Friday, February 7 2020




I’m terrified for my life, says main witness against Lesotho PM’s wife

The woman was also shot when PM’s first wife was killed, and has fled to SA for her own safety

2 min read
Ideas FREE

Poor Zuma and his awful case of Shaik Syndrome. At least he’s still alive

We may be a dubious about his sick note, but don’t be surprised if he finally succumbs to many years on a golf course

Tom Eaton
3 min read

Germans will invest when SA cuts the red tape, says Merkel

German businesses want stability, chancellor tells Ramaphosa during her official visit

By Lynley Donnelly
1 min read




School rivalry ends with nasty game of poaching

After nearly 100 years, two KZN schools have halted sporting fixtures with each other for the ‘foreseeable future’

2 min read

Relief in sight for Unisa students as striking staff return to work

The May exams will probably still have to be postponed, though

Prega Govender
2 min read

MTN’s linguistic latitude isn’t unlimited, says ad watchdog

The firm is ordered to withdraw its claim of ‘unlimited minutes’, and warned not to make a similar claim in future

Dave Chambers
Cape Town bureau chief
2 min read

Everyone’s heart beats at its own pace, study finds

Group of researchers says what’s important is that your rate doesn’t change. Others beg to differ

Claire Keeton
Senior features writer
2 min read

Scared of climate change? These are the cities to avoid

New study explores how changing weather patterns may impact younger generations’ choice of city

Suthentira Govender
Senior reporter
3 min read



Ideas FREE

Somewhere beyond the sea you may one day see ...

We all have to break loose and find our own adventures. Let’s hope we’re as successful as this turtle

5 min read


A woman wearing a face mask walks past an installation outside a mall in Beijing.
MONSTERS LURK A woman wearing a face mask walks past an installation outside a mall in Beijing.
Image: Wang Zhao/AFP

Six things about SA you need to know

KZN coronavirus scare turns out to be false alarm

Two suspected cases of the deadly coronavirus were investigated in KwaZulu-Natal — but shortly after confirming the two incidents, the health department said that tests had “dispelled” any sign of the virus. The National Institute for Communicable Diseases said that “as of 7.30pm [Thursday], all cases under suspicion have tested negative”.

SAA cuts domestic and international flights …

SAA will no longer fly to several local and international destinations from the end of the month. The embattled airline — currently under business rescue — will no longer offer any services to Durban, East London and Port Elizabeth from February 29. Domestic routes operated by Mango are not affected. SAA will continue to offer flights to Cape Town, but there will be fewer. It will also no longer fly from Johannesburg to Abidjan (via Accra), Entebbe, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Luanda, Munich, Ndola and Sao Paulo. No further significant network changes are expected.

… while SA Express must go into business rescue

SA Express has become the second state-owned airline to go under business rescue following an order of the high court on Thursday. South Gauteng high court judge EF Dippenaar ruled that the airline be placed under business rescue for failing to settle its debt of R11m to global logistics firm Ziegler SA. In September 2019, SA Express received a government bailout of R300m. In 2018 it was granted a R1.2bn guarantee that the airline reportedly said was swallowed by historic debt. Following the judgment, SA Express said it woulkd apply for leave to appeal the ruling. SA Express services several smaller regional routes as a feeder to SAA, which was placed under business rescue in November, following a liquidity crisis.

Premier wants KZN to be declared disaster zone

The KZN government wants the province to be classified as a disaster area. Premier Sihle Zikalala made the announcement on Thursday at a provincial government cabinet meeting. The provincial executive council was briefed on the impact of disasters that have ravaged the province and claimed 44 lives since November 2019. More than 30,000 people have been affected by summer storms. “The provincial executive council has therefore resolved to initiate a process of classifying and declaring a provincial state of disaster. This will then commence the process to harness more resources even from the national government to rehabilitate and reconstruct the damage that has occurred,” Zikalala said. The provincial cabinet estimated the cost of the damage to households, schools public infrastructure at about R1.2bn.

Steenhuisen’s chief of staff quits DA

John Steenhuisen’s chief of staff, Graham Charters, has become the second senior staffer at the DA to quit his job in just over a week. Charters on Thursday announced on Facebook that he was quitting with immediate effect. His announcement came after the party’s director of communications, Mabine Seabe, quit his job last week to work on a new venture. Both Seabe and Charters were seen as close to former leader Mmusi Maimane, who resigned from the DA last year after a dismal performance in the national government elections. In his Facebook post, Charters said the decision to quit was not easy but he did not disclose the reasons.

Cops find cables that caused Durban water cuts

A syndicate of eThekwini employees and subcontractors are believed to be behind an act of sabotage which has seen the municipality struggle to provide water to residents. Reports of ongoing water shortages in eThekwini have been rife in recent weeks, with some areas having been cut off without water supply for days at a time. But the arrest of a former eThekwini subcontractor and his employee may prove to be the missing link into uncovering the cause of the water woes. On Wednesday, police in Umkomaas pulled over a truck carrying electrical street cables, worth millions of rand and belonging to eThekwini. Chairperson of eThekwini's human settlements and infrastructure committee, Thanduxolo Sabelo, said part of the reason there were problems with water supply was because of the failure to supply electricity to pump stations. He added that load-shedding worsened the problem.




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


Police officers inspect a plane that overran the runway during landing and crashed at Istanbul's Sabiha Gokcen airport, Turkey.
RUNWAY RUNAWAY Police officers inspect a plane that overran the runway during landing and crashed at Istanbul's Sabiha Gokcen airport, Turkey.
Image: Reuters/Murad Sezer

6 things you need to know about the world

Indians won’t be tooting their own horns

Mumbai police have come up with an ingenious way to keep the city’s unruly honking drivers in check. It’s called the “punishing signal”, which connects traffic lights to a decibel monitor, which in turn keeps the lights red for longer the more impatient drivers toot their hooters. Every time car hoots exceed 85 decibels, the light stays red for twice the usual time.The decibel meters were installed at key traffic lights at major Mumbai intersections at the weekend. – Telegraph Media Group Limited (2020)

Cancer can now be caught 35 years early

Cancer could be detected in genes up to 35 years before diagnosis, scientists have found after a study into the genetics of disease. Researchers looked at 47 million genetic changes in more than 2,500 tumours from 38 cancer types. By analysing the rate of mutations in tumours over time, they were able to turn the clock back, and spot the critical moment when the genetic code changed significantly, signalling that cancer was on the way. The technique allows the roots of disease to be picked up decades earlier. – Telegraph Media Group Limited (2020)

Ever wondered how profitable YouTube is?

In the 13 years since Google bought YouTube for $1.65bn the video website has become a household name - not always for the right reasons. This week, for the first time Google cracked open the black box that is YouTube’s financial results, revealing the video sharing platform generated $15.1bn in advertising revenue in 2019. That was double the level two years ago. This means that, assuming YouTube has 2bn users, Google is making around $7 or $8 per person per year from advertising via the platform. – Telegraph Media Group Limited (2020)

Record-breaking astronaut back on Earth

A capsule carrying a crew of three from the International Space Station, including record-setting US astronaut Christina Koch, landed in Kazakhstan on Thursday. Koch’s 328-day space mission broke the record for the longest continuous stay in space by a woman, previously held by Nasa’s Peggy Whitson.L aunched into orbit last March, Koch’s mission was extended in April from its original span of six months to nearly a year after she was already aboard the station. - Reuters

Plastic bottles turned into monks’ robes

At a Thai Buddhist temple, a monk watches as a machine presses down on thousands of water bottles, before a giant bale of crushed plastic rolls out with a thud. The plastic is destined to be recycled into polyester fibres, which will be made into fabric for saffron-coloured robes for monks. The recycling temple is one bright example of recycling for Thailand, one of five countries that account for more than half of plastic in the world’s oceans. The monks have crushed 40 tons of plastic over two years since starting the programme. - Reuters

Hong Kong goes mad for toilet paper

Panic buyers in Hong Kong have descended on supermarkets to snap up toilet paper after false online claims of shortages, prompting authorities to appeal for calm as the city’s seven million residents fret about a deadly coronavirus outbreak. Videos show long queues of frantic shoppers packing trolleys with multiple packs of toilet rolls, with some arguments breaking out. Rice and pasta have also become a popular target for panic buying. - AFP



PIC will bail Eskom out only if there are ‘sustainable returns’

Cosatu has proposed a plan to use R250bn of pension money managed by the PIC to pay down Eskom’s debt

By Claudi Mailovich
1 min read

Dear old Auntie Gold starts acting like a teenager again

Gold companies join their peers in the platinum group metals industry, which are reporting bumper profits

By Allan Seccombe
1 min read

Investment: Mr Price is right for when times are tight

As higher income groups feel the pressure for austerity, so the choice becomes to buy less or buy cheaper

By Sekgabo Molelekoa
1 min read



‘Lockdown’: A streaming hot mix of bad eggs and hard nuts

Step right into Thabazimbi Women’s Correctional Facility, where mere survival makes for high drama

By Kevin Kriedemann
1 min read

If you fancy the stars of ‘Ford v Ferrari’, buy yourself one

Vintage racing cars from the movie to be recreated – all you have to do is add an engine and transmission

By Phuti Mpyane
1 min read

Won’t you take us to the bioscope?

The films opening in our cinemas this week

By Critics’ choice
2 min read



SPORTS DAY: Fed and Rafa aim to pull in a cool $1m

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

David Isaacson
Sports reporter
3 min read

South Sudanese Olympians just want a moment’s peace

Four-strong team has battled hard through poverty, civil war and high inflation to get to Japan

By Kiyoshi Takenaka
1 min read

Blasts from the past: Riots and wrongs in ’76 Soweto Derby

Today in SA sports history: February 7

David Isaacson
Sports reporter
1 min read