Friday, January 31 2020

THE BIG ISSUES

LEADING THE AGENDA

News FREE

Blade swats away demand for extra money for failing students

Union wants NSFAS funding policy scrapped for those who don’t complete studies within the stipulated time

Prega Govender
Journalist
3 min read

Corruption cases: knives out as SIU gears up for major civil action

Former ministers, DGs and state officials are set to be hauled before the Special Investigating Unit tribunal

Graeme Hosken
Journalist
6 min read
Ideas FREE

Fasten your seatbelts, this is Thuli’s flight of fancy with SAA

This isn’t the first time we’ve been told flying SAA is our civic duty, but it was startling to see it coming from her

Tom Eaton
Columnist
3 min read

SMART NEWS

IN ONE TAKE

‘He couldn’t bear it’: Chikane recalls cop’s apology - and Aggett’s agony

Reverend tells inquest the activist could not walk after interrogation, and how cops were filled with regret

Naledi Shange
Journalist
3 min read
News FREE

Claw and order: farm in fight over seized meerkats and biting monkeys

It all began with a row over two kittens, then things got uglier when their rescuers were set upon by primates

Alex Patrick
Journalist
5 min read
News FREE

Why all those butterflies are so cool right now

There’s a reason why all the insects delighting SA can fly so far – and their trick could be very useful to us too

Dave Chambers
Cape Town bureau chief
2 min read

Errant councils ‘need support to avoid administration’

When provinces intervene it is too late, and then municipalities just make the same mistakes, says Salga

3 min read

IDEAS

FEEDING YOUR MIND

The struggle to find a delight ended in a victory for life over anti-life

This is my quest, to seek moments of presence that cast a kind of halo on the moments around them

5 min read
Ideas FREE

Writers energised in error make pedants unhappy bunnies

A column to satisfy your inner grammar nerd

Sue de Groot
Journalist
3 min read

Law unto himself: if Jude wants to wear a Speedo, he will

The actor chats about the sequel to ‘The Young Pope’ and antagonising Catholics

By Craig McLean
6 min read

SNAPSHOT

An unidentified man brandishes a gun during a protest against a new citizenship law in New Delhi, India.
PROTECTORS NEED PROTECTION An unidentified man brandishes a gun during a protest against a new citizenship law in New Delhi, India.
Image: Reuters/Danish Siddiqui

Six things about SA you need to know

SAA cancels flights to cuts costs

SAA has announced it will cancel and “consolidate” flights where there is low demand in its efforts to “conserve cash”. “The conservation of cash through various cost-reduction measures is critical in running an efficient airline and to create a platform on which a future for a structured entity can be built,” the carrier said on Thursday. The cost-cutting measures at SAA come after the airline secured R3.5bn funding from the Development Bank of Southern Africa this month.

Scavengers terrorise motorists at ‘tollgates’

Motorists travelling on the N11 near Groblersdal and Marble Hall in Limpopo are being stopped and told to pay an “access fee” at illegal “tollgates” or risk their cars being set alight. Police spokesperson Brig Motlafela Mojapelo said several “illegal tollgates” had been constructed with rocks, tyres and branches. Motorists are requested to pay a fee ranging from R10 to R100 to pass, he said. “We are aware of the situation. We have deployed public order police to attend to it.” Calls to the Limpopo department of transport went unanswered on Thursday morning. It is unclear whether the extortion is linked to a service-delivery protest this week.

Probe into Robben Island ferry ‘sabotage’

The Robben Island Museum is investigating suspected sabotage of one of its ferries that caused a temporary shutdown of island tour services on Thursday. The island has been forced to use outsourced vessels to ferry visitors to the world heritage site because of a dispute with members of the National Health and Allied Workers' Union. However, an incident at the museum’s main embarkation point at the V&A Waterfront on Thursday prevented outsourced ferries from docking.

Unborn baby dies after mom shot in robbery

A 31-year-old woman's unborn baby died when she was shot several times during a robbery in Booysens Park, Port Elizabeth, on Wednesday. Police spokesperson Col Priscilla Naidu said the woman was approached by three men in Desdemonia Close. They demanded her cellphone. “As she reached for her phone, one of the suspects fired shots at her.” She was shot in the stomach, left upper thigh and right arm. The woman, who was six-months’ pregnant, was admitted to intensive care where her baby died. A case of attempted murder has been opened.

Trapped rare albino elephant on mend

A rare albino elephant calf is receiving around-the-clock care at SA’s first dedicated elephant orphanage after she was found trapped in a snare with severe injuries. Four-month-old Khanyisa (“light” in Shona) is recuperating at Hoedspruit Elephant Rehabilitation and Development (HERD) in Limpopo. “Her wounds indicated that she had been trying desperately to free herself for a few days. She had severe lacerations around the back of her ears and neck that stretched around her mouth and cheeks. The top section of her right ear had been sliced off. There was no sign of her herd anywhere,” said HERD.

Overnight load-shedding is back

Eskom has confirmed that stage two load-shedding will commence from 9pm on Thursday evening due to “system constraints” and “depleting emergency resources”. “We have been using pumped storage schemes and open cycle gas turbines excessively over the past few days in order to supplement capacity,” the power utility said in a system update on Thursday. These reserves had to be replenished overnight. “Unplanned outages are slightly reduced at 12,683MW as at 1.30 this afternoon.” The rolling blackouts would last from 9pm Thursday to 6am Friday.

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

World FREE

That’s Brexit done, right? Well, no – now for the tough part

There’s barely time for a breather as London and Brussels must now thrash out their future relationship

By John Chalmers
3 min read

‘It’s OK, we just eat less’: how the virus infects everyday life in China

As people struggle with the restrictions, they remain surprisingly sanguine. But, then, this is nothing new for them

By Sophia Yan
5 min read

Great barrier grief: Greece floats plan to block migrant boats

As refugee camps swell well beyond capacity, floating barriers are set to go up between the country’s islands and Turkey

By Nick Squires
2 min read

Pour man’s medicine: the humble cuppa cuts the risk of Alzheimer’s

The secret is three cups of tea a day, thanks to an antioxidant also found in nearly all fruits and veg

By Henry Bodkin
2 min read

SNAPSHOT

6 things you need to know about the world

How this would raffle feathers in SA

Mexico's leader has unveiled plans to raffle off the presidential jet, having branded it a "palace in the skies". Andrés Manuel López Obrador faced mockery for his proposal, but insisted it was for the good of the country. López Obrador took power in December 2018, having been elected on a promise to end government corruption and wastefulness. He turned the lavish presidential palace into a cultural centre, and put the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, bought in 2012 for $219m, up for sale. However, on Tuesday, after more than a year of searching for a buyer, López Obrador unveiled the tickets for the jet to be raffled.– © Telegraph Media Group Limited (2019)

Nigerian ‘chop’ makes the Oxford cut

Ask a Nigerian what corrupt politicians do with public funds and he or she may say, “They chop it”. The Oxford English Dictionary agrees. Hailing from the streets of Nigeria, “to chop” – meaning to illicitly make money, and “rub minds”, a synonym for “confer”, are among 29 distinctive aspects of Nigerian English to obtain pride of place in the august dictionary. “By taking ownership of English and using it as their own medium of expression, Nigerians have made, and are continuing to make, a unique and distinctive contribution to English as a global language,” the dictionary said in notes accompanying its latest update this month. - AFP

’Oscar’ for Polanski hits the big scream

France's equivalent of the Oscars has fuelled feminist fury against Roman Polanski after the controversial director's film An Officer and a Spy topped this year's nominations. The critically acclaimed 86-year-old has been a fugitive from US justice since admitting to the statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl in 1977. Last November, Valentine Monnier, a French photographer, claimed Polanski raped her in 1975 when she was 18 after beating her "into submission" at his Swiss chalet. He "absolutely denied" assaulting her.– © Telegraph Media Group Limited (2019)

Anti-Sanders bunch don’t miss a beat

Moderate Democrats desperate to stop Bernie Sanders becoming the party's US presidential candidate have started using his recent heart attack to undermine his chances. With days to go until Iowa becomes the first state to vote, political activists launched an unprecedented TV advert suggesting Sanders’s health meant he couldn't beat Donald Trump. The group, Democratic Majority for Israel, is spending $700,000 (R10.2m) to flood Iowa TV screens with the ad ahead of the vote on Monday. – © Telegraph Media Group Limited (2019)

Long dash for freedom ends in tragedy

A giraffe whose daring escape from convoy en route to a Thai breeding station won hearts online was found dead in a lotus-clogged canal on Thursday after a two-day search using drones and hang-gliders.Two giraffes made a bid for freedom from the back of a truck as it slowed in highway traffic after leaving Bangkok's main airport. The animals had been imported from an unnamed African country and destined for a zoo outside Bangkok. Rescuers caught one of them after stunning it with a tranquiliser gun, but the other escaped into scrubland, cheered on by hundreds of thousands of people on social media. - AFP

Moonstruck billionaire abandons lunar love

A Japanese billionaire who launched a public search for a girlfriend willing to join him on a trip into space abruptly cancelled the hunt on Thursday, despite attracting nearly 30,000 applicants. Yusaku Maezawa said this month he was looking for a mate willing to join him when he heads on a trip around the moon in 2023 or later, as the first private passenger on a voyage offered by Elon Musk's SpaceX. His search was due to be turned into a TV show for a web-streaming service. But Maezawa dashed the hopes of thousands, citing "personal reasons”. - AFP
Japan PM Shinzo Abe attends the budget committee session of the upper house at parliament.
TIGHT BELT Japan PM Shinzo Abe attends the budget committee session of the upper house at parliament.
Image: Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP

THE BUSINESS

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Investing: Time for emerging markets to take over in 2020?

Expert from PSG Wealth sees platinum continuing its run, while base metals should hold at current levels

By Karl Gernetzky
4 min read

Coal’s head honchos agree on ‘national duty’ to help Eskom

‘There is more to negotiate than cost. For example,  operational efficiency and better turnaround times’

By Lisa Steyn
1 min read

Gold rides hard on the back of deadly fear and misfortune

As uncertainty grows over whether the virus outbreak will turn into a pandemic, so should demand for havens

By FT.com
1 min read

LIFESTYLE

CULTURE COMES ALIVE

J.Lo leads list of bum deals on the Oscars 2020 shortlist

Jennifer Lopez surely should have got the nod for ‘Hustlers’ ... but wait, worse snubs were to come

By Tim Robey
5 min read

Gay abandon: Hip-hop’s hairy history with homophobia

Lil Nas X is the first openly gay rapper to win big at the Grammys, but is it a watershed moment in hip-hop?

By Musa Okwonga
10 min read

Won’t you take us to the bioscope?

The films opening in our cinemas this week

By Critics’ choice
3 min read

SPORT

FINISH LINE ESSENTIALS

SPORTS DAY: Steyn alive to the possibilities with Bulls

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

David Isaacson
Journalist
4 min read

How can World Cup winners be so kak at Super Rugby?

It is high time SA franchises stop letting their fans down routinely like they have in the past nine years

2 min read

Blasts from the past: Tough going for SA in Afcon 2008

Today in SA sports history: January 31

David Isaacson
Journalist
1 min read