Friday, July 10 2020



SA vaccine trial shocked by how many people already had Covid-19

‘We did not anticipate high number of asymptomatic people, which shows how extensive infection rate is’: expert

Graeme Hosken
Senior reporter
5 min read

SA is already primed for an apocalypse. We didn’t need Bandile Masuku

The Gauteng health MEC’s wonky soundbite about Covid graves can’t be written off as a minor irritation

Tom Eaton
3 min read

Scooter ambulance project crashes as Mkhize says it is unsafe

Health minister, who initially endorsed initiative, says his department was not consulted before procurement

By Sthembile Cele
2 min read

‘Bodies are piling up’: E Cape funeral parlours plead for help

As the Covid-19 corpses stream in they blame the burial backlog on a delay in issuing death certificates

By Sandiso Phaliso
4 min read




Premier begs Cyril: send SIU to probe municipality for corruption

OR Tambo District Municipality has R1.4bn in irregular expenditure, not least on a Covid awareness campaign

By Sipho Masondo
2 min read

Citizen science adds venom to database on snakes’ habits

Using Facebook, scientists have gathered information about the reptiles’ feeding habits and 75% of it is new

Tanya Farber
Senior science reporter
2 min read

Mom, daughter animated over sweet success with medical cartoon

The animated series, which looks at diabetes, is making waves locally and internationally, and there’s more to come

Suthentira Govender
Senior reporter
3 min read

Photographer close to fulfilling vow to MK cadre 38 years on

Durban man promised to give an image of the young fighter to his family if he died. Now he’s a step closer

Suthentira Govender
Senior reporter
3 min read



EDITORIAL: As usual, political egos are to the fore in a crisis

Once again, our underperforming politicians have cast aside the national interest in favour of knee-jerk combat

2 min read

Fiery film, bright cakes and woeful longing dwell in the paradoxical past

A column to satisfy your inner grammar nerd

Sue de Groot
Deputy features editor: Sunday Times
4 min read
Sport FREE

Louis Mazibuko takes off: tributes to a ‘one-man full house’

Senior journalists remember a father figure and legend in the newsroom

By Mahlatse Mphahlele and Marc Strydom
6 min read



Covid-19 puts solar-power industry into lockdown, ...

Solar installers are now using drones and phones to offset losses from lockdowns, reducing costs and carbon footprints

By Nichola Groom, Isla Binnie and Nina Chestney
6 min read



The four funniest TV shows to take the edge off

One selection here is arguably one of the funniest shows ever made, full stop

Yolisa Mkele
1 min read

Have a bloody good time with one of telly’s best-kept secrets

Season 3 of ‘Get Shorty’, inspired by Elmore Leonard’s 1990 novel, is now streaming

By Vianne Venter
4 min read

Netflix cooks in Africa, while taking continent to the world

Streaming service aims to become big gun with African originals. There’s a snag, though: data, but there are solutions

By Joseph Cotterill
4 min read

Blast from the past: Jobodwana sprints into record books

Today in SA sports history: July 10

David Isaacson
Sports reporter
2 min read


Severe weather hit the shores of Cape Town on Thursday afternoon as the weather service warns of a cold front that will bring heavy rain and flooding in Western Cape.
SEASON 5, LEVEL 3 Severe weather hit the shores of Cape Town on Thursday afternoon as the weather service warns of a cold front that will bring heavy rain and flooding in Western Cape.
Image: Esa Alexander

6 things you need to know

Two young boys die after being buried alive

Two boys died in KwaDukuza, north of Durban, on Thursday after they were buried alive while digging for sand. According to IPSS Medical Rescue, paramedics were called to the scene on Thursday where the boys, 12 and nine, had been helping a man dig for building sand. The man left with a load of sand and when he returned noticed that the sand had collapsed. “The man started to dig and came across a body and contacted authorities. On arrival of IPSS paramedics, they found that the boys,showed no signs of life and were declared dead on scene,” said IPSS. Police were called to the scene.

Gale blows over truck as storm hits WC

Two trucks were blown over by strong winds in the Western Cape on Thursday as the first of two storms made landfall. Western Cape police chief Kenny Africa confirmed that a video showing a stationary truck being blown over on the road between Villiersdorp and Worcester was authentic. He said gales had also caused traffic disruptions in Cape Town on the N2 near the Baden Powell Drive turn-off where a truck was blown over. “There are also heavy sandstorms at the Theewaterskloof Dam obscuring the roads between Villiersdorp and Grabouw,” said Africa. While rain had started falling in Cape Town on Thursday morning, the Boland and Overberg regions of the Western Cape were experiencing dry but windy conditions.

SA’s population up to nearly 60m

There are about 59.62 million people living in SA, an increase of 1.89 million in the past two years, Stats SA said on Thursday. Most of the people are female: 51.1%, or about 30.5 million. The findings were contained in the 2020 mid-year population estimates which revealed that Gauteng remains the country's most populous province, with about 15.5 million people, or 26% of the population. KZN is next (11.5 million, 19.3%, while the Northern Cape has the smallest population (1.29 million, 2.2%). The study found that about 28.6% of the population is younger than 15. The elderly population, 60 and above, number about 5.4 million and account for 9.1%. Life expectancy at birth for 2020 was estimated at 62.5 years for males and 68.5 years for females, with infant mortality at 23.6 per 1,000 live births. The estimated overall HIV prevalence rate was about 13% of the population.

Home puts ass on the line for a little moo-lah

The coronavirus pandemic has led millions of people to embrace meetings via Zoom, but admittedly, those can be as tedious as in-person conferences. So one animal sanctuary in Canada, in dire need of cash after being forced to close, found a way to solve both problems. Cue Buckwheat, a donkey at the Farmhouse Garden Animal Home, who is ready to inject some fun into your humdrum work-from-home office day - for a price. In the video application's signature window panes, the call attendees offer some oohs and aahs as they realise what's happening - then erupt in laughter. Anybody who wants Buckwheat to crash their meeting donates “so we can feed the cows, especially during Covid”, the animal home says. - AFP

Peer pressure makes us dirty rats

Rats are less likely to assist a fellow rodent in need if other members of their group are being unhelpful, according to a study that sheds new light on the "bystander effect. Peggy Mason, a neurobiologist at the University of Chicago, said the findings helped explain certain human behaviours such as why police officers fail to intervene when one of their own is engaging in brutality. In an experiment, scientists found that when a rat encountered a distressed peer in a restrainer, they were generally interested in opening a door and rescuing them. In the presence of bystanders rendered unhelpful by a dose of an anti-anxiety drug, a rat that had previously been helpful now stood by idly. But, when undrugged, helpful bystanders were placed at the scene, a rat that had been helpful one-on-one became even more keen on being a good Samaritan. - AFP

Peak’s name stays despite racist ties

A Swiss town has refused to rename the Agassizhorn mountain despite its namesake's espousal of racist views, the ATS news agency reported. The 19th century Swiss geologist Louis Agassiz was known for research into fish, fossils and glaciers, but has been criticised for defending racist ideas. After emigrating to the US in 1846, Agassiz argued for racial segregation and hierarchies, and fiercely attacked Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. But mayor of the town of Grindelwald, Beat Bucher, disagreed with those who wanted to change the peak’s name, saying: “We cannot erase the stains of history.” In a reference to the central Swiss summit, Bucher added: “It is better to accept it with its positive and negative aspects.” - AFP