WELKOM – Sixteen people were injured, four seriously, when a minibus taxi veered out of control and rolled into a swamp on the side of the R730 at the Bronville intersection outside Welkom in the Free State on Sunday afternoon, paramedics said.
ER24 paramedics arrived on the scene at 3.20pm to find that all the passengers had managed to extricate themselves from the vehicle, ER24 spokesman Ross Campbell said.
Fourteen adults and two children were treated on the scene before being transported by ER24 and another emergency service to a private hospital in Welkom for further care.
The South African Police Service (SAPS), as well as the local traffic department, were on the scene for further investigations, Campbell said.
The North West local government has threatened to disband some of the municipalities that refuse to accept assistance of the provincial government. The province has placed 13 municipalities under administration, citing collapse of governance and financial mismanagement, among other reasons.
Within the space of a few days, we have been subjected to bizarre but carefully staged performances by US President Donald Trump and former South African President Jacob Zuma.
Trump has spewed racist hate-speech against four Democratic Party Congresswomen of colour, telling them to “go back home” to their “broken” and “crime infested” countries of origin.
Zuma, appearing before the Zondo Commission probing allegations of grand corruption during his tenure, has played the victim of a 30-year conspiracy. He has sought to “out” former ministers of his cabinet as spies of the apartheid regime.
Both Trump and Zuma will disown any intent to foment violence, verbal or physical, against those they pillory. But, they know that their words constitute a dangerous incitement. They may be half a world apart in ideology, yet Trump and Zuma inhabit a similar world of conspiracy, lies, threats and paranoia.
Their world seeks – and to an alarming extent succeeds – in providing explanations of their misfortunes to the socially insecure and economically vulnerable.
The outsider and the conspiracist
By common consent, Trump’s assault on the four Congress women is an early salvo of his campaign for reelection as president in 2020. He is making it plain that he will use much the same formula as in 2016.
He will run as the outsider against established elites, claiming to voice the concerns of the little man, but simultaneously positioning himself as an insider, a white male citizen, who promises to reclaim the US from the clutches of unwanted, unchristian and unpatriotic immigrants to restore the country to unsullied whiteness. Those against him he will denounce as unAmerican, as enemies of the people, and as the vanguards of foreignness and of hostile ideologies. Those against him will be criminalised.
Zuma’s fate is what Trump fears – being removed from the presidency. Zuma’s explanation for what has happened to him is to blame an opaque, near shadowy campaign against him. He alleges a plot by intelligence agencies of foreign powers and the former apartheid regime to remove him from any position of influence within a democratic South Africa.
To his mind, this explains his displacement as head of intelligence for the African National Congress (ANC), which now runs the country. It also explains his removal as deputy president by Thabo Mbeki in 2005 , on what he regards as specious allegations of corruption.
Despite the best attempts of these hostile forces, he eventually rose to be President – only to be eventually forced out by his enemies in February 2018 – before the end of his term – as a result of trumped up charges of corruption.
A world without morality
Both Trump and Zuma inhabit a world devoid of morality. It is a world which subordinates any sense of right and wrong to their political survival. Both identify what is right with their persons; both identify themselves not just with, but as the very embodiment, of their parties.
Trump has vanquished the old guard in the Republican Party, and has twisted its conservative, neo-liberal ideology into a neo-fascist populism which other Republican politicians repudiate at their peril. Republicans in Congress have reduced themselves to fawning acolytes, desperate to retain the favour of Trump’s popular base.
In his pomp as President, Zuma acted likewise. The ANC in parliament and the country acting in craven subordination to his will, the liberation movement glued together by the material interest of his cronies and their patronage. Now out of power, he continues to identify himself as the “real” ANC, and those who ejected him from the presidency as counter-revolutionaries.
Both Trump and Zuma depict their opponents as enemies. Former US President Barack Obama was depicted as a “foreign Muslim” , foisted on the American people by unAmerican forces. Former South African ministers Ngoako Ramotlhodi and Simphiwe Nyanda, who have implicated Zuma in state capture, are denounced as apartheid spies.
Narcissistic and paranoid
Trump’s racist taunts are deliberately calculated to fire up his base. Zuma’s allegations of spies and conspiracy are equally deliberately calculated to raise the political costs of prosecuting him by convincing his supporters that they too are victims of injustice and falsehood.
The campaign of both comes at cost to the constitution, the rule of law and – let’s not forget it – common decency.
Trump has embarked on his own campaign of “state capture”, his most famous prize having been his appointment of two right-wing appointees to the Supreme Court. This, backed up by systematic appointment of conservatives to judges to lower courts, all to appease the white Christian right and to roll back civil rights for blacks, Latinos, the LGBT community and others for a generation to come.
Zuma’s campaign of “state capture”, structured around the interests of his friends, the Gupta family and other shady mafia-style bosses, is now being steadily undermined by the Zondo Commission and other investigatory commissions, yet came at massive cost to the economy, ordinary people and continues to fire destabilising political factional struggles within the ANC.
Trump and Zuma are both narcissistic and paranoid leaders, for whom the world of politics revolves around self.
Interestingly too, the politics of both is driven by the need to stay out of jail. Trump could face impeachment and prosecution for financial, tax and fraud offences once he is out of office. Zuma’s need is more immediate, and his present bluster and his threat to unmask yet more spies within the ranks of the ANC is designed to dissuade further criminal charges being laid against him.
But, the most frightening thing is how, from prime ministers Narendra Modi in India, through to Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Turkey, and Viktor Mihály Orbán in Hungary, the behaviour of both Trump and Zuma is becoming the new normal. And now Boris Johnson is waiting in the wings.
* Roger Southall is a Professor of Sociology at the University of the Witwatersrand
* The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.
INTERNATIONAL – The French are hypocrites about money, the soccer star Nicolas Anelka once said after his fellow citizens criticized his love of expensive sports cars.
Fed up with the country’s high taxes and the social pressure to avoid vulgar displays of wealth, he went off to play in England instead. It’s not that the French don’t love money as much as everyone else, Anelka averred, it’s just that “in France, you hide what you have.”
The footballer’s comments came to mind this week after the latest ministerial downfall in President Emmanuel Macron’s administration. The now ex-minister of energy Francois de Rugy is reported to have lived lavishly behind closed doors when he was heading the lower chamber of parliament, serving lobster dinners and $550 bottles of wine at taxpayer expense. He did this while making a public virtue of his zeal for transparency and belt-tightening.
France has had its share of champagne socialists (or gauche caviar) in the past; the former budget minister Jerome Cahuzac had a secret Swiss bank account. De Rugy surely must be the first lobster ecologist, though. He protested that he himself was allergic to crustaceans and that champagne gave him a headache, but he insisted that dinners at France’s National Assembly had certain standards and customs to maintain. A French politician shouldn’t be held to a Swedish-style level of probity where even an unpaid for candy bar might bring someone down, he said.
There may have been a time when this kind of defense worked. But coming from a public servant who earned about 14,500 euros per month (close to Macron’s salary) when he ran the National Assembly, it’s incredibly tin-eared in the current political climate. Neither the Gilets Jaunes protesters who smashed up the Champs Elysees last year, nor Macron’s white-collar admirers who work in the private sector, will see lobster as a justified perk for a public servant. Not least when the country is trying to tackle its dependency on heavy state spending.
Indeed, attitudes in France seem to be hardening toward wealth, whether you’re a relatively high-earning fonctionnaire like De Rugy taking advantage of his dining expenses or one of the business tycoons who flourish in the country. While opprobrium would have been reserved once for the conspicuous consumption of football players, or the former “bling, bling” president Nicolas Sarkozy, even those who enjoy their wealth discreetly are fair game now.
Like everywhere else, the gap is widening in France between the economy’s winners and losers, and the government is losing its capacity to compensate the less fortunate by spending more. Property prices in Paris have risen almost 30% in four years, which means France minted new millionaires at a faster pace last year than any country bar the U.S., according to Credit Suisse. Rent controls have been brought back to help tenants.
French billionaires aren’t doing badly either. According to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index, their wealth grew quicker than that of every other nation’s tycoons in the first half of 2019. Bernard Arnault, the boss and owner of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE, has clinched the spot of world’s second-richest person from Bill Gates. This is unlikely to be greeted with any applause from the public, judging by the outcry after Arnault pledged to help fund the reconstruction of Notre Dame cathedral.
Redistribution by the French state does at least still keep the country’s income inequality below the OECD average. Nevertheless, the OECD economists Laurence Boone and Antoine Goujard warn that social mobility has stalled in the country. They say it would take more than six generations before somebody at the low end of the revenue scale reached the average in France. Only Hungary scores worse. Inequality of opportunity and an education system in dire need of reform are the real failures that explain the furor around “lobster-gate.”
In the meantime, more concrete oversight rules of lawmaker expenses and a detailed audit of the National Assembly budget wouldn’t go amiss. Or at least keep the bubbly on ice.
CAPE TOWN – Two alleged hijackers were wounded and arrested during a shootout with police in Harare, Khayelitsha in Cape Town this week, Western Cape police said on Sunday.
"Our endeavours to clamp down on hijackings paid off when vigilant members of the K9 unit spotted a hijacked VW Polo at Foni Street, Harare and arrested two suspects aged 30 and 36 for possession of two prohibited firearms and ammunition and possession of a hijacked vehicle," Captain FC van Wyk said.
On Thursday night, officers attached to the K9 unit were on patrol when they received a police radio broadcast of a hijacked vehicle in Kleinvlei.
"They were immediately on the lookout for the vehicle, a VW Polo Vivo," he said.
At about 8.45pm they spotted the car in Foni Street, 31 Block, Harare, Khayelitsha, and a vehicle chase ensued. The occupants of the car started shooting at the officers who returned fire. The two occupants of the car were wounded and were arrested.
They were currently in hospital under police guard. Two firearms and ammunition were confiscated. The suspects were expected to appear in the Khayelitsha Magistrate’s Court as soon as they were discharged from hospital.
"With the recent spate of shootings and murders on police in the Western Cape, particularly on the Cape flats, police management expressed their relief with this success and applauded the SAPS members for their bravery, Van Wyk said.
Billy Porter struggled to find a fashion house willing to create his gender-fluid outfit for the 2019 Academy Awards.
The 49-year-old actor showed up to the Oscars in a head-turning custom tuxedo gown created by inclusive designer, Christian Siriano, in February, and now the star has revealed he received a lot of "pushback" from fashion houses who were unwilling to help him create the iconic look.
He said: "I went to the Christian Siriano show, and I’ve loved him since ‘Project Runway’. I remember distinctly the challenge where they had to make clothes for regular-sized people.
"It’s in his DNA to be inclusive with his work. So if anybody was going to help me do this, it would be him. Because we had already come up against a lot of pushback. When we would ask for male and female things because I wanted to do a gender fluid thing, many houses were saying, ‘We don’t think he should wear that.’
"Once again, a silencing. So I went to Christian’s show, and I went to the after party. I was dancing with Christian, I whispered in his ear. I said, ‘I’m doing this Oscar thing and I want you to make me a ball gown.’ And he literally was like, ‘Call the office on Monday.’"
And Billy – who shot to fame following his appearance as cabaret performer Lola in the Award-winning Cyndi Lauper musical ‘Kinky Boots’ – insisted he wants his looks to be reflective of him as a brand and an activist for inclusivity.
He told W magazine: "So here’s what happened. I really began to try to figure out business-wise for myself. I am the business, I am the brand. Trying to start thinking in that sort of relationship to myself. What is my brand?
"I know that for certain that my brand will also include fashion in some way. Fashion is hard to break into from the theatre. It also is hard to break into when you’re above a certain age. But that’s cool, it didn’t matter. For me. I’m going to do it anyway."
President Cyril Ramaphosa will on Sunday at 6pm respond to Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s finding that he deliberately misled Parliament on the R500 000 donation received from Bosasa for his 2017 ANC Presidency campaign.
LISBON — Portuguese authorities say 1,000 firefighters are working to contain wildfires that have injured eight firefighters and one civilian.
Portugal’s Civil Protection Agency says Sunday that firefighters are combating flames that broke out Saturday across three fronts in the district of Castelo Branco, 200 kilometers (124 miles) northeast of Lisbon, the capital.
Authorities say the injured civilian has been evacuated to a hospital and that firefighters are being supported by 10 firefighting aircraft and hundreds of vehicles.
This is the first major wildfire in Portugal this year.
In recent years, the country has witnessed some of its deadliest fires on record, with 106 people killed in 2017.
That year’s death toll prompted the Portuguese government to back stronger firefighting prevention measures, leading to no wildfire deaths in 2018.
** This blog was written by Guest Author Melissa Luies**
For many people, watching porn is a popular pastime, but few will admit to it or openly discuss it. According to www.dailyedge.ie; here are some essential facts you need to know.
As you might expect, men watch it a lot more often than women
A survey conducted by Cosmopolitan found that 56 percent of male respondents watched porn every few days, compared with just 25 percent of women.
And it seems to be younger men who are doing much of the consumption.
Back in 2009, scientists attempting to conduct a study on pornography consumption sought out men in their 20s who had never watched porn and, well, they couldn’t find any.
The study subsequently found that single men watched porn for 40 minutes, three times a week. Men in a relationship watched porn on average for 20 minutes, 1.5 times a week.
But that’s not to say women don’t watch it…
Pornhub, one of the world’s leading porn sites, released data last year showing exactly what ladies are watching when it comes to porn.
And it turns out that ladies enjoy watching same sex pornography, with lesbian porn leading the way. Lesbian porn tends to be popular amongst straight women on account of the fact that women are front and centre.
Hang on, there’s porn that’s exclusively for women?
Indeed there is.
Many of the most prominent porn sites feature porn for women, and there are several other websites devoted exclusively to female-friendly porn and erotica. That is to say, porn that doesn’t just feature women as objects.
Men watch too much porn and you may have trouble getting it up
One study found that men who watched porn on an everyday basis were likely to grow desensitised to violent or hardcore imagery, and may even have hassle getting it up.
Men who watch too much porn tend to engage in higher levels of masturbation, which can in turn lead to erectile dysfunction.
People like to keep it local when it comes to watching porn
According to data released by Pornhub, the top search term in several countries was the country itself. For example, here are the top search terms in the following countries…
The South African National Editors’ Forum has responded to allegations of it being so-called foot soldiers of billionaire philanthropist, George Soros, saying they are not being controlled by Soros after receiving funds from him.
Marvel unveiled its bumper slate of new superhero movies Saturday, wheeling out a who’s who of Hollywood stars and prompting a collective meltdown at Comic-Con as it ended frenzied speculation over the most lucrative franchise in film history.
Johannesburg – Embattled President Cyril Ramaphosa tried to shift the blame for the money laundering finding against him to controversial Bosasa boss Gavin Watson, saying the businessman was the one who routed the R500 000 donation through a third party.
In his 51-page response to Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s office before the release of her final report, released by the Presidency on Friday, Ramaphosa denied any involvement in money-laundering.
The president claimed he neither knew of the donation itself nor the route by which the money ended up in the CR17 bank account, which was used to raise more than R200 million for his ANC presidential campaign in 2017.
He said if there was anyone to blame for money laundering, it would be Watson because he was the one who transferred the funds from his personal account into the account of Miotto Trading, a company owned by Margaret Longworth, a sister of Bosasa’s former auditor Peet Venter, and then into the CR17 Attorneys Trust Account, managed by law firm Edelstein, Farber and Grobler (EFG) Attorneys.
“If there is any basis for the public protector’s suspicion, the suspects would be Mr Watson (who routed his donation through Miotto Trading), and Mr Venter (who in turn made the transfer to CR17). The public protector interviewed all three of them but does not disclose the explanation they gave for routing the donation via Miotto Trading.
“It means that she either did not ask them or that she asked them but chooses not to disclose their answers,” said Ramaphosa.
“Either explanation is intriguing. If the public protector harboured any suspicion and interviewed the suspects it would be very odd for her not to ask them for an explanation.
“If, on the other hand, she asked and they offered an explanation, it would be equally intriguing and inexplicable that she chooses not to disclose it.”
In the response, prepared by Peter Harris of Harris Nupen Molebatsi Inc, Ramaphosa maintained that neither he nor CR17 had any knowledge of the route by which Watson’s donation reached the bank account.
He insisted he “did not even know of the donation itself, least of all the route by which the money had ended up with CR17”.
In his affidavit submitted to Mkhwebane, Watson confirmed that Miotto was the company “of my erstwhile personal accountant and tax adviser Venter.
“In his aforementioned capacity, Venter would on occasion make payments on my behalf. The payment of R500 000 was made from my personal account and by my secretary in order to enable Venter to effect payment of the donation,” he said.
Watson said he “did not receive a tax benefit” and the “entitlement or otherwise to such benefit did not influence my decision”.
He also denied making a similar donation to the ANC presidential campaign of Ramaphosa’s rival at the time, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. “I have never made a donation to Ms Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma”.
However, Mkhwebane rejected Ramaphosa’s explanation and found him guilty of deliberately misleading Parliament and failing to declare Watson’s donation to his ANC campaign.
In her final report released on Thursday, Mkhwebane found the president guilty of violating the executive code of ethics and the Constitution.
Mkhwebane said the improper relationship between Ramaphosa and his family on the one side, and the company African Global Operations, formerly known as Bosasa on the other side, raised the suspicion of money laundering.
“I have taken into account the facts as well as prima facie evidence before me, I am therefore of the view that there is merit to the allegation relating to the suspicion of money laundering as alluded to in the complaint lodged with my office,” she said.
Interrogating the financial transactions that took place within the campaign and its donations, Mkhwebane found that the campaign team set up a trust account called EFG2 to receive donations which they said were around R200m.
However, the transactions that were scrutinised revealed that the money was between R800 and R900m.
It was moved around between EFG2 and Ria Tenda Trust, Linked Environmental Services and Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation.
“From the evidence received by my office, an amount of more than one hundred and ninety-one million rand (R191 482 227, 43) was deposited into the EFG2 Absa trust account between 6 December, 2016 and 1 January, 2018 and just over one hundred and ninety-one million rand (R190 108 227) was transferred out of this account in the same period,” said Mkhwebane.
“Evidence from bank records reflect that an amount of over three hundred and eighty-eight million rand (R388 544 340, 34) was deposited into SBSA Ria Tenda Trust account between 1 January, 2017 and 20 February, 2019 whilst nearly the same amount (R388 518 464, 55) was transferred out of it in the same period.”
She said records also reflected that R441m was deposited into the FNB account of Linked Environmental Services between December 15, 2016, and February 13, 2019, and almost the same amount was transferred out of this account in the same period.
At least R335 738.42 was transferred from Linked Environmental Services FNB account into the Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation between July 20, 2017, and March 26, 2018.
She also questioned three separate donations of R30m, R39m and R51m from the same donor, between March and September 2017, asking what the person sought to gain in return.
“On the above revelations relating to exchanges of large sums of money, some of which received from private companies, I wish to express my preliminary view that such scenario, when looked at carefully, creates a situation of the risk of some sort of state capture by those donating these monies to the campaign,” Mkhwebane said.
In her remedial actions, she called on National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise to refer Ramaphosa’s violation of the Code of Ethical Conduct and Disclosure of Members’ Interest for Assembly and Permanent Council members to the Joint Committee on Ethics and Members’ Interest, for consideration in terms of the provisions of Paragraph 10 of the Parliament Code of Ethics, within 30 days of receiving the report.
In addition, Modise had to demand publication of all donations received by Ramaphosa because, as deputy president at the time, he was bound to declare such financial interests into the Members’ registrable interests register in the spirit of accountability and transparency.
Mkhwebane also ordered National Director of Public Prosecutions, advocate Shamila Batohi, to further investigate the prima facie evidence of money laundering.
Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Khusela Diko said Ramaphosa would be studying the report but lamented Mkhwebane’s alleged failure to consider a substantial response to the Section 7 (9) notice dealing in detail with areas where the preliminary findings were deficient both factually and in law.
“It is unfortunate, however, that from a cursory reading of the final report, it seems that the president’s response to the Section 7 (9) notice has not been given due consideration. Nonetheless, the president will study the public protector’s report and make a decision on any further action,” she said.
Johannesburg – EFF Deputy President Floyd Shivambu has accused billionaire businessman Johann Rupert of looting the country and accumulating “ill-gotten wealth” owing to apartheid and his whiteness.
In a heated exchange of text messages between the two men in February last year, which emerged this week, Shivambu also vowed to continue exposing the “criminal capitalist system” which he accused Rupert of presiding over.
Rupert is the chairman of companies such as Remgro and Richemont, among others.
The text messages show that Rupert had taken issue with Shivambu’s claims of looting and accused the EFF MP of disrespect.
“I have not looted anything and am very disappointed in you for this BS. Thought you were more honourable and intelligent than this. Goodbye and good luck,” Rupert said.
Shivambu then told Rupert he needed to surround himself with people “who understand political dynamics and articulations”.
In response, Rupert accused Shivambu of treating him with disdain.
“I have known many people much older than you like Steve Biko and Madiba, and they never treated me with such disdain and disrespect. Furthermore, as my very old friend Jabu told you when you said that you are “watching him” because I gave Lewazi a break 10 years ago, as head of the Taxi association, you should watch it.”
On Saturday, Shivambu confirmed his text exchanges with Rupert.
Rupert denied sending Shivambu a text, saying he did not even have his number.
He accused Sunday Independent journalists of making “wrong noise” because they worked for “wrong people”.
New African champions Algeria started their reign with a sprint, while a disappointed Senegal slumped to the turf of the Cairo International Stadium.
In that moment on Friday night, the Lions of Teranga wouldn’t have minded if the stadium opened up and swallowed them. But it didn’t, and it was up to their coach Aliou Cisse to pick them up. The former Senegal captain rallied his troops with an emotional speech as he knew exactly what they were going through.
Seventeen years ago, he was in a similar situation when Senegal lost to Cameroon in the final of the 2002 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon). Senegal came together, held a prayer, and watched as Algeria basked in the glory of being African champions for the second time.
The Desert Foxes welcomed referee Alioum Alioum’s final whistle with a sprint towards the thousands of Algerian fans who occupied the stand behind Senegal goalkeeper Alfred Gomis.
Some players, like Rais M’Bolhi, ran the length of a pitch to celebrate with the fans who had travelled over 3000km from Algiers to Cairo. The Algerian government had flown thousands of fans to Egypt’s capital to witness history.
“I am happy for all these people, for our whole country and our people who were waiting for that second star for a long time,” Algeria coach Djamel Belmadi said. “It’s the first Afcon we’ve won outside our country. It’s just unbelievable, especially when we look at where we have come from.
“Ten months ago, I found a team with a lot of trouble. Without being dramatic, it was really difficult. To do everything we could have done and reach the top of Africa in 10 months, it’s just unbelievable.”
Ten months ago, Algeria were in a mess. They were changing coaches faster than they changed socks. The team was in a state and needed drastic intervention after crashing out in the group stage of the 2017 Afcon and failing to make it to Russia for the 2018 World Cup.
Belmadi, a former captain, was brought in to change the desperate situation but winning the Afcon title wasn’t even in the minds of Algerians when he started, or even when the team arrived in Egypt. But Belmadi believed that they could be African champions. He didn’t shy away from stating that his team was here to win the Afcon, something they had only done before in 1990 – on home soil.
Those who thought he had lost his mind are eating humble pie right now as he feasts on African dominance.
Algeria’s win came from the passion the players had for playing for the national team. They gave it their all, and they were the best team in Egypt from the start.
The other motivation was to give hope to a country currently in a political impasse. On February 22, Algerians started protesting against former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who wanted to run for a fifth term despite being gravely ill.
Algerians have marched every Friday since then with the intention of changing their country.
They got their way as Bouteflika didn’t run for a fifth term and stepped down. But they didn’t stop there – they want more reforms and a change of the current crop of leaders who were there when Bouteflika was in power.
The Algerians’ tenacity was exhibited by their players, who didn’t compromise nor shirk from a challenge even at the sight of any small victory. They were relentless. This tenacity is what gave Algeria their second Afcon title.
JOHANNESBURG – An automotive scrapyard in Roodepoort, Johannesburg was destroyed by fire on Saturday night, paramedics said.
Netcare 911 paramedics responded shortly before 6.30pm to reports of a fire at a business on the corner of Randfontein and Roode roads in Creswell Park, Roodepoort, Netcare 911 spokesman Shawn Herbst said.
"When paramedics arrived on [the] scene the fire had already covered most of the property.
"Reports from the scene indicate that a scrapyard with automotive spares and tyres had caught alight. Fortunately no injuries were reported."
The circumstances leading up to the fire would be investigated by the relevant authorities, Herbst said.
Is it safe to drink alcohol and breastfeed? As physicians, we have always cautioned patients not to. As mothers, we look forward to the occasional glass of wine.
We also know that drinking while breastfeeding remains a controversial and very personal choice, one for which many mothers find themselves judged by friends and family.
Does beer increase milk supply?
Historically, beer was made very differently than it is today. Beer companies marketed low alcohol beers to women to stimulate appetite, increase their strength and enhance milk production. Barley used in beer production contains a polysaccharide that can enhance breast milk production by increasing prolactin secretion in nursing mothers.
On the other hand, alcohol may also inhibit breast milk letdown and slow the flow of milk to the baby due to a blunted prolactin response required for breast milk production. An older study published in Developmental Psychobiology also found that infants consumed less milk during the four-hour testing sessions in which nursing mothers drank alcoholic beer compared to mothers who drank nonalcoholic beer.
Alcohol consumption may cause a woman’s breasts to feel fuller, giving the illusion of enhanced milk production when in fact there is less milk transferring to the baby.
How much alcohol will reach your baby?
The amount of alcohol present in your breast milk is closely related to the amount of alcohol present in your bloodstream. The highest amount of alcohol level in your breast milk occurs 30 to 60 minutes after an alcoholic drink.
Many studies have been performed that measure the amount of alcohol that gets into breast milk and thus into baby. One study found that consuming 250 ml of wine had a very small impact on the baby’s blood alcohol level.
For example: If your baby drinks 100 ml of breast milk while you have a blood alcohol level of 0.05 per cent, your baby will consume 50 mg of alcohol. For a 5 kg baby, this is 0.001 percent of their body weight in alcohol.
Put another way: a standard drink (defined as one 355 ml can of beer, one 150 ml glass of wine or 45 ml of hard liquor) contains approximately 14,000 mg of alcohol. If your baby drinks 100 ml of breast milk while you have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05 per cent, this is nearly equivalent to your baby drinking 1.5 ml of beer, or 0.5 ml of wine or 0.2 ml of hard liquor.
Wait at least two hours before nursing
Ultimately, just as in pregnancy, there is no known safe level of alcohol consumption while breastfeeding. We cannot know for certain the safety of even small amounts of alcohol for young babies.
Research does suggest that alcohol exposure above moderate levels through feeding an infant immediately after drinking alcohol may be harmful. One study published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggested that exposure to alcohol above one drink per day through breast milk may be detrimental to infant motor development.
However, studies do show that occasional alcohol consumption (defined as less than one drink per day) is unlikely to be harmful.
‘Pumping and dumping’ doesn’t work
Pumping your breast milk then throwing it away (“pumping and dumping”) after you consume alcohol does not decrease the amount of alcohol in your breast milk.
Pumping and dumping may be beneficial for the mother only to relieve the discomfort of full breasts and to help maintain breast milk supply.
The bottom line of personal choice
If you have alcohol in your bloodstream, you will likely have alcohol in your breast milk. Most studies indicate that breastfeeding when your blood alcohol concentration is below the legal driving limit likely does not cause harm to the baby
It remains a personal choice whether or not you decide to have alcohol in moderation while breastfeeding.