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Ted Botha

Ted grew up between Washington D.C. and Pretoria. He has written for numerous publications, including The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, and was an editor for Reuters in Manhattan. His books include 'The Girl with the Crooked Nose' and 'Flat/White,' about living in a crazy tenement in Manhattan. His latest book is a true story of murder and movie mayhem in the 1920s that takes place in Johannesburg, London, Paris and New York. Read more at tedbotha.com
R62 to Calitzdorp. A must-do South African road trip. Photos: Ted Botha

Road Tripping From Cape Town to Pretoria (to Vote in Joburg) PHOTOS

By Ted Botha 01-11-21 10:34

Journalist Ted Botha has just travelled almost 1,500 km from Cape Town to Pretoria… so that he can vote in Johannesburg, where he’s registered to vote. It’s a journey that not only reveals Ted’s appreciation for how important every single vote is, but also shows the hidden secrets and beauty that exist across this land, […]

Another Weekend in Jail for Malawian Pastor and Wife Over R102 Million Fraud

By Ted Botha 17-12-20 01:03

The Malawian pastor Shepherd Bushiri and his wife, who were arrested last week in connection with allegations of fraud totalling R102 million, will spend a second weekend in jail pending a bail hearing next week. The National Prosecuting Authority said this in a short statement today. Also locked up are their co-accused. Earlier this week […]

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Could New Bellville Ops Centre Be Turning Point for Beleaguered Trains

By Ted Botha 17-12-20 00:54

Rail operations could change dramatically for the better, at least in the Western Cape, where a strategic nerve centre was opened today to digitally control a network that was until now manually controlled, if controlled at all. Opening the Bellville Rail Management & Traffic Control Centre, the Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula also spoke about […]

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Prince William Launches World’s Biggest-Ever Environmental Prize

By Ted Botha 23-12-20 22:50

The newly launched Earthshot Prize, publicised by Prince William in an interview with the famous environmentalist Sir David Attenborough as the most prestigious in the world, will award one million pounds to five people each year for the next decade for their contributions to clean up the environment and the world. The five prizes awarded […]

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SA’s Quietly Famous Innovation and Research Hub CSIR Turns 75

By Ted Botha 06-10-20 19:41

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, created in 1945 through an act of parliament, turned 75 yesterday – its diamond jubilee. Working quietly in the background all the years, its scientists have developed numerous innovations that have helped move not only Africa but the world ahead. The CSIR has become well known well known […]

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Landmine Detection Rat from Africa Awarded Animals’ George Cross

By Ted Botha 12-01-22 19:36

For the first time in its 77-year history a British animal welfare organisation has awarded a gold medal for honorable service to a rat, an African Giant Pouched Rat named Magawa working to detect landmines in Cambodia. UPDATE JANUARY 2022: Landmine detection hero rat Magawa has sadly died.   In 2016, the same medal, also […]


HAWKS Search Properties of Ethekwini Staff Over Embezzled R700 Million

By Ted Botha 15-09-20 18:20

2020/09/15 A search and seizure operation was conducted today at 15 properties out the 18 in Durban and surrounding areas of various officials from eThekwini Municipality Water and Sanitation Unit and service providers, as part of an ongoing investigation into alleged fraud, corruption and money laundering amounting to R700 million. In June, the National Clean […]

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Stunning “Pride and Prejudice” Spin-Off by Debut South African Novelist

By Ted Botha 08-09-20 18:41

In a debut novel that has been called “stunning,” “sparkling,” “compelling” and “engrossing” by reviewers in England, South African Helen Moffett has taken a minor character from Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” and breathed life into her, creating “an enjoyable, even racy addition to the drawing-room industry of novels riffing off Austen.” The novel is […]


Famous Mandela Photographer at Drum Magazine Jürgen Schadeberg Dies

By Ted Botha 30-08-20 21:44

Famous for his photographs during the apartheid era, especially at the legendary Drum magazine, and then travelling around the world, Jürgen Schadeberg passed away yesterday. “Jurgen Schadeberg 18th March 1931 – 29th August 2020 R.I.P. A full life filled with photos and memories,” his wife Claudia posted on LinkedIn. He was reportedly living in Spain. […]


Premier Disturbed Over Fatal Shooting of Disabled Boy that Sparked Protests

By Ted Botha 28-08-20 12:43

Gauteng Premier David Makhura has said there will be an investigation into the fatal shooting of a 16-year-old disabled boy in Eldorado Park, Johannesburg, during a clash between police and suspected gang members. Rioting broke out in the area today over the shooting. Nathaniel Julius, the victim, reportedly had Down’s Syndrome. Makhura said in a […]

WATCH SA and Global Documentary Film Festival Will be Online and Free

By Ted Botha 18-08-20 21:00

The exciting annual Encounters South African International Documentary Festival is happening again this year, but for the first time you can watch it from the comfort of home, and all the 50 films are free (with the option of a donation). It runs 20-30 August. Many incredible award-winning docs from around the world will be […]

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Alan Winde Emerges as True Leader During South Africa’s Pandemic

By Ted Botha 15-08-20 14:50

To paraphrase John F. Kennedy, Charles de Gaulle and Martin Luther King, it takes a crisis to show the mettle of a true leader. And if anyone in South Africa has proved that over and over again during the past five months, it would be Western Cape Premier Alan Winde. Inasmuch as Cyril Ramaphosa has […]

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Is #VoetsekANC a Weekly Slinging Match or a Political Movement?

By Ted Botha 14-08-20 18:44

Several weeks ago, the hashtag #ANCFriday started appearing on Twitter, with people being encouraged to post heart signs in green, black and gold in their tweets, the colours of the African National Congress. Within a few hours a backlash was triggered, under the hashtag #VoetsekANC. And each Friday since then, it has trended higher and […]

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Can This Man Save South Africa’s Trains?

By Ted Botha 08-11-21 01:36

If you listen to the challenges facing Bongisizwe Mpondo, your first thought is, who in their right mind would want his job? They are Sisyphean. What was once one of the world’s great rail networks (read your history) has, through more than a decade of neglect, mismanagement, corrupt and bungled contracts, theft and vandalism, been […]

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Joburg Opens Hot New Precincts, Jewel City and Towers Main

By Ted Botha 25-09-20 12:11

Heritage Day, 24 September, marks the official launch of the new live-work-play precinct in downtown Johannesburg, Jewel City (a great new development SAPeople reported on earlier in August). Six blocks of previously unused buildings, from Maboneng to the newly refurbished Towers Main, have now opened for business. Jewel City has been built around the headquarters […]


Tourism Minister Dawdles While South African Industry Collapses

By Ted Botha 22-07-20 18:29

While safari and tourism operators hold their own protests, restaurants beg clients to return to empty spaces, and hundreds of thousands of people continue to lose their jobs, the Minister for Tourism says she will send her proposals for recovery of the sector to cabinet …. next month. The multibillion-rand tourism sector, which President Cyril […]

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Western Cape Premier Alan Winde Tests Positive for COVID-19

By Ted Botha 01-01-21 21:12

One of the most visible public figures in South Africa during the COVID pandemic, and often compared to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo for his daily updates, grueling schedule and his positive and realistic outlook during the crisis, Western Cape Premier Alan Winde announced today he has tested positive for the virus and will be […]

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MTN Gives R500K to Relief Fund for Journalists Hit by Pandemic

By Ted Botha 02-07-20 18:05

MTN South Africa has made a donation of R500,000 to a newly started relief fund to help journalists whose livelihoods have been devastated by COVID-19, and has exhorted other businesses to also help. A newly released report by the non-profit South African National Editors’ Forum, COVID19 Impact on Journalism, has highlighted the havoc that the […]

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Widely Available Drug Increases Survival Rate of COVID Patients

By Ted Botha 17-06-20 16:39

Use of a widely available steroid called dexamethasone on patients in England, increasing their survival rate, has been hailed as a “breakthrough” across the world and as exciting news by the South African government’s COVID-19 task team. They have said that medical staff in the country should consider the use of  dexamethasone on patients on […]

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Ramaphosa Signs Law to Clean Up South Africa’s Embassies

By Ted Botha 17-12-20 01:41

After a decade of South Africa’s embassies around the world becoming a laughing stock and a dumping ground for Jacob Zuma’s cronies, former cabinet ministers or people who allegedly had something on him, there might be some cause for celebration. On Friday President Cyril Ramaphosa signed into law the Foreign Service Act, which “provides for […]

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Cape Town Conference Centre Becomes COVID Hospital

By Ted Botha 26-05-20 16:37

The well-known Cape Town International Conference Centre is in the process of being converted into an 850-bed intermediate hospital for COVID-19 patients. Western Cape Premier Alan Winde conducted a visit today to see the progress at the site, and visited one of the completed wards. The facility will eventually provide at least 850 intermediate care […]

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Western Cape Peak for COVID-19 Expected in Late June

By Ted Botha 20-05-20 17:42

The Western Cape reached several milestone numbers over the last 24 hours, including 200 fatalities from COVID-19, which should reach its peak in the province by the end of June or early July, according to Premier Alan Winde. In a digital press conference also attended by some of the key provincial players in the fight […]

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Western Cape Wants Level 3 Lockdown Before June

By Ted Botha 14-05-20 17:47

Premier Alan Winde has said the Western Cape government would like to negotiate an opening of the province and for lockdown to be reduced to Level 3 before the end of May. In his speech to the nation last night, President Cyril Ramaphosa said Level 3 would be introduced to most of the country by […]

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