Johann Rupert gets it horribly wrong | A dog’s Brexit? | Eskom’s begging bowl | Banyana bonus

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Rupert the boor

You can have all the money in Africa but still have very little sense. This is what billionaire Johann Rupert showed last night at the PowerFM Chairman’s Conversation. Hosted by MSG Afrika’s Given Mkhari, Rupert’s private own state of the nation caused a lot of indignation. Rupert, who today also earns our vote as Daily Menace, came across as condescending, tone deaf and entitled – not so much as politically incorrect, but politically obtuse. When confronted on some of his insensitive comments about ‘the blacks’ he declared he’s not racist (‘I knew Steve Biko’), saying he was just stating facts. He said black youth never saved, and spent their money at Taboo, a popular Joburg club, and on BMWs. One audience member said Rupert, who was born with a diamond-encrusted platinum spoon in his mouth (his father was business tycoon Anton Rupert), should share his wealth to help boost young black entrepreneurs. Rupert responded: ‘My people, who work with me, are happy. They’ve all got homes, I look after their kids and give them bursaries, and I’m not Father Christmas that can look after the whole country.’

Third SABC board member resigns

A third SABC board member has resigned. This morning Krish Naidoo confirmed he would be joining Khanyisile Kweyama and John Mattison, who resigned earlier in the week. The fallout follows clashes between the board and new Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams over planned retrenchments at the corporation: she doesn’t want them to go ahead but the board apparently does. There have been unconfirmed reports that the board members who quit did so in protest at the way their colleagues interacted with Ndabeni-Abrahams in some highly-charged meetings.

Pauw show

Investigative journalist Jacques Pauw has earned the ire of the EFF, the SA National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) and a host of others for tweeting the Johannesburg address of the house in which Julius Malema’s wife Mantwa and three children live. The house in Saxonwold has been a source of controversy since it was revealed that it belongs to alleged cigarette smuggler Adriano Mazzotti, who has bankrolled the EFF in the past. Malema responded to Pauw’s tweet by saying he would ‘shoot to kill’ when it came to his family and that ‘strange cars’ had been parking outside the house, where he also stays when in Johannesburg. Sanef condemned the tweet and asked Pauw to delete it, which he did.

Alex Boraine dies

The former vice-chairperson of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Alex Boraine, 87, died in the early hours of this morning. ‘We salute his lifelong dedication to non-racialism, human rights, democracy and social justice in South Africa and around the world. Most of all he inspired us with his passion for life and his big heart,’ said his family in a statement. Boraine was also the co-founder with Frederik van Zyl Slabbert of the Institute of Democracy in South Africa (IDASA). He is survived by his wife Jennifer and four children.

Dog’s Brexit

If you’re having a bad day, spare a thought for British Prime Minister Theresa May: her Tuesday turned out to be about as bad as it gets. You can read all about The 24 hours that changed Brexit courtesy of The Independent or get the Guardian’s perspective here. In essence, May’s Brexit deal has been shot down with several of her own MPs rebelling. It now seems likely that she will not survive the fallout and possible that a second Brexit referendum will be held.


WHAT’S THE BUSINESS?

Denel death knell?

Denel told Parliament’s portfolio committee on public enterprises today that the state-owned entity lost R1.7-billion in 2018, taking its revenue from R88.4bn in 2016/17 to just over R8bn in 2017-18. And worse is to come, apparently – revenue is expected to continue to slide to just under R5bn for the 2018/19 financial year. At the same meeting, Denel admitted that the award of a R1,1-million pilot’s bursary to Supra Mahumapelo Jr, the son of former NorthWest premier of the same name, was illegal – and has been referred to the Hawks. The bursary has also been withdrawn.

Eskom wants R100bn debt relief

Power utility Eskom reportedly wants the government to take on about R100-billion of its debt – as part of a rescue plan that will enable it to continue operating. Fin24 reports that Eskom executives speaking to bond investors in London this week apparently explained the plan, but also admitted they had not spoken to the Finance Ministry about it yet. They may get short shrift. Last week Finance Minister Tito Mboweni told Bloomberg TV that Eskom needed to tap the bond market for funding as there were limits to what the Treasury could do. Eskom has R419bn of debt. Rolling blackouts are in place across the country as the utility struggles with maintenance backlogs, construction delays and coal shortages.


IN THE SPORTS CORNER

Banyana scores a bonus

The 21-players in the Banyana Banyana squad that finished runners-up at the Africa Women’s Cup of Nations tournament in Ghana will share a R2,4-million bonus from the SA Football Association (SAFA). The payment includes all incentives and bonuses agreed to prior to the tournament. The side also qualified for the 2019 Women’s World Cup with their runner-up finish. SAFA has been criticised for paying the women less than their male counterparts and rejecting offers from private sector companies to help boost the bonus.

Athletes’ great feats

Kenya’s marathon world record holder Eliud Kipchoge and Colombian triple jumper Caterine Ibargüen are the 2018 Athletes of the Year. The pair of first-time winners were announced at the IAAF’s awards ceremony in Monaco last night. Kipchoge set a world marathon record of two hours, one minute and 39 seconds in Berlin and Ibargüen was the Diamond League champion in both the long and triple jump.

Menace (the sports version)

It was meant to be a triumph for equality when the inaugural women’s Ballon d’Or was awarded in Paris last night. 23-year-old Lyon and Norwegian forward Ada Hegerberg was the popular winner – and then French DJ Martin Solveig went rooting around in the Dark Ages for a joke. As part of his post-award interview the DJ asked if Hegerberg wanted to dance in celebration and if she knew how to ‘twerk’. Hegerberg said ‘no’ and turned away. The French-speaking DJ later apologised and blamed it all on his poor English. As tennis player Andy Murray wrote on social media: ‘Another example of the ridiculous sexism in sport.’


SEE WHAT?

Some of our readers will have seen this clip of an astonishing river rescue of a kayaker about to head over a waterfall in wild waters. It was taken by Colorado resident Gwendolyn Arvidson a couple of weeks ago and posted by Denver news station 9NEWS (KUSA), but for those who missed it, it’s worth a look. It’s just a few seconds long – there were only a couple of seconds when it was possible to rescue him.


SAY WHAT?

Survé’s PIC and don’t Pay

If there was one reason to subscribe to TimesSELECT, it is today’s piece by Tom Eaton on Dr Iqbal ‘I HAVE THREE DEGREES’ Survé. Eaton writes about the Survé Philanthropies – an organisation to help those who have made a social impact. ‘And who better to talk about social impacts than the guy who just punched a R1bn hole in the pension funds of 300,000 SA workers?’ asks Eaton. The Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) is writing off Survé’s R1bn loan from the PIC, which he used to buy Independent Media. ‘When [Survé] wasn’t damning his critics as anti-transformation racists, he was beaming out from the pages of his own newspapers or commissioning his most prostrate toadies to write odes to his mastery of the wind and conquest of the sun. Some people take selfies when they’re feeling insecure or vain. This guy bought an entire media company to do it for him.’ As Eaton points out, the trouble is that Survé bought the company with borrowed money he can’t pay back. Eaton then shared a ‘beautiful solution’ proposed by investigative journalist Sam Sole: given that the GEPF now effectively owns Survé’s assets, how about it simply takes over Independent Media?


TWEET OF THE DAY

Today’s triumphant tweeter is kimsquatch (@kimbsquatch) for:
I like to think that whoever is monitoring my Google searches thinks I have a wide range of diverse interests when actually I am just cheating on crossword puzzles.


CRYPTIC CLUE OF THE DAY

Today’s clue, compiled by Rupert Morrish, in response to yesterday’s clue is, Roger owes Kate a French film (3,5,7)

The solution to yesterday’s clue, Piles of Roger Moore’s HD hair! (12) is HAEMORRHOIDS, an anagram of ‘Moore’s HD hair’ (‘roger’ is the naughty anagram indicator).


THE BIG READ

Today is the fifth anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s death. Journalist John Carlin and illustrator Oriol Malet have produced  ‘Mandela and the General’, a graphic novel that takes a fresh look at the history of the anti-apartheid struggle – and the secret talks between Mandela and General Constand Viljoen in which the former president persuaded the general not only to disarm, not only to call off the war, but to embrace the new, post-racial political order. The Independent has published an extract from the graphic novel.


WHAT WE SAY

Is the violence visited upon people leaving Sunday’s Global Citizen Festival in Soweto and the looting during Cape Town’s Adderley Street Festive Lights Switch-On ceremony on the same day the beginning of a trend? Both suggest a widespread contempt for policing and for the law, not to mention a grotesque lack of respect for fellow South Africans. The incidents follow several highly-publicised events in which the EFF has encouraged its supporters to break the law and trash businesses guilty of all manner of sins. Might there be a connection?  Is the political party’s readiness to resort to vandalism and even violence against opponents taking hold and influencing conduct in other contexts?


Dear Reader,

As you know, this is a free newsletter (don’t stop reading – we are not about to ask you for money). The three of us started out putting it together as an experiment of sorts after being repeatedly asked by people where they can go for a sensible summary of the day’s news. We didn’t have a simple answer so thought we’d have a go at providing one ourselves. We now have many more subscribers than we anticipated and are beginning to think that, maybe, this could be a thing. Among your number are quite a few who have offered to pay for our offering, but we don’t want to go down that route. Instead we have a request for you – please share this with like-minded friends, family and associates and encourage them to subscribe. If we can grow our subscription base we just might be able to attract some advertising, which would give us some income and the freedom to dedicate more time and energy to the.news.letter. As things stand we are doing this between other commitments and largely as a labour of love. We would dearly like to be able to dedicate more time and energy to it.

Chris, Jonathan and Martine

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