Monday, September 30 2019

THE BIG ISSUES

LEADING THE AGENDA

Please, Cyril, no more talk shops – you need to act to fix SA

He’s gathered yet another committee of advisers, but the same problems continue to blight our beautiful country

4 min read

The waiting dead: mortuary strike stalls final goodbyes

An 'illegal' strike at a Durban morgue means families have to change plans to say farewell to loved ones

Matthew Savides
News editor
5 min read

Environmentalists don’t give a frack about this Rhino

Frackers are seeking permission to explore a huge swathe of SA, but activists aren’t taking it lying down

3 min read

Fury as all budding surgeons at four top medical schools fail

The registrars are crying discrimination because some are foreigners, and have threatened court action

3 min read

SMART NEWS

IN ONE TAKE

Alarm bells over toxic farm chemicals in SA water

SA and Norway researchers find high levels of a toxic herbicide in water bodies surrounding maize fields

Tony Carnie
Journalist
4 min read

African farmers get hi-tech with satellite-driven superpowers

The tech will help the masses of farmers already suffering the effects of global warming

Dave Chambers
Cape Town bureau chief
2 min read

Judge lashes Cape Town over chaotic CCTV tender

High court clears up the mess after municipality awards lucrative tender to the wrong company

Shain Germaner
Journalist
2 min read

Coca-Cola ‘lied to treasury about sugar tax’, study finds

UK academics poke a number of holes in claims by the company and the American Chamber of Commerce SA

4 min read

IDEAS

FEEDING YOUR MIND

Auction car lands new owner behind bars. What went so terribly wrong?

Woman’s ordeal highlights why you should be very cautious about buying a vehicle under the hammer

Wendy Knowler
Consumer journalist
4 min read

Meghan, don’t brag about Archie – we know he can’t be that perfect

Her praise for her ‘wondrous’ son is a pain for those for whom parenting is difficult and self-flagellation easy

By Christina Hopkinson
4 min read

They wrote it this week: How to get chest Haring, and Keanu comes to town

Extracts from diaries and letters written between September 30 and October 6

Robin Crouch
Journalist
10 min read

SNAPSHOT

A Colombian riot policeman clashes with university students in Bogota.
THEY HAD HIM FUMING A Colombian riot policeman clashes with university students in Bogota.
Image: Juan Barreto/AFP

Six things about SA you need to know

Man killed in Clifton ‘robbery’

A man was stabbed to death and his friend seriously injured during an apparent robbery on Clifton's 3rd Beach in Cape Town on Saturday night. “The circumstances surrounding the death of an adult male believed to be in his 20s are being investigated after he was stabbed to death on 3rd Beach Clifton ... at around 9.30pm," said police spokesperson Lt-Col Andrè Traut. “The suspects who attacked the victims during an apparent robbery are yet to be arrested.” Former Cape Town councillor Jacques Webber said on Facebook he had received numerous messages about events at the beach on Saturday night. “From what I am told, last night saw 1000 thousands of students descend onto the beach after matric farewell events. I was contacted when the first fight broke out and informed Law Enforcement Services who were already responding to the beach from various locations.”

State ‘spends R30bn on millionaire managers’

If the government cut the number of managers in the public service by half, SA could immediately hire an additional 175,000 police officers, 54,000 teachers or 49,000 nurses. That is the view of the DA which said on Sunday it had established that the government spent close to R30bn a year to fund the “millionaire lifestyles” of 27,650 managers in the public service. The figure had emerged from a series of parliamentary questions posed by the party over the past few months. The party said this illustrated how top-heavy the SA state had become as a consequence of cadre deployment. According to public service and administration minister Senzo Mchunu, the government spends R7.2bn a year on middle managers in provincial governments, R6.1bn on senior managers in provinces, R8.1bn on middle managers in national government, and R8.3bn on senior managers in national government.

Firearms ‘stolen from guards’ seized in roadblock

Three firearms – two of them allegedly stolen from security guards and a third licensed to an owner in East London – were seized when police stopped a bakkie ferrying passengers late at night in North West. The bakkie was pulled over at a roadblock on Friday on the R30 near Orkney. “During the roadblock, 12 undocumented persons aged between 22 and 52 were arrested after a bakkie was stopped and searched,” said police spokesperson Col Adéle Myburgh on Sunday. “The suspects were arrested after three firearms were found in their vehicle … Preliminary investigations revealed that that one of the firearms was stolen from a murdered security guard at a local mine in Orkney in July 2019, while the second firearm was reportedly stolen from a security guard in August 2019 at an Eskom premises in Orkney.” Three more people, aged 20 to 32, were arrested for possession of 12 bricks of suspected crack cocaine worth about R30,000.

Mugabe buried in tamper-proof casket

Zimbabwe's former president Robert Mugabe was buried in a tamper-proof casket because he feared people would “use my body”, according to his family. He was buried at Kutama village, his rural home, on Saturday, near his mother, instead of the National Heroes Acre in Harare. Mugabe’s nephew and family spokesperson, Leo Mugabe, told Zimpapers Television Network “he wanted to be buried next to his mother but there is no space there” so the family elected to bury him, at a private ceremony, in the same village as his mother. Asked about the casket, Leo said: “Originally, why we changed is because we wanted a tamper-proof casket because you know, with rituals and things like that, people are really after his body, body parts, so we wanted something that was tamper-proof. That is why the casket was changed in the first place.”

Maimane drove Jooste-donated SUV: report

DA leader Mmusi Maimane drove around in a white Toyota Fortuner "donated" by Markus Jooste, former chief executive of the scandal-hit retailer Steinhoff. Maimane continued using the vehicle despite being cautioned by party colleagues about potential damage to the reputation of the DA, after an accounting scandal engulfed Steinhoff in December 2017, Rapport newspaper revealed on Sunday. Investments worth billions were wiped out when allegations of insider trading and accounting fraud caused the company’s share price to crash. Jooste resigned after auditors flagged "irregularities" in the company books. Maimane’s spokesperson referred Rapport to DA federal executive chairperson James Selfe who said the vehicle was donated to help the party leader carry out his duties. Its use was facilitated by a car rental company and the costs were carried by Steinhoff. It had been returned after the Steinhoff scandal.

Driver killed as car hits pedestrian

A man was killed when his vehicle rolled after hitting a pedestrian on the R102 in Verulam, KwaZulu-Natal, on Saturday night. Netcare 911 responded to reports of a collision between Verulam and Ottawa, north of Durban, at 9.48pm. "Reports from the scene indicate that [a] light motor vehicle struck a pedestrian walking across the road. The driver of the car lost control and left the road, coming to a stop down an embankment," Netcare 911 said. Medics found the driver, who had been ejected from the car during the rollover, in a critical condition and needing advanced life-support. "The patient's condition deteriorated and he was sadly declared deceased on the scene." The pedestrian sustained moderate injuries and was taken to hospital.

THE VISUAL SIDE


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

Imagine Watergate, but with Twitter as the playground – it’ll be that nasty

There will be long, gruelling hearings about Trump’s impeachment on Capitol Hill far into 2020

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
3 min read

It’s been a year but Saudi can’t shake the ghost of Khashoggi

Crown prince’s efforts scrub a reputation stained by the journalist’s murder have had little, if any, success

By AFP
4 min read

We’re close to finding alien life on Mars, but ‘we’re not ready for it’

Nasa’s chief scientist says we may not be prepared for revelations from missions to the Red Planet

By Sarah Knapton
4 min read

Finger on the pulses: So, your kid wants to go vegan? Here’s what to do

As Will and Jada Smith found, it’s not easy staging a food intervention when your child’s gone down a rabbit hole

By Maria Lally
6 min read

SNAPSHOT

A woman in Srinagar watches protests after Friday prayers during restrictions in Kashmir by the Indian government.
CURTAINED-OFF A woman in Srinagar watches protests after Friday prayers during restrictions in Kashmir by the Indian government.
Image: Reuters/Danish Siddiqui

6 things you need to know about the world

Sex pest opera singer still getting work

A singing star suspended by London’s Royal Opera House for allegedly groping another singer on stage is being allowed to continue headlining performances at some of Europe’s premier venues. Vittorio Grigolo was suspended by Covent Garden last week after it received allegations he had sexually molested a singer from the chorus. However, Milan’s La Scala has said it is happy for the Italian tenor, who has admitted to being a “sex addict”, to headline its latest production from Tuesday.The Deutsche Oper Berlin has also refused to drop him from a production next April. – Telegraph Media Group Limited (2019)

Workers are fighting back at robots: study

Science fiction films often depict the fear that one day, robots will seize power over humanity. And with machines featuring in many workplaces, it appears humans have started the fightback. A study by De Montfort University in Leicester has found that workers are deliberately sabotaging and assaulting the robots they work alongside every day, amid fears that they will take over their jobs. Prof Jonathan Payne, who led the study, said: “We heard stories of workers standing in the way of robots, and minor acts of sabotage - and not playing along with them.” – Telegraph Media Group Limited (2019)

No more cheap trinkets for Venice tourists

Venice is cracking down on shops selling cheap souvenirs in an attempt to preserve the city's character. After stiffening its penalties for misbehaving tourists last May, the city is taking steps to restrict and regulate shopkeepers selling plastic gondolas, cheap carnival masks, crude “Murano-style” trinkets and low-cost leather.The city council has unanimously approved a resolution regulating commercial activity around Rialto Bridge, St Mark's Square and the Grand Canal to assure it is “compatible with the protection and enhancement needs of the city's cultural heritage”. – Telegraph Media Group Limited (2019)

Boys rescued from Nigerian horror house

Police have rescued hundreds of boys from a “house of torture” in Nigeria after raiding an Islamic centre where pupils as young as nine were allegedly shackled to walls, tortured and sexually abused. Officers who stormed a building said they had found nearly 500 emaciated young men and boys, about 100 of whom had been held in chains in its cramped basement, some for several months. The establishment’s owner and seven suspects described as teachers were arrested after victims told their rescuers that they had been sodomised, starved and subjected to frequent beatings by members of staff. – Telegraph Media Group Limited (2019)

So, this is how bacteria hide from antibiotics

The fight against antibiotic resistance has taken a step forward after scientists discovered how bacteria hide from drugs in the body. Public health experts are deeply concerned that the rise in resistance to medication could make even the simplest operations impossible. Although scientists knew that bacteria adapt to evade antibiotics, they did not know how. Now, for the first time, Newcastle University has discovered that bacteria actually change form to avoid being detected. – Telegraph Media Group Limited (2019)

Saudi king’s guard fails to protect himself

A personal bodyguard of Saudi Arabia's King Salman has been shot dead and seven others wounded, including security forces, during an altercation at a friend’s home. General Abdelaziz al-Fagham, who was frequently seen by the king's side, died on Saturday night. “Fagham was visiting his friend at his home in Jeddah when (an) acquaintance, Mamdouh al-Ali, entered the residence,” a Saudi press release said. “The conversation between Fagham and Ali escalated ... Ali left the home, came back carrying a gun and fired at Fagham, injuring two others in the household, a Filipino worker and brother of the house’s owner.” – AFP

THE BUSINESS

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

It’s all about skills, and we must act now, says Capitec chief

State needs to implement a growth plan, while fixing education is vital to fill tech jobs, says Gerrie Fourie

By Warren Thompson
2 min read

Shareholders are not banks’ only priority – livelihoods are at stake

Shareholder value that is at odds with societal value is not sustainable . We need a new paradigm

By Ayabonga Cawe
3 min read

The big dosh is in the nosh as Uber sates its hunger for growth

From taxis to food, the firm could soon be the order-anything app, but there's something missing - profits

By Olivia Rudgard
5 min read

LIFESTYLE

CULTURE COMES ALIVE

How to sharpen your self-defence skills, chop-chop

Women, here's how to defend yourself against danger

By Sanet Oberholzer
3 min read

Tired and tested: See what you’re missing if you’re always knackered

These deficiencies could explain your constant fatigue

By Jessica Salter
5 min read

Who really wants strange new things sitting on their face?

New technology may signal the end of the smartphone

By Olivia Rudgard and Laurence Dodds
1 min read

Just a quick heads-up on your next car’s next-gen 3D tech

The technology will project augmented reality safety and navigation info ‘through’ the windscreen

By Motoring reporters
1 min read

SPORT

FINISH LINE ESSENTIALS

SPORTS DAY: Fear beginning to blossom for Boks

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

Mninawa Ntloko
Sports editor
7 min read

Boks brace for a battle of wit and will against Italy

With a wealth of SA-born weaponry, the Azzurri are in a solid position for Friday's high-stakes clash

Liam Del Carme
Journalist
2 min read

Blast from the past: Hestrie’s squeaky 2000 Olympic silver

Today in SA sports history: September 30

David Isaacson
Journalist
1 min read