Wednesday, February 12 2020




Degrading: SA fails its pupils again and again

Amnesty International has released a damning report on, among other things, the state of infrastructure at SA schools

Prega Govender
5 min read

Dancers steal the show as speeches fall flat at Madiba commemoration

It felt a far cry from 30 years ago when former president Nelson Mandela made a historic speech in Cape Town

Bobby Jordan
Senior reporter
3 min read

Rest in harmonies: the axe has fallen on one of SA’s music greats

Obituary of Ladysmith Black Mambazo founder Joseph Shabalala (1941-2020)

2 min read




He stabbed wife in front of kids. Now she feels his sentence ‘isn’t enough’

Northriding dad took a plea deal that saw him get five years. His traumatised wife isn’t happy

Shain Germaner
3 min read

SA Express heads to court to start corruption rot clean-up

Court rules it has to pay R5m to a service provider, but state-owned airline says contract was dodgy from the start

Jeff Wicks
Senior reporter
3 min read

Thieves outsmart Gauteng’s hi-tech schools

Millions’ worth of laptops, tablets and smartboards have been stolen from 62 schools

4 min read

They studied for six years, only to discover they couldn’t graduate

Walter Sisulu University says it’s worked out a solution, but students have been left in embittered limbo

3 min read



The Democratic Party is Bern-ing down and Trump ...

The way things are going in the US primaries, there’s no way to avoid another four years of the orange menace

Tom Eaton
2 min read


Rudi Hartono looks at plastic waste as he collects rubbish at a beach in Pare-Pare, Indonesia.
UNLIKELY SUPERHERO Rudi Hartono looks at plastic waste as he collects rubbish at a beach in Pare-Pare, Indonesia.
Image: Reuters/Stringer

Six things about SA you need to know

Outgoing Sunday Times ed: ‘It’s been an honour’

Sunday Times editor Bongani Siqoko is leaving the publication at the end of February. Arena Holdings MD Andy Gill announced his departure to staff on Tuesday. He said Siqoko is taking up a managerial position to help grow the group’s business in the Eastern Cape. Arena owns the Daily Dispatch in East London and The Herald in Port Elizabeth, and also publishes Times Select. Siqoko was appointed editor in November 2015. “It’s been a huge honour to lead and edit the Sunday Times during a very difficult period. I want to thank the whole Sunday Times team of hard-working journalists, editors, admin support, marketing, sales, circulation and everyone else involved in putting together this great publication each week,” he said. Current Sowetan editor S’thembiso Msomi will take over from him on March 1.

All 60 coronavirus tests in SA negative: NICD

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) has run tests on 61 people in SA for the novel coronavirus, with all of those tests proving negative. NICD spokesperson Sinenhlanhla Jimoh said: “SA remains a destination of choice for many travellers, with a lot of traffic managed from Cape Town International Airport and OR Tambo International Airport. All ports of entry … remain on high alert for a possible case. It is possible that we will detect a case and as such, we would like to assure the public that should SA identify a positive case, the country is well prepared to deal with it,” she said.

Pupil dies in fall from Randburg school balcony

A pupil died after falling from a balcony at Ferndale High School in Randburg on Tuesday. Gauteng education spokesperson Steve Mabona said the 16-year-old boy may have had a seizure related to epilepsy. He was a grade 10 pupil at the school. “Unfortunately the boy fell ... to the ground floor. Emergency services were called and the boy was attended to on the scene and later taken to a local hospital. Unfortunately he did not make it,” said Mabona. The boy apparently fell from the third floor. The incident brings to 11 the number of pupils who have died in Gauteng since the start of 2020.

WC Prasa boss replaced and put on paid leave

Metrorail’s manager in the Western Cape, Richard Walker, has been put on paid leave amid “multiple challenges and lapses”, the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) said on Tuesday. Regional engineering manager Raymond Maseko will take over with immediate effect, said Prasa spokesperson Makhosini Mgitywa. Mgitywa said Prasa administrator Bongisizwe Mpondo had visited all the agency’s regions since assuming sole responsibility for the organisation in December. “The Western Cape region has so far proven to be the most troubled,” said the statement, and as a result passengers and stakeholders had lost confidence in the business. Maseko’s appointment was aimed at stabilising the region and improving performance.

SAA unions head to court to stop job losses

Unions at SAA have approached the labour court for an urgent application to stop business rescue practitioners from retrenching staff at the ailing airline, until they have complied with the Labour Relations Act. The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) and the SA Cabin Crew Association (Sacca) said the application was expected to be heard on Thursday. SAA business rescue practitioners (BRP) announced last week that the airline would cancel all domestic flights, except for a reduced service to Cape Town, as well as some international and regional flights, at the end of February in a bid to further cut costs. This came after the practitioners told employees that they intend to expedite retrenchments at the airline. In reaction to this, unions said the business rescue practitioners were unable to provide any rational basis for the cancellation of routes, and that the decision would have a devastating effect on employees and their families.

Union hopeful about decline in farm murders

Commercial farmers’ union TLU SA said it hoped a reported decline in farm attacks and murders - with no killings in January 2020 - would continue for the rest of the year. The union said there were 20 farm attacks but no murders in January. This was in contrast to 35 farm attacks and six murders registered in January 2019, and the 39 farm attacks and five murders recorded in January 2018. Maj-Gen Chris van Zyl, deputy general manager of TLU SA, said this could possibly be attributed to better safety and security awareness among farm and smallholding residents, as well as quick reactions by neighbours and farm patrols. He said that the number of murders and the number of farm attacks had increased in 2019 from the year before - from 54 to 56, and from 394 to 419, respectively.




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


A Pekingese is judged at a dog show at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
DON'T HATE ME BECAUSE I'M BEAUTIFUL A Pekingese is judged at a dog show at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Image: Reuters/Carlo Allegri

6 things you need to know about the world

Egypt’s population hits 100m

Egypt’s population has reached 100 million, highlighting the threat of overpopulation in a poverty-stricken country where many live in crowded megacities. The North African country retains its position as the most populous Arab nation and Africa’s third most populous country behind Ethiopia and Nigeria. – AFP

Mail boxing ring: UAE reopens link with Qatar

The United Arab Emirates has restored mail services with Qatar after severing them in 2017 as part of a regional campaign to isolate Doha, accused it of backing radical Islamists. Representatives of four boycott countries met a Qatari delegation in Bern, Switzerland, in January to discuss the reestablishment of postal links. Only the UAE has so far agreed. – AFP

Plenty of V-day fish in the sea for marine vet

William White, a 104-year-old US Marine veteran who earned a Purple Heart in WWII, is celebrating Valentine’s Day this year like never before, surrounded by 70,000 love letters and well-wishes sent from all over the world. The cards and began pouring into notes Stockton, California, after a fellow resident launched a social media campaign called ‘Operation Valentine’, with an initial goal of 100 letters to honour White. – Reuters

UK in rat race to find virus vaccine

A team of British scientists believes they have become the first to start animal testing of a vaccine for the new coronavirus that has killed more than 1,000 people. Researchers at Imperial College London said their ultimate goal was to have an effective and safe way of halting the spread by the end of the year. – AFP

Rare snow bombs Baghdad

Baghdad, Iraq, woke to the city carpeted in white by only its second snowfall in a century. The last recorded snowfall in the city was in 2008, but it was a quick and mostly slushy affair – and before that, it had been a century since Baghdad saw any flakes. Iraqis young and old said it was the first time they had ever seen snow falling in Baghdad. – AFP

Chinese firm to harness the Nile

A Chinese firm has applied to Ugandan authorities for a licence to develop a $1.4bn hydropower plant that could potentially expand the country’s generation capacity by 40%. POWERCHINA International Group Limited (PIGL), wants to develop the Ayago Hydroelectric Power Station, located on a section of River Nile between the lakes Kyoga and Albert. – Reuters



Why buy low, sell high causes so much pain and ...

Value investors are used to being patient and taking strain if they believe it is justified in the longer term

By Chris Gilmour
3 min read

Investec joins the rush to add offshore property ...

At least 45% of the exposure of property companies listed on the JSE is offshore. This could soon rise to 50%

By Alistair Anderson
1 min read



Death to the peanut! All hail the peanut! Um, you decide

Do some really thorough reading before throwing out that delicious jar of potentially lethal peanut butter

By Andrea Burgener
2 min read

Got a taste for Greek? Now learn to cook it yourself

Taste-Buds Cook Club teaches you all you need to know

By Sanet Oberholzer
2 min read

Comporta: Get there, even if you have to go by armchair

Plenty of eco-friendly reasons to visit beach-chic Quinta da Comporta, a luxury resort south of Lisbon

By Mila Crewe-Brown
1 min read



SPORTS DAY: Scarra’s got his eye on the wonky Lions scrum

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

David Isaacson
Sports reporter
3 min read

Will it be whippersnappers or warhorses for the T20 cup?

Wednesday’s T20 against England is the first of 11 SA will play in the buildup to the World Cup in October

Khanyiso Tshwaku
Sports reporter
2 min read

Blasts from the past: Spook hat-trick shakes up Windies

Today in SA sports history: February 12

David Isaacson
Sports reporter
2 min read