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Friday, March 13 2020




Convicted ‘k-word bitch’ racist confirms she’s on the run

‘I know if I go to prison I am going to die’ – disguised and in hiding, Marie Basson sits down with Times Select

5 min read

PIC report slams ex-boss Matjila over dodgy Survé deals

Report flags Ayo, Independent Media, among other questionable ventures. Now Cyril vows ‘civil actions’

By Genevieve Quintal and Ahmed Areff
4 min read

Hey, maybe load-shedding is a chance to unplague …

You know a country is a tad stressed when seven hours of blackouts every day are your second-biggest worry

Tom Eaton
3 min read




Buyers beware, Magical Sea event may not be so magical

Angry ticketholders flood Facebook to express their displeasure, but organisers insist they’re not scammers

4 min read

Havoc at Prasa: Zondo hears how the ‘farmer’ herded the cash cows

Former CEO Lucky Montana was the ‘foreman’ who engineered ‘tensions with the board’, says Popo Molefe

Zingisa Mvumvu
3 min read

A spa, gym, and four pools await Saffers returning from Wuhan

The four-star, 150-bed resort will be home to scores of South Africans as they endure their quarantine

Matthew Savides
Night news editor
5 min read

Animal cruelty at zoo, or just political vultures circling?

Free State government says it has to close Bloemfontein Zoo, but some claim there’s a hidden motive

3 min read



Ideas FREE

Lie me to the moon: often it’s the untruths that ...

When my father handed me what he said was a moon rock, he unleashed many wonders in my mind

4 min read


Six things about SA you need to know

State to argue why Mdluli should be jailed

The state will on Friday present arguments on what an appropriate sentence for former crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli and his co-accused Mthembeni Mthunzi would be. Mdluli and Mthunzi were in 2019 each convicted on two counts of assault, two counts of kidnapping and two of assault with intent to commit grievous bodily harm. The case relates to the assault of Mdluli's customary wife, Tshidi Buthelezi, and her boyfriend, Oupa Ramogibe, in 1998. The state had indicated on Wednesday, during the presentation of pre-sentencing reports by probation officers - which recommended that non-custodial sentences should be imposed on Mdluli and Mthunzi - that it will argue for them to be jailed. On Thursday, the court heard arguments from lawyers for Mdluli and Mthunzi that a fine would be an appropriate sentence.

Billions paid wrong students 'may be irrecoverable'

National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) administrator Dr Randall Carolissen says the scheme may not be able to recover up to R2bn worth of “wrong payments to wrong students”. The revelation was made before the select committee on education and technology, sports, arts and culture in parliament on Wednesday. He said irregular and wasteful expenditure continued to emerge as the scheme’s accounts were reconciled. “The chronic state of maladministration within the financial aid scheme resulted in irregular expenditure that amounted to R7.5bn in 2017 and 2018,” committee chair Mamagase Elleck Nchabeleng said on Thursday. “NSFAS administrator Dr Randall Carolissen, who made the presentation, attributed this to irregular records in the system, which meant wrong payments were made to wrong students at a wrong time. It was estimated that up to R2bn could be irrecoverable.

Man bust for using 'tin house' in diesel ​​scam

In a bid to secretly steal diesel, a 28-year-old man erected a “shack" where a Transnet fuel pipeline passed through a coal yard at Kendall in Mpumalanga. But a sudden drop in pressure on the pipeline raised eyebrows and led to the exposure of the clandestine operation. Captain Dineo Lucy Sekgotodi said the man was arrested on Monday in a sting by the police air wing, the Hawks, Transnet authorities and security officials. “A suspicious, newly built tin house was discovered at a coal yard where the pipeline passes through. A search of the house revealed evidence that confirmed the team's suspicions. A further search revealed a hole in the pipeline where leakage was causing the pressure drop. Inside the tin house, a generator and eight bowsers were recovered,” said Sekgotodi.

Razed UKZN building adds to R31m damage

Police are investigating a case of arson after an auditorium at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Edgewood campus went up in flames on Wednesday evening. In a statement on Thursday, the university’s vice-chancellor, Prof Nana Poku, said the institution would leave no stone unturned in efforts to find those responsible. He said the university was shocked by the incident, particularly after student uprisings had subsided after almost a month of protest which caused damage of about R31m. “There have been no disruptions or protests in recent weeks; and the protest that we had, though highly hyperbolic and destructive, was mercifully short-lived with a little over a week of the academic programme lost. But make no mistake, this violence was neither random nor pointless,” he said. Police spokesperson Col Thembeka Mbele said a case of arson had been opened at Pinetown police station.

Six state vehicles torched in Ladysmith protests

Six vehicles belonging to the KwaZulu-Natal social development department were torched in strife-torn Ladysmith on Wednesday. MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza condemned the incident, describing it as an act of “organised criminals”. On Tuesday, five trucks were torched on the R603 near Colenso, less than 30 minutes from Ladysmith. “The department has received a report and seen pictures with its six vehicles burnt by brazen criminals. We are shocked at this despicable act of vandalism, which is totally abhorrent, destructive and beyond any justification whatsoever,” said Khoza. Service delivery would be affected, said Khoza. Police are investigating a case of arson.

Snake bites cop as he gets into car

​​A Port Elizabeth policeman was rushed to hospital after being bitten by a snake while getting into his vehicle. The incident happened in Fourth Avenue, Newton Park, about 8pm on Wednesday and saw Det-Const Sithembile Booi, 33, subsequently treated at St George’s Hospital, reports HeraldLIVE. Police spokesperson Capt Sandra Janse van Rensburg said Booi was taken to the hospital after he raced back to Mount Road police station looking for help. “He was at a house in Fourth Avenue near the Glen Hurd area, taking a statement in an assault case. “He finished and was at the driver’s door of the vehicle when he felt a pinch on his leg. He looked down and saw a snake slithering under the car,” she said. The serpent turned out to be a red-lipped Herald snake, which is mildly venomous and poses no threat to humans.
Vertical performers perform at the opening of the Western Hemisphere's highest outdoor sky deck in New York City.
IT’S GOING DOWN Vertical performers perform at the opening of the Western Hemisphere's highest outdoor sky deck in New York City.
Image: Angela Weiss/AFP


Cape Town International Airport began installing banners and hand sanitisers in its international terminal on Thursday, attempting to prevent any potential spread of the coronavirus in SA. Some South Africans believe the virus is being taken too seriously, while others think it could cause chaos.



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



Meet the new coke supremos: Brazil’s gangs flood ...

Every link of a vast supply chain underscores the country's new status as a leading transshipment hub

By Gabriel Stargardter
11 min read


A police officer patrols amid tear gas near Turkey’s Pazarkule border crossing in Kastanies, Greece.
PASSING THE TIME A police officer patrols amid tear gas near Turkey’s Pazarkule border crossing in Kastanies, Greece.
Image: Reuters/Florion Goga

6 things you need to know about the world

Handmade tale: amputee’s ‘man hands’ adapt

When amputee Shreya Siddanagowder was offered new hands, the Indian student didn't hesitate - even though they were big, dark and hairy, and once belonged to a man. Now though, not only have her new hands become more slender, they have also changed colour to match her skin tone, mystifying the doctors who carried out the rare 13-hour transplant. "The donor was a tall man with big spindly fingers," Siddanagowder's mother Suma said. ”Now nobody can make out that they are a man's hands … She has even started wearing jewellery and nail varnish." In 2016, at 18, Siddanagowder was involved in a bus accident that crushed both her arms. A delay in getting first aid meant both her hands had to be amputated below the elbow. - AFP

In a time of fist bumps, remember party bumps

As sanitised elbow bumps replace hugs and handshakes, the Brooklyn Museum is reminding New Yorkers of the sweaty days of 1970s disco, when everyone who was anyone got down at Studio 54. Bumps back then packed a far stronger punch - cocaine was the era's party drug - and the iconic Manhattan club that hosted the likes of Diana Ross and Andy Warhol became a liberating space of open sexuality, glittering fashion and wildly influential music and dance. Studio 54: Night Magic, a new exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, takes visitors past the famously guarded velvet rope of the glam, louche nightclub on Midtown Manhattan's 54th street, highlighting the venue's sociocultural impact along with its platform boots, slinky lame dresses and electric basslines. - AFP

If Covid-19 doesn’t get us …

Greenland and Antarctica are shedding six times more ice than during the 1990s, driving sea level rise that could see annual flooding by 2100 in regions that are to about 400 million people, scientists warn. The kilometres-thick ice sheets atop land masses at the planet's extremities sloughed off 6.4 trillion tons of mass from 1992 through 2017, adding nearly 2cm to the global watermark, according to an assessment by 89 researchers, the most comprehensive to date. The Arctic heatwave in 2019 will likely top the 2011 record for polar ice sheet loss of 552 billion tons, they reported in a pair of studies published in Nature. - AFP

Cops face trial for murder of trans woman

Three police officers in El Salvador will be tried for the murder of a transgender woman who was deported from the US two years ago after failing to prove her life was at risk in the violent Central American country. The unidentified police officers face prison sentences of up to 30 years. They all deny the charges. Camila Diaz, a 29-year-old sex worker who fled from El Salvador following repeated threats on her life from a gang, was killed in February after she was kidnapped and beaten. Judge Sidney Blanco said sufficient evidence existed to implicate the officers for aggravated homicide. El Salvador's attorney-general's office has said the officers arrested Diaz for supposedly creating a public nuisance and then forced her into a police vehicle. She was then severely beaten and thrown out onto a highway. - Reuters

Remains of suspected WW2 airmen repatriated

The remains of suspected US airmen killed in Myanmar during World War II were repatriated Thursday, as American officials continue searching for 500 unaccounted servicemen in the country.Myanmar was a key battleground between the Allies and Japan during the war. The remains are thought to be those of some of the seven servicemen in a B-25G aircraft downed in February 1944 in northern Salingyi.Although the wreckage was located two years later, it was not until 2019 that the US Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency found possible remains in the same region and returned this year to continue the search. - AFP

Lockerbie bomber’s family can launch appeal

The conviction of the only man jailed over the Lockerbie bombing can be referred to the courts for a fresh appeal over a potential miscarriage of justice, an -official review has ruled. Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi died at 60 in 2012 after he was controversially released early from his 27-year prison sentence on compassionate grounds while he had terminal cancer. He returned home to Libya to a hero's welcome after being set free by the Scottish government. The Libyan intelligence agent decided to abandon his second appeal. A request for a posthumous appeal against the conviction for the 1988 bombing was submitted almost three years ago by his family, and Scottish Criminal Case Review Commission has now referred the case to the High Court of Justiciary, saying the family is entitled to seek an appeal.– © Telegraph Media Group Limited (2019)



The rand’s taken a beating amid market carnage, ...

Interest-rate cuts by developed markets’ central banks could boost SA assets with their higher yields, says economist

By Lindiwe Tsobo
3 min read

At this rate, Covid-19 will leave insurers broker ...

As recession threatens the globe, all sorts of companies with trade credit insurance are coming under strain

By Carolyn Cohn
4 min read



Oh unhappy day: This is going to be BeBe Winans’s last SA tour

We chat to the gospel star about his 30 years in the music industry, and how it all began with his family in church

By Leonie Wagner
3 min read

What a triplet! Truth is stranger than fiction in doccie

Reunion of twins separated at birth made headlines across the US. But another shocker awaited the two men

By Kevin Kriedemann
4 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: Khune recalled for Bafana qualifiers

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

David Isaacson
Sports reporter
4 min read
Sport FREE

How my superhero dad helped me conquer Suicide Hill - and rugby

If it hadn’t been for his dad, Rosko Specman says he wouldn’t be the player or the person he is today

By Ofentse Ratsie
4 min read

Blast from the past: Khotso’s best not good enough

Today in SA sports history: March 13

By David Isaacson
1 min read