Grammy-winning singer Taylor Swift on Friday released a cheerful pop duet called “ME!” along with a colorful video filled with pastel-drenched images of butterflies, rainbows and a young couple in love.
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CAPE TOWN – Stormers coach Robbie Fleck has kept faith with under-fire flyhalf Jean-Luc du Plessis, recalling the pivot for tomorrow’s all important Super Rugby clash against the Bulls.
Here is Fleck’s full explanation for sticking with Du Plessis:
1. Was it always the plan to play Du Plessis this week?
Fleck: “Last week we rested him because his body was sore. He was always going to come back for this game. We feel that tactically we like the way he’s played, especially in that first half in that Rebels game, so it certainly was always the case of bringing him back.”
Here is the DHL Stormers side to take on Vodacom Bulls in the North-South derby at DHL Newlands on Saturday. Tickets from Computicket. #iamastormer #hammertime pic.twitter.com/ElRffJMzRb
— DHL STORMERS (@THESTORMERS) April 25, 2019
2. Du Plessis has been coming under public criticism for his performances. Do you think it is based more on fiction than fact?
Fleck: “The way we see the game he has an influential role on the way we want to play. We feel that the combination of himself, Herschel (Jantjies), and (Damian) De Allende was getting stronger as the tour was going on.
I felt in that Rebels game he was tactically very good. Yes, he made some mistakes in the second half, but the way he is controlling the game for us, we (are) pretty happy with the way he is going.
Look, with Jean-Luc we all know that he is good rugby player and has a good rugby brain and we will keep backing him to take the guys forward. Both Josh (Stander) and Gaza (Damian Willemse) have had their chances, whether it was impactful or strategic like last week when Josh was brought into the starting line-up, they have a role to play. But we are going to continue to back Jean-Luc.
For us, especially this weekend, he is going to play an integral role in that regard. I know guys are talking about Gaza (Willemse) going back to flyhalf, but for me he is the No 1 fullback in the country at the moment. He has been outstanding, so why take him out of a position that he is dominating in South African rugby at the moment.
In terms of the kicking game, he is controlling the game excellently at the back there. In my side, he is certainly the best guy under the high ball. For me, he is the No 1 fullback in the country at the moment so we don’t want to mess with that much to be honest. I said on tour the back three is going well and we spoke about Dillyn Leyds two weeks ago is also playing outstanding rugby so you don’t want to mess with that too much.”
3. In terms of what Du Plessis brings, is it that ability to kick into the corners?
Fleck: “The way he interplays between the backs and forwards as well, he also brings a left option into play for us, which we didn’t have last week. I think in the modern game you need a left and right foot option. With SP (Marais) out at the moment, obviously JL is the only one with a left foot so it does play a role in selection.”
The Stormers team to face the Bulls:
15 Damian Willemse, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Kobus van Dyk, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Cobus Wiese, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
CAPE TOWN – It has been a tough last couple of months for Cape Cobras batsman Aviwe Mgijima.
The 30-year-old lost his father during the One-Day Cup, and it was clear that the emotional strain was affecting his performances on the field.
Mgijima was struggling to attain the levels he reached only a season ago when he was named Cobras Player of the Year.
He was suffering from a serious lack of confidence, and it only increased after each failure, especially as Mgijima is a senior member of the Cobras batting unit.
There seemed almost a sense of desperation to contribute to the team’s cause.
Three wickets in his new off-spinning role in an earlier T20 Challenge clash helped alleviate the building pressure, which would undoubtedly have played a role in him ripping off the shackles at Boland Park on Wednesday evening.
Mgijima smashed 55 not out off just 30 balls (3×6, 3×4) to drive the Cobras past the Titans’ imposing 182/3 that has placed Ashwell Prince’s team firmly at the top of the T20 Challenge standings.
The innings had greater substance too for Mgijima had walked to the crease after the Cobras had lost all the momentum built up by Janneman Malan and David Bedingham – both youngsters contributed 37 off 24 balls – by losing three wickets in quick succession to fall to 86/4 in the 10th over.
The Cobras have often lost their way at this juncture in white-ball cricket this season, but with another player who has recently found a fresh dose of confidence, Jason Smith (28 off 18 balls), the pair added 59 runs off just 34 balls for the fifth wicket to get the run-chase going again.
Mgijima, in particular, seized the initiative during this period. Realising the Cobras required a 20-plus over to transfer the pressure on to the Titans, the right-hander tucked into Henry Davids’ off-spinners by smashing three consecutive sixes.
It was a game-changer, which was acknowledged by Cobras assistant coach Faiek Davids.
“I thought the one over of Henry was a crucial over and that’s where we changed the game by taking 21 runs off the over,” Davids said. “It was a good wicket we played on. I thought their 180 was a good total. I thought we went about it quite well.
“We stayed with the run-rate from the word go, in terms of our batting, the way Janneman played, the partnership between Janneman and David Bedingham, they set us up nicely and kept the momentum going.
We’re ready for tonight’s CSA T20 Challenge match between the @WorldSportsBet Cape Cobras and @LionsCricketSA. Game starts at 6pm, tickets available at the gate. pic.twitter.com/nTdaCy1nLX
— COBRAS CRICKET (@CobrasCricket) April 26, 2019
“We went at 9/10 runs per over, and then we lost three quick wickets in the middle.
“But then Avie (Mgijima) came in and played really nicely.
“He played a really unbelievable knock!”
The Cobras will hope Mgijima can continue this red-hot form over the next couple of days when they face the Highveld Lions at Newlands today before travelling to Durban for their final league clash against the Dolphins on Sunday.
Durban – Opposition parties and experts have called on the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to be empowered to act against the use of state events to campaign during the election period.
National deputy chief Mawethu Mosery said on Thursday that the IEC did not have laws to regulate the use of state events to campaign.
“It is something we did not even attempt to regulate,” said Mosery.
ANC leaders this week called for people at an event organised by the Department of Labour in Ilembe District Municipality, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), to vote for their party.
DA provincial leader Zwakele Mncwango said the abuse of state events was prevalent in the province.
“It is wrong and against the spirit of democracy because people are bussed to government events using public funds,” said Mncwango.
Constitutional law expert Professor Pierre de Vos said the Public Finance Management Act could be used to prevent parties from using state resources.
Professor Shadrack Gutto said the use of state events for political campaigns was in violation of the electoral code of conduct. “IEC is losing control and allowing state resources to be abused during the election period,” he said.
Japan’s Sony said Friday that robust games and entertainment divisions had pushed annual profits to a second consecutive record high but warned of a looming downturn in its bottom line.
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The case against a man and a woman arrested for the fake resurrection of 29-year-old Brighton Moyo at Alleluia Ministries International has been postponed to May 16.
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Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi says learners with special needs must not be treated as third class citizens.
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JOHANNESBURG – Despite likely to be on the receiving tail of Mamelodi Sundowns’ pending verdict for Wayne Arendse’s case, Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt is disappointed with the PSL Disciplinary Committee for dragging their feet with the matter.
In October Sundowns fielded Arendse who was not in the match squad, following an injury sustained by Thapelo Morena during warm-ups for an Absa Premiership clash against Wits. The Brazilians were found guilty.
There have been murmurs that Sundowns might be docked two points and those points handed to Wits. Hunt however believes there should be a penalties for rule violations from the outset.
“To be fair it’s out of our hands. We never put a protest but the rules are the rules,” Hunt said. “But I think that everybody is frustrated because it’s taking too long. But there’s obviously things that are going on and that we don’t know about.
This appeal, you appeal and we all appeal. I think the problem is the (non-existing) punishment to the rule, if you do this and you must get this.”
This is the second matter which the PSL has dragged to the last days of the season. Last season Ajax Cape Town were found guilty of fielding Tendai Ndoro, who featured for a third club in the same season, which contravenes Fifa rules.
What triggers Hunt is that the PSL keeps incriminating matters under the carpet for too long.
“If you look at worldwide football, things happen on the weekend and bang Monday, it’s done! I think in South Africa it just doesn’t (happen that way), and I think that’s the aggravating part,” Hunt said.
“It happened to Ajax (Cape Town) last season. It was in-and-out, and eventually they got automatic relegation. And it was like, stjoe, we don’t have to make the decision. I think that’s the frustrating part.”
The Clever Boys are third, six points behind pacesetters Orlando Pirates and three behind Sundowns. Wits and Sundowns have played a game less than Pirates.
Hunt must field goalkeeper Ricardo Goss in the remaining three matches. The club’s No 1 Darren Keet is deadlocked in contract negotiations and Hunt has been ordered to “consider the future of the club”.
“Darren hasn’t signed a new contract and his people and our people are talking. So, I’ve been told to do what’s best for the football club in a long-term. Darren has been and is our No 1.
But if he doesn’t want to stay, must I throw in Goss next year?”
Following last year’s successful campaign of ‘All The Stories Are True’ with local artists, Trompies, Mr Ekse and J’Something, Converse is taking it to the next level with a female footwear crafted collection titled ‘Love the Progress’.
Inspired by the power of love, unity and community, ‘Love the Progress’ features Karabo Poppy a multi-award-winning illustrator, graphic designer and street artist from Vereeniging, Stacey-Lee May one of the country’s first female spinners, Zulaikha Patel a teenage activist who helped lead the protest against the policy of how young, black women were allowed to wear their hair at school and Just Robin a singer, dancer and on her way to being SA’s pop princess.
WATCH: How phenomenal women use their girl power to challenge the norms
Although they come from different backgrounds, all women have something in common- they use their girl power to challenge the norms and make their voices heard.
The collection which features soft premium leather with bold graphic statements on the rubber tapping will be available at Converse stores and selected retailers.
The new ‘Love the Progress’ sneaker. Picture: Supplied.
Earth Day this April got a celeb plug in the most universal language – music.
Make no mistake though, this is no We Are The World type-track. To grab the attention of modern audiences it’s beautifully animated, adult, smart and funny.
The song features celebs playing living things. Among them is SIA as a kangaroo, Miley Cyrus as an elephant, Miguel as a squirrel, Katy Perry as a horse, Lil Jon as a clam, Hailee Steinfeld as a ‘common fungus’, and Kevin Hart as Kanye West.
It also features Charlie Puth, Wiz Khalifa, Snoop, Bieber, Ed Sheeran, Ariana Grande, Shawn Mendes, the Backstreet Boys, Meghan Trainor, Adam Levine, John Legend and Leonardo Di Caprio.
There’s a fair amount of fun to be derived from trying to figure out which voice belongs to which star and all the profits from the song will go to earth-related charities.
Belle of "The Bachelor SA" ball, Michelle Reddy, left the man of her dreams and her happily-ever-after fantasy behind on Thursday’s episode of M-Net’s dating show.
The 29-year-old beauty was in tears after Lee Thompson failed to hand her a rose during the most intense rose ceremony of the season, at the romantic Mauritius LUX Grand Gaube
The graceful young lass and recipient of South Africa’s first-impression rose, Michelle.R, was a Bachelor Nation favourite from the beginning of the series, and also a huge threat to the other ladies in the mansion. She attended fewer group dates than anyone else and was the only one to be invited to two one-on-one dates. She was also the first lucky lady to receive a piece of jewellery from Jack Friedman Jewellers and Lee.
Many of the ladies questioned Michelle.R’s connection with Lee, but the couple shared something special. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough in the end. Lee explained to her: "I just don’t feel the same level of comfort as I do with the other remaining ladies. It’s nothing personal."
Lee also said to her that she is a beautiful, driven individual that took his breath away many times, but that it just wasn’t meant to be in this lifetime. Michelle.R took the heartbreak with grace. "I’m so grateful that in this journey I met a guy who showed me the right way; showed me that guys can be kind, caring, adventurous – the full package".
The final two ladies, Gina and Jozaan, are locked in an even battle. "I don’t feel guilty about being here,” Gina said. “I’m here for a reason and I’m really excited." Jozaan still feels quite nervous, after her declaration of love to Lee in tonight’s episode. “Knowing he has feelings for Gina is a bitter pill,” she said.
Before the rose ceremony, the final three ladies spent time in Mauritius on adventurous dates with Lee. Michelle.R and Lee went sea-carting and spent time at the beach, where she admitted to him that she had been guarded throughout the series. They later shared a special moment at the Wishing Tree. Gina and Lee spent their time quad biking at the Vallee Des Couleurs Nature Park, where they also ziplined and later had downtime at a bar called French Kiss, where she called it one of the best days of her life.
Jozaan and Lee enjoyed some stand-up paddling, followed by some intimate time at Zil beach private island, where she revealed that she loves him. "I think after Zimbabwe and spending the most incredible time with you here, it’s not crazy to say I love you".
"The Bachelor SA" is screened on M-Net Channel 101 every Thursday evening at 19:00 and is also available on Catch-Up.
PRETORIA – The Bulls are on the cusp of claiming a rare feat as they look to grab a trio of victories over their South African counterparts away from home.
This weekend’s clash against the Stormers will not only allow them to do exactly that but will see them consolidate their lead at the top of the SA conference if they are victorious in Cape Town.
But it is easier said than done as they will have to reverse a losing trend playing the Capetonians at Newlands.
The Bulls have not won consecutive games against the Stormers since the 2009 Super Rugby campaign.
The Pretoria franchise has found Newlands a tough place over the last few years with the Stormers winning seven of their previous home games against their rivals.
The conference topping Bulls will go into the clash buoyed by their win over the Reds at Loftus Versfeld before last weekend’s bye.
They can also take some confidence from their last match against the Stormers when they beat the visitors 40-3 in the first round in Pretoria.
Bulls captain Handre Pollard was cautious about making predictions about the team’s chances of breaking their dry spell in the Mother City.
“Newlands is a different place, it was great beating the Lions at Ellis Park for a long time, but I don’t think anybody in this group has beaten the Stormers at home over the last few years,” Pollard said ahead of the clash tomorrow (kick-off 3pm).
“It provides us with great motivation but you can’t focus on that, we literally have to go minute for minute at Newlands.
“If you are not accurate over those first 20 minutes, you can easily be 15 points behind, and it would be difficult to bounce back.”
The Bulls will be desperate for a victory which will not only cement their place at the top of the conference but will also be a shot in the arm ahead of a gruelling few weeks.
Vodacom Bulls Team Announcement vs DHL Stormers
Saturday 27 April | Kick Off at 15:05#BullsFamily #STOvBUL pic.twitter.com/TrDhU3YEc1
— Official Blue Bulls (@BlueBullsRugby) April 24, 2019
They will host the Waratahs and the defending Super Rugby champion Crusaders at Loftus Versfeld before they embark on their four-week tour of Australasia.
“It would be great if we can complete three away wins against South African teams which will motivate us but it is not our main aim,” Pollard said.
DURBAN – Orlando Pirates are few steps away from ending their trophy drought but they don’t want to get carried away.
The Buccaneers are buzzing with confidence having collected 12 points out of the possible 12 in their last four matches.
The Buccaneers are at the summit of the Absa Premiership table with 53 points from 28 games and are only two games away from winning the league title.
The Sea Robbers will entertain Cape Town City in the Mother City and Polokwane City in their own territory in their last league outings.
Pirates are three points clear of second-placed Mamelodi Sundowns, but the Brazilians have a game in hand.
Coach at Pirates, Milutin Sredojevic wants his troops to remain grounded as they edge closer to glory.
“This is where our critical aspect need to go, we have no right to allow our players to fly in the sky. When it is good and have collected three points we are firmly on the ground and when it is bad we do not give up. This is how we’ve passed this season.
“This 53 points have been all about the sweat and the hard work of the players,” Sredojevic said.
Pirates haven’t tasted glory in five years. Their destiny is in their hands. All they have to do is win their remaining matches and they will be crowned champions.
“We want to leave it to our brothers, Mamelodi Sundowns. Throughout the season they have spoken about us. We don’t want to speak about this. We want to respect Cape Town City. We also want to give respect to Polokwane City. This is where our focus is, not on the things where we have no impact in.
“We wish Sundowns all the best in their game against Wydad Casablanca in the semi-finals of the Caf Champions League. I wish them to win in Casablanca and make the country proud. We are only thinking about ourselves,” he added.
The Buccaneers defeated basement side Maritzburg United 1-0 to go three points ahead of Sundowns on Wednesday at the Harry Gwala Stadium in Pietermaritzburg. Winger Thembinkosi Lorch netted the winner for the Sea Robbers.
“It is always nice to come to a football atmosphere like here in Pietermaritzburg. This game was like a cup final for us. We wanted to reach 53 points today. We didn’t underrate our opponents. We gave them absolute respect defensively.
“They tried to counter-attack us in the first half. When we scored they tried aerial balls in their search for the equaliser,” Sredojevic concluded.
Cape Town – The Western Cape High Court on Friday ruled the Electoral Court was the more "appropriate forum" to settle a legal dispute between GOOD party leader Patricia de Lille and her former political home and now rivals, the Democratic Alliance (DA).
Justice Robert Martin adjourned an application to have the DA interdicted from instructing tele-canvassers to tell potential voters De Lille was fired as Cape Town mayor.
"Therefore it is my finding that the most appropriate forum to hear both legs of this dispute is not this court because even if this court were to entertain the first leg by way of an appeal… it might create a situation where there are two opposing rulings on this matter at the end of the day when the electoral court makes the ruling on the matter of the review that is pending before it and that is completely unacceptable within our jurisprudence and therefore this court will adjourn this matter without establishing a date and will furthermore make no order as to costs whatsoever."
De Lille approached the court after the DA refused to apologise to her for spreading falsehoods, as per an order of the Electoral Commission of South Africa last week.
The IEC ordered the DA to apologise to its former member, setting a deadline of three days for the party to do so publicly, for telling voters De Lille was fired, just weeks before South Africans go the polls to elect parties to lead the country.
De Lille resigned from her position last year following a protracted legal battle with the DA, later establishing GOOD.
The DA said it would not apologise as it believed the IEC overstepped and that only a court could order it to apologise. The DA has applied to the Electoral Court to review the IEC’s ruling.
Freedom Under Law says more damning revelations may surface once the full report – on suspended senior NPA advocates, Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi – is released.
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DURBAN – Supersport United star midfielder Teboho Mokoena may be on his way to Europe next season.
Mokoena burst onto the scene two seasons ago. He has been an imperial figure for Matsatsantsa A Pitori in the middle of the park and his displays earned him Bafana Bafana call-ups.
SuperSport chief executive Stanley Matthews told Independent Media in an exclusive interview that Mokoena is a wanted man in Europe.
“There’s always interest in Mokoena locally and internationally. We’ve received notification of a potential interest that is willing to trigger his international buy-out clause but I can’t disclose the club,” Matthews said.
It will be great for South Africa to have another young talent plying his trade in Europe if a move materialise for Mokoena.
“I can tell you that we have received interest in Mokoena. If that all works out for Teboho and his personal terms, we will release him in July. I’m not going to even mention the country but there could be a move for him. If it doesn’t work out he will work hard and be patient and we will try again,” he added.
🚨⚽️ UPCOMING FIXTURE ⚽️🚨
🆚️ Bidvest Wits 📆 Saturday, 27 April 2019 🏟 Mbombela Stadium ⏱ 18H00 📺 SS 🏆 AbsaPrem#ForeverUnited🔥 pic.twitter.com/ewNPmYPdeS
— SuperSport United FC (@SuperSportFC) April 25, 2019
Mokoena has competed in two World Cups with SA junior sides. He was also a losing finalist with SuperSport in the Caf Confederation Cup. Mokoena has featured in 25 games for SuperSport this season in the league. He has contributed three strikes.
“We are not going to stand in the way of his international buy-out clause. We’ve agreed to that already. We anticipate that Teboho might be on his way,” said Matthews.