EFF, ANC MPs in ‘shoving match’ | Bathabile gets 48 hours to report corruption | Zim eyes ivory cache for cash | Caster wins again


EFF, ANC MPs in ‘shoving match’

In what is probably a sign of things to come, EFF and ANC MPs got into a shoving match in Parliament’s Old Assembly during an induction session today. News24 says at least one MP claims punches were thrown, but this is not evident on a video of the fracas posted by the news service. DA MP Annelie Lotriet said the confrontation began when new EFF MP Makoti Khawula crossed over to the ANC benches and taunted ruling party members about having criminals in their ranks. A group of seven or so EFF MPs can be seen pushing and shoving other MPs in the video. Speaker Thandi Modise reportedly responded angrily and gave the MPs a thorough dressing down. And this during a session designed to introduce MPs to the mechanics of parliamentary processes. The EFF repeatedly disrupted parliamentary proceedings when Jacob Zuma was president, sometimes leading to incidents of violence.

Six anti-gang cops shot 

Six members of the police’s anti-gang unit were shot in Cape Town’s Nyanga township early this morning. The unit was ‘conducting an operation’ in the Samora Machel informal settlement in Nyanga when they came under fire in an ambush, according to police. Eyewitness News reports that the unit had arrested a man in connection with a mruder and were searching for a second suspect. The injured police officers were all hospitalised and details of their individual conditions have not been released.  

Bathabile gets 48 hours to report corruption

It seems Bathabile Dlamini’s life as a private citizen is not going to be free of the controversy that has plagued her career as a minister. Yesterday Dlamini lashed out in all directions as she announced her decision not to take up a seat as an MP after President Cyril Ramaphosa axed her from his cabinet. In her long and rambling resignation letter Dlamini said she knew of wives of ANC members who were involved in unsavoury relationships with social grant distributor and contractor Cash Paymaster Services. This may have been an attempt to divert attention from her own role in the disastrous social grants distribution saga, but the DA quickly pointed out that the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act requires that anyone bearing knowledge of a corrupt act has to report it to the police. The party has given Dlamini 48 hours to make such a report before it takes up the matter with law enforcement agencies itself.    **Meanwhile, courtesy of News24, here is a list of the eight former cabinet ministers who have announced they will be quitting parliament.

Trump likeness takes a beating

A lifesize, bobble-head model of US President Donald Trump that you can bash with a hammer is turning out to be a, er, big hit at a high-tech electronics fair in Shanghai, China. Trump is not beloved of the Chinese for his trade war belligerence, and customers at the Consumer Electronics Show Asia are taking the opportunity to take figurative revenge. The Trump model is found in a kiosk in the centre of the showgrounds and is attracting long queues. The wannabe Trump-bashers then deliver a few telling blows to the imitation presidential noggin.


Momberg blames everyone

Potty-mouthed racist Vicki Momberg blames the media, the courts, her lawyers – and everyone else for her legal woes. She was back in court yesterday, three years after she used the k-word 48 times against people trying to help her (police officers and 10111 operators) in a bid to overturn her crimen injuria convictions and two-year jail term. She had to represent herself because she fired her sixth lawyer. Momberg said the media’s biased reporting had an impact on her livelihood, family and income – and endangered her life. She told Judge Thifhelimbilu Mudau he would not understand what she had been through over the past three years at the hands of prosecutors and magistrates at the Randburg Magistrate’s Court. In what must be a close contender for the chutzpah of the year award, Momberg informed the court that the trial had impaired her dignity. The attention-seeking menace dropped the k-bomb 48 times but it’s her dignity that’s damaged? Yoh! 


Zim eyes ivory cache for cash

Zimbabwe is eyeing the sale of its stockpile of ivory to bring in a potential $300m which it says it needs for conservation. The move might see the country withdraw from Cites, the global body that oversees the international convention on endangered species. Ivory sales have been banned under Cites rules since 1990 but a once-off controlled sale of excess stock was permitted in 2009. The head of Zimbabwe’s Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, Fulton Mangwanya, told parliament this week that quitting Cites would have the support of neighbours Botswana, Zambia and Namibia, who all have large elephant populations.  

Extra carbon use ‘like 400 million more cars’

As the UK pledged yesterday to have net zero UK carbon emissions by 2050 and France announced on Monday that it would ban fossil fuel cars by 2040, a new report on global energy use has shown that extreme temperatures around the world last year caused a leap in carbon emissions. The annual BP report says the increase in hotter and colder extreme days meant people used more energy.  Spencer Dale, BP’s chief economist, said the 2% emissions increase recorded for the year was the carbon equivalent of driving an extra 400 million combustion engine cars onto the world’s roads.


Footballers top richest list

Lionel Messi tops a logjam of footballers heading the list of richest sportsmen with a mere $127m earned from June 2018 to June 2019. Messi takes over from retired boxer Floyd Mayweather at the top of Forbes’ list of The World’s Highest-Paid Athletes, with fellow footballers Cristiano Ronaldo ($109m) and Neymar ($105m) filling the second and third spots. Boxer Canelo Alvarez ($94m) and tennis player Roger Federer ($93.4m) complete the top five. Messi’s earnings are made up by a salary of $92m and $35m in endorsements. US basketball players fill 35 of the top 100. The youngest sportsman on the list is French World Cup winning footballer Kylian Mbappe, who earned $30.6m over the last year and sits in 55th position. The oldest two on the list are golfers Phil Mickelson ($48.4m) and former top earner Tiger Woods ($63.9m) at 19th and 11th respectively. The top woman is tennis player Serena Williams, who is 63rd with earnings of ($29.2m). Full Forbes list of the top 100 here.

Caster wins again

South African Caster Semenya was back on the top step of the podium yesterday when she won a 2 000m race in Montreuil, France. The double 800m Olympic Champion was racing for the first time since a controversial new testosterone rule was introduced, upheld on appeal and then suspended by a Swiss court, although the 2 000m distance was not covered by the new ruling which only applies to distances from 400m to a mile. Semenya finished in 5min 38.19sec, ahead of Ethiopians Hawi Feysa and Adanech Anbesa.

Baby Boks in key clash with All Blacks

In surely the biggest clash so far of the U20 Rugby World Championship, the Baby Boks will take on the All Blacks youngsters today in a match that could end the tournament for one of the teams. Both teams were ruthless in destroying Scotland and Georgia in previous pool matches, and today’s game will put one side in the semi-final while the other will have to get their calculators out to see if they have qualified. The three-pool system at this tournament means the pool winners automatically progress to the semi-final, where they will be joined by the best of the second-placed teams. The SA v NZ match will decide who tops Pool C. 


Samoa bans Rocketman

Samoa has banned screenings of the Elton John biopic Rocketman – for having too many scenes that are ‘not good for public viewing’. The gay sex scenes have upset the country’s censors, and chief censor Leiataua Niuapu told the Samoa Observer the film ‘violates laws against same-sex marriage and doesn’t go well with cultural and Christian beliefs here’. Homosexuality is punishable with seven years in jail in the country.


In the driving seat

The small Japanese city of Hanyu hosted the tenth edition of the office chair grand prix on Sunday. Inspired by Formula One and Le Mans endurance racing, teams of three battle it out on office chairs across two grueling hours to see who can complete the most laps of a 200-metre circuit. The race, which started in Kyoto in 2009, is the brainchild of Tsuyoshi Tahara and will feature at 10 different grand prix events across Japan this year. ‘The origin of this race came to my head when I saw a tricycle endurance race,’ Tahara told Reuters. It has proved hugely popular, with 55 teams entering the Hanyu Grand Prix. The reward for the winning team, Kitsugawa Unyu, was 90 kilograms of rice. The Guardian has a one-minute video of the action.


Today’s top tweeter is journalist Chris Roper (@ChrisRoper) for his observation on a slice of South African life:

Amusing watching tourists reading the eNCA headlines on the tv above their festive lunch table at Doppio Zero. ‘Rapist Set Alight.’ ‘Schoolteacher Shot Dead.’ 
Would you like fries with that?



Today’s clue, compiled by Kieron Callaghan, is: Dicky Cole gave him cocaine! (7,4)

Speaking of cocaine… The solution to yesterday’s cryptic clue, Michael Gove admitted oceanic trip (7), is COCAINE. Gove, the wannabe British prime minister, admitted taking cocaine – an anagram of ‘oceanic’ – in his youth, hence the ‘trip’, which is also the anagram indicator.  


A new ‘deep fake’ manipulated video of Mark Zuckerberg boasting of his power over stolen data has been released on Instagram in a deliberate and direct challenge to Facebook to test its policies on content moderation following the social media platform’s refusal to remove a manipulated video of US politician Nancy Pelosi. To understand the power of so-called deep fakes, it is worth revisiting The Guardian’s look at how careful we need to be in trusting what we see. The headline gives you some idea: You thought fake news was bad? Deep fakes are where truth goes to die.


We reported on this last week but even we, who set the loftiest standards, feared that it might ultimately prove to be fake news. But no, new Northern Cape Premier Zamani Saul has indeed made good on his promise to not buy new cars for his provincial executive and instead spend the money on new ambulances – 27 at last count but he promises the number will reach 63, and who are we to disbelieve him? And he is about to forsake the mahogany-panelled linings of the premier’s office for humbler accommodation at a hospital (he is a medical doctor, and this is apparently his thing). He seems like a decent soul (see his Twitter feed on @zsaul1 and judge for yourself) and is a breath of fresh air in the political realm. More strength to him, and anybody else inclined to follow his example.

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