Tuesday, September 17 2019



No, Ninow, I don’t believe your self-serving lies, judge tells child rapist

Judge says even though the rapist pleaded guilty, he never fully explained what he was doing in the women’s toilet

3 min read

Watsons: If Gavin was murdered, we know who did it

A private pathologist heightens their suspicions as they complain that the cops are blocking their own investigation

Graeme Hosken
3 min read

To the Ndlovu choir riding the wave of US naivety: finish them, kids!

They’re milking every cliché about Africa and their American audience is lapping it up

2 min read

‘Homesick’ Ndlovu choir enjoy pap and vleis before AGT finals

Limpopo youngsters going up against nine other finalists for $1m grand prize in ‘America’s Got Talent’

3 min read



Gay Ugandan wins in court after home affairs nightmare

Arafat Mwereri was entangled in red tape from the moment he set foot in SA in 2012 as a refugee

2 min read

Spanking pupils just makes their behaviour worse: study

Pupils show no fear even after a beating, according to a new study of KZN schools where hidings are still the norm

3 min read

Former VBS bosses fight to keep their loot

The judge erred in holding former VBS COO liable for the amount of R1.5bn, argues the exec’s lawyer

Mpumzi Zuzile
2 min read

You think eating fish is good for you? Here come the superbugs

Antibiotic-resistant bugs in the sea have surged in just a few years

By Henry Bodkin
2 min read



Call it naïve, but surely SA’s rainbow hangover can’t be a bad thing

As dispiriting as the past quarter century has been, we're still unified by the same basic desires we had in 1994

Tom Eaton
4 min read

‘It’s 2005 all over again’: Probably best we listen to this guy

Economist Robert Shiller, the Nobel Prize winner, sounds a chilling warning about the US housing market

By Tom Rees
6 min read

Pyong at heart: Why Michael Palin felt 30 again in North Korea

His 75th birthday was extraordinary, but he says his globetrotting days are coming to an end

By Mick Brown
8 min read


A tract of Amazon jungle burns as it is cleared by farmers in Rio Pardo, Brazil.
burning issue A tract of Amazon jungle burns as it is cleared by farmers in Rio Pardo, Brazil.
Image: Reuters/Ricardo Moraes

Six things about SA you need to know

Army to stay in Cape until March 2020

The SA National Defence Force will stay in crime-hit parts of the Western Cape for another six months. On Monday, President Cyril Ramaphosa extended the SANDF deployment until March 31 2020. The extension came into effect on Monday, when the initial deployment was set to end. "Members of the regular and reserve forces of the SANDF will undertake operations in cooperation with the police, and will support the prevention and combating of crime and maintenance and preservation of law and order in the Western Cape," the presidency read. Ramaphosa had informed the speakers of both houses of parliament of the decision, his spokesperson, Khusela Diko, said.

Boys in court over fellow pupil’s death

The two Sastri College pupils, aged 14 and 15, who were arrested in connection with the death of a fellow pupil, have been suspended. Fifteen-year-old Moyeni Walter was shot in the vicinity of the school on Thursday and died in hospital on Friday. His family said on Saturday they believed Moyeni was killed because he refused to give another boy money. KZN education department spokesperson Kwazi Mshengu said although the incident had not occurred within school premises the department needed to intervene. The boys appeared in the Durban Magistrate’s Court on Monday, where the matter was rolled over to Tuesday. The case was heard in closed court, and the media are not allowed to name the pupils because they are minors.

Dead whale hacked on KZN beach

A dead adolescent whale that washed up on a KwaZulu-Natal south coast beach on Saturday has been hacked by locals eager to get a piece of the marine mammal. The whale, believed to be a humpback, beached about 1km north of Shelly Beach at about 5pm. Since Saturday locals have flooded to the spot either to view the whale or cut a piece from it. Brenda Johnson, a secretary at the Shelly Beach ski boat club, said the whale was "apparently bleeding from its head". "No one really knows what happened. People have been cutting and removing pieces of it since it washed up," said Johnson. It is understood the local authority was still deciding how to remove the whale from the rocky area where it beached.

State capture probe price tag already R350m

Investigations into state capture in the public sector and governance at revenue service Sars have so far cost the country just under R360m. The commission of inquiry into state capture consumes the bulk of the expense. Since its inception in 2018 it has cost the state about R350m, and it still has about a year to run. The commission into tax administration and governance at Sars cost about R8.1m. The details were revealed by justice and correctional services minister Ronald Lamola in answering written questions from DA parliamentarians. In a separate question to public works minister Patricia de Lille, the EFF asked about the lease agreement between the Zondo commission and owners at the Parktown venue where it holds its hearings. De Lille said the lease agreement, signed with Tiso Blackstar in May 2018, was for 12 months and had been extended for another seven months. It costs the commission about R860,000 monthly.

DUT closes campus over student safety protest

The Durban University of Technology suspended lectures on Monday as students protested on the Steve Biko campus after a stabbing in a lecture room. In a communique on Sunday the university said there needed to be a more conducive learning environment following the alleged suicide of a student at a university residence on Wednesday and the stabbing of first-year industrial engineering student Sandile Ndlovu last Monday. On Monday, dozens of students protested outside the campus gates, demanding footage from the vicinity of the lecture hall where Ndlovu was attacked. Lecturers were called off for Monday and Tuesday. Ndlovu is fighting for his life.

Union heads to court over affirmative action

Trade union Solidarity wants the government to change the country's affirmative action laws. The union will ask the labour court in Johannesburg on Wednesday to request that government implements recommendations made by the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) in a report nearly 18 months ago. The report suggested that certain aspects of the Employment Equity Act did not comply with constitutional or international conventions, stating that “the Employment Equity Act’s definition of designated groups is not in compliance with constitutional or international law obligations”. The union believes the recommendations could end affirmative action in its current format. Solidarity COO Dr Dirk Hermann said on Sunday: “Government has not made any changes to the Employment Equity Act yet, despite the country’s human rights watchdog having found that its un-nuanced racial approach is unconstitutional.”


A cheeky heron hitches a ride on the back of a hippo in the Kruger National Park. The clip was filmed on September 12.



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



Meghan’s CV gets a makeover as she bags her first fashion collection

A charity has launched one of its most ambitious projects yet with the savvy duchess’s help

By Caroline Leaper
4 min read

Saudi oil attack puts Gulf on the brink of a shooting war

The lesson is that Iran won’t back down, but neither will Trump as global oil markets now have to price in fresh havoc

By Clyde Russell
4 min read

Radical new stem cell treatment raises hope for Schumacher

The Formula One legend is said to be in the care of a ‘pioneer in cell surgery’ in Paris

By Victoria Lambert
6 min read

Thailand gets its own Greta Thunberg – and she really hates plastic

Inspired by the Swede, it all started for Lilly when, at age eight, she was horrified by a rubbish-covered beach

3 min read


England's Stuart Broad bowls during the fifth Ashes Test against Australia in London.
BOUNCER England's Stuart Broad bowls during the fifth Ashes Test against Australia in London.
Image: Action Images/Reuters/Andrew Boyers

6 things you need to know about the world

Labour of lav: golden loo artist praises thieves

The artist who created the golden lavatory stolen from Blenheim Palace has described the thieves as "great performers". Maurizio Cattelan, 58, said the burglars who took his artwork on Saturday were "the real artists". He denied any involvement in the theft, and hoped the 25kg loo, titled “America”, would not be melted down. "Dear thieves, please, if you are reading this, let me know how much you like the piece and how it feels to pee on gold," he added. Cattelan described his golden lavatory as "the 1% for the 99%, and I hope it still is. I want to be positive and think the robbery is a kind of Robin Hood-inspired action." His first thought on hearing the news was that it was an art world prank like that of Banksy, the street artist, shredding a £1m painting just after it had been sold at auction. "I thought … who's so stupid to steal a toilet?" he told The New York Times. "I had forgotten for a second that it was made out of gold." – Telegraph

A flood baa none for farmer

Heavy rainfall in Norway has caused rivers to overflow their banks, with a waterway in the west of the country sweeping away more than 100 sheep, police said Monday. "Firefighters and police are now trying to rescue stranded sheep," More and Romsdal regional police wrote on Twitter. "Currently there are reports of more than 100 sheep carried off by the waters," it added. "I have never experienced anything like this," sheep farmer Harald Kragnes told the newspaper Verdens Gang. "There are many dead sheep floating down the river." Floods in central Norway after a weekend of heavy rain and winds have so far claimed no human victims. However, about 25 houses and a retirement home have been cut off due to rising water levels, according to public broadcaster NRK. – AFP

Dozens of seized temple tigers die

More than half of the 147 tigers confiscated from a controversial Thai temple have died, park officials said on Monday, blaming genetic problems linked to in-breeding at the once money-spinning tourist attraction. For years, the Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua temple in the western province of Kanchanaburi pulled tourist hordes who could be photographed, for a fee, next to scores of tigers. But in 2016 park officials began a lengthy operation to remove the big cats amid allegations of mismanagement, and claims the creatures were being exploited. Dozens of dead cubs were found kept in freezers, sparking claims the carcasses were being sold by a temple rumoured to have raked in hundreds of thousands of dollars each year from visitors. Tiger parts can fetch enormous sums in China and Vietnam, where they are falsely believed to have medicinal properties. Only 61 of the 147 cats have survived so far, parks officials said. – AFP

New ‘pimped’ life for busted Vollas

When Robel Wolde bought a beat-up 1967 Volkswagen Beetle from a friend for 50,000 Ethiopian birr (R25,000), it marked the start of an extensive restoration he'd plotted for years. With new grey leather seats, new stripes and decals and oversized headlights, he joined the growing number of young Ethiopians giving the Beetle - long a hallowed feature of the nation's car culture - a 21st-century upgrade. Some of this restoration work is inspired by shows like the old MTV hit Pimp My Ride, and "pimped out", American slang for customised vehicles, has been adopted in Addis Ababa. But love for the Beetle in Ethiopia goes back decades, and is rooted in economics and nostalgia. Volkswagen, hoping to capitalise on this goodwill, has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ethiopian government to set up a domestic auto industry, including an assembly plant. – AFP

S Korean pub rapped for N Korean trappings

The owner of a North Korea-themed pub being renovated in South Korea took down a North Korean flag and portraits of the isolated country's late leaders on Monday after complaints from neighbours who feared he was violating a Cold War-era law. A North Korean flag and images of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il, the late grandfather and father of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, were hung on the outside wall of the pub in the South Korean capital, Seoul, media showed. But residents complained the pub may have violated South Korea's National Security Act, a 1948 law banning the "praising, inciting or propagating the activities" of enemies, a city official said. – Reuters

It’s official, Jeanne was world’s oldest person

Frenchwoman Jeanne Calment, who died aged 122 two decades ago, should keep the title of the oldest person on record, researchers said on Monday, rejecting claims of fraud. Ageing specialists Jean-Marie Robine and Michel Allard - who declared her the longest-lived person in the 1990s - said a review of old and new data confirmed that she "remains the oldest human whose age is well-documented”. "Recently the claim that families Calment and Billot (her in-laws) organised a conspiracy concerning tax fraud based on identity fraud between mother and daughter gained international media attention," Robine, Allard and two other researchers wrote in The Journals of Gerontology. "Here, we reference the original components of the validation as well as additional documentation to address various claims of the conspiracy theory and provide evidence for why these claims are based on inaccurate facts." - AFP



Without some form of relief, the poor are debt in the water

If you think we can keep investing in Sandton and ignore Alexandra, you’re nothing short of delusional

By Mark Barnes
4 min read

Growthpoint’s dip into the UK could turn into a big splash

Maybe it should even consider selling some of its local assets and using the proceeds to expand there further

By Alistair Anderson
1 min read

Mining asteroids is probably just a pie in the sky idea

It's hard enough mining on Earth, particularly when shafts such as Mponeng reach 4km underground

By Allan Seccombe
1 min read



Bookmarks: Dystopian fiction that hits too close to the home

A fortnightly look at books, writers and reviews

By Andrew Donaldson
10 min read

Shots fired, shots taken: Evil evidence of an eyewitness

In ‘Shots from the Edge’, photojournalist Greg Marinovich documents a lifetime in a world at war

By Jennifer Platt
5 min read

From pavement to penthouse: Street art’s street smarts

How did graffiti, historically subversive and often illegal, became an established and collectible art form?

By Alexia Walker
4 min read

The secret to happiness? Not hygge or ikigai, it’s nunchi

Danish cosy living and Japanese purpose-searching are so 2018. Here’s what’s bubbling up in lifestyle trends

By Michele Magwood
4 min read



SPORTS DAY: Dope bust foils SA sprint star Horn’s hopes

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

David Isaacson
2 min read

Bok loss won’t be ‘end of the world’ for All Blacks: Hansen

As New Zealand found in 2011, you don’t have to necessarily win the pool to get into the final

2 min read

Blasts from the past: Geffin kicks Boks to Kiwi whitewash

Today in SA sports history: September 17

David Isaacson
1 min read