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New evidence links Eskom chief financial officer Anoj Singh directly to payments of hundreds of millions of rands to a Gupta-linked firm the power utility denied knowing about.

The Times has also unearthed evidence of a number of trips by Singh to Dubai on the Guptas’ tab at the time of major deals between Gupta entities and parastatals he worked for.

Eskom last week finally admitted to paying R495-million to Trillian Capital Partners, owned by key Gupta lieutenant Salim Essa.

Eskom’s top executives – including Singh – claimed their previous denials had been because of confusion about Trillian’s relationship with the power utility.

But The Times has obtained new evidence from a whistleblower that shows Singh had direct knowledge of the Trillian payments as far back as February 2016 – nearly two months before the first payment of R30.6-million.

E-mails show that Singh was sent the first Trillian invoice, itemised for “Eskom corporate plan deliverable”, on February 11 2016.

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On the 22nd two groups of community leaders in Imizamo Yethu met to negotiate a peace deal to restore calm in the area so that the City of Cape Town’s super-blocking project could proceed.

The two groups include a small group of community leaders who were against the super-blocking and the majority of the leaders who are in support of the project and who have been working with the City to ensure that the project can progress.

The two groups of leaders met along with City political leaders, City officials, and senior members of the South African Police Service at the Hout Bay Fire Station.

The two community leader groups came to an agreement in which the one group was updated about the super-blocking project and they agreed to engage the community at large to put an end to the violence so that the project can continue. Continue reading

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Defending SA Rugby Women’s Interprovincial champions, Border, and Western Province on Saturday continued to stamp their authority in the early stages of Section A in the tournament as they cruised to convincing victories for the second week to remain unbeaten.

The Capetonians overcame a competitive first half against KwaZulu-Natal at Growthpoint Kings Park in Durban in which they were only able to score an unconverted try by Sinazo Mcatshulwa, before controlling proceedings thanks to their effective attack and defence.

Such was the quality of their display in the second half they ran in another four tries, two of which were scored by veteran centre Natasha Hofmeester, while they prevented the opposition from scoring a single point, for a 25-0 victory.

A strong first half, meanwhile, paved the way for Border’s 29-17 victory against the Blue Bulls at the BCM Stadium in East London, with the side doing well to capitalise on their point-scoring chances, which earned them four tries, three conversions and a penalty goal, for a 29-0 lead at the break.

In stark contrast, the second half was dominated by the Blue Bulls, who tightened up their defence to deny the Eastern Cape side from adding to their score, while they stepped up their attack to score three tries, one of which was converted.

Unfortunately for the Pretoria side, however, this was not enough to undo the damage inflicted by Border in the first half, and they had to settle for the 29-17 defeat. Continue reading

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The Emirates Lions will host the Hurricanes in a repeat of last year’s Vodacom Super Rugby final after both teams qualified for the 2017 semi-finals during an action-packed top-eight round.

Both of last year’s finalists were made to work incredibly hard to progress to the final four yet again, while the DHL Stormers and the Cell C Sharks were edged in their quarter-finals on Saturday.

The Durbanites travelled to Johannesburg as underdogs but nearly caused a massive upset against the table-topping Emirates Lions, who eventually clinched this encounter by 23-21 thanks to a long-range penalty goal two minutes from time by Ruan Combrinck.

The Emirates Lions will realise though that they will have to up their game next weekend against the defending champions as they were almost shown up by a gallant Cell C Sharks side, who delivered one of their best performances of the season.

Jozi’s Pride scored three tries to the Durbanites’ two, but errors almost cost them, while they also missed out on 13 points because of unsuccessful kicks at goal. However, the Cell C Sharks deserve a lot of credit for disrupting the rhythm of last year’s runners up and putting up a fighting display for 80 minutes.

“We’ll take it, but credit to the Sharks,” said Emirates Lions coach Johan Ackermann after the match. Continue reading

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Over 200 staff members from the City’s Disaster Risk Management, Fire and Rescue Services, Law Enforcement, Traffic Services and Metro Police Departments have all been in the City’s employ for between 20 and 45 years. Today they were acknowledged for their extensive contribution. Read more below:

The City of Cape Town’s Safety and Security Directorate today paid tribute to more than 200 staff members who have all reached long service milestones. The 212 officers and staff who were given long-service awards today have between them given 5 481 years of service.

The staff members from the City’s enforcement and rescue services have been in the City’s employ for between 20 and 45 years – the bulk of them employed by the Fire and Rescue Service, Law Enforcement, Traffic and Coordination Services. A full list of recipients is available here. Continue reading

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The Bidvest Waltons Golden Lions and Blue Bulls took top honours in the U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week and Coca-Cola Academy Weeks in an exciting finish to the SA Rugby Youth Weeks series at St Stithians College in Johannesburg on Saturday.

The Bidvest Waltons Golden Lions defeated the Sharks 45-18 in a thrilling final match in the U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week, while the Blue Bulls outplayed DHL Western Province 49-37 in the main match in the Coca-Cola Academy Week.

In stark contrast to the opening four days play in the tournaments, the other matches proved to be close, which kept fans gripped throughout the day.

The Bidvest Waltons Golden Lions got the final match of the U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week off to a strong start as winger Tino Swanepoel navigated his way to the tryline in the ninth minute. But the Sharks hit back soon after with scrumhalf Sanele Nohamba slotting over a penalty goal, which they backed up with two tries in two minutes by Conan Le Fleur and Cham Zondeki respectively. The teams exchanged penalty goals soon after through centre Kennedy Mpeku and Nohamba, which pushed the Sharks 18-11 ahead going into half time. Continue reading

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The prestigious Coca-Cola Hero of the Day award is presented on each day of the tournament in recognition of a game changing ‘hero’ moment. Tino was selected for the award by a Coca-Cola appointed panel of rugby experts, led by Springbok legend Victor Matfield after he broke the deadlock in the match between the Golden Lions and the Sharks. The match had been a closely fought up to that stage with neither team able to take charge of the match. Tino got the ball just outside his 22 and ran through the opposition defence to set up a try for his team mate David Cary, this try broke the deadlock and the Lions ended up winning the game 45-18.

“I am very happy to win the Coca-Cola Hero of the Day in the final match of the tournament. I am proud that I was able to help the team win our match against the Sharks,” said Swanepoel.

“It’s been a great week of the Coca-Cola Craven Week. We have witnessed some of the best schoolboy rugby action, which shows that the future of SA rugby is in good hands. It was a tough game and Tino’s sudden break out of the 22 set up a beautiful try to put his team in the lead, and I can’t wait to see the 17 year old play again next year,” said Victor Matfield.

Phindi Phiri, Coca-Cola South Africa’s Marketing Assets Manager, “Congratulations to Tino for being chosen as the Coca-Cola Hero of the Day for day 5. The Coca-Cola Craven Week is where South Africa’s best, up and coming rugby players are identified – this is where heroes are made. Tino is a young player that showed a lot of composure to help his team in a tough game and this is a trait of a true Coca-Cola hero.”

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Ashwell Prince pic on Instagram

Ashwell Prince pic on Instagram

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The dreaded “T” word in sport has reared its ugly head again.Transformation is back in focus after former Proteas cricketer Graeme Pollock said that the national team will have to accept being a “middle-of-the-road” Test side if they stuck with racial quotas.

His comments, which followed South Africa’s defeat against England at Lord’s two weeks ago, drew widespread criticism.

Pollock backtracked yesterday, with a spokesperson releasing a statement saying his comments were “misconstrued”.

“Speaking from London, Graeme Pollock wishes to convey his heartiest congratulations to Faf (du Plessis) and his team for their excellent Test victory at Trent Bridge. With the series now level at 1-all, this sets up the series for a fascinating outcome,” said spokesperson Basil O’Hagan.

“Graeme also extends his sincerest apologies to CSA Board and the South African cricketing public for the manner in which his comments at a recent function in London were totally misconstrued.

“Graeme fully supports the endeavours of the transformation process as further evidenced in the radio interview he had on July 6 with Jonathan Agnew of BBC’s TMS broadcast.”

Ashwell Prince, a former Proteas captain and batsman, and current Cape Cobras coach, said, Pollock’s comments were “most disappointing”.

“They (Pollock’s comments) most definitely struck a nerve. Not just with myself, but it seems the overwhelming majority of South Africans,” Prince said.

“Quite frankly, as a former Protea, one has reached the point where you simply just cannot sit back and allow people with these kind of mindsets to keep feeding the world this kind of rubbish and just let it be.”

In August, former Proteas batsman, Daryll Cullinan, caused controversy after he told ESPN: “My issue around that (transformation in cricket) is, it’s inherently not a black man’s game in the country.”

Prince continued: “Some people and certain media in this country with similar backward mindsets feel its their duty to tell the world that non-white people, people whom they have never met, sometimes never seen play, and know absolutely nothing about, have nothing good to offer our national teams, simply because they’re not white.

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Refereeing of scrums and the tackle/ruck will be different when the Springboks embark on their Castle Lager Outgoing Tour in November after the World Rugby Executive Committee approved the addition of six law amendments to the programme of global law trials.


The amendments, which were made following positive trials in specific international competitions this year, relate to the scrum (Law 20) and tackle/ruck (Laws 15 and 16), are aimed at making the game simpler to play and referee as well as further promoting player welfare.

They have been approved following extensive game data analysis as well as player, coach, match official and union feedback from the tournaments in which these six aspects of law were trialled.

The six law amendments will now join the scheduled global law trial programme, completing a total package of 11 aspects of law, and will debut in full from 1 August, 2017 in the northern hemisphere and from 1 January, 2018 in the south.

The November 2017 Tests will operate under the full global law trials, while Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017 will operate under the package of five global law trials that has been operational in the southern hemisphere since January and was operational during the June test window.

The six aspects of law approved to join the global trial programme are: Continue reading

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