Friday, February 14 2020



What an EFF-up: Cyril’s Sona swamped by the ructions beforehand

It will be Malema’s unprecedented antics, not Ramaphosa’s pledges that go down in history

Thabo Mokone
Parliamentary editor
3 min read

Amid all the hot air, here are some cold truths

We’ll start believing Ramaphosa again when he makes a promise he keeps – even if it’s just to tie his shoelaces

Tom Eaton
3 min read
Ideas FREE

Sona well fine: what we really think about the night’s fashion

The fashion police were out in force on the Sona red carpet, and they certainly weren’t holding their fire

3 min read


Five things about Sona you need to know

Sona speaker: ‘Please leave in peace’

EFF leader Julius Malema repeatedly argued with speaker Thandi Modise at the state of the nation address (Sona) in Cape Town on Thursday evening, demanding that apartheid’s last president FW de Klerk be kicked out of the House. A clearly fed up Modise asked: “Are we going to go on and on and on on the matter …?” Half an hour later, disruptions were still continuing. Modise: “Please, leave in peace.” An hour later she was forced to briefly suspend proceedings.

Miss Universe to Cyril: ‘God bless you with wisdom’

Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi was among President Cyril Ramaphosa’s guests. In a video message to him, she said: “Hello Mr President. Thank you so much for inviting me to Sona, I am honoured. I just want to wish you wisdom, hope that God blesses you with wisdom so that you’re able to lead this country. Thank you so much.”

Jonathan Jansen: ‘This is completely meaningless’

In stark contrast, education expert (and Times Select columnist) Jonathan Jansen tweeted as Sona started: “I honestly cannot motivate myself to listen to another Sona. The words ‘will’ and ‘should’ are completely meaningless in these state-of-the-promise addresses.” His tweet was promptly liked by former DA leader Mmusi Maimane.

Reader poll: ‘Can Ramaphosa resign already?”

Less empty promises and more action – that’s what South Africans said they wanted to hear from Ramaphosa in his Sona address. In a poll conducted by TimesLIVE, 38.46% people said they wanted to see tangible results from the president. Some 7.69% of people said they wanted valid solutions to SA’s state-owned entities. The poll, conducted ahead of the Sona, saw a large portion of South Africans showing little interest in the event, with just over 30% of people saying they would not be watching. If that didn’t hurt, 23% of people said the best thing that could happen during Sona would be if Ramaphosa resigned. Ouch!

Herman Mashaba: ‘It’s a fancy dress party’

While politicians argued in parliament, former Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba spent the evening trolling his rivals on Twitter, describing Sona as a “fancy dress” party. Posting pictures of politicians in their smart outfits, extravagant jewellery and high heels, Mashaba compared their images to pictures of the poor and neglected in SA. He took shots at interim DA leader John Steenhuisen, public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane and police minister Bheki Cele.”I will not be at #SONA2020. I will be meeting with the people. #SASpeaks,” Mashaba declared.




Gogos forgive racist Adam Catzavelos

Elderly supporters from a Soweto foundation hugged and danced with the convicted racist outside court on Thursday

3 min read

The Vaal is going to pong for a good while yet

Work is under way, and funds have been allocated, but in the meanwhile tourism continues to suffer

Paul Ash
Senior reporter
3 min read

Mediation saves Gauteng health millions in negligence cases

The health MEC, however, says he suspects his department is being targeted by private lawyers for claims

2 min read

Judge lays into lawyer who ‘rapaciously’ fleeced RAF clients

Attorney wanted to be reinstated as executor of an estate, even though he both witnessed and benefitted from it

Dave Chambers
Cape Town bureau chief
3 min read

Childhood cancer: the warriors are small, but not the courage

Faced with the dreaded disease, SA children have proved to be positive and strong

Nivashni Nair
Senior reporter
3 min read

Want Valentines Day to have an, er, happy ending? Serve potatoes

Potato SA are working on an aphrodisiac potato to keep buyers coming back for more

3 min read



Don’t have zero patience with Patient Zero

When it comes to love in the time of coronavirus, always remember that everyone reacts to things in their own way

5 min read

They were snobs, but the Wilde bunch were satirists in a class of their own

English fiction is littered with products of a class system who willingly, and dazzlingly, turn their pens on themselves

By Claire Allfree
3 min read

Let’s face it, this male makeup lark isn’t for everyone

The trend may not be new, but it’s going mainstream

By Tom Ough
4 min read




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



Green energy is all very well, but spare a thought for its many victims

The world will be in chaos within a decade, as many nations follow Venezuela into post-fossil fuel collapse

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
5 min read

Dreaming of marrying a prince? Beware. It’ll turn into a nightmare

As the latest UK royal dramas show, perhaps it’d be better if royalty just started marrying each other again

By Anna Tyzack
7 min read

As the US moves out of the Middle East, mayhem moves in

With Washington pulling back and losing interest, the complexity of regional conflict is escalating rapidly

By Peter Apps
4 min read

The US is worried about Chinese spies? Look who’s talking!

In the world of spies, it takes one to know one

By Robin Pagnamenta
4 min read


A visitor is seen inside the world largest 3D-printed building in Dubai, UAE.
STAIRWELL FROM THE INKWELL A visitor is seen inside the world largest 3D-printed building in Dubai, UAE.
Image: Reuters/Satish Kumar

6 things you need to know about the world

Facebook hasn’t found true love … yet

A new Facebook dating service has been put on hold following a raid by Europe’s data protection watchdog. The social media giant’s offices in Dublin were searched by officers from the Irish Data Protection Commission after it allegedly failed to provide suitable documentation to the regulator ahead of launching its dating app in Europe. It had planned to release the app on Thursday, the day before Valentine's Day. – Telegraph Media Group Limited (2020)

WHO knows what the virus will do next?

The number of new coronavirus cases in China has stabilised, but the apparent slowdown should be viewed with “extreme caution” and could yet go in “any direction”, the head of the WHO warned. Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus praised China’s containment efforts and “good progress”. But he warned that it was too early to predict how the epidemic would play out in China and around the world over the coming weeks and months. – Telegraph Media Group (2020)

Mont Blanc to get a spring-clean

Emmanuel Macron promised to protect Mont Blanc from littering tourists months after a Briton sparked outrage by leaving a rowing machine near the summit. The French president is due to announce a string of measures to keep the mountain clean, including the creation of a squad of biodiversity police and increased fines for rule-breaking climbers. – Telegraph Meida Group Limited

Over 100 Aussie species face extinction

More than 100 animal species in Australia could be lost forever without urgent intervention as a result of the bushfire crisis, a report shows. A panel of experts found 113 native species will need intensive support to survive, with some classified as facing imminent extinction. Those at greatest risk include the Kangaroo Island dunnart, the northern corroboree frog, the Blue Mountains water skink and the Kangaroo Island glossy black cockatoo. – Telegraph Media Group Limited (2020)

Pope isn’t so open-minded after all

Pope Francis has ruled against allowing married men to become priests, shying away from a reform that would have incensed conservatives and ended the centuries-long tradition of clergy remaining celibate. In a further victory for conservatives, he also dismissed the idea of ordaining women, infuriating women’s groups within the Catholic Church which accused him of perpetuating “institutional sexism”. – Telegraph Media Group Limited (2020)

Trump to get his wall, only it’s in India

Donald Trump will be shielded from the sight of slums by a newly built wall when he visits the city of Ahmedabad during a visit to India this month. A senior government said the wall was being built for security reasons, not to conceal the slum district. But the contractor building it said the government “did not want the slum to be seen” when Trump passes by on the ride in from Ahmedabad's airport. – Reuters



Don’t wait for SA to get its house in order, invest in tech

Problem is, the JSE is an ‘old economy’ market, populated by outdated and unfashionable businesses

By David Shapiro
2 min read

Mobile banking: This time will be different, says MTN SA

Primary targets at the moment are the under-banked and the unbanked but ultimately it will be for everyone

By Mudiwa Gavaza
2 min read

Gold miners give the JSE a welcome kick in the pants

And little brother platinum wasn’t far behind

By Lindiwe Tsobo and Lynley Donnelly
1 min read



‘The Hot Zone’ gives a scary new meaning to the ...

Six-part drama is inspired by real events when the Ebola virus broke out in Kenya and the US

By Kevin Kriedemann
2 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: Proteas like it tight, says T20 star ...

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

David Isaacson
Sports reporter
4 min read

Blasts from the past: Sono takes over Highlands ...

Today in SA sports history: February 14

David Isaacson
Sports reporter
1 min read