LONDON – Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo said he deserves to end his soccer career with more Ballon d’Or awards than Barcelona counterpart Lionel Messi and hopes to establish himself as the greatest player of all time.
Ronaldo, 34, has won the renowned France Football magazine trophy for the world’s best player five times – as many as Messi – but is eager for more as he moves into the twilight of his career.
“Messi’s in the history of football,” Ronaldo told broadcaster Piers Morgan in an interview with Britain’s ITV on Tuesday. “But I think I have to have six or seven or eight to be above him,” he said, referring to the Ballon d’Or awards.
“I’d love it, I think I deserve it.”
The Portugal captain said he was no friend of the Argentine but credited his rival for helping push him further in his own career.
“My relationship with him is, we are not friends, but we have shared this stage for 15 years,” Ronaldo said. “I know that he has pushed me to be a better player and I have pushed him to be a better player as well.”
Ronaldo, who also played for Manchester United and Real Madrid, has five UEFA Champions League winners’ medals and led Portugal to victory at the 2016 UEFA European Championship and 2019 UEFA Nations League tournaments.
“I don’t follow the records, the records follow me. I’m addicted to the success, and I don’t think it’s something bad, I think it’s good,” Ronaldo said.
“It motivates me. If you’re not motivated, it’s better to stop.”
Cape Town – A group of women from Bonteheuwel are fighting to save a plot of land which they’ve transformed into a community garden. The land, previously a dumping ground, is now being auctioned off by the City of Cape Town.
It is one of two “peace gardens” planted by activist group the Bonteheuwel Walking Ladies. The garden earmarked for auctioning is on Camellia street, next to Bergsig Primary School. The other garden is around the corner on David Profit Street.
The women sent an open letter to the City requesting the land either be handed over to the community or sold to the Anglican Church around the corner from the garden. The church has been trying to purchase the land since 1994, without success.
“The land had been a dump for many, many years and just months after the community turned it into a place of safety, it is being sold. I’m sure you can understand how extremely hurt and disappointed the community feels by this unfortunate turn of events,” the letter read.
Soraya Salie, founder of the Bonteheuwel Walking Ladies, says the residents were not notified about the sale of the land and so couldn’t object to it being auctioned. The community only became aware when an auction sign appeared outside the garden indicating that the sale would take place on Tuesday, 17 September at the Hellenic Club in Mouille Point.
“When we spoke to the councillor, he said there was an advertisement in Die Burger about the auction. We don’t read Die Burger.”
When asked whether the community had been consulted, Ward Councillor Angus McKenzie said there was a “complete public participation process” but “no objections were received”.
He refuted claims by residents that the land was being auctioned because it had been turned into a garden and went on to suggest that community members could put in a bid for the land.
“I would strongly encourage all individuals to participate in this process.”
The women attended the auction in Mouille Point with the intent to picket. After being told that they couldn’t demonstrate on private property, they entered to observe the proceedings.
The auction was discontinued, and promises were made that another plot in Woodstock where an 80-year-old man was recently evicted, would be taken off the auction list. It was unclear, however, whether the Bonteheuwel plot would still be sold to the bidder.
When asked about the sale, ClareMart General Executive Director Andrew Koch said it was likely that the City would decline the sale following the disruption. “Many opportunities for many communities across the Western Cape, as well as private people, were lost today due to the auction being disrupted,” he said in an email. “Those with issues relating to the council’s decision regarding property sales should take that up with the City who have proper processes … for this very purpose.”
Muneeba Edwards, a Belgravia resident who came to support the Bonteheuwel Walking Ladies, said the sale of the land was “heartbreaking”.
“Something that was considered garbage by other people has been turned into something beautiful, and now they want to take it away,” she said.
Salie described the Bonteheuwel Walking Ladies as a platform for mothers and grandmothers to talk about Gender-Based Violence and improve their community.
Former apartheid police officer Joao Rodrigues’ application for leave to appeal has been dismissed by the High Court in Johannesburg regarding the rejection of his bid for a permanent stay of prosecution.
CAPE TOWN – Japan has really proven to be the great unknown …
Before the countdown to the World Cup hit 30 or so days to go, the biggest “new” or “different” thing fans probably expected their favourite teams to experience in Japan during the World Cup was in all likelihood the cuisine and the culture.
Sure, here and there were talks about Japan’s weather conditions this time of the year and how it could factor in and how a typhoon or two could maybe pay a visit, but it wasn’t nearly as big a talking point as it’s been over the last few weeks.
Now, with teams having settled in and two more sleeps to go before the World Cup opener, the words “heat” and “humidity” could easily be added to the rugby dictionary, that’s how prominent it’s been in the last few weeks.
And understandably so.
Images from the Springbok camp showing visibly parched players catching a breath while lying stretched out on tackle bags have been all over.
The Boks’ final warm-up against the hosts also showed the intensity of the weather conditions.
But if anybody needed an idea of just how muggy it really is, or just how much teams are expecting the slippery feel of the ball to impact games, they’d only have to look at some of the preparation techniques some teams have used.
Rassie Erasmus and his Boks were the first team to arrive in the Land of the Rising Sun to acclimatise, while Erasmus also purposefully chose to be based in the hot seaside city of Kagoshima last week so his squad could train in and get used to the extreme conditions.
Erasmus also admitted that they deliberately played without the ball against Japan to prepare for the blockbuster of a match against the Kiwis. And then there’s that weight loss … The weight some players were reported to have lost should also serve as an indication, although those three to five kilos that evaporated into Japan’s hot air would have had a lot to do with the guys’ hydration levels as well.
For Steve Hansen’s All Blacks, “plain old water” on their rugby balls seems to be working all right as they have tried to handle the slippery Gilbert effectively.
Wales coach Warren Gatland, though, took things a bit further, or oilier.
Earlier this week, the New Zealand-born coach gave a bit of insight into the techniques they have made use of.
“We’ve been using wet balls and been using baby oil on them as well,” Gatland said. “We’ve taped them up as well and we’ve already been through that process in the camps we had before we’ve been away.
“We have been to two camps where one was at altitude and it was very hot in Switzerland, and then it was in the late 30s in Turkey.
“We’ve done as much as we possibly can in terms of dealing with the heat. I think the humidity is going to be a factor it’s how we cope with that.”
So, from baby oil on rugby balls to shaking off the kilos during intensely hot training sessions, Japan has provided some interesting bits so far … and the World Cup hasn’t even kicked off yet.
Will any of these tactics be enough to lift the Webb Ellis Cup? Maybe not. But Japan has already proven that the winner will have to play, adapt, think and prepare smartly, with or without baby oil.
Durban – South Africa’s growing maritime industry will be on showcase to the rest of the world next year after Durban was officially named as the host for the International Maritime Organization’s World Maritime Day 2020 conference.
Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula received the hosting flag from his counterparts on Tuesday in Cartagena in the Republic of Colombia who hosted this year’s event.
Mbalula who attended the prestigious ceremony in the South America city received and welcomed the flag, handed over by the Vice President Marta Lucia Ramirez.
Mbalula addressing the delegates at the event he said: “South Africa is pleased to announce that the 2020 World Maritime Day Parallel Event will be hosted in the beautiful city of Durban in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. We will be grateful if you could spare your time and attend the event which will be hosted in the African soil. We assure you that you will have a great time to enjoy our landscape, the mountains and the rivers, clear skies and hospitality of our people".
World Maritime Day is an annual event attended by hundreds of officials from the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Member States, the United Nations (UN) Specialized Agencies, various intergovernmental organizations as well as non-governmental organizations.
The event is held to discuss a strategy to promote global partnership as well as regional cooperation on maritime issues.
IMO is the United Nations specialized agency, whose chief objective is to set international standards for safe, secure, environmentally sound, efficient and sustainable shipping.
Prasheen Maharaj CEO of the Durban based Southern African Shipyards (SAS) said the maritime industry in South Africa was excited to be host delegates from around the world.
“We welcome the news of the handover of the official flag from IMO as the host of World Maritime Day Conference 2020. We are especially proud that the host city is Durban where we are based. This will certainly position Durban and South Africa on the global map as a Maritime destination. This will create great momentum for Operation Phakisa and assist in unlocking the full potential of the ocean economy for the benefit of our people. Southern African Shipyards will be one of the proud sponsors and participants in the prestigious global event," he said.
Also the founder of the nonprofit organisation SAS CARES and the a shareholder at SAS, Marcina Majid said the event will be a perfect platform to showcase the work and strides they are making in the industry to uplift our workers and community.
“It’s also a chance for us to partner with like minded NPO’s and NGO’s and well as benevolent companies globally who see this as an opportunity to give back to our country," she said.
The Constitutional Court has ruled that spanking a child is unconstitutional. The Court has confirmed the 2017 judgement of the High Court in Johannesburg, which found that disciplining children physically violates their rights.
TOKYO – Ireland begin their World Cup campaign against Scotland on Sunday with their fair share of questions to answer, chief among them how their lineout will fare without its chief operator for the last four years.
Coach Joe Schmidt surprised many when he could not find room in his 31-man squad for Devin Toner, favouring the greater versatility offered by Tadhg Beirne and scrummaging power of the relatively untested Jean Kleyn when it came down to his final second row squad choices.
At 2.10 metres (6ft-11in) tall, it is obvious what Ireland sacrifice without Toner but perhaps more crucially than his ability to win the ball and preoccupy opposing jumpers is the fact that the experienced Leinster man has called Ireland’s lineouts since Paul O’Connell retired after the last World Cup.
“The caller is huge,” former Ireland hooker Bernard Jackman, who threw to Toner when the lock was starting out at Leinster, told Reuters in a telephone interview. “Every hooker has a favourite throw, they’ve a throw they like to put in early to settle them, they’ve a throw they like to go to if they’ve lost a couple.
“The hooker needs absolute confidence in the lineout caller and the most important thing, as a hooker, is that your caller will stay calm and work things out. Certainly for me, when I played with Leo Cullen (at Leinster), I knew that he was never going to get flustered and I know guys who played with Paul O’Connell on a regular basis felt the exact same.
“Someone like Steve Borthwick was exceptional in that regard as well. Those fellows all had massive experience in calling lineouts. Everyone thinks that James Ryan can do a good job and I’m one of those.
“He’s a very bright guy but he’s very much being thrown in the deep end.”
Ryan, a fast learner in every facet of the game in a young and brilliant career so far, appeared to settle into the new role in the final World Cup warmup win against Wales after a couple of errant early throws.
While Ireland’s lineout badly misfired in the record drubbing by England a couple of weeks before that, forwards coach Simon Easterby said this week that they had tried out a few different ideas in that game and were not concerned.
Ireland’s lineout options could also depend on how Schmidt opts to match up.
With Ireland bullied at times in a disappointing Six Nations, he may feel Kleyn’s brawn is needed against bigger packs. Not the most agile of jumpers, that would put even more responsibility on Ryan’s shoulders.
Jackman says the lineout is particularly key to Ireland’s prospects as it is the platform Schmidt has used most effectively to build the kind of pinpoint attacking plays that landed a Grand Slam in 2018 and two victories over World champions New Zealand in their last three meetings.
“It’s chicken and egg. Our lineout maul hasn’t looked like a real weapon recently either so if you’re a defensive coach and think we can stop them if they catch it, then you get more focus up in the air,” the former Grenoble coach said.
“Whereas if Ireland went to the World Cup with a devastating maul, teams would have to decide how much priority they wanted to put into the aerial battles.
“I think Scotland for sure will have a crack off us and if we faced South Africa in a quarter-final, they would back themselves to be able to stop it so I think we’re going to face serious pressure at lineout time.”
While Toner’s omission has stoked some debate back in Ireland, it also fair to ask how much the 33-year-old would have featured given Schmidt’s clear identification of a role for Kleyn and the likely first choice and most dynamic pairing of Ryan and Ulster’s Iain Henderson.
The key question then is whether Ireland have had sufficient time to move on from their reliable lineout lieutenant in the buildup to Japan.
“If it doesn’t go well and there is an inquiry as such into why, the fact that they have allowed us to become very reliant on Devin will certainly be seen as a strategic error,” Jackman said.
Cape Town – The Elsies River community say they are fed up following the brutal violence that took place on Tuesday night where three children and a teenager were killed, as well as two others left injured.
Police said it’s alleged the suspects had forced their way into a residence in Clarke Estate at 11pm and started shooting randomly.
Two suspects were quickly arrested but SAPS spokesperson Novela Potelwa revealed another was arrested on Wednesday morning.
"Our investigation into the murder of four people and the attempted murder of two others, and subsequent to the arrest of two suspects led to the arrest of a third suspect this morning. The 27-year-old male will join his accomplices in court once they have been charged," Potelwa said.
Sector 4 police forum chairperson Jacobus Solomons voiced his concern following the shooting incident.
"Last night when the police called me, they informed about a shooting in the area, and they came and picked me up. When we came here, we actually saw what had happened. Six people have been shot, four died and two are still in hospital."
"It is hectic what I saw [on the scene]," Solomons said. "I need more visible policing in my area, as well as I need to see the Minister of Police Bheki Cele, so he can see what these people have gone through. People need help. The community is sick and tired of [criminal activities] happening in our area."
"The minister himself, must bring in the army, and police. We don’t want the police in the front, and the army in the back. The army must come into the area first, and then the police," Solomons said.
Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz has also condemned the shooting and killing of four young people in Elsies River last night.
Among those killed in the shooting were a 9-year-old girl, two 12-year-old boys and a 19-year-old male, who was allegedly gang-affiliated.
Two women, who are believed to be the mothers of the victims, aged 30 and 33, were wounded in the shootings.
“I would like to extend my deepest condolences to the family of the deceased. I further wish a speedy recovery to those injured during the shooting," Fritz said.
"Violence has no place in our society. Anyone with any information should immediately come forward and report such to the SAPS on 08600 10111 or using the My SAPS app.”
We spoke to the Big Easy Winebar & Grill Durban by Ernie Els Head Chef Noel Kanyemba, and Hilton Hotel Durban Executive Chef, Janine Fourie about South African food.
Chef Noel Kanyemba
Do you think Bobotie deserves to be called South Africa’s national dish or is it time to update this?
I think it is time we update this as there are many other dishes that we need to acknowledge that have made it on the world market.
What do you think is SA national dish and why?
Bunny chow. Different chefs and restaurants have now adapted to having the bunny chow on their menus which has then made it more popular as patrons are now travelling from all over the world just to come and try it out.
What is your favorite traditional SA meal?
Inyama yeNhloko with ujeqe. (Sheep head with steamed bread)
Which meal that is not from your culture do you enjoy eating?
A good vegetable biryani with a good dose of butter.
Besides braaing, what else would you like South Africans to cook this month as we celebrate our heritage?
Since it is heritage month let us go wild and not just braai meat, but explore the deep heritage of all cultures in SA, and celebrate the diverse range of popular dishes within those cultures.
Chef Janine Fourie
Do you think Bobotie deserves to be called SA’s national dish or is it time to update this?
I would not say it should be the national dish, as we have such a diverse food culture with amazing influences due to our history. However I have to add growing up I always remember Bobotie being served with yellow rice, when visiting my grandmother.
What criteria should we use when thinking about what qualifies as SA’s national dish?
One of the criteria is to agree that not all will agree, on just one specific dish. We are the rainbow nation how can we choose just one. But definitely it would be popularity, this would also evolve as time goes by with new trends and perhaps even old dishes being reinvented and making a come back.
What is the one food that South Africans created that you think should be appreciated more by the world?
Koeksisters, deadly sweet drench in ginger syrup. But there is an art to making the perfect koeksister.
Which meal that is not from your culture, that you enjoy eating?
Gnocchi, beautiful little light puffs of potato with a rich creamy gorgonzola.
What is the most underrated SA food?
Sheep tails, slow cooked done with waterblommetjies.
JOHANNESBURG – A 31-member South African team has been named to compete at the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar from September 27 to October 6.
They will be led by world champion Luvo Manyonga, who will defend his global title in the men’s long jump. This time the team will be without defending champions Caster Semenya (women’s 800m) and Wayde van Niekerk (men’s 400m), who is yet to make a full comeback from a knee injury.
Manyonga will be joined at the athletics showpiece by African long jump champion Ruswahl Samaai, Olympic javelin throw medallist Sunette Viljoen, World Championships 100m finalist Akani Simbine and former World Championships 200m medallist Anaso Jobodwana.
The squad also features one of SA’s most exciting young prospects, world junior champion Zeney van der Walt, who will compete in the women’s 400m hurdles event.
Simbine, meanwhile, will spearhead a strong men’s 4x100m relay team, while the squad also includes a 4x400m team which will rely on depth in the absence of Van Niekerk.
South Africa finished third overall on the medals table at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London.
The South Africa squad is:
100m – Akani Simbine, Thando Dlodlo, Simon Magakwe
200m – Clarence Munyai, Anaso Jobodwana
400m – Derick Mokaleng, Thapelo Phora
800m – Tshepo Tshite
3 000m steeplechase – Rantso Mokopane
Marathon – Stephen Mokoka, Desmond Mokgobu, Thabiso Moeng, David Manja
110m hurdles – Antonio Alkana, Ruan De Vries
400m hurdles – Lindsey Hanekom
20km walk – Wayne Snyman
50km walk – Marc Mundell
Long jump – Zack Visser, Luvo Manyonga, Ruswahl Samaai
Shot put – Orazio Cremona
100m – Tebogo Mamatu
5 000m/10 000m – Dominique Scott
100m hurdles – Rikenette Steenkamp (IAAF Invitation)
400m hurdles – Zenéy van der Walt
Javelin – Sunette Viljoen (IAAF Invitation)
4x100m – Akani Simbine, Thando Dlodlo, Simon Magakwe, Clarence Munyai, Anaso Jobodwana, Chederick van Wyk, Antonio Alkana
That’s according to local environmental organisation, Greenpop, who are calling for more trees to be planted in a bid to mitigate climate change.
With September being Arbor month, the NGO is launching a bold new tree planting initiative to raise 10 000 trees in 30 days.
It’s all part of their longer-term goal to plant 500 000 trees by the year 2025.
Since 2010, Greenpop has planted over 115 000 trees and worked on environmental projects in urban greening, reforestation and conservation agriculture across sub-Saharan Africa.
Their focus has been on connecting people with the planet, engaging communities and inspiring environmental stewards.
On 28 March, 2019, speakers at a General Assembly High-Level Meeting of the United Nations warned that the planet has just 11 years left to prevent irreversible damage from climate change.
In addition, a recent study published in the journal Science, entitled "The global tree restoration potential" states: “[This research] highlights global tree restoration as our most effective climate change solution to date… Our results highlight the opportunity of climate change mitigation through global tree restoration but also the urgent need for action.”
According to Zoe Gauld-Angelucci, Greenpop Head of Programmes: “The drivers of forest degradation in sub-Saharan Africa are multiple and compounding. From unregulated logging (often by foreign companies) to clearing for cash crops, to overuse of trees for fuel, human activity is putting increasing and devastating pressure on forest ecosystems.
"For this reason, Greenpop’s Collaborative Reforestation programme seeks not only to restore forest ecosystems through planting trees but also to provide additional interventions which address these contextual drivers.
"By providing training in practices such as alternative livelihoods, woodlot management, and farmer-managed natural regeneration, alongside reforestation, our programme aims to decrease pressure on stressed ecosystems while assisting in accelerating their recovery,” she said.
But it’s going to take more action and less talk to ensure that a change is made.
“We don’t have time to wait. Individuals, organisations, companies, and governments must take action. We have an opportunity now. There is a window to actively do something that can change the course of our existence. We can make history or let our inaction decide for us," said Greenpop CEO Misha Teasdale.
For further information on how you can make a difference this Arbor Month by donating to trees which will be planted across Sub-Saharan Africa, visit greenpop.org for more information on how to contribute.
This year’s visitors are preparing their outfits and itineraries for the biggest and most interactive four-day pop culture festival to hit Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand.
Comic Con Africa 2019 offers an incredible programme that’s bigger and better than before, thrilling pop-culture fandoms and newcomers alike.
With an estimated 60 000 visitors and 160 hours of content across five halls – including panels, competitions, seminars, workshops and so much more – get ready to drop in and geek out.
This year, expect almost 300 exhibitors offering specials on everything from gaming hardware and accessories to apparel, pop-culture merchandise, comics, figurines and much more. Spend the long weekend stocking up on sought-after collectables and new releases.
We know the whole “there’s an app for that” joke died about a decade ago, but we have to dig it up again for the upcoming Comic Con Africa 2019 which has a dedicated piece of software you can install on your smartphone.
The app, which is simply called “Comic Con Africa” is available right now for Android and iOS.
We’ve downloaded it and had a go to see if it’s worth the space on your phone.
Firstly, and unfortunately, you can’t do anything without signing up and signing in.
We really don’t understand why this is necessary if all you want is to get information about the event. It’s especially irritating if you’re already at Comic Con Africa and you’re trying to set this up on data in the middle of the convention.
Once that’s done and you’re in the app there’s a lot to do. The app basically compresses the Comic Con Africa site into a mobile form factor and adds some features on top of it.
Being able to pull up the floor plan for the convention, or quickly look up a new event to attend when you’re bored is great. The ability to plan a schedule is a great touch too if you want to make the most of your time there.
The app does have its foibles, however. Looking at the guests and speakers listings, for example, and you can view their social media presences, but you can’t open them in the dedicated app already installed on your phone.
As a source of information its also up to the Comic Con Africa organisers and the app developers to keep it up to date. We’ve seen problems like this in the past when William Shatner announced he would be attending before any official word of it was made.
All of that being said the app is free and we suggest downloading it and giving it a look if you’re planning on attending. Just keep your ear to the ground and don’t treat it as the only source of information for the weekend.
Comic Con Africa 2019 will be take place at the Gallagher Convention Centre from September 21 – 24.
DURBAN – After the success of its 4G data offerings, rain activated Africa’s first commercial 5G network by making it available to selected existing customers.
This deployment of a 5G wireless data network, in certain parts of Johannesburg and Tshwane, is one of the first in the world and will help South Africa to benefit from lower data costs and the coming Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).
Khaya Dlanga, rain’s Chief Marketing Officer, said, "Selected customers in rain’s 5G coverage area have been invited to be the first to purchase ultra-fast 5G, unlimited internet for only R1000 per month. rain will deliver a state-of-the-art 5G router to a customer’s home. No installation is required, the router is simply plug-and-play and it will be connected immediately. The speed and capacity of the 5G network, together with the latest WiFi 6 technology in the router, will enable rain users to stream high-definition video to multiple devices simultaneously".
rain’s initial 5G offering is to provide fast, affordable and easy to install wireless connectivity to homes and businesses as an alternative to ADSL, fibre and fixed-LTE.
In the next couple of weeks the company will open up the offer to all homes and small business within the coverage area of Johannesburg and Tshwane. During the course of 2020, the coverage area will be extended to the major metros in South Africa.
rain is leveraging its 4G data networking infrastructure in building the 5G network in its regulated 3600 MHz spectrum band. This enables rain to build a cost-effective network and limit the required additional number of sites, yet still providing wide coverage. It enables rain to reduce the cost of data for South Africans.
Dlanga said, "Access to affordable, fast broadband is key for the country to revive economic growth."
5G is the next generation wireless networking technology and offers considerable advances in speed and capacity. On average 5G can provide speeds at least 10 times faster than existing 4G/LTE networks. Dlanga notes that during testing rain has seen speeds approaching 700 Mbps in ideal conditions.
"However, in real world conditions we expect to see at least 200 Mbps for customers," said Dlanga.
In future, 5G will also power super-fast mobile connectivity for smartphones and enable the connection of millions of internet-of-things (IOT) devices. Dlanga said that rain is committed to be a key player in building the 5G and 4IR ecosystem in South Africa.
This will contribute to the country meeting its socio-economic challenges, particularly reducing unemployment and improving education. As an example, rainis working with WITS University and Huawei Technologies to establish a 5G Innovation Lab.
"This exciting space will give young engineers a head-start in developing the new, innovative applications of 5G," concluded Dlanga.
TOKYO – Rugby chiefs have backed the swift action of the Wales Rugby Union in sending home attack coach Rob Howley four days before the start of the World Cup over a possible breach of rules governing gambling.
The WRU dropped the bombshell late on Tuesday in a statement which said Howley had returned to Wales to assist with an investigation into a potential breach of the regulation that prevents those involved in the game from gambling on matches.
“World Rugby fully supports the WRU’s proactive approach to this matter and can confirm that the union is keeping us informed of their initial discussions,” the governing body said in a statement on Wednesday.
“It would be inappropriate to comment further on an open and evolving process.”
The departure of the 48-year-old former test scrumhalf will be a hammer blow to the Six Nations champions, who were recently ranked number one in the world and have high hopes of reaching a maiden World Cup final in Japan.
Howley has been head coach Warren Gatland’s right hand man since he took the reigns in 2008 and was placed in the top job in a caretaker role when the New Zealander led the British and Irish Lions tour on their 2017 tour.
He was set to leave his job after the World Cup and had been linked to the top job with the Italy team but could face a punishment as severe as a lifetime ban from rugby if the allegations prove founded.
Former Wales flyhalf Stephen Jones stepped into the role of attack coach after Howley’s departure for Wales on Monday.
Wales, who start their World Cup Pool D campaign against Georgia in Toyota on Monday, will hold a news conference in Fukuoka later on Wednesday.
Cape Town – Transport bosses extended the deployment of the Rail Enforcement Unit (REU) in the province for 12 more months.
The Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works, the Passenger Rail Service of South Africa (PRASA) and the City of Cape Town have affirmed their commitment to the safety and security of Metrorail commuters and infrastructure by extending with a new Memorandum of Agreement will terminate on June 30 next year.
Early Wednesday morning the Transport and Public Works MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela, PRASA’s acting Group Chief Executive Officer Nkosinathi Sishi and the City’s Mayco Members for Transport, Felicity Purchase, and Safety and Security, JP Smith, met the new recruits during a parade at the Cape Town Station.
Madikizela said It was not often that all three spheres of government get to collaborate in this manner and the pilot year presented some challenges and initial teething problems.
He said he was delighted that "we" have been able to conclude a new agreement that will see the REU officers on the beat for at least another 12 months.
"This is a clear signal to our residents and commuters that we are committed to improving the safety and security on the trains and at the stations," Madikizela said.
Smith said the unit will remain at a force strength of 100 officers. "Although some of the members are new recruits, the majority of the REU’s officers have gained a lot of experience during the first pilot period which will assist in fine tuning operations and making the unit even more efficient and effective".
"Within the first few days back on the ground, the City’s Law Enforcement officers made an arrest for cable theft when they confiscated 20 meters of railway signal cable. The REU is a force to be reckoned with and their successes and impact speak volumes. In the pilot stages of the REU 1,8 km of copper cable and 824 kg of stolen metal was impounded.
"The City is being approached by more entities who are concluding agreements for Law Enforcement staff to support and safeguard their operations, with Golden Arrow Bus Service the latest one to join. This creates exciting new possibilities for collaboration," Smith said.
Purchase said the unit’s presence will go a long way in improving the safety and security of our rail commuters. Urban rail should be the backbone of public transport in Cape Town and commuters’ mode of choice.
"It is cheaper and more efficient than any road-based transport, but then our commuters should feel safe in the coaches and at the stations, and they should have confidence in the service by knowing that they will arrive at their destinations on time, without any cancellations or delays."
"It will make a huge difference if we can restore commuters’ faith in our urban rail service – not only will residents save a lot of money, but it will also assist us to alleviate traffic congestion which has become much worse as more commuters are now travelling by road to get to work," Purchase said.
During their meeting and train travel Sishi noted the inconvenience to Metrorail customers as a result of the vandalism.
"Our customers deserve a reliable and safe train service and we will stop at nothing to bring criminals to book who prevent us delivering a much needed service to our commuters. The destruction of government property, including PRASA infrastructure, is an affront to the rule of law. This partnership goes beyond passenger rail services, but demonstrates how government can work together to fight crime and protect its assets and its citizens, " Sishi said.
TOKYO – Japan will have to play the opening match of the Rugby World Cup against Russia on Friday without two of their key players – winger Kenki Fukuoka and loose forward Amanaki Mafi – after the pair failed to recover from injury in time.
Both players sustained injuries in the loss to South Africa earlier this month.
Fukuoka, who has scored 21 tries in 34 tests, went down with a calf injury early in that game whilst Mafi later suffered a shoulder injury.
Coach Jamie Joseph has selected maverick Lomano Lemeki as Fukuoka’s replacement and is hoping the 30-year-old has learnt from an erratic display in the recent win over Tonga.
“Mano, last time when he played Tonga, we felt he played reasonably well but there were opportunities he could have created for others and his decision-making was a wee bit off,” Joseph told reporters on Wednesday.
“He decided he wanted to penetrate and attack by himself. We need players who have the skills to be able to do that but also create for others.
“He has learnt that and he knows he has got an opportunity.”
Stalwart flanker Michael Leitch will captain the side, alongside Pieter Labuschagne and Mafi’s replacement Kazuki Himeno in a strong back row that will have their work cut out against the physical Russian side.
Two veterans from the 2015 World Cup, Luke Thompson, 38, and Fumiaki Tanaka, 34, have been named on the bench.
Durban – Florence Jennifer Dilworth was on her way to church on Sunday morning when she was murdered.
It appears Dilworth, 55, unknowingly got into a taxi that had been hijacked. The extent of her injuries when she was found and taken to hospital speak of the titanic struggle she engaged in with her attackers.
Battered and bruised and having been stabbed, her wounds indicated she had fought back because her hands were broken.
She had also been beaten about the head, a hole in her skull leaving her brain-dead and her family with the difficult decision of switching off the life-support machines on their arrival at the hospital.
Wendy Swarts said her mother, a retired nurse, had left her home in Koningkramer Avenue in Berea West. She was due to meet her sister-in-law who lives close to their church in Pinetown. Fears grew when she failed to show up.
Swarts, 34, had arrived in Durban on Saturday night after a trip to Johannesburg and had last spoken to her mother that night.
“My mom called as soon as I landed and because I had gone for so long, I offered to take her to church myself. But I had overslept and did not hear my phone ring, and that is when she took the taxi,” she sobbed.
“When we talk she usually says, ‘I love you’ and I say ‘You too’ – instead I replied “I love you, too” and those were my last words to my mother,” she said.
“I believe she was alone in the taxi and because she looked old, they probably saw her as an easy target,” said Swarts, whose father is on life support in a separate hospital.
The close-knit family are struggling to come to terms with the incident.
“There is no way to describe how women are being treated in South Africa. She was going to church; you are not even safe when you’re going to church. The death penalty must be reinstated.
“Who wakes up in the morning to commit such a crime?” said Dilworth’s brother, Jimmy Dilworth.
The family believes that her attackers may also have tried to rape her.
They plan to open a foundation in Dilworth’s name for families suffering the same fate, and to start self-defence classes for women. Funeral details have not been finalised.
Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Thulani Zwane said the taxi was hijacked at Westville on Sunday morning by two men and driven towards the M13.
Dilworth was picked up and attacked once inside, but apparently managed to jump out of the moving taxi near the Cowies Hill off-ramp.
“A case of hijacking and murder was opened at Westville police station,” he said.
Italian designer Riccardo Tisci looked to Burberry’s Victorian roots for the luxury British brand’s latest line at London Fashion Week on Monday, mixing delicate lace with edgy street style for looks aimed at catering to different age groups.
The Burberry creative chief, who has successfully revamped the brand since joining last year, had a star-studded catwalk to unveil the Spring/Summer 2020 line with models including Kendall Jenner and sisters Gigi and Bella Hadid strutting down a runway laid out with a Victorian-inspired sound system installation.
For the "Evolution" line, Tisci said he had gone through the archives to when founder Thomas Burberry created the brand in 1856, and this inspired his latest designs: cinched waists and eye-catching sleeves that were voluminous, slashed at the front or fringed.
Burberry’s trademark trench coats had silk panels, sparkling studs or came floor-length.
Tisci put fringes on skirts, sleeves and across dresses that also had chain detailing. Printed skirts and tops nodded to nature, depicting trees and animals.
Women’s silk shirts were long and loose, suits had box pleat or asymmetric skirts – short at the front and long at the back, while blazers were sculpted. Trousers were high waisted. There were also pinstripe suits.
Tisci put ruffled lace on the front and sleeves of dresses, which for the evening were adorned in crystal mesh or ostrich feathers. Footwear was split-toe block-heel boots and sandals.
"My first year at Burberry was about understanding and refining the new codification for the house. With that foundation in place, I feel ready to start exploring what’s at the heart of this incredible brand," Tisci said in his show notes.
"This is the story behind this collection, a collection inspired by our past and dedicated to our future. It’s the evolution of our Burberry kingdom."
Tisci used a simple colour palette of grey, black, white and beige, with dabs of red, blue, pink and yellow. There was also plenty of gingham.
Menswear consisted of sharp suits and trench coats that were worn with belts. Tisci added details such as crystal embroidery, zips and rib-knit panels.
Tisci has enticed younger buyers with his casual designs and revamped "TB" logo and there were plenty of luxury tracksuits, T-shirts, snazzy jackets, sneakers, sandals and baseball caps – with long sides or diamanté veils.
"…The Victorian era (was) a time in Britain for great change and progress, an era that has always inspired me and my work," Tisci said.
"(Burberry) chose to present his company with an emblem of a knight on a horse, but for his family crest, he instead chose a unicorn. Thomas Burberry was a daring innovator but also a romantic and a dreamer."
In an Instagram post ahead of the presentation, Burberry said the show had been certified as carbon neutral.
With younger clients’ changing tastes and growing environmental awareness, many brands are seeking to improve their green credentials.
"We have offset our impacts such as the flights of guests travelling to London specifically for the show and the build and production of the event through… projects which prevent deforestation and conserve tropical rainforest in the Brazilian Amazon," Burberry said.
LONDON – Valencia gatecrashed Frank Lampard’s managerial bow in the Champions League by earning a morale-boosting 1-0 win at Chelsea on Tuesday after Ross Barkley spurned a chance to equalise by missing from the penalty spot.
Spain forward Rodrigo Moreno gave the visitors the lead against the run of play in the 74th minute of the Group H game, getting the slightest of touches on a free kick from Dani Parejo to send the ball into the roof of the net.
Chelsea continued to threaten and were awarded a penalty after a VAR review spotted a handball by Valencia defender Daniel Wass, but Barkley sent the resulting spot kick on to the crossbar and over.
Valencia travelled to London reeling from a stinging 5-2 league loss at Barcelona in coach Albert Celades’s first game in charge after the much-loved Marcelino was sacked, despite overseeing two top-four finishes and winning the Copa del Rey.
His dismissal bewildered the players, who began a media blackout after the decision, while influential defender Ezequiel Garay fiercely criticised the move in an angry post on social media.
But the Spanish side leave the English capital emboldened and with three points after producing a solid, professional display and celebrating their triumph with their small band of travelling supporters tucked in a corner of Stamford Bridge.
Lampard’s side went into the game in confident mood after beating Wolverhampton Wanderers 5-2 in the Premier League on Saturday and their supporters belted out the manager’s name in his first Champions League game as a coach, after he won the competition in 2012 as a Chelsea player.
Visiting goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen was forced to make a pair of impressive saves to prevent the Londoners from taking the lead, turning away a powerful strike from Willian right before halftime.
The Dutchman then twice thwarted Marcos Alonso, parrying a low free kick early in the second half and tipping another set-piece effort from the Spaniard over the bar in stoppage time.
London – U.S. endurance swimmer Sarah Thomas has become the first person to swim across the English Channel four times without stopping, refuelling only on a liquid formula during her 54-hour feat.
The 37-year-old woman from Colorado performed her record-breaking swim a year after receiving treatment for breast cancer, and dedicated her achievement to fellow cancer survivors.
She came ashore on a beach near Dover, on the south coast of England, on Tuesday morning, exhausted and with a sore throat from all the salt water.
"I was throwing up, I was sick," she said, huddled in a towel.
"I was really just pretty numb," she told the BBC soon afterwards in a croaky voice.
"There were a lot of people on the beach to meet me and wish me well. That was really nice of them, but I feel just mostly stunned right now, I just can’t believe we did it."
In theory, the route that Thomas swam should have been 80 miles (130km) long, but due to strong currents in the Channel she in fact swam 130 miles (210km). She said she saw lots of fish and jellyfish along the way.
Previously, four swimmers had crossed the water between England and France three times without stopping.
Thomas consumed only a liquid diet during her swim. Her support crew, following her in a boat, would throw her a bottle containing a mix of carbohydrates, electrolytes and some caffeine, with a little apple juice to improve the flavour.
"That’s what I ate most of the way," she said.
Upon arrival, she tried to celebrate with champagne but found it did not go down well. She did manage to eat some M&M chocolates.
"Hopefully I can sleep the rest of the day. I’m pretty out of it and pretty tired right now, for sure," she said.
DURBAN – Diversified miner Exxaro Resources on Tuesday extended its focus beyond coal to renewable energy, announcing that it had bought the remaining stake in Cennergi for R1.55 billion.
Exxaro said that it concluded an agreement with Khopoli Investments, a subsidiary of Tata Power Company, to acquire the remaining 50 percent shareholding in the independent power producer.
Exxaro Resources chief executive Mxolisi Mgojo said the conclusion of the transaction was a natural progression to a collaboration that has lasted seven years with Tata Power. Mgojo said the projects had been commendable and an outstanding success in South Africa’s implementation of its energy strategy.
“As a South African-based company, Exxaro is pleased with this opportunity to consolidate its interest in this renewable energy asset at a time in South Africa where we need energy security as we respond to increasing negative sentiment towards coal-based electricity generation,” Mgojo said.
Exxaro is one of South Africa’s biggest coal miners and supplies coal to the export market and to power utility Eskom.
The move away from coal was put in the spotlight earlier this month by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), a respected international energy think-tank, after it warned that new energy technologies would replace coal-fired power faster than most predicted.
The IEEFA added that South Africa’s coal-mining industry was on the brink of permanent decline as the country’s main export markets prepare to reduce reliance on imports and global divestment from fossil fuels increases at an exponential rate.
“South African coal exporters are likely to seek alternative markets going forward as opportunities for growth in the main export destinations dry up. However, the long-term outlook for coal exports to other destinations is also likely to disappoint,” the IEEFA said.
Last month, the National Treasury issued its first real indication of its plans to unbundle Eskom, stating that it would consider disposing of the debt-ridden power utility’s coal-fired power stations in an effort that could potentially raise about R450bn.
While analysts said that the disposal would take some time to conclude, it indicated the government’s growing attraction to renewable energy.
In March, Exxaro rewarded shareholders with a bumper dividend on higher coal prices and a solid performance from its iron ore investment.
Exxaro said it also expected Sioc, a Kumba iron ore subsidiary, to soar further in the first half of 2019 on higher iron ore prices after the mine disaster in Brazil, relatively higher global lump premium prices and a weaker rand against the dollar.
Cennergi owns two wind farms, which were originally bid as part of Window 2 of the Department of Energy’s renewable energy independent power producer procurement programme.
The group owns the 134 megawatts (MW) Amakhala Emoyeni Wind Farm and the 95MW Tsitsikamma Community Wind Farm, both in the Eastern Cape.
Cennergi’s outstanding debt was estimated at R4.9bn by the end of December 2019 and is repayable over a period of 15 years as of 2016.
“The debt will be excluded from Exxaro’s debt covenant ratios as it is limited recourse funding with no additional security from Exxaro,” the group said.
Cennergi’s projected earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation for 2019 are expected to be around R850m.
Exxaro shares declined 2.28 percent on the JSE on Tuesday to close at R131.92.
DORTMUND – Borussia Dortmund hit the woodwork and had a penalty saved before drawing 0-0 with Barcelona in their Champions League Group F opener on Tuesday, with Lionel Messi making his first appearance of the season for the Spaniards.
Barca’s in-form 16-year-old Ansu Fati became the club’s youngest player to feature in a UEFA competition when he started but failed to make any real impact before being replaced by fit-again Messi just before the hour mark.
Even with the Argentine on the field it was the Germans who were more dangerous after captain Marco Reus’ 57th minute penalty was saved by Marc Andre ter Stegen.
Reus was denied twice more by Ter Stegen and Julian Brandt rattled the crossbar with a thundering shot in the 77th.
“It feels terrible,” Reus told reporters. “My penalty was badly taken. We could have won it as our performance was good. It would have been the ideal start. But we can build on this.”
Finding space in or around the box was virtually impossible for either side in the first half and the expected fireworks between two sides known for their attacking game never materialised.
Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho was subdued while Fati showed none of the scoring form that has turned him into the latest football sensation in Spain.
It took Dortmund 25 minutes to carve out their first chance with a fine Thorgan Hazard through ball that sent Reus into the area but his Germany team mate Ter Stegen got the better of him.
Luis Suarez wriggled into the box to create a rare chance and tried to surprise Roman Buerki with a clever shot from a tight angle but the Dortmund keeper did well to guard the near post and palm the Uruguayan’s effort wide.
Dortmund, who kept a clean sheet at home through the group stage last season, were then awarded a spot kick when Sancho was brought down but Ter Stegen picked the right corner to stop Reus’ penalty. He was on hand again later to block a Reus shot.
Messi’s introduction on the hour in the forward’s first game since his pre-season injury, gave the Spaniards more pace and he made some darting runs but did not create enough for a goal.
“We suffered a lot,” Barca coach Ernesto Valverde told reporters. “It was something we already knew would happen. We lacked depth in the last metres and we did not have as many chances as they had. Fortunately Marc was very good.”
In the group’s earlier game Inter Milan were surprisingly held to a 1-1 home draw by Slavia Prague.