Interest rate cut | Zuma suspends testimony | SA’s got talent | Netball Proteas big payday?


Interest rate cut

The SA Reserve Bank had some good news for consumers today, deciding to cut the repo rate by 25 basis points to 6.5%. The repo rate is the rate at which the bank lends money to commercial banks. While the move will provide some relief to consumers (and add ever so slightly to the burden of pensioners), Business Day says it is not expected to have a significant effect on long-term sentiment as the country grapples with structural economic problems. In the year since the last interest rate cut consumers have faced challenges such as increased fuel prices and tax hikes. However, Fin24 said today that economists forecast basis point cuts could total as much as 75 over the next six months. ‘That would support a fragile recovery in sales and consumer confidence by loosening the cost of debt,’ it said. 

Zuma testimony suspended

Jacob Zuma appeared to be on the point of tripping himself up when he forced an end to proceedings at the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into state capture yesterday. He complained that he was being cross-examined about issues that he could not possibly be expected to remember. The truth, however, might be closer to the fact that he was getting cornered about questions of interference in appointments at state-owned enterprises and his non-answers were suggesting he was either guilty or massively incompetent. The commission is today pondering the complaints raised by Zuma and his lawyers and will reconvene tomorrow if a compromise is reached. You can read about aspects of the saga in The Menace, the Big Read and What We Say.

‘Death squad’ charges dropped

Murder, robbery and racketeering charges against the so-called ‘Cato Manor death squad’ were dropped in the Durban High Court yesterday. The 27 policemen from the Cato Manor and Port Shepstone organised crime units have argued that the charges were politically motivated and designed to protect corrupt politicians. ‘During the seven years since the arrests, the members were subjected to suspensions, humiliation and disciplinary proceedings,’ the officers said in a joint statement today. They added that the prosecutions were authorised first by acting NPA boss Nomgcobo Jiba in 2012 and then by NPA head Shaun Abrahams in 2016 because police and prosecutors aimed ‘to protect their political puppet masters from prosecutions themselves’. The charges related to 45 alleged exra-judicial killings in KwaZulu-Natal. 


There’s two of them

When it comes to menace ‘honours’ not much separates Jacob Zuma and Donald Trump. Last night the US president continued his attack on the four Democratic congresswomen – specifically aiming his blows at Ilhan Omar, an American citizen who has been in the United States for almost 30 years. Trump told his MAGA supporters she was an anti-Semite and that she looked down at hardworking Americans, to which the MAGA brigade started chanting ‘Send her back! Send her back! Send her back!’ The fascist-like rally has been described as one of the most chilling and horrifying things ever seen in US politics. In the meantime, Zuma is trying to do to the Zondo Commission what he did to the country when he was president – destroy it. He has so far denied everything, or can’t recall anything and accused people of being apartheid spies. Now he is claiming he was brought there under false pretences and wants to head off into the sunset to avoid tough questions about how he used his position as number-one to make a quick buck. Since the Zondo Commission started Zuma has been the elephant in the room. With each witness who takes the stand, we discover that Zuma’s presidency was a white elephant: useless, troublesome, expensive to maintain and difficult to dispose of.


Independent Media sales overstated

Circulation figures for newspaper sales in Sekunjalo’s Independent Media stable have been recalculated after an external audit found that most of its titles had overstated their numbers in the course of a year. The Star has revised its figures by between 12.58% (Q4-2017) and 14.37% (Q1-2017). The Pretoria News revision is between 18.11% and 20.24% for the same periods. The Audit Bureau of Circulations of South Africa (ABC) allows titles to claim a sale for any paper sold at over 50% of its cover price. Media companies commonly include copies that are distributed to schools at no cost to the school as part of education initiatives – but they are paid for by a sponsor. In some cases Independent titles were found to have no sponsors and in others the sponsor was a sister company. Linked company sponsorships don’t count under ABC rules. Circulation numbers affect the amount that can be charged for adverts.

Ford workforce grows 

It’s a drop in the ocean, relatively speaking, but good news nonetheless is that Ford South Africa has announced it will be employing 1,200 more people from August to meet international demand for its locally produced models, the New Ranger, Ranger Raptor and Everest. The knock-on impact in supplier industries is estimated at 10,000 new jobs. The manufacturer expects to increase annual output from 124,000 vehicles per year to 168,000.


Big payday for Netball Proteas?

The Proteas netball team duly dispatched Uganda 67-40 in their World Cup match in Liverpool, and qualified for the tournament semi-finals – and a potentially huge payday. Sponsor Telkom has offered to give every member of the 12-player squad R1-million if they win the tournament. If they make it to the final but lose they will each get R500,000. Title sponsor Spar has also committed to giving the squad R1-million to share if they win gold. The team, which has now won five games on the trot at the tournament, plays their final pool match against England tonight before taking on either New Zealand or Australia in the semi-finals.

The Open opens

The Open Championship got under way in Northern Ireland today. If you don’t have access to a television set you can catch up with the latest scores and how the South Africans are doing courtesy of News24.

Rassie experiments

It’s going to be a curious old Rugby Championship this year with only one round of fixtures and coaches doing some last-minute experiments with an eye on the World Cup starting on 20 September in Japan. Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus has dispatched 15 players to New Zealand to prepare for their match against the All Blacks next weekend and chosen a distinctly experimental line-up for Saturday’s game against Australia in Johannesburg. Lock Eben Etzebeth will captain the team in the absence of the injured Siya Kolisi while flank Rynhardt Elstadt and scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies will make their Test debuts. The pack will, however, boast a significant total of 394 caps. The team is: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 S’bu Nkosi, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Francois Louw, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Rynhardt Elstadt, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth (captain), 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Tendai Mtawarira. Substitutes: 16 Schalk Brits, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Marvin Orie, 20 Marcell Coetzee, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 Frans Steyn, 23 Dillyn Leyds


SA’s got talent

The South African Youth Choir as the Americans are calling it – more formally the Ndlovu Youth Choir – who did so well in their audition for America’s Got Talent last month have smashed it again, this time with a performance on Tuesday which earned them a place in the semi-finals. They now progress to the live-show rounds which are held in Hollywood. You can watch their wonderful performance of Waka Waka here (and see the judges high praise).


Dope dopes

That may look like a kid’s drawing of an excavator. Look again – it’s an X-ray image of a machine that someone in South Africa shipped to Australia, crammed with cocaine that they welded into its hollow parts. Australian border police released the image after they removed the R1.4bn haul (reportedly Australia’s biggest border drug bust to date), stuffed it with a dummy payload, welded it back together and sent it on its way. The recipient has been arrested. 

And this? Believe it or not, the man with the weird toupée thought no-one would ask. He is a Colombian who was arrested in Barcelona last month after he stepped off a plane with a 500g parcel of cocaine stuck to his pate. The wig gave it away, said Spanish police who released the image yesterday – it was of ‘disproportionate size’, they said in a statement.


Baby Shark attacks the homeless

Cape Town officials have resorted to fining homeless people to keep them off the street, but Florida officials in West Palm Beach believe a continuous loop of the irritating ear-worm songs Baby Shark and Raining Tacos will keep the homeless at bay.  AP reports that authorities hope the children’s songs played throughout the night will keep homeless people from sleeping on the patio of a city-owned rental banquet facility. West Palm Beach parks and recreation director Leah Rockwell told the Palm Beach Post they’re trying to discourage people from sleeping outside the glass-walled Waterfront Lake Pavilion. One homeless person said it was wrong to chase homeless people away with music and vowed that he would still sleep there. 


Today we turn to God (@TheTweetOfGod) for a wry reflection:

I have lost control of the situation.


Today’s clue, compiled by Kieron Callaghan, is: Cooks are saving time – because of this? (13) 

The solution to yesterday’s clue, Go bananas I’m sad we have not seen him! (11) is Asimbonanga – an anagram of ‘go bananas I’m’ (‘sad’ is the anagram indicator), and the isiZulu for ‘we have not seen him’ . Asimbonanga is, of course, one of Johnny Clegg’s iconic hits. 


Jacob Zuma made some startling claims at  the Zondo Commission that some of his comrades weren’t comrades but apartheid spies. The problem with spy allegations is that they are usually impossible to prove one way or another. In a News24 column Jeremy Cronin, a member of the SA Communist Party and a former member of the ANC’s national executive committee, reflects on Zuma’s testimony and says paranoia, with its attendant conspiracy theories and witch-hunts, is the oxygen on which security apparatuses world-wide thrive.


It is Mandela Day today – marking what would have been Nelson Mandela’s 101st birthday – and an occasion when the country likes to reflect on his massive contribution. Instead, many of us are frustrated and angry and the man responsible for much of that – Jacob Zuma – continues to play games designed to avoid accountability. The country lost nine years during which Zuma was president – nine years in which state institutions were hollowed out and robbed blind. The consequences have been a shocking failure to deliver services to the people Zuma was elected to serve and a wobbling economy. All of which makes Zuma’s pathetic tactics at the Zondo Commision of Inquiry into state capture doubly infuriating. In essence, he has invented a massive conspiracy theory going back 30 years, made grotesquely damaging allegations against some of his enemies inside the ANC and then, when questioned, fallen back on being unable to remember anything that happened during his presidency. It has been a performance as shameful as his leadership of the country.

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Farewell Johnny Clegg | Zuma still can’t recall anything | Mount Nelson robbed | These Proteas are on fire


The ‘great unifier’ dies

Legendary South African musician Johnny Clegg died yesterday at the age of 66 after a lengthy battle with pancreatic cancer. Warm and heartfelt tributes for the man dubbed ‘the great unifier’ have been coming in from around the world. You can read more about them and him below in the Big Read, What’s the Buzz?, the Tweet of the Day, and the What We Say.

Zuma stonewalling again

Former president Jacob Zuma continues to deny any wrongdoing as he testifies to the Zondo Commision of Inquiry into state capture for a third day. The commission this morning turned to the evidence it heard previously from former public enterprises minister Barbara Hogan, who claimed that Zuma overruled the Transnet board’s recommendation for a CEO. Instead he wanted Siyabonga Gama to get the job in spite of the reservations of Hogan and the Transnet board, she claimed. Zuma flatly denied this, and that she had warned him Gama was under investigation at Transnet Freightrail. In his evidence so far Zuma has denied or said he could not remember the claims raised in evidence by Hogan, former government communication and information service CEO Themba Maseko and former MP Vytjie Mentor. His testimony is continuing and you can read more of his denials courtesy of News24

MK veterans blast Zuma

The Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) national council has accused Jacob Zuma of lying at the state capture commission to ‘save his own skin’. It blasted his suggestions that its national chairperson, Siphiwe Nyanda and ex-combatant, Ngoako Ramatlhodi, had ties to apartheid intelligence organisations. ‘We view [comrade] Zuma’s allegations as irresponsible outbursts from a person who is obfuscating and ducking in attempts to avoid speaking the truth to assist the work of the commission,’ it said.

The Nellie robbed

TimesLive reports that 15 masked and armed men were involved in the robbery of guests at Cape Town’s famous Mount Nelson Hotel late on Tuesday. The newspaper quoted police sources as saying that the balaclava-clad attackers stormed into the hotel – known locally as the ‘Pink Lady’ – and used a sledgehammer to smash jewellery display cabinets in the foyer. They then headed into the hotel bar and robbed customers of cellphones before fleeing in two cars. No shots were fired and nobody was injured.


Kiss of death

Canadian couple Darren and Carolyn Carter came to South Africa, trophy hunted at least two lions and then photographed themselves kissing next to the dead body of one of the lions. ‘There is nothing like hunting the king of the jungle,’ they wrote under the photo and then to make it sound like they had bravely squared off against the beast in the wild: ‘Hard work in the hot Kalahari sun.’ The couple’s post-kill snog has enraged animal lovers. According to Eduardo Goncalves, founder of the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting, the lion was a tame animal killed in an enclosure, and ‘bred for the sole purpose of being the subject of a smug selfie’. Killing an animal in cold-blood is horrific – and then kissing over its corps is just sick. These menaces should be ashamed of themselves.


Matjila says execs kept PIC in dark

Former public investment corporation (PIC) CEO Dan Matjila today said that executives from the fund manager who were deployed to represent its interests in VBS bank failed to report back when Vele Investments became the majority shareholder of the bank. The process had been kept secret, he said. The PIC’s vision for VBS then ‘went up in smoke’. He again denied allegations that he had received a R5m kickback for securing funding for VBS, saying the claim damaged his reputation. He suggested that one of the PIC’s executives who served on the VBS board, Paul Magula, had been behind the slur and behind other leaks from within the corporation. Magula had been facing a disciplinary inquiry at the time, he said.
    *Business Maverick reports that former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene has refuted claims by Matjila yesterday that Nene had introduced him to his son and had asked that he mentor the youngster.

EOH to close dodgy unit

Technology company EOH has revealed that it will be shutting down its business unit linked to the R1.2bn in suspicious payments that were uncovered in a forensic probe by law firm ENSAfrica. Business Day reports that contracts that are in place will be honoured but the unit, EOH Mthombo, will close when these have run their course.


These Proteas are on fire

There’s been a bit of a vacuum in live sport over the past few days – as if in reaction to the incredible drama dished up at the Cricket World Cup – but tomorrow the Open Championship kicks off in Northern Ireland and tonight the South African team take on Uganda in the Netball World Cup in Liverpool, England. The Proteas netball team have been on fine form, winning four matches on the trot and are all but assured of a place in the semi-finals. Their wins included a rare one against Jamaica. If the Proteas beat Uganda at 7pm tonight they guarantee a spot in the semis. Their last game of the preliminary stages against England takes place at 8pm tomorrow. Meanwhile, you can have a look at the 11 South African contenders taking part in the Open courtesy of News24. 


The tribute

It is a fitting moment to revisit the tribute version of Johnny Clegg’s The Crossing that more than 50 SA musicians combined to record last year. The purpose – to celebrate Clegg’s life and achievements – was turned by Clegg into a pay-it-forward opportunity and he requested that proceeds from the song and the event where it was released go to The Click Foundation, to fund a literacy drive in South Africa. Every YouTube viewing helps the effort. 


Shapeshifter of the deep

Here’s something a little different. It’s a 45-second insight into the extraordinary disguise that an octopus can adopt. 


Lost in  translation 

Is sending a 🔪in a text message considered a death threat? Is it sexual harassment if a manager sends a ❤️? Emojis are showing up in court cases and judges are struggling to handle the nuances, reports CNN. ‘Judges aren’t prepared for the influx, especially ones who are older and may not be familiar with newer vernacular,’ attorney Jason Levine, who has worked on cases with emojis as evidence, told CNN. Emojis are most prevalent in sexual harassment and criminal cases, and increasingly showing up in workplace lawsuits. There is a lot that could get lost in the translation and emojis can be easily misinterpreted. That’s especially true when you consider how symbols vary by culture. Thumbs-up is considered offensive in the Middle East, while a smiley face is taken as sarcasm in China. One of the biggest points of contention for emojis in court cases is that they render differently on varying platforms and devices – a study had participants interpret a grinning face with smiling eyes as ‘blissfully happy’ on Android, but ‘ready to fight’ on iOS. 👀


Today we give this space to a moving message from a son to his father. This is the tweet from Jesse Clegg (@Jesse_Clegg) earlier today:

Hamba kahle dad. Love you always.



Today’s clue is: Go bananas I’m sad we have not seen him! (11)

The solution to yesterday’s clue, Obey God, spread cheers (7) is GOODBYE– an anagram of ‘Obey God’ (spread is the anagram indicator) and ‘cheers’ the definition. 


The country is remembering Johnny Clegg today. There are many tributes but one of the best is this wonderful piece by The Daily Maverick’s Tony Jackman – The dance ends for Johnny Clegg, SA’s beloved musical storyteller. It’s interspersed with music videos of Le Zoulou Blanc, that will leave a lump in your throat. There are links to other Daily Maverick stories about Clegg. Now put on your favourite Juluka song and have a look at News24’s photographic tribute to the remarkable and much-loved musician. 


Johnny Clegg crossed South African divides like very few others have done. His generous and big-hearted personality embraced all South Africans and the music that flowed from him represented the best of the country’s people. As a young man he studied the music and dance of migrant workers in Johannesburg and combined them into a blend of South African culture that found purchase in both the suburbs and townships. By doing so he defied apartheid’s divisions and served as a unifier during dark times. Latterly he has represented what we could have become as a nation – but have not. But the flame that he lit will hopefully burn strong and long and help us see one another through his vision. 

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Gordhan: It’s come to this | ‘Inept’ Trump lashes out at May | Batohi drops Booysen charges | DJ Fresh decision | Coco’s dream ends


‘Inept’ Trump lashes out at May

Donald Trump has gone ballistic over a leaked confidential report by the British Ambassador to Washington, who said the US president was ‘inept’, ‘dysfunctional’ and ‘radiating insecurity’. Trump said the ambassador, Sir Kim Durrock, was ‘not liked or well thought of within the U.S. We will no longer deal with him’. He then turned his guns on outgoing British Prime Minister Theresa May after she said she still had faith in Durrock. Trump said May had made a ‘mess’ of Brexit and should have taken his advice on departing the European Union. Assessments of foreign governments by diplomats are traditionally extremely candid and kept highly confidential. The Brits are probing how the leak happened.

It’s come to this

The University of KwaZulu-Natal has confirmed that Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree after a Twitter campaign suggesting he had no such qualification. A variety of accounts – several with apparent EFF sympathies – have been suggesting Gordhan does not have the qualification which he claimed. UKZN yesterday confirmed that ‘Pravin Jamnadas Gordhan studied and successfully completed the requirements for the Bachelor of Pharmacy degree in 1973’. He also received an honorary doctorate in 2003 and the Convocation Award from the university in 2013. 

Batohi drops Booysen charges

One of the most controversial National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) decisions from the Zuma years appears to have been put to bed. New NPA boss Shamila Batohi yesterday announced that it would be withdrawing longstanding racketeering charges against former KwaZulu-Natal Hawks head Johan Booysen. He was initially charged by then acting head of the NPA Nomgcobo Jiba. Her decision was widely held to have been politically motivated and Booysen has said it was because he blocked some questionable business interests of Jacob Zuma’s son Edward. It was reviewed and set aside in court but another Zuma ally Shaun Abrahams charged him again when he was appointed NPA boss in 2016. Batophi appointed a panel to review the case and today withdrew the charges on its recommendation.

Was it Number One?

Former head of state protocol Bruce Koloane made a dramatic about-turn in his testimony to the Zondo state capture inquiry today. This followed the playing of tape recordings that showed he had a direct role in facilitating the controversial 2013 landing of a private jet carrying Gupta family wedding guests at Waterkloof Air Force base. Yesterday he told the commission he did not have anything to do with the approval process. Today, however, he admitted after the recordings were played that he had abused his position and used former President Jacob Zuma’s name to pressure Department of Defence officials to authorise the landing. He said he had not spoken to Zuma about the matter. In one of the recordings played today Waterkloof’s then officer commanding movement control, Lt-Col Christine Anderson, is heard telling Major Thabo Ntshisi, who worked at Waterkloof and was querying the landing permission, that the matter was ‘political’, ‘our number one knows about this’. 

Did Matjila get VBS Bank loan?

The Public Investment Corporation (PIC) has confirmed that a forensic report found its former CEO, Dan Matjila, unduly benefited from a R2.45m loan from scandal-hit VBS Bank, which collapsed last year. But Matjila’s lawyer today told the PIC inquiry that Matjila had never received a loan from VBS. Matjila is giving testimony to the inquiry this week where he is expected to explain his role in a number of controversial investments of public funds. The forensic report was compiled by Nexus Forensic Services, based in Pretoria.


No place for racist cops

They should be upholding the law – not breaking it. TimesSelect has reported that five senior Western Cape detectives sent racist jokes and circulated photographs of gorillas and monkeys, with two of their colleagues’ names attached on a WhatsApp group. The detectives based at the Khayelitsha police station have been charged with crimen injuria and defamation of character. Comparing back people to monkeys is highly offensive and one wonders where these menaces were hiding when Penny Sparrow sparked a furor with her infamous New Year’s comments? This latest incident shows how deeply entrenched racism is in our society. The officers’ racist behaviour erodes public trust and confidence in the police – and, if found guilty, they should be fired.


Hedging their bets

Financial services company Sable International is reporting a 70% increase in South Africans inquiring about investing abroad and acquiring second citizenships or foreign residency. In a trend interpreted as indicating that locals are hedging their bets, Sable said it had seen an increase of 45% in clients in the past year. Fin24 reports that Andrew Rissik, group commercial director, said high-net worth individuals are ‘internationalising’ themselves, their wealth, and often their businesses as fast as they can.

Bullies in trouble

A court case over corporate bullying in France is coming to a close with expectations that its outcome could set a global precedent for holding company managers personally criminally responsible for strategic harassment of staff aimed at forcing them to resign. The case centres on the actions of executives of France Telecom, now called Orange, as they sought to restructure the company and cut 22,000 jobs. Between 2008 and 2009, 35 workers committed suicide, most leaving notes to say the company had made their lives unbearable. The case is due to wrap up this week and it will be several weeks before judges give their verdict. 


Riske and reward

The Wimbledon fairytale ended yesterday with Cori ‘Coco’ Gauff finding Simona Halep a step too far as the former world number-one raced to a 6-3 6-3 victory. In an action-packed start to the second week of the tournament there were plenty of talking points, but the exit of the teen sensation overshadowed them all – even the defeats to top seed Ashleigh Barty (beaten 3-6 6-2 6-3 by unseeded Alison Riske), third seed Karolina Pliskova (beaten 4-6 7-5 13-11 by Karolina Muchova) and sixth seed Petra Kvitova (beaten 4-6 6-2 6-4 by Johanna Konta). After Halep lost her opening service game and served three consecutive double faults in her second it did not seem likely she could win in straight sets, but Gauff never looked settled and gave away 29 unforced errors as Halep took control. In other women’s matches, Serena Williams raced past Carla Suarez Navarro 6-2 6-2 in just 64 minutes to set up a meeting with Riske. For the men, the Big Three of Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal all raced into the quarter finals in straight sets. South Africa’s lone hope for Wimbledon glory, Raven Klaasen and his New Zealand doubles partner Michael Venus, eased into the quarterfinals with a 6-2 6-3 7-6 win over Robin Haase and Frederik Nielsen.

India confident of final spot

Eleven years ago Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson were opposing captains in the semifinal of the 2008 Under-19 World Cup in Malaysia. Today Kohli will be hoping for a similar three-wicket win for India while Williamson will be looking for a long-awaited revenge for New Zealand. India go into the rematch as the overwhelming favourites with batsmen and bowlers high on confidence after a near-perfect run through the pool stages of this tournament. Their only blemish was a loss to England when chasing 338. In contrast New Zealand come into the semifinal on the back of three losses in a row with a batting unit struggling to put partnerships together.

Tunisia finally beat Ghana

Ivory Coast and Tunisia completed the quarterfinal lineup at the Africa Cup of Nations last night. Ivory Coast eased past Mali 1-0 while Tunisia ousted Ghana with a 5-4 penalty shootout after the teams ended extra time with a goal apiece. Tunisia looked to have the match sewn up before substitute Rami Bedoui scored an own goal with his first touch of the ball in the 89th minute. The winning draw for Tunisia means they have reached the quarterfinals without winning a match after three draws in the group phase and now a fourth in the Round of 16. The shootout was their first victory over Ghana in 54 years at the Afcon tournament. Tunisia will play Madagascar in the quarters on Thursday while Ivory Coast take on Algeria. The other two quarter finals tomorrow see South Africa take on Nigeria and Senegal clash with Benin.


DJ Fresh gets the boot

After weeks of hints on social media and efforts behind the scenes to mend fences between DJ Fresh (more formally Thato Sikwane) and his employers at Metro FM, the SABC today announced that the popular DJ has had his contract terminated – with immediate effect. DJ Fresh was suspended for ‘foul language’ – a complaint had been lodged with the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of SA alleging that Sikwane used an adaption of the Zulu swear word ‘msunery’ (a derogatory term for female genitalia) in response to a listener on air. The DJ appeared as a guest on Newzroom Afrika this morning, sparking speculation about whether he will find a new home there. 


Wedded to the lens 

Ian Weldon is not a wedding photographer – the title of his upcoming book says so. But his wonderful collection of candid moments at weddings puts the spotlight firmly on the underside of celebrations. CNN has an interview with Weldon and reproduces some of the  great moments he has captured.  


Curry on regardless

A mysterious bright orange bird was spotted at the side of a major highway in the UK and taken to the Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital. The veterinary team discovered that this wasn’t an exotic bird but a herring gull covered in curry. ‘He had somehow gotten himself covered in curry or turmeric! It was all over his feathers, preventing him from flying properly,’ said the animal hospital, which is a naan profit organisation. ‘We have no idea how he got into this predicament but thankfully, apart from the vibrant color and pungent smell, he was healthy.’ They named the gull Vinny after Vindaloo curry, and although he didn’t rice to the occasion they released him into the wild. According to Mashable, a gull named Gullfrazie fell into a vat of chicken tikka masala in 2016. It was also bathed, but The Guardian reported that Gullfrazie still smelled like curry afterwards. Yep, never a dhal moment! 


Today’s winner is (insert drum roll here) Saddington 2 (@hayley_hud) for this truly ridiculous offering:

A Sonic Boom is when Sonic reaches the speed of sound and his ass cheeks clap together


Today’s clue, compiled by Fa Ten, is: Street cop in disguise, hush-hush (3,6)

The solution to yesterday’s clue, Trump is abnormal, the first president needing to be kicked out. That’s so obvious (6), is TRUISM  – an anagram of TRUMP IS (abnormal is the anagram indicator) without ‘p’ (first president is the first letter of president needing to be kicked out)


The Women’s World Cup top player Megan Rapinoe has a complicated relationship with the person who introduced her to soccer – her brother Brian. When he was 15, Brian brought meth to school and has been in and out of jail ever since. At 15, Megan played with the youth US national team. Brian was inked with swastika tattoos – an allegiance to white supremacy he now disavows; Megan was the first prominent white athlete to kneel to protest racial inequality. This feature by ESPN explains why Brian is Megan’s greatest heartbreak… and hope.


Julius Malema is a bit like a stuck clock: every now and then he gets it right. For example, between encouraging partygoers at the July Handicap to have sex and attacking Pravin Gordhan, he said Twitter is ‘divorced from reality’. ‘I know for a fact that the EFF won nearly every “poll” conducted on Twitter in the run-up to the elections,’ he pointed out, adding that the party only came third in the voting. His motive was, unfortunately, not terribly noble: he was trying to persuade a court that remarks made by him on the social media platform should not be taken too seriously and did not amount to hate speech. That said, he is right about the distorted picture that social media paints. On most days it feels like the entire country consists of either mini-Malemas or wannabe Steve Hofmeyrs. This has the potential to polarise this society and it is worth remembering that the sort of people that might support such extremism polled below 20% in the election.

CLARIFICATION yesterday cited a Moneyweb story about the resignation of the head of Necsa, Rob Adam. Moneyweb has published a correction note on its story today: The original article said Rob Adam was jailed for sabotage of the Koeberg nuclear plant. Dr Adam points out this was incorrect. He spent 10 years in jail for anti-apartheid activities. We apologise for the error.

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