SUNDAY TIMES - Oscar, Starbucks and astronauts: 11 things you might have missed this week
Sunday Times News By Staff Reporter, 2016-03-04 12:00:00.0

Oscar, Starbucks and astronauts: 11 things you might have missed this week

Paralympian Oscar Pistorius is seen at the sentencing hearing for the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at the high court in Pretoria, Thursday, 16 October 2014.
Image: Alon Skuy

Need to catch up on what happened this week? From resignations to jail times, astronauts and presidents, we round up some of the big stories - local and international - that made the news...

1) Oscar goes back to jail

Oscar Pistorius faces a return to jail after losing a final bid to appeal his murder conviction for shooting girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at the Constitutional Court. The former Paralympic champion, 29, will attend a sentencing hearing in Pretoria on April 18. The minimum 15-year jail term for murder may be reduced due to time he has already spent in prison.


2) ANC resignations

ANC spokesperson Keith Khoza resigned on Friday to rejoin the public service in Gauteng. This was the second senior resignation in the ANC this week after Chief Whip Stone Sizani resigned from Parliament on Wednesday. He will replace German Ambassador Makhenkesi Stofile‚ who is retiring.

Stone Sizan


3) DJ Donald Duck sentenced

Convicted murderer, former Jozi FM DJ Donald Sebolai was sentenced to 20 years behind bars for the murder of his girlfriend Dolly Tshabalala. Sebolai, also known as DJ Donald Duck, was sentenced to 20 years for murder and to 5 years for attempting to defeat the ends of justice. The sentences will run concurrently.

Donald Sebolai court


4) No confidence vote

The latest motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma failed by 99 votes to 225 in the National Assembly on Tuesday. Zuma did not attend the debate. All opposition parties supported the motion of no confidence, except the African People's Convention, which sided with the ruling party, and the EFF, which abstained. The same week President Zuma was appointed to co-chair a United Nations High-Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth alongside President François Hollande of France.

President Jacob Zuma.JPG


5) On the road to the White House

Analysts and experts acknowledged that Donald Trump's strong performance on Super Tuesday, when millions of Democrats and Republican voters in a dozen states chose their nominee, put him in the driver's seat on the road to the GOP nominating convention in July. From there, it would be a head-to-head battle against the Democratic nominee, most likely Hillary Clinton, who dominated rival Bernie Sanders in seven of the 11 states.



6) World's longest flight

An Emirates Airbus A380 touched down in New Zealand this week, completing what is believed to be the world's longest non-stop scheduled commercial flight.



7) Barclays leaving SA

Barclays Plc announced this week it will sell its Africa business (formally Absa) as part of a plan by new Chief Executive Jes Staley to simplify the bank's structure and seek higher shareholder returns, after reporting a 2 percent profit drop and slashing its dividend. Also this week the company said it has identified potential money-laundering activities linked to currency transactions at its South African, as the British lender plans to sell down its stake in the region’s operations.



8) Astronauts return to Earth

US astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko returned to Earth Wednesday after spending almost a year in space in a ground-breaking experiment foreshadowing a potential manned mission to Mars.



9) Want to buy a football club?

Bloemfontein Celtic owner Max Tshabalala is courting offers for his club following fan violence at Saturday's Premier Soccer League clash against Orlando Pirates. Fighting broke out during the club’s 1-0 loss to Orlando Pirates as Celtic fans first threw objects onto the Orlando Stadium pitch and were then involved in ugly skirmishes with Pirates supporters in scenes not witnessed in South African football in years.

Serame Letsoaka  


10) Nanny charged after 'beheading' child

A woman suspected of beheading a child in her care before brandishing the severed head outside a Moscow metro station said on Wednesday Allah had ordered her to commit the crime. Police on Monday wrestled to the ground Gulchekhra Bobokulova  after she wandered around a Moscow street holding the infant's severed head in the air and shouting Islamist slogans.  Russian investigators have raised the possibility she might be suffering from mental illness.




Coffee fanatics may have done a little jig around their office as news that Starbucks planned to open its first two stores in South Africa at the end of next month.