2 November 2018


Moyane to challenge his axeing

Former SA Revenue Service (Sars) boss and alleged state capture capo Tom Moyane was duly axed by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday evening. This followed days after the recommendation by Judge Robert Nugent, head of the commission of inquiry into Sars, that he be fired immediately. The Presidency subsequently explained that Moyane had been given his marching orders for his failure to ‘meaningfully participate’ in the Nugent Commission and his ‘reckless mismanagement’ of Sars. Ramaphosa said in a letter to Moyane that the commission’s interim report ‘paints a deeply concerning picture of the current state of Sars’. Moyane responded defiantly, saying he would continue his Constitutional Court application disputing the legality of the commission.

VBS did donate to ANC

ANC  Treasurer General Paul Mashatile has admitted to eNCA that the ANC received a R2-million donation from the majority shareholder of VBS bank – at the time of the 2016 elections. The money from Vele Investments was paid on behalf of the ANC to ‘a service provider’ and was never recorded in the ANC’s books. Mashatile said he had no idea what services it was paid for.

LGBTQ spy squad for Tanzania

The governor of Dar es Salaam has launched a campaign to track down same-sex couples on social media and arrest them. The anti-gay surveillance squad is the latest weapon in a crackdown on Tanzanian LGBTQ communities that includes jail terms of 30 years for homosexuality. ‘Give me their names,’ said governor Paul Makonda. ‘My ad-hoc team will begin to get their hands on them next Monday.’ The BBC reports that HIV clinics have been forced to close in the country after being accused of promoting homosexuality.

Grim turn in Khashoggi case

Just when it seemed we had confirmation of some of the details of the murder of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi comes a new grisly claim from an advisor to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the Washington Post. The unnamed source said that Khashoggi was strangled as he walked into the Saudi embassy in Istanbul on October 2, and that his body has not been found because it was dissolved in acid after being dismembered.


Shut down SAA, says Tito

Tito Mboweni is certainly proving to be his own man. The country’s new Finance Minister has now bluntly said that SAA should be shut down. ‘It’s loss-making, we are unlikely to sort out the situation, so my view would be close it down,’ Mboweni told an investor conference in New York. ‘Why I say close it down is because it’s unlikely that you are going to find any private sector equity partner who will come join this asset.’ He may, however, have been emboldened by the fact that the decision is not his – earlier this year President Cyril Ramaphosa had moved responsibility for the ailing airline from the finance ministry to public enterprises. In his budget speech last month Mboweni announced yet another bailout for SAA – R5bn this time.

Indy hasn’t paid PIC

The struggling Independent Media has not repaid a R253-million loan to the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) as scheduled, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has revealed. Business Day reports that the loan matured in August and now stands at R408-million. Back in 2013 the PIC controversially invested directly in Independent Media and loaned it money – a total of R888-million. In a reply to a question tabled in parliament by DA MP David Maynier, Mboweni said: ‘Due to difficult trading conditions, the loan that INMSA had to settle during August 2018, has … not been settled. The PIC is in discussions with INMSA on the way forward to resolve this matter,’ said Mboweni.


Faf, Marx nominated

Springbok scrumhalf Faf de Klerk and hooker Malcolm Marx are among five players nominated for the 2018 World Rugby Player of the Year award. The other three are All Blacks Beauden Barrett and Rieko Ioane and Ireland’s Johnny Sexton. The winner will be announced in Monte Carlo on November 25. Previous Springboks to have won the title are Bryan Habana in 2007 and Schalk Burger in 2004.

Back row battle looms

Tomorrow the Springboks take a relatively inexperienced backline into battle behind a pack that is loaded with experience and power. In contrast, England have a set of forwards that is loaded with talent but lacks Test caps, and a backline that knows all about the pressures of international rugby. Both teams are missing key players, but with the World Cup now less than a year away the two wily coaches know they need be finding settled combinations while also securing confidence-building results. The Springboks should be favourites to grab their third win against England this year, but that will only happen if the youngsters step up.

Better batting please

The Proteas will be looking for a much better batting performance when they take on the Australians in the first ODI on Sunday. South Africa come off series wins against Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe, but these wins have largely been the result of some inspired bowling and weak opposition. The batting issue was highlighted earlier this week when the Prime Minister’s XI decimated the Proteas’ top order. The Australian side is sure to be looking for revenge after the controversial ‘Sandpaper-gate’ tour earlier this year.

EPL talking points

The three big talking points in English Premier League this weekend will be the crucial clash between Arsenal and Liverpool, the knee injury to influential Manchester City playmaker Kevin de Bruyne, and Leicester’s emotional first match after the death of owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha in a helicopter crash a week ago. The Arsenal v Liverpool clash tomorrow evening should be a thriller between two teams who are in top form and giving their fans something to celebrate of years of underachievement. For Manchester City, De Bruyne’s injury to his left knee is a bitter blow so soon after he returned from a problem with his right knee. De Bruyne was back to his best and played a major part in the 2-0 win over Fulham in a Carabao Cup match before limping off in the 86th minute.

Cheerleader takes a knee

Colin Kaepernick made kneeling during the US national anthem a peaceful protest against racial injustice and police brutality two years ago. It cost him his job as an American football player, but last night the protest was taken up by a cheerleader from the San Francisco 49ers who was pictured kneeling during the anthem. It is the first time a cheerleader has protested in this manner.


In an effort to counter some of the world’s negativity we ask people what makes them happy. the.news.letter will feature a Happy Snap every Friday

John van Rooyen (aka iJohn), Zena and Dante, Meadowridge

To be honest, I haven’t been too happy recently – just because of general life shit. But music makes me happy. It gives me salvation. I can escape. It’s the beat, the lyrics and the energy. Zena and Dante also make me happy. I suppose you want to know what makes them happy? Zena is happiest when going for walks and Dante is happiest when he’s asleep, which is most of the time.


An Italian man collapsed in an Edinburgh cathedral and then claimed to suffer from memory loss. Police realised 52-year-old Salvatore Mannino was faking his condition when they found he had visited websites giving information on how to feign memory loss. The Times of London reported that Mannino admitted fleeing to Scotland to escape from his domineering mother-in-law. ‘I felt powerless as a husband and a father,’ he told police. ‘My mother-in-law, who has been living with us since 2010, called all the shots and was constantly interfering.’  Mannino was sent back to Italy on 23 October and was recovering from stress in hospital.


Here is another hair-raising traffic video filmed two weeks ago but only posted today by News24. A woman’s slow amble up a very steep hill in Cape Town’s Bo Kaap area turns into a frantic scramble for safety as a bakkie with no brakes comes careening down the pavement towards her. The men inside were injured but have apparently all returned to work.


Today’s tweet champion is Chris Addison (@mrchrisaddison) for this:
I love Madonna. You never know what she’s going to be next.

Also in the running were Richard de Nooy (@RicharddeNooy) with this tweet:
I’m into narrative non-fiction. I talk about writing non-fiction a lot.

Which was in reply to Paul Bassett Davies @thewritertype
I’m into speculative fiction. Every day I speculate about writing fiction.


Today’s clue is from the Daily Telegraph, Part of SA gets sun and zero water — zero! (6)

The solution to yesterday’s clue, Cricketer has herb on rollicking live radio! (5,9), is BASIL D’OLIVEIRA – Basil (‘herb’) + D’Oliveira is an anagram of ‘live radio’ (‘rollicking’ is the anagram indicator), a cricketer who was born in Cape Town in 1931 but played for England because of South Africa’s racist policies.


Liam Hickey’s fear was that he’d end up as the answer to a trivia question. Who was the last guy in charge of Dulwich Hamlet? The Guardian tells a modern day David and Goliath tale of a tiny football club that lost its home to developers – and won it back. It’s an inspiring weekend read.


The week that was

Going …
Malusi Gigaba had a particularly stiff week and now faces the axe after the Public Protector told President Cyril Ramaphosa to take appropriate action for lying under oath.

… Going …
Germany’s Angela Merkel will step down as leader of her CDU party next month.

Patricia de Lille – after a lengthy, protracted, internecine battle with the DA. What is her next move? Re-joining the PAC? Resurrecting the ID? Finding a red beret? Or maybe she will launch a brand new political party – Popular Anarchist Tendencies (PAT).

And Gone!
SARS commissioner Tom Moyane, who was given the boot by President Cyril Ramaphosa. It’s a’boot time.

What made us sad:
A week of tragedies: the Lion Air plane crash in Jakarta that killed 189 people on board, the helicopter smash that killed five people, including Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, Leicester City’s popular owner, deadly fires in the Southern Cape and Western Cape that killed at least eight people, floods in Venice that left 11 people dead, and an earthquake in New Zealand.

What made us think we’re living in a mob movie:
The execution of advocate Pete Mihalik, the Cape Town advocate who represented a number of underworld figures, outside his children’s school.

Who we think deserves the menace of the week:
Brazil – for electing the far-right, pro-torture, dictatorship-praising populist Jair Bolsonaro. He said he would prefer ‘my son to die in an accident than show up with a mustachioed guy’ and said a female colleague didn’t ‘deserve to be raped, because she’s very ugly’. He also described Afro-Brazilians as lazy and fat, and he has called refugees from Haiti, Africa, and the Middle East as the ‘scum of humanity’. In September he suggested his political opponents should be shot. The same week, Bolsonaro was stabbed along the campaign trail, an incident that saw his poll numbers rise.

Who made us proudly South African:
The president for firing Tom Moyane. It’s a sign that the fight against state capture is being taken seriously at last.

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