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Hopeful South Africa names Rabada in Test squad
18 March 2018, 3:41 PM

Kagiso Rabada has been named in South Africa’s squad for the third Test against Australia, but two other fast bowlers have been added in case he loses his appeal against a ban.

Rabada’s appeal against a  ban for the last two tests of the series will be heard by New Zealand judicial commissioner Michael Heron by teleconference on Monday, with a verdict due to be announced within 48 hours.

Meanwhile, Duanne Olivier and Chris Morris have been included in a 17-man squad for the test that starts at Newlands on Thursday.

Rabada was man of the match in South Africa’s series-levelling six-wicket victory in the second Test in Port Elizabeth. But he made contact with Steve Smith after dismissing the Australian captain and was penalised three demerit points, which took him to the eight-point threshold which triggers an automatic two-match ban.

If Rabada is absent, the selectors may be tempted to pick not just a direct replacement but to consider a also adding a fast bowling all-rounder such as Morris to bolster the bowling options.

Chief selector Linda Zondi said the squad would be pruned in time to allow players not selected for the Test team to play for their franchises in domestic matches starting on Thursday.

Both teams took a break from cricket after the Port Elizabeth Test but will start their preparations for the third Test on Monday.

South African squad: Faf du Plessis (captain), Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock (wkt), Theunis de Bruyn, AB de Villiers, Dean Elgar, Heinrich Klaasen (wkt), Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Morne Morkel, Chris Morris, Wiaan Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Duanne Olivier, Vernon Philander and Rabada.

Moseneke’s report to bring closure for Esidimeni family victims
18 March 2018, 3:26 PM

Former Deputy Chief Justice‚ Judge Dikgang Moseneke, is expected to release the final report of the Life Esidimeni tragedy on Monday.

Families of the Life Esidimeni tragedy are expected to get closure when Moseneke releases report on the deaths of 144 psychiatric patients.

The report is also expected to determine how much families of the deceased will be compensated.

The patients died after been moved from Life Esidimeni facilities to ill-equipped nongovernmental organisations.

Before Moseneke’s announcement, the Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng has expressed concern about the amount that the provincial government spent on the Life Esidimeni Arbitration Hearings.

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It’s hard to chase from behind: Sharks captain Botha
18 March 2018, 2:52 PM

Sharks captain Ruan Botha believes that a lack of discipline cost them victory in their Super Rugby clash against the Brumbies in Canberra on Saturday.

The Durban outfit went down 24-17 at the GIO Stadium despite the Brumbies conceding two yellow cards.

The Sharks employed a conservative game plan that saw them keep things tight upfront and only when they were 24-8 down in the closing stages did they start using their lethal backline.

But even though Curwin Bosch scored a late try, the home side had already secured victory at that stage, having feasted on the Sharks’ infringements as flyhalf Wharenui Hawera kicked four penalties.

“It just shows you how important discipline is in a game of rugby. Giving away like eight penalties in the first half kept the scoreboard ticking for them and it’s hard to chase from behind,” Botha said in a post-match TV interview.

“Very disappointing for us (to not capitalise on the Brumbies’ yellow cards) – getting those opportunities and only scoring once. Hats off to their defence, they really worked hard, and they played to win.

“We have to make right what happened today – look at it and sort it out on Monday.”

In contrast, Brumbies co-captain Christian Leali’ifano praised his men for their ability to hold out the Sharks when they were reduced to 14 men.

“I guess that was a good sign of our resilience, but yellow cards are never something that you want in the game. You’ve just got to be able to adapt and adjust and I think we had one last week and probably didn’t adapt as well. So, nice to see that learning come in and the boys digging deep,” the Brumbies No 12 said.

“I probably wouldn’t say we were desperate (to win this week). I think it was nice reward – just constant belief in what we’re doing. It’s still early on in the year and we’re just working hard each day to get better, and it was a really gutsy effort to win against the Sharks.”

The Sharks’ next match on tour is against the Rebels in Melbourne on Friday, while the Brumbies have a bye.

Mmusi Maimane
Maimane nominated unopposed ahead of DA’s elective congress
18 March 2018, 1:32 PM

Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane has been nominated unopposed to retain his position as DA Federal Leader ahead of the party’s federal congress set for April 7 and 8 at the Tshwane Events Centre.

Long-serving DA Federal Council Chairman James Selfe has also been nominated unopposed, DA Federal Congress Chief Electoral officer Anchen Dreyer said on Sunday.

Four nominations had been received for DA Deputy Federal Council Chairperson – Haniff Hoosen, Natasha Mazzone, Nkhumeni Ramulifho and Thomas Charles Ravenscroft Walters.

Three nominations had been received for DA Federal Chairperson – Annelie Lotriet; Solly Tshepiso Msimanga; and Athol Trollip.

Several nominations had been received for the three Deputy Federal Chairperson positions – Rollence Molamu Mabula, Ndwakhulu Greaterman Mafanedza, Ivan Henry Meyer, Nkele Malapo, Refiloe Nt’sekhe, Dumisani Sibusiso Thwala, Desiree van der Walt and Mike Waters.

Nominated for DA Federal Finance Chairperson were Dion George and Alf Lees.

Dreyer said this would be the largest congress in the history of the DA, drawing over 2 000 delegates from all parts of the country, and would be reflective of the fact that the DA “is the most diverse party in South Africa”.

The DA had exponentially grown since 2015 when it had just over 1 200 delegates.

“The congress will also showcase how the DA is the only party to have grown through every election in democratic South Africa and how, as a party that governs 16 million South Africans, it has made significant progress in delivering to South Africans since the last congress in 2015. The nomination process is the first step towards electing leadership that will take the party through the campaign season, to 2019 and beyond,” she said.

“The DA is proud of the fact that provincial congresses were conducted with no disputes declared. All processes as envisioned by the federal constitution were followed and we are able to constitute the federal congress smoothly.

“The DA is readying itself for national government as the only alternative to the ANC. We have proven where we govern that we can deliver a government that is corruption-free and can deliver for all. We demonstrated this sufficiently in the metros of Tshwane, Johannesburg, Nelson Mandela Bay, and Cape Town, as well as in the Western Cape at large,” Dreyer said.

Wanda Nel
Nel’s form augers well for the Commonwealth Games
18 March 2018, 12:26 PM

Wenda Nel is no stranger to winning South African titles in the 400m-hurdles, but she can be excused if her fifth is the one she will remember for a long time to come as it is the hardest she ever had to fight to be the first across the finish line.

Going onto the lost hurdle at the national championships at Tuks on Saturday, it was no foregone conclusion that she would win as the Tuks-athlete and the 17-year-old world youth champion, Zeney van der Walt (Afrikaans Hoër Meisieskool), were running shoulder to shoulder.

Unfortunately for Van der Walt, she made the slightest of errors going over. Not that it meant the fight to win the coveted title got any less intense. Nel just managed to take the victory on the line winning in 55.01s with the young upstart finishing in 55.05s.

Van der Walt shattered Myrtle Bothma’s South African junior record (55.74s) set in 1983 by 0.69s. She predicted confidently afterwards that she is capable of running an even faster time, hinting that sub-55s is a realistic goal.

Nel praised Van der Walt’s never say die attitude anticipating, actually hoping, that it is not going to be the last of their titanic duels over the hurdles. In the previous six years, the Tuks-athlete has been notching up with monotonous ease one victory after another in local races usually winning by quite a few metres.

The only time Nel was beaten by a South African hurdler was a few years back at the national championships in Stellenbosch, but then she had taken a tumble. In spite of it, she got up to finish second.

“This was one of the toughest races but also one of the most exciting. Last Thursday when I won in a time of 54.96s at the Grand Prix-meeting I was as usual in a lone fight.

“To be challenged the way Zeney has done forced me out of my comfort zone. In the past when I was in such a situation, I was the one to make a mistake, or even worse I just gave up.

“Today (Saturday) I manage to stay focused. That is a big positive I can take from the race going on to compete at the Commonwealth Games.

“The way I executed my race was far from perfect. I was strong in between the hurdles, but my technique was sloppy going over. All that mattered was to be first over each hurdle. In international racing that could cost me,” explained the Tuks-athlete.

Nel proved she is in better form than she was in the past at this stage of the season. She won her last three races running 54.96s, 55.31s and 55.01s.



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