WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Zuma must pay … and pay back the money
Jacob Zuma will no longer be funded by the state in his corruption trial – and he’s got to pay back the money already spent on the trial. Deputy Judge President Aubrey Ledwaba today ruled in the North Gauteng High Court that the state is ‘not liable for the legal costs incurred by (Zuma) in his personal capacity in criminal prosecutions against him, (and) in any civil litigation … (and) any other associated legal costs’, reports Business Day. He also ordered that the state attorney ‘take all necessary steps, including the institution of civil proceedings’ to recover state money already spent on the trial. Zuma faces fraud, corruption, money laundering and racketeering charges relating to the arms deal. Estimates on how much the state has spent on his defence so far range between R12-million and R32-million.
Naka Drotské in ICU
Former Springbok hooker and Free State coach Naka Drotské has been re-admitted to intensive care after being shot several times in a home invasion in the Free State. The 47-year-old was wounded in the arm and chest but after two operations he returned home from the Bloemfontein Mediclinic. On Tuesday he was checked back in to the hospital with ‘massive intestinal bleeding … and a lung infection,’ said the hospital. Drotské’s cousin Steven yesterday wrote on Facebook: ‘Please pray for Naka Drotské, he is fighting for his life, in critical condition in ICU.’
British Prime Minister Theresa May survived last night’s no-confidence vote with 200 Conservative Party MPs backing her and 117 wanting her to go. She needed 159 votes to defeat the motion. She did, however, agree to step down as party leader before the 2022 elections and many analysts seem to feel she has been rendered a lame duck in the process. And she has to somehow breathe life back into the whole Brexit shambles. If you’re also battling to get your head around the whole thing, see the Big Read below.
Trump ‘fixer’ goes to jail
Michael Cohen, US President Donald Trump’s former lawyer and ‘fixer’, was last night sentenced to three years in jail for a range of crimes. These included lying to congress and facilitating ‘hush money’ payments during the 2016 presidential election campaign to two women who alleged they had affairs with Trump – violations of campaign finance regulations which Cohen says were done at Trump’s behest. An emotional Cohen told the court he had committed the crimes out of ‘blind loyalty’ to Trump. The president has said Cohen is lying.
Cannibals locked up for life
A man who walked into the Estcourt police station last year with a bag containing a human hand and a leg, and told the disbelieving duty cops he was tired of eating human flesh, has been sentenced to life in prison, alongside his fellow cannibal. In a case the judge called ‘the stuff of nightmares’, traditional healer Nino Mbatha, 33, and Lungisani Magubane, 32, were sentenced for the murder of Zanele Hlatshwayo whom they had initially killed for body parts.
THE DAILY MENACE
Comic’s sad night out
Entertainer Casper de Vries was found naked, bloodied, bruised and scratched in a street in Johannesburg. He had taken some sleeping pills and washed them down with vodka and then everything went black. He can’t remember much but thinks he may have set out to take his dog Kent for a walk. He took to social media to make light of his experience, saying, ‘Feel sorry please. And then you may laugh.’ Nobody knows what happened except maybe Kent, but he’s not saying, but whoever (or whatever) was responsible for leaving Casper the friendly comedian looking like he endured three rounds with Mike Tyson is today’s menace. Casper has been making us laugh for years.
WHAT’S THE BUSINESS?
Drinking like a fish (hoek)
Dry Fish Hoek supporters were set to celebrate the town’s 200th year as an alcohol-free zone – until Judge Deon van Zyl set the rocks among the whisky. News24 reports that he ruled that the Liquor Licencing Tribunal was mistaken in refusing an application made by Pick n Pay Fish Hoek for a bottle store licence. Judge Van Zyl said there was a very real need for a liquor store in Fish Hoek. Pro-booze advocates Wet Fish Hoek say this is good news for business and great news for tourism. However, Dry Fish Hoek says there is nothing to be happy about, and called the decision a disaster for the town, saying the inevitable consequence is that there will be further applications for bottle stores.
Rotten Transnet contract link to judge’s husband
Paul O’Sullivan has told Alec Hogg of BizNews how a tip to the Forensics for Justice hotline led to the suspension of a rotten R4bn Transnet contract for the new Durban port, and how it came to light that the contract personally benefited the husband of Constitutional Court Judge Leona Theron, Charles Sarjoo. O’Sullivan praised the new leadership at Transnet who acted immediately on information he presented to them by suspending the port contract. Transnet has reported the matter to Treasury and the Hawks. The interview is worth a read.
IN THE SPORTS CORNER
Doctors probed over footballer’s death
Two Italian doctors are being investigated for culpable homicide following the sudden death of Fiorentina football club captain Davide Astori. According to Italian news agency ANSA, the doctors are thought to have given the 31-year-old a medical certificate declaring him fit to play for the Italian Serie A club despite evidence he was suffering from a heart condition. In March the Italian international defender was found dead in a hotel in Udine where his side were preparing for a clash against Udinese. An initial post-mortem cited bradyarrhythmia – where the heart slows down so much it stops – as the cause of death.
Cameron’s golden goodbye
There was good news and bad news from Cameron van der Burgh at the 14th FINA World Short Course Swimming Championships in China yesterday. The breaststroker won gold and then announced his retirement. The 100m breaststroke title he won was his fifth world title. He also won gold at the London Olympics in 2012. Watch his career highlights.
Cameroon’s sorry goodbye
Morocco has opted out of attempting to stage the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, leaving South Africa as the overwhelming favourites to take over from designated hosts Cameroon. Cameroon was due to host the tournament in June but the Confederation of African Football opted to re-open bidding due to delays in preparation. Congo Brazzaville are reported to also be candidates.
F-bomb Santa lets rip
Yesterday we brought you the story of Jewish Santa, today we bring you the story of F-bomb Santa. According to the Cambridgeshire Live website, a ‘vile Santa’ ruined the magic of Christmas for dozens of children in the English county when he ripped off his hat and beard and started swearing at them. The descent into chaos began when smoke machines from a separate ‘blow your whistle’ rave event downstairs triggered a fire alarm, prompting Santa to rip off his costume and let rip with a few choice words. A mom said steam was ‘literally coming from his ears’. One little boy was left particularly upset when Santa told him ‘to get the f*** out’. ‘We told our children he wasn’t the real Santa and will be going on the naughty list,’ the mom said.
TWEET OF THE DAY
Today’s winner is from Paul (@bingowings):
Dr: Check his vital signs.
Nurse: He’s got 4G coverage & his battery’s at 60%.
Or the pan-midwesterner (@panmidwest) for this:
FRIEND: did you hear about the Salvation Army volunteer who is on strike?
ME: doesn’t ring a bell.
CRYPTIC CLUE OF THE DAY
Today’s clue, compiled by Kieron Callaghan, follows yesterday’s topical clue and is a phrase that some South African politicians know well (but wish they didn’t): Def con one in Conservative leadership battle? (2,10)
The solution to yesterday’s clue, Is her seat rickety? (7), is THERESA (an anagram of ‘her seat’ (‘rickety’ is the anagram indicator).
THE BIG READ
After UK Prime Minister Theresa May presented her Brexit deal last month, a flurry of Tory MPs submitted letters of no confidence. On the eve of the no confidence vote, and with Brexit still stubbornly unresolved, Jen Kirby from the Vox wrote about the rebellion within the Conservative Party and explainedhow Britain got to this point.
WHAT WE SAY
The court decision that former president Jacob Zuma is going to be personally liable for legal costs in his corruption trial is to be welcomed – even if the many millions he is likely to have to pay will be dwarfed by the billions that he and his state capture allies apparently bled from the country’s economy. What the North Gauteng High Court ruling will do is give pause to the next person in a powerful position who might be tempted to line their pockets illegally. In other words, it is a start – and one that comes on the back of other indications that the fight against corruption is now being taken seriously. Long may they continue.
WHAT YOU SAY
Reader John Hinch penned the witty ode below in response to yesterday’s Tweet of the Day in which the 12 funniest words in the English language, according to the University of Warwick, were revealed.
The UniverTinkle of WaddleTwits
Spawns Eggheads, Twerps and Nitwits.
Can’t tell their Boobys from their Asses,
While their Hooters give off gasses.
And their Booty Bebop gets on my Tits.