SABC recently bought the rights to show Absa Premiership matches for R72m a season over five years, and there were fears that the deal would pose a threat to the jobs of the outside broadcast staff as the cash-strapped public broadcaster will get the feed directly from the rights holders, SuperSport. The outside broadcast staff usually produce matches for SABC and there were fears that their jobs would become redundant when the 66 matches per season are broadcast over the next five years. But the SABC insisted there would be no job losses since staff members would be used in other productions.

SA has 3.6m indigent households

Gauteng has the highest number of people living under indigent conditions in SA. This is according to Stats SA’s 2018 service delivery data from municipalities, presented by statistician-general Risenga Maluleke in Pretoria on Thursday. There are 863,221 indigent households identified by municipalities in the high-density province. The sparsely populated Northern Cape has the lowest (73,831). "There were 3.6 million indigent households as identified by municipalities (across SA). Out of this total, 2.8 million benefited from the indigent support system for water, while 2 million benefited from free basic electricity provided by municipalities," Maluleke said. Indigent households are entitled to six kilolitres of free water monthly.

Teen in court after soldier found in boot

A 15-year-old boy appeared in court on Thursday after being arrested in connection with the gruesome death of a soldier, whose charred body was found in the boot of a burnt-out car. The teenager, who may not be identified, was appearing with two adult co-accused at the Blue Downs Magistrate's Court in Cape Town. “He is doing fine,” his mother said. Theodore Loggenberg, 43, has already appeared in court in connection with the incident. Staff sergeant Michael Njomane, 41, was found in a burnt-out Hyundai Accent on Silversand Road on August 18. The trio will remain in custody until their next appearance on September 5. A private memorial service for the soldier was held in Pretoria, where he lived with his wife and four children. His funeral, to be arranged by the defence force, will take place later.

Catzavelos to pay off fine in k-word slur deal

Businessman Adam Catzavelos has agreed to pay a fine of R150,000 for using a racial slur directed at black South Africans, according to a deal he has struck with the SA Human Rights Commission. Catzavelos has also made a written apology as part of the settlement agreement. The commission had laid a complaint of hate speech against him. Catzavelos catapulted to notoriety in August 2018 through a video of him using the k-word to celebrate the fact that there were no black people around him during a beach holiday in Greece. In the letter he said he felt disgusted, horrified and ashamed of his behaviour. Catzavelos agreed to pay instalments of R5,000 over 30 months. He is also set to make representations to national director of public prosecutions Shamila Batohi on why he should not face a crimen injuria charge lodged against him. The case was stood down until October 2.

THE VISUAL SIDE

Controversial self-proclaimed prophet Shepherd Bushiri and his wife, Mary, appeared in the Pretoria specialised commercial crime court on Thursday. Visagie Street in Tshwane was swamped with hundreds of 'Major 1' supporters, who sang and danced while waiting for him to arrive. The trial has been postponed to November 29 for the state and defence to submit representations.


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

Do or die: this is Boris’s Falklands War, and it’s win at all costs

It's not all about Brexit as his staff at No 10 prove to be anything but amateurish, lackadaisical or lazy

By Allister Heath
5 min read

Study linking c-section to autism doesn’t cut it, say experts

Swedish scientists claim caesar babies are a third more likely to have  the condition, but others are very sceptical

By Laura Donnelly
2 min read

Air travel has lost its romance – have we flown too close to the sun?

A century on, the concern is not so much ‘look how far we’ve come’ as ‘have we gone too far?’

By Hugh Morris
4 min read

I’m used to men trying – and failing – to put out my fire for younger men

Men like the president of Brazil trot out a cliché that stands no chance against women who go after what they want

By Kate Mulvey
4 min read

SNAPSHOT

Remains of one of the 227 children from the pre-Columbian Chimu culture in South America, the biggest discovery of child sacrifice in the world.
SACRIFICIAL LAMBKINS Remains of one of the 227 children from the pre-Columbian Chimu culture in South America, the biggest discovery of child sacrifice in the world.
Image: Luis Puell/Andina/AFP

6 things you need to know about the world

Meth smugglers on a hide to nothing

Australian police seized a record 755kg of methamphetamine hidden in a shipment of frozen cowhides from Mexico, authorities said on Thursday. The crystal meth was wrapped in aluminium foil and sandwiched among 18 pallets of hides that arrived in Sydney aboard a shipping container marked “Salty Bovine Skin”. The haul was estimated to be worth more than $380m and was described by the Australian Federal Police as the "largest onshore seizure of ice originating from Mexico". A 42-year-old Mexican man living in Melbourne has been arrested in connection with the shipment. Police allege the man is an associate of a Mexican-based crime syndicate and have charged him with importing an illegal drug and attempted possession of a banned narcotic. – AFP

Jack says AI OK, but Musk says jou Ma

Billionaire tech tycoons Jack Ma and Elon Musk faced off on Thursday in an occasionally animated debate on futurism in Shanghai. The Alibaba co-founder and the maverick industrialist behind Tesla and SpaceX frequently pulled pained expressions and raised eyebrows as they kicked off an AI conference with a dialogue that challenged attendees to keep up, veering from technology to Mars, death, and jobs. The hot topic was AI, with Ma saying: "Computers may be clever, but human beings are much smarter. We invented the computer - I've never seen a computer invent a human being … I think AI can help us understand humans better. I don't think it's a threat." Musk countered: "I don't know man, that's like, famous last words." He said the "rate of advancement of computers in general is insane", sketching out a vision in which super-fast, artificially intelligent devices eventually tire of dealing with dumb, slow humans. – AFP

Activists fly their toys out of the cot

British activists said they would fly toy drones at London's Heathrow airport from September 13, a step that will probably ground flights, to put pressure on the government to take tougher steps to reduce carbon emissions. The planned action could add to travel chaos at Heathrow, Europe's biggest airport, with strike action by British Airways pilots also planned in September. The Heathrow Pause group said it would fly the drones within the restricted zone but outside the flight paths of the airport, which it said would force the airport to ground flights. "This is a symbolic action, using a legal loophole and participants’ self-sacrifice to draw attention to the most serious and urgent crisis humanity has ever faced," it said. – Reuters

Love just killed your Flipper moment

Tourists have been banned from swimming with dolphins at a popular New Zealand holiday destination because they are "loving them too much". Sharply falling dolphin numbers have meant that boat trips offering a chance to swim with dolphin pods in the Bay of Islands have been halted. The population of bottlenose dolphins has fallen from 270 to about 30 in just 20 years. The conservation department found human interaction was "having a significant impact on the population's resting and feeding behaviour". Latest reports show a 75% mortality rate among the calves, far above average in the wild and in captivity. Swimming with the mammals might be a thrill, but conservation officials think the relationship has become too close and unhealthy and have decreed that cruise operators may interact with them for only 20 minutes at a time to give the dolphins space to get away from curious onlookers. – © Telegraph Media Group Limited (2019)

God’s anti-vaxxers get a nudge in Urk …

In the Dutch coastal town of Urk, many people are still raised with a few core beliefs: God, fishing and refusing to be vaccinated. Located in the conservative Protestant "Bible Belt" of the Netherlands, Urk suffered a measles outbreak in June because of low vaccination rates. But as the World Health Organisation warns of a measles surge across Europe, there are hopes that Urk can show how to turn things around. "At this point vaccination is 60% and that's low compared with the rest of the country … the second-lowest in the Netherlands," Freek Brouwer, the Urk town councillor for health, said. Like other Bible Belt towns, Urk is part of the Dutch Orthodox Reformed Church, and religion plays a strong part in daily life – 94% of people regularly go to church, which has traditionally opposed TV, movies - and vaccination." – AFP

… but the faithful get a breather in Oz

Australia has proposed legislation to protect people who express their religious faith outside the workplace, a few months after rugby star Israel Folau was sacked for posting on social media that hell awaited “drunks, homosexuals, adulterers”. Attorney-general Christian Porter said the proposal would allow Australians to express their religious beliefs away from the workplace as long as it did not cause financial damage to their employer. The legislation was needed because anti-discrimination laws did not go far enough. “Australia has a strong anti-discrimination framework with specific protections for people against discrimination on the basis of their age, sex, race and disability,” Porter said. “This draft bill … extends those protections to provide protection for people against discrimination on the basis of their religion or religious belief, or lack thereof”. – Reuters

THE BUSINESS

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Woolies: Investors welcome cost-cutting and want Moir

Share price rose over 4% on Thursday on better Aussie outlook despite the retailer reducing its dividend

By Nick Hedley
2 min read

Let’s go to the shop: Fourways Mall reopens after five years

Revamped shopping centre is worth R9bn and wants to compete with Sandton City and Mall of Africa

By Alistair Anderson
2 min read

Aveng licks its wounds after N2 Wild Coast bridge folly

Regrets taking on the contract to build the 1.1km bridge after threats of violence from community

By Siseko Njobeni
2 min read

LIFESTYLE

CULTURE COMES ALIVE

Now what is Zolani Mahola doo-be-doing with her life?

The beloved lead singer of Freshly Ground has a few new tricks up her sleeve as she goes solo

By Sanet Oberholzer
2 min read

MTV Video awards: A Swift one while she was away

Taylor Swift won video of the year and Ariana Grande was voted artist of the year at a girl-powered function

By Staff reporters
2 min read

Baby Boomers are toppie of the pops at binge watching

Those aged 55 and over have embraced the binge-watching trend just as their children are tiring of it

By Hannah Furness
2 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: Huh? Boks given only a 13% chance of winning

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

David Isaacson
Journalist
3 min read

A rare kick to find hicks from the sticks transform SA rugby

It’s a big deal that Am and Mapimpi graduated from  little known schools in the Border backwaters

2 min read

Blasts from the past: Team SA win first-ever rowing gold

Today in SA sports history: August 30

David Isaacson
Journalist
1 min read