Friday, March 27 2020




Typical SA! Last-minute queues everywhere

People rush to get to their home provinces and stock up on booze before lockdown

By Lwandile Bhengu, Anthony Molyneaux and Qaanitah Hunter
4 min read

Fikile take the wheel: what you can and can’t do on the road

From hygiene to passengers, these are the lockdown rules for public transport and private motorists

By Pieter van der Merwe
3 min read
Ideas FREE

Less is Mir: if you think your lockdown is bad, consider this poor guy

As you go round and round your home, think of the cosmonaut who went round and round Earth ... in a tin can

Tom Eaton
2 min read
Ideas FREE

Like legends who shrank from their magnum opus, we all wage a lonely battle

As we face 21 long days, the story of Joe Gould and Joseph Mitchell is a parable of human frailty and failure

5 min read
Ideas FREE

Here we go, into an ellipsis ... hoping one day there’ll be a full stop.

A column to satisfy your inner grammar nerd

Sue de Groot
Deputy features editor: Sunday Times
3 min read




Trophy-hunting industry in tatters as virus goes in for the kill

The industry was already reeling from a double blow, now the pandemic has worsened the situation

Paul Ash
Senior reporter
3 min read

Zuma makes a last-gasp bid to dodge corruption trial

Now, citing ‘egregious’ violations by the NPA in his case, he wants the Constitutional Court to decide

Karyn Maughan
3 min read

What ships sailing between SA and Europe reveal about climate change

Turns out that, contrary to what you might think, ship pollution may brighten up your day

Dave Chambers
Cape Town bureau chief
3 min read

Family at war after hacker steals R935,000 from trust fund

Una van Rensburg lost her share and when her siblings were unsympathetic she took them to court

Dave Chambers
Cape Town bureau chief
2 min read


A man prays in front of an empty St Peter's Square in Rome.
THE GATES OF HEALTH A man prays in front of an empty St Peter's Square in Rome.
Image: Reuters/Guglielmo Mangiapane

Six things about SA you need to know

Ex-Eskom exec in court over R30m tax fraud

Former Eskom executive Mangope France Hlakudi has appeared in court on a R30m tax fraud charge. The former Eskom senior manager for group capital made a brief appearance at the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in Pretoria on Wednesday, said Hawks spokesperson Brig Hangwani Mulaudzi. This followed a joint investigation by the Serious Commercial Crimes Unit and the SA Revenue Service, said Mulaudzi. Hlakudi allegedly did not declare his income from 2016 to 2018, with Sars losing “approximately R30m”. His case was postponed to May 27. This court appearance will come two days after he is set to appear in another matter - a R745m fraud and corruption case linked to the Kusile power plant.

Commission warns of EC land-claim scam

The commission on restitution of land rights has warned about a scam that targets people in the Eastern Cape, promising to fast-track their land claims. Nomfundo Ntloko-Gobodo, chief land claims commissioner, said government programmes did not require citizens to pay for services. “Ruthless scammers are swindling the vulnerable land claimants in the Eastern Cape out of their hard-earned money, while purporting to help finalise their claims.” The commissioner was reacting to information received from the office of the regional land claims commissioner about land claimants from areas including Sterkspruit, eMaXesibeni, Bizana, Flagstaff and Idutywa. These areas have allegedly been targeted by scammers who persuade people to pay thousands of rand for help with or fast-tracking of land claims, Ntloko-Gobodo said.

Lotto winner to wait 21 days to claim R7.4m

A player who won the R7.4m Lotto jackpot on Wednesday will most likely have to wait until after the coronavirus lockdown to claim the money. National lottery operator Ithuba on Thursday announced a shutdown of its offices amid the coronavirus outbreak. “During the lockdown our head office and all regional offices will be closed. This means that no winners will be able to claim their winnings at any of our offices. Players should not be anxious about this because all winning tickets have a lifespan of 365 days. It is therefore imperative that players keep their tickets safe until they can claim,” Ithuba said. The winner of Wednesday’s jackpot played the numbers 10, 13, 19, 25, 42 and 47, with 35 the bonus number. Ithuba said it would be possible to buy lottery tickets during the lockdown.

In-car infotainment ‘worse than alcohol’

Features such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are the biggest culprits in taking a driver’s attention off the road, a new study reports. Modern in-vehicle infotainment systems are impairing reaction times behind the wheel even more than alcohol and cannabis use. These are the findings of a new UK study commissioned by road-safety charity IAM RoadSmart. It reports that instead of the latest touchscreen and voice-control systems improving road safety, as they were designed to, exactly the opposite is true. The study found that reaction times at freeway speeds increased average stopping distances to more than four car lengths. Drivers took their eyes off the road for as long as 16 seconds while driving, which is equivalent to a distance of 530m at 120km/h.

You can still get your Sunday Times fix

The national lockdown came into effect on Thursday at midnight, but you will still be able to get your hands on a copy of the Sunday Times and the other print titles in the Arena Holdings group. The company confirmed it had implemented precautions for staff selling newspapers in and around Johannesburg and Pretoria. They will wear masks, gloves and protective clothing to ensure they comply with guidelines set out by the government, which has urged citizens to social distance and wash hands, and they will only be able to shop at certain times. For online updates follow @SundayTimesZA, @TimesSelect @TimesLIVE on Twitter.

Man who murdered in-laws gets two life terms

Mzwandile Mlambo, who shot dead his parents-in-law during an attack at their homestead in Umzimkhulu, KZN, in 2017, was sentenced to two life terms this week after being found guilty of their murders. On April 15 2017, Nontuthuko Tenza, 60, and Shumilakhe Tenza, 61, were at their home at Nazareth area in Umzimkhulu when they were attacked. The shots were fired through the window and struck the couple in the head and stomach. Mlambo was tracked down and arrested soon afterwards. "It was established that the firearm used was stolen on April 13 2017. The accused allegedly stole his father’s firearm and it was used to commit the murders," police spokesperson Col Thembeka Mbele said. Apart from the two life terms, Mlambo, 40, was also sentenced to seven years' imprisonment for theft of a firearm and seven years for possession of an unlicensed firearm.




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



Andrew Cuomo is just what the doctor ordered for the US

As Trump shows a spectacular failure of leadership, a lesser-known figure has stepped up to the plate

By Josie Ensor
1 min read

Home truths: what matters, and what doesn’t, thanks to lockdown

Isolation brings into sobering focus things that are suddenly much more important than they used to be

By Shane Watson
3 min read

An indomitable legacy, by Belenos! Asterix creator joins the gods

With writer René Goscinny, Albert Uderzo brought a satirical eye to his images of the feisty Gaulish warrior

By Telegraph Obituary
8 min read


A mom and her son wish a six-year-old a happy birthday during a drive-by celebration in West Bloomfield Township, Michigan.
WATCHING THE YEARS PASS YOU BY A mom and her son wish a six-year-old a happy birthday during a drive-by celebration in West Bloomfield Township, Michigan.
Image: Reuters/Emily Elconin

6 things you need to know about the world

Orphanage worker is sex chatroom suspect

A South Korean man accused of coercing dozens of women and schoolgirls into performing sex acts in pay-to-view internet chatrooms has been paraded in front of the media. Cho Ju-bin, a 24-year-old who worked in an orphanage in Incheon, was arrested earlier this month and was awaiting trial before media coverage of the crimes of which he is accused triggered public outrage.More than 5 million people signed petitions on the home page of Moon Jae-in, the South Korean president, demanding that the authorities withdraw his right to anonymity before his trial. – © Telegraph Media Group Limited (2019)

Putin gives Russians surprise holiday

Vladimir Putin declared next week a holiday with full pay but declined to impose a nationwide lockdown in Russia as he gave his first address over the coronavirus crisis. The Russian president yesterday surprised observers by stopping short of announcing a nationwide emergency and avoiding the use of strong language in describing the Covid-19 pandemic.With words like "quarantine" and "self-isolation" conspicuously absent from his speech, Mr Putin said that Russians will get a week off work with full pay next week and urged people to stay home.– © Telegraph Media Group Limited (2019)

Animal shops cleared as people seek companions

Pet shelters and shops in the UK were cleared of animals last week as people apparently looked for a companion as lockdown loomed. Battersea Dogs and Cats Home said they had rehoused more than twice the number of dogs and cats that they did over a similar time period in 2019, and visitors to Pets at Home said the shops were running low on hamsters. Last week, 86 dogs and 69 cats left Battersea, while during the same week last year, 42 dogs and 29 cats departed.– © Telegraph Media Group Limited (2019)

Cathedral digs up 5,000 respirator masks

With respirator face masks in short supply, the Washington National Cathedral dug deep underground to find its long-forgotten stash - in its crypt. The massive Neo-Gothic cathedral in the US capital said Wednesday that 5,000 masks bought more than a decade ago had been forgotten in its crypt level deep below its nine separate chapels. As US health officials sounded the alarm over the shortage of masks during the coronavirus pandemic, some staff noticed the stockpile set aside for priests. "The masks were purchased more than a decade ago following a previous health scare," the cathedral said. - AFP

Apocalypse delayed - ‘Walking Dead’ postponed

When will this apocalypse finally be over? That is the question being asked by The Walking Dead television fans, after producers revealed they had not been able to finish making the popular zombie show's series finale due to coronavirus. "Current events have unfortunately made it impossible to complete post-production of The Walking Dead Season 10 finale, so the current season will end with its 15th episode on April 5," network AMC tweeted. "The planned finale will appear as a special episode later in the year." With no firm date set for the series conclusion, fans of the hit show were left raging, but also noting the irony. - AFP

NZ mosque ‘shooter’ shocks with plea switch

An Australian accused of killing 51 Muslim worshippers in New Zealand's worst mass shooting changed his plea to guilty in a surprise move on Thursday. Brenton Tarrant, who appeared by video link, admitted to 51 charges of murder, 40 charges of attempted murder and one charge of committing a terrorist act in a hastily called Christchurch High Court hearing. "He has been convicted of each and every one of those charges," presiding judge Justice Cameron Mander said in minutes of the hearing released by the court." - Reuters



Come on, Moody’s, give SA a much-needed mood boost

It could announce on Friday that it’s degrading us to junk, but there are good, logical reasons why it may not

By Raymond Parsons
5 min read

Forget Band-Aids. What the state can do to help us survive Covid-19

Outdated and damaging rules and regulations need to go if we are to rebuild the country after the pandemic

By Jasson Urbach
4 min read

Pity the little guy in the Covid-19 crisis, says FirstRand chief

Alan Pullinger gives us the lowdown on the fate of small businesses, the role of banks and more

Lukanyo Mnyanda
Editor: Business Day
3 min read



How to host a legal Houseparty, and other ways to fill the endless days

Lockdown doesn’t mean fun is outlawed

By Yolisa Mkele
3 min read

For the love of pod: an earful of boredom-banishing goodies

Now is as good a time as any to hop on board the podcast train. Here are a few of our favourites

By Jo Buitendach
2 min read

Sounds of silence: how isolation has unleashed great music on the world

From Bruce Springsteen to Bon Iver, solitude has been responsible for some incredible music over the years

By Neil McCormick
4 min read



SPORTS DAY: Lions brace for ‘cost cutting’ over Covid-19

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

David Isaacson
Sports reporter
4 min read

Giving Faf a national contract isn’t the best play for the Proteas

His form has to be questioned, while locking him in shuts out players who desperately need the experience

Khanyiso Tshwaku
Sports reporter
2 min read

Blast from the past: Boks in try fest against Porta’s men

Today in SA sports history: March 27

David Isaacson
Sports reporter
2 min read