WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
PP gets court lashing
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s credibility took a fresh battering today when the Constitutional Court upheld a costs order against her for bias. The majority judgment accused her of ‘unintelligible’ reasoning and ‘falsehoods’ during her Absa/Bankorp investigation and ruling. In 2017 Mkhwebane had ordered Absa to repay R1.125-billion to the SA Reserve Bank over an ‘illegal gift’ in the 1980s to Bankorp (which was later subsumed into Absa). The Reserve Bank took the finding on review and it was set aside by the North Gauteng High Court. The court ordered that because of a ‘reasonable apprehension of bias’ Mkhwebane must personally pay 15% of the Reserve Bank’s costs. She ultimately appealed this to the Constitutional Court, but this morning it found that she had not been honest during the probe and reaffirmed the costs order. It said her ‘entire model of investigation was flawed and that she was not honest about her engagements during the investigation’ and ‘she failed to engage with the parties directly affected my her new remedial action before she published her final report’. The court said that Mkhwebane had been guilty of ‘a number of falsehoods in the course of litigation’. Mkhwebane said she was disappointed in the ruling and it would have a chilling effect on other investigations.
* President Cyril Ramaphosa last night announced he would be taking Friday’s Public Protector finding against him over a Bosasa donation to his presidential campaign on review because it was ‘fundamentally’ and ‘irretrievably’ flawed. You can read more about it courtesy of the Daily Maverick here.
Hong Kong protesters beaten
Protests that have been rocking Hong Kong for weeks took a nasty turn yesterday evening when a group of suspected gangsters savagely attacked protesters, wounding 45 people and leaving one in a critical condition. The men, dressed in white and carrying sticks, baseball bats and metal poles, attacked protesters returning from a huge march earlier in the day. Some of the men – thought to be the notorious Triad gangsters – were later filmed getting into cars with number plates from the Chinese mainland. The protests have been going on for two months and initially focused on an extradition bill in terms of which people could be extradited to mainland China for trial. The protests have since been widened to include concerns about Chinese restrictions on the freedoms allowed to Hong Kong in terms of the 1997 handover by Britain.
Batchelor’s phone ‘swiped and wiped’
There’s been a quite sensational turn in the investigation into the gunning down of former football player Marc Batchelor in Johannesburg last week: News24 reports that a private investigator with business connections to Batchelor has been arrested for allegedly taking the ex-footballer’s phone from the murder scene. The news site says it is believed that Batchelor’s contacts and messages were wiped from the phone. The investigator – reportedly well-known in Johannesburg but who cannot be named until he is charged – was taken into custody and questioned over the weekend.
Only in South Africa
Police in Aliwal North in the Eastern Cape stopped a taxi and found 30 stolen sheep inside it. Five people were arrested. News24 today quotes police spokesperson Captain Ursula Roelofse, saying that police followed up on information that the sheep were being transported in the taxi early on Friday morning. The five arrested men were scheduled to appear in court today.
THE DAILY MENACE
Rupert the Bear & Floyd the Hippo(crit)
The skeletons keep tumbling out of EFF deputy Floyd Shivambu’s closet. This time the dirt about Shivambu’s hypocrisy isn’t in the trash but in a new book by News24 journalist Pieter du Toit. Du Toit writes that Shivambu was one of Johann Rupert’s ‘go-to men’ who sometimes explained the inner workings of the ANCs processes and procedures – and gave Rupert a heads up before major political developments. Rupert is, of course, the EFF’s sworn nemesis, the evil face of White Monopoly Capital; the WMC bogeyman. According to the book, The Stellenbosch Mafia: Inside the Billionaire’s Club, Shivambu and Rupert spent an afternoon at an exclusive wine estate discussing potential business plans. Du Toit claims Shivambu asked Rupert, one of the country’s wealthiest citizens, to help with his projects, including building a hospital in Limpopo and even gave Rupert PR advice, persuading him to do the PowerFM interview with Given Mkhari in an effort to change the public’s perception of him. In a very unconvincing denial, Shivambu denied he had ever been Rupert’s bestie and unleashed the EFF trolls, who were quick to denounce the accusations as the work of stratcom.
WHAT’S THE BUSINESS?
Matjila: $330-m lost in Erin investment
Former Public Investment Corporation CEO Dan Matjila was back on the stand at the PIC inquiry today where he revealed that the fund manager lost some $330-million through its 30% investment in the Erin Energy oil company. It was a transaction that should have never happened, he admitted, adding that while the company had been in trouble before the PIC investment, it collapsed afterwards. He conceded that better risk management measures should have been put in place.
IN THE SPORTS CORNER
World Cup umpire: I got it wrong
Sri Lankan umpire Kumar Dharmasena has admitted that he made an error in the last over of the Cricket World Cup when he awarded England six runs for a freak overthrow. The ball thrown by a New Zealand fielder hit the bat of Ben Stokes as he dived to make his ground and skittered off to the boundary. Dharmasena signalled six – the two run by the batsmen and the boundary deflection for four. But it turns out that the batsmen had not crossed when the ball was thrown by the Kiwi and, according to the rules, it should only have been five runs. Three balls later the match ended tied, as it did after each team had batted a ‘super over’, at which point the match went to England because they had hit the most boundaries. ‘I agree that there was an error of judgement when I see it on TV replays now,’ Dharmasena said. ‘But we did not have the luxury of TV replays at the ground and I do not regret the decision I made.’
The weekend that was:
‘Twas a busy sporting weekend, the highlights being:
- The Springboks beating Australia 35-17 at Ellis Park, Johannesburg, and an outstanding debut for Herschel Jantjies at scrumhalf. A star for the future, for sure. The cherry on the top was Aussie coach Michael Cheika whining long and loud about the referee afterwards. The Boks now take on the All Blacks in New Zealand on Saturday.
- Not really a highlight, but the netball Proteas finished fourth in the World Cup after being beaten 58-42 by England in the third place play-off. The final between New Zealand and Australia in Liverpool, England, was won 52-51 by the Kiwis. South Africa had the consolation, however, of having Karla Pretorius being named the player of the tournament for her remarkable 20 interceptions, 23 deflections and 32 gains in the tournament.
- Sprinter Akani Simbine and long-jumper Luvo Manyonga won their events at the Anniversary Games meeting in London on Saturday. Simbine won the 100m final in 9.93 seconds and Manyonga leapt an impressive 8.37m.
- Irishman Shane Lowry won the Open Championship in Northern Ireland by a huge six strokes yesterday after shooting an incredible 63 on Saturday.
- 40-year-old Manny Pacquiao beat 30-year-old undefeated welterweight world champion Keith Thurman on points over 12 rounds in what, by all accounts, was a thrilling fight.
WHAT’S THE BUZZ?
Fans of DJ Fresh are celebrating the news that the popular show host is back on air with an afternoon show on radio 947, a Johannesburg-based station. DJ Fresh was suspended and then fired from SABC’s MetroFM for using foul language on air. His new slot will give him a four-hour show on weekdays.
In a survey of British men one in eight believed they could take a point off Serena Williams on the tennis court. Andy Murray’s mom Judy tweeted ‘Good luck with that’. Anyone who thinks they have what it takes may want to watch this delightful 2016 video made by The DudePerfect, as the five cast members try to take a point off Serena. They also got her to do some trick shots and to aim for some targets that will astonish you. Perhaps the best thing about it is how infectiously exuberant she is in the challenge. If you’re a little scared of Serena, watch this: you’ll be a fan. The full video is 7 minutes. But there is also a 2-minute version of highlights.
A Canadian born male who identifies as a woman, and whose male genitalia is still intact, is suing female-only waxers who refuse to wax her testicles (yes, you read that correctly, ‘her testicles’). Jessica (born Jonathan) Yaniv, has filed complaints against 16 female waxers with the Human Rights Council in British Columbia. Yaniv says that self-identifying as a woman is sufficient to be treated as a woman. According to the Daily Wire, Marcia Da Silva was forced to close up her small business after refusing to give Yaniv a Brazilian (or should it be a Manzilian?) In a tweet, Yaniv said the shuttering of Da Silva’s business was a win for human rights. ‘This is not about waxing. This is about businesses and individuals using their religion and culture to refuse service to protected groups because — they — don’t agree with it or the person and use that to illegally discriminate.’
TWEET OF THE DAY
Today we have Moose Allain (@MooseAllain):
I always assumed Billy Idol was a TV contest to find the best goat.
To which Paul Kearney (@kearneypaul) replied :
Britain’s Goat Talent?
CRYPTIC CLUE OF THE DAY
Today’s clue, compiled by Kieron Callaghan, is: Song ran ’til REM played, ‘Man on the Moon’ (4,9)
The solution to Friday’s clue, Sailors in the drink (8) is ABSINTHE – a word sum of Sailors (which is ABs – sailor in cryptic clues is often shorthand for able-body seamen or AB) + IN + THE = a drink.
THE BIG READ
Khayelitsha was the kind of area that was supposed to benefit from having the Soccer World Cup on its doorstep. Thousands of young people play soccer in the township, but the game is an escape; not a route to a career. The BBC’s James Cronin takes takes a look inside the soccer-mad township that’s ‘too dangerous’ for scouts to visit
WHAT WE SAY
The Constitutional Court’s finding against Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane (see above) could hardly be more damning. Most alarming is the finding of dishonesty – ‘she was not honest about her engagements during the investigation’ and had resorted to ‘falsehoods’ during litigation. At the very least the Public Protector should be honest: if not the office loses its credibility, as has been the case during Mkhwebane’s tenure. It really is time for her to go. It is unlikely that Mkhwebane will fall on her sword – which she should do – so the spotlight turns to parliament, where a joint committee is required to authorise the president to remove her on the grounds of ‘misbehaviour, incapacity or incompetence’. All three of those requirements appear to have been met, but does the ANC majority have the collective will to do the right thing?
WHAT YOU SAY 1
In response to the letter by Dr Fubar published on Friday:
Our son is currently in 4th year medicine at UCT and says the assertion made in today’s newsletter (that the 4th-year class at UCT medical school in 2019 has 260 students and 20 of them are males) is not factually correct as there are a far greater number of males in his class.
WHAT YOU SAY 2
Congrats on producing an invaluable addition to the plethora of news content available in the digital era.
I value your daily dose of cogent, pertinent, quirky and at times risqué versions of the local and global ‘happenings’ and enjoy your refreshing perspectives on the extremely broad range of issues covered by the Newsletter.
In these days of multiple and diverse opinions, fake news, spin doctoring and propaganda, it’s deeply satisfying to find a news source that not only eloquently mirrors, but also informs my convictions on the duplicity of politics, be it in the venal corruption that has seen the ANC harm rather than help their own voters in South Africa, the global threat to common sense posed by the ongoing insanity in the White House, the unfathomable chaos that is Brexit in the UK and many, many more aspects worldwide.
I sincerely hope that whatever business model you are employing enables you to keep the good stuff coming!
P.S. In the interests of accuracy, please note that the Rand amount mentioned in the Moonstruck piece in Friday’s newsletter has been somewhat overstated – (in today’s money £161,688 or R30-million) – should in fact read R3-million.