Wednesday, January 15 2020



VBS looters off the hook as state capture focus narrows?

ANALYSIS | Judge Raymond Zondo says he is likely to narrow the scope of his inquiry into state capture

Karyn Maughan
4 min read

Moyo refused to go away, but court ruling means he must

Old Mutual’s battle against its axed CEO played out in court again, and the company came out on top ... for now

By Katharine Child and Nick Wilson
3 min read

Justice delivered: thieving tannies rapped for DHL fraud

The mastermind of the theft of R9.2m gets 15 years in prison and her accomplice is placed under house arrest

Shain Germaner
3 min read

It’s a family thing, says EC mayor in brawl footage

Sixolile Mehlomakhulu says he won't quit because his family squabbles have nothing to do with his job

By Mkhululi Ndamase
3 min read



Fuel’s paradise: inflated mileage claims bleed EC coffers

Insiders speak of a free-for-all, with civil servants claiming significantly more than they should be

By Mkhululi Ndamase
4 min read

This is the truth about men’s lies – and it’s a whopper

New research has found men are twice as likely as women to consider themselves good at lying

3 min read

Want to delay menopause? Have more sex

If a woman is not having sex, the body ‘chooses’ not to invest in ovulation as it would be pointless, study finds

Claire Keeton
1 min read

Living in a barrel on a 25m pole. Yes, he has a good reason

Vernon Kruger is trying to break his own world record for longest time spent in a barrel mounted on a pole

Matthew Savides
News editor
3 min read



Ideas FREE

Can you pass ANC politics 101? Your time starts now

As the party calls for an overhaul of education in the Cape, the following exam will be instructive. Or not

Tom Eaton
2 min read

‘Throw a match? Never!’ Hansie Cronje’s brother lifts the lid on his life

Frans Cronje describes how the former SA captain was wracked with guilt over the match-fixing scandal

By Tim Wigmore
6 min read

Head start: how to banish brain fog and avoid dementia

It’s never too late to stimulate fitter cells, so check out these 15 grey matter-boosting tips

By Sara Davenport
5 min read


Students from various colleges protest against India's new citizenship law in Bangalore.
CLASS ACT Students from various colleges protest against India's new citizenship law in Bangalore.
Image: Manjunath Kiran/AFP

Six things about SA you need to know

Makana put under administration

The Makhanda High Court has ordered the Makana municipality to be dissolved and placed under administration for violating its constitutional mandate by failing to provide basic services to the community. The application was brought by the Unemployed People’s Movement (UPM) and other civil society organisations against the municipality, which was the first respondent, and several others in February 2019. The case was heard in September. Makana includes Makhanda, formerly Grahamstown. Judge Igna Stretch wrote that the municipality’s conduct has been “inconsistent with the 1996 constitution of the Republic of South Africa”, breaching section 152(1) and section 153 (a) by “failing to promote a healthy and sustainable environment for the community”.

Probe into mystery Cape ‘poisoning’

Cape Town authorities have called for calm after a baffling incident in which six residents collapsed within minutes of each other. Five remain in a critical condition in hospital after collapsing on Monday near Wetton Circle. They are believed to have been poisoned by something they ate or drank. "We do not want to speculate on the possible cause until blood tests or clinical samples have been completed and interviews with those affected have been conducted," said Zahid Badroodien, mayoral committee member for health. Investigations of this nature take time to complete, he said, advising the public and the media to allow for the police investigation to run its course so that the victims and their families can be provided with “concrete answers”. Western Cape police spokesperson Lt-Col Andrè Traut said no criminal case had been opened.

Desperate search for dad missing in Thailand

An anxious family is running out of money after spending the past 14 days frantically searching for a father who is missing in Thailand. John Gregory Phillips, 45, went missing while on holiday with his wife and son on New Year's Day. His cousin, Anita Caral Diergaardt, said family members had gone to the SA embassy in Thailand after he disappeared, but were initially told they could not be helped. "His brother-in-law from Northern Ireland then contacted South Africa, who said they should be helped and contacted the SA embassy in Thailand. They then received minimal assistance," said Diergaardt. Phillips, an engineer, is from Uitenhage in the Eastern Cape. "We believe he might have had a seizure and is confused." The department of international relations and co-operation said there was nothing more it could do after the family had reported Phillips missing to the Thai police.

Twerks chase away couple on beach

A couple enjoying Anstey's Beach, south of Durban, got more than they bargained for when a woman started to twerk in front of them. A video shows a woman in a black swimsuit going up to the two strangers and starting to dance provocatively. At first the couple sit through her bizarre routine, but when she becomes more provocative they gather their belongings and leave. The woman ends the routine by making the sign of the cross while the person recording the spectacle exclaims that she is Satan. On Monday, a Facebook user posted on the Wentworth community group that her daughter had suffered a mental breakdown due to the negative attention as a result of the viral video. She claimed her daughter was in hospital and that blood tests proved she wasn't on drugs or drunk.

Teen raped, forced to draw cash in farm attack

Police have launched a hunt for three men after a farm attack in Glendale, north of Durban, last week. According to police, the balaclava-clad trio entered the home at 11pm on Thursday, wielding a knife and crowbar. “The complainant alleged that the suspects tied them up with extension cords, threatened to kill them and took four cellphones and a laptop,” said police spokesperson Col Thembeka Mbele. The men then allegedly forced a 19-year-old woman to drive them to Umvoti Plaza, where they ordered her to withdraw cash. “They instructed her to drive towards Tinley Manor, where two males raped her and ordered her to drop them off at the corner of R102 and Glendale Road. They left on foot.” Mbele said charges of robbery, rape and theft were opened at Glendale police station.

Traffic cop’s hijacked car used in 2nd hijacking

Cape Town police are on the hunt for criminals who hijacked a traffic police patrol vehicle just after midnight on Tuesday. Cape Town traffic services said a traffic officer was robbed of her patrol vehicle and personal belongings in Eerste River. The suspects then hijacked another vehicle using the stolen traffic vehicle. “The officer had just dropped a colleague at home after their shift when she was accosted by a group of suspects,” said Cape Town traffic services spokesperson Maxine Jordaan. “They took off, and information from the SAPS is that the traffic vehicle was then used to hijack another vehicle.” Jordaan said both vehicles were later recovered on Old Faure Road near a military base. “The traffic officer was unharmed but extremely traumatised by the incident. She is receiving counselling and support from the department,” said Jordaan.




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



Gran exit: what the queen’s message really says about the Sussex crisis

From security to rent at Frogmore – the queen hinted at a clutch of problems to come for the Sussexes

By Robert Mendick
4 min read

One’s son was a terrorist, the other’s daughter was killed. Then they met

An unlikely bond has formed as two dads cross the atrocity divide following the Bataclan massacre

By Henry Samuel
6 min read

Going to gym without skipping just got harder

It used to be your playground game. Now it’s the 2020 fad that should be a new part of your fitness plan

By Charlotte Lytton
4 min read

Tiny robots made from frog cells are an ‘entirely new life form’

Neither traditional robot nor known animal species, these critters are living machines with vast potential use

By Sarah Knapton
2 min read


6 things you need to know about the world

Water recedes and lawsuit floods in

Jakarta residents have filed a lawsuit against the governor of Indonesia’s capital as they seek to hold authorities responsible over their inaction during some of the deadliest flooding in years, a lawyer for the plaintiffs said. The lawsuit, filed by 243 residents against governor Anies Baswedan, said authorities had failed to take sufficient action and sought $3.1m in compensation. – Reuters

Slick oil rig: VW staffers charged for fraud

German prosecutors say they have charged three Volkswagen managers and three employees with fraud as part of their investigation into the ‘dieselgate’ scandal. Prosecutors accuse the six of knowingly duping customers into buying diesel cars rigged with ‘illegal software’ to make them seem less polluting than they actually were. The six face charges of ‘serious fraud, indirect falsification of certificates and tax fraud’ related to actions between 2006 and 2015. – AFP

Credit cards lose a huge bet

Britain’s 24-million gamblers will no longer be able to use credit cards to place bets under the latest move by the government to tackle problem gambling. Less than a year after Britain slashed the maximum stake that can be placed on popular fixed-odds betting terminals, it said it would ban gamblers from using credit cards to bet online or offline to rack up debt. – Reuters

Ex-pope wants name removed from book

Former pope Benedict XVI has asked that his name be removed from a controversial new book in which he comes down firmly against married priests, his secretary says. Benedict’s private secretary Georg Gaenswein says on behalf of the former pope he asked co-author Cardinal Robert Sarah to remove the name of Benedict XVI as co-author of the book itself and also to remove his signature from the introduction and conclusions. – AFP

Biker noise ignites religious violence

Police arrested 40 people in a south Indian town after rowdy bikers sparked clashes between Hindus and Muslims. More than a dozen people were injured after locals objected to motorcyclists taking silencers off their bikes and riding loudly through a slum in Bhainsa. Police said three Muslim bikers were allegedly beaten up before members from rival groups joined in and properties were set of fire. – AFP

UK diplomat ‘undesirable’, says Iran’s judiciary

Iran’s judiciary says Britain’s ambassador to Tehran, Rob Macaire, is an ‘undesirable element’, state media reports, after Iranian officials accused him of attending an illegal protest despite his denials. Iran’s foreign ministry, which had summoned him to complain over the incident, would be responsible for announcing any move to expel Macaire. – Reuters
South Korean President Moon Jae-in speaks during his New Year press conference at the presidential Blue House in Seoul.
SHOW OF HANDS South Korean President Moon Jae-in speaks during his New Year press conference at the presidential Blue House in Seoul.
Image: Reuters/Kim Hong-Ji/Pool



If inflation is dead, bonds are totally in your best interest

While it may appear crazy to ‘invest’ in negative-yielding bonds, there is method in their madness

By Chris Gilmour
2 min read

Old Mutual shareholders could have done without costly spat

Now the insurer must get on with appointing a new CEO who won’t have all manner of side-interests

By Ann Crotty
1 min read

In the name of business unity, Pityana puts the boot into ANC

President of Business Unity SA tells the government: you’ve got a crisis and you’d better deal with it

By Allan Seccombe
1 min read



If you want a really high old time, come up in the world

Live the Joeys high life and celebrate the view from five great venues that are perfect for a sundowner

By Steve Steinfeld
1 min read

No harm in already dreaming of another holiday, is there?

Three new and noteworthy destinations worth visiting

By Robyn Alexander
1 min read

KZN gem: A quirk around every corner at Crystal Barn

Fort Nottingham plays host to a country hotel with great food, charming decor and gorgeous rooms

By Candice Botha
2 min read



SPORTS DAY: AB’s name could go back into the Proteas hat

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

David Isaacson
3 min read

Burning issue: Will bushfires wipe out Aussie Open tennis?

Worrying implications for players and fans at the first Grand Slam event of 2020, which starts on Monday

2 min read

Blasts from the past: Benni warms up for Mali challenge

Today in SA sports history: January 15

David Isaacson
1 min read