TIME Surfing

The Surfer Who Fought Off a Shark on Live TV Has Had Another Close Shark Encounter

Mick Fanning just can’t catch a break

One week after fighting off a shark during a televised surf competition in South Africa, surfer Mick Fanning returned to his home in New South Wales, Australia to brave the waves for the first time since the attack.

Filming his return to the water at Hastings Point on the Tweed Coast Saturday was 60 Minutes Australia, and in a trailer for Sunday’s upcoming show, it appears that Fanning had another shark encounter, Aussie newspaper the Courier-Mail reports.

The trailer shows the three-time world champion hugging his mom Liz before hitting the waves, then jumps to Fanning clambering onto a jet ski after spotting another shark.

“There he is,” says Fanning pointing to the ocean and telling a reporter he has seen a shark. “Straight out, I just saw it.”


TIME Surfing

Mick Fanning Fended Off a Shark, but Should He Have Even Been in the Water?

After the attack on Fanning, questions are being raised about the safety of Jeffreys Bay, South Africa, as a pro-surfing venue

Beyond spiking the adrenaline of a global viewing public, the ordeal suffered by Mick Fanning — who was attacked by a shark on live TV during a World Surfing League (WSL) competition at Jeffreys Bay, South Africa, this week — is also making some wonder if he should have been in the water there at all.

The area is a “known hot spot for sharks,” reports News Corp.’s Australian news portal, news.com.au, calling on the WSL to “consider the danger of placing its athletes in a work environment where they can become a wild animal’s lunch.”

It turns out that Fanning’s near miss is just one of several shark incidents from Jeffreys Bay in the run-up to or during the event, news.com.au says. “It’s well documented, there’s been plenty of attacks here at Jeffreys,” world champion Kelly Slater told the outlet. “Today I probably thought about it 30 times.”

WSL commentator Strider Wasilewski also told of his escape from “a 15 ft.-plus great white” in the run-up to the competition.

In comments to news.com.au about the incident, WSL commissioner Kieran Perrow did not seem to hint at any plans to move future competitions. “Everyone loves Jeffreys Bay,” he said. “We come here not just for the surf but for the culture and the people and what this place means to everybody. That may take some time — for [Fanning] especially — to reconnect.”

Read the rest of the article here.

TIME Surfing

Surfer’s Mom Describes Watching Her Son Fight Off Shark Attack

Australian surfer Mick Flanning is pursued by a shark, in Jeffrey's Bay, South Africa on July 19, 2015.
World Surf League—AP In this image made available by the World Surf League, Australian surfer Mick Flanning is pursued by a shark, in Jeffrey's Bay, South Africa on July 19, 2015.

Mick Fanning's mom said she was terrified when her son was attacked

The mother of three-time world champion surfer Mick Fanning revealed Monday that “time stood still” as she watched live TV coverage of her son being attacked by a shark.

Elizabeth Osborne saw her son punch the predator in its back after the shark grabbed his foot rope and pulled him underwater.

“I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” Osborne told NBC News’ Australian partner Channel 7, after the incident at the J-Bay Open in South Africa on Sunday.

“I saw this big fin, and Mick scrambling and turning around,” she said. “And then he went down and I realized then…

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News

TIME South Africa

Watch a Surfing Champion Fend Off a Shark by Punching It

"It kept coming at my board and I was kicking and screaming. I just saw fins"

Australian surfing champion Mick Fanning escaped uninjured after being attacked by a shark Sunday during a competition in South Africa.

Fanning, who escaped the incident uninjured, was knocked off of his surfboard at the beginning of his heat when he realized a shark was attacking. Following expert guidance, Fanning punched the shark to scare it off.

“It kept coming at my board and I was kicking and screaming. I just saw fins. I didn’t see teeth,” he said, according to an Australian news outlet. “I was waiting for the teeth to come at me. I punched it in the back.”

Rescue crews responded immediately and helped Fanning escape unscathed. The incident, captured on live television, led organizers to cancel what remained of the event.

Shark attacks are extremely rare with fewer than 100 around the world each year.

Read More: Your Risk for Shark Attack Is Lower Now Than 50 Years Ago

TIME South Africa

South Africans Honor Nelson Mandela’s Birthday With Day of Service

The day is meant to encourage South Africans to emulate Mandela's legacy

(JOHANNESBURG) — South Africans honored the 67 years of former president Nelson Mandela’s service to the country with 67 minutes of charity and community action around the country on his birthday Saturday.

Established in 2009, the day is meant to encourage South Africans to emulate Mandela’s humanitarian legacy and recognize the decades he spent fighting apartheid.

All over the country, volunteers handed out blankets and books, distributed toys at orphanages, and cleaned up public areas, before reporting their activities on social media.

His former wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela held a lunch for elderly, needy women at the Mandela family restaurant near the family’s home in Soweto, which is now a museum.

Madikizela-Mandela said the day was a chance for South Africans to recommit themselves to Mandela’s values, “bettering the lives of our people,” as she handed out blankets.

Dozens of elderly women wrapped in coats and scarves against the crisp winter weather filled a marquee set up on a cordoned off road.

“It makes me happy but it reminds me of the past, of the apartheid years,” said Elizabeth Khoba, 77, who had just received a fleecy purple blanket. She lived near the late statesman and remembered him “as a very tall chap” who would chide misbehaving children in the neighborhood.

Retired archbishop Desmond Tutu, who once lived a few doors away from Mandela, described his fellow Nobel laureate’s work as “a lifetime of selflessness . an example of humanity for the ages.”

At the University of Johannesburg, Mandela’s widow Graca Machel gave out food parcels and blankets knitted specifically for the occasion.

“Knowing my man as I know, wherever he is up there, he is with a bright bright smile blessing you all, blessing our nation and saying thank you,” said Machel.

Mandela died in December 2013.

TIME India

India’s Leader Wants His Country to Play Brazil at Soccer

Getty Images

This should be interesting

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants the Indian soccer team—currently sitting at 156th spot in the global rankings—to play soccer powerhouse and five-time World Cup winners Brazil, currently ranked 6th.

He also wants India to meet the other nations comprising the BRICS bloc of emerging economies on the soccer field.

“India could host a football event next year,” Modi said at the ongoing BRICS summit in Ufa, Russia, on Thursday, according to the Times of India.

Whatever Modi’s intentions behind suggesting the event and volunteering to organize it, demonstrating India’s sporting prowess cannot be one of them. India recently lost to 174th-ranked Guam — a Pacific island nation of less than 200,000 people — in a recent World Cup qualifying match.

Among the other BRICS nations, 2018 World Cup hosts Russia are 28th, and South Africa (which hosted the 2010 World Cup) is at 70 followed by China at 77.

It remains to be seen whether Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff or her Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping will offer to host a cricket tournament to balance things out, but until then India should probably start practicing.

TIME Paleontology

Meet the New Dinosaur That Scientists Just Discovered

University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

The bones were hidden in plain sight

Scientists have discovered a new dinosaur that they’ve named Sefapanosaurus.

On Wednesday, researchers announced that palaeontologists discovered a new 200 million-year-old dinosaur from South Africa. The catch? The bones had actually been found in the 1930s and were hiding in plain sight in the large fossil collection at the Evolutionary Studies Institute (ESI) at Wits University.

Researchers had previously thought the remains were from a dinosaur called Aardonyx, but upon further study, they learned it was actually an entirely different dinosaur. This new dinosaur is believed to be a medium-sized sauropodomorph, which is a group that gave rise to the familiar long-necked dinosaurs of the Mesozoic era, the researchers say.The researchers published their findings in the Zoological Journal of the Linnaean Society.

“Sefapanosaurus constitutes a member of the growing list of transitional sauropodomorph dinosaurs from Argentina and South Africa that are increasingly telling us about how they diversified,” study author and Argentinian palaeontologist Alejandro Otero said in a statement.

TIME portfolio

How a Right-Wing South African Group Incites a New Wave of White Fear

An extreme right-wing group is teaching white teens to eschew South Africa’s vision of a multicultural rainbow nation

When Dylann Storm Roof, the suspect in last week’s mass shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, told his victims that black people “are raping our women and taking over the country,” he was echoing a belief held by white nationalists worldwide, who feel that their way of life is under threat from people of color, be they in the United States, Europe or South Africa.

Roof is thought to have penned an inchoate manifesto laying out fears of a “white genocide” in the days leading up to the attack. On a Facebook page attributed to him he can be seen stomping on the American flag, and proudly wearing the flags of white-ruled Rhodesia and apartheid-era South Africa.

In South Africa, the old flag on the jacket of Dylann has created uproar and discussion. A lot of people don’t want South Africa to be linked to what happened in Charleston, and say that even the old flag has nothing to do with hate crimes. Still, South African columnist Max du Preez feels there is a link to be made: “No, apartheid didn’t aim to wipe out black South Africans. But that doesn’t change the fact that apartheid was an extremely violent ideology and state policy. In short: at the heart of apartheid was the belief that a black life was worth less than a white life. Dylann Roof believes that too,” he wrote for the South African website News 24.

It is unlikely that Roof had any direct connection to South Africa, but the ideology of white primacy, and whites under threat that may have inspired his actions on the night of June 17 still exists in a country that only 25 years ago brought an end to the legal separation of blacks from whites. Though rare, there are still white communities in South Africa who believe that separation must be maintained.

Photographer Ilvy Njiokiktjien and writer Elles van Gelder followed a group of white South African teens, who attended a camp designed to enforce those beliefs.

After a three-hour drive from Johannesburg the boys, aged between 13 and 19, spill from the bed of a rusty truck, lugging huge bags full of military clothing. “There are old blood stains on my uniform,” one of them says, as he trades his sneakers for army boots. Shouted orders ring out. Groaning, the boys raise 15-foot tent poles among the cow paddies dotting the grassland. The large army tent will be their home for the next nine days. South African teenagers often go to camp during school holidays to learn how to start fires, build huts and identify animal tracks. But this survival camp is different. Here, the focus is on the survival of white South Africans.

The participants are all Afrikaners, descendants of Dutch, German and French colonists. They are also all children of the “born-free” generation, born after 1990 into a multiracial South Africa. “I don’t know what apartheid is,” 13-year-old Jano, the youngest member of the camp, says. “But a long time ago, Nelson Mandela made it so everyone has the same rights.”

Their position as the first generation of whites after apartheid in South Africa makes them an interesting demographic. According to Professor Eliria Bornman at South Africa’s UNISA university many of them feel unsure about their place in their homeland. “They have a strong Afrikaner identity and they are struggling to determine their position in South Africa,” she says. “There’s a great deal of anger, too. They know they’re different from the rest of the population.”

That anger is fueled in part by positive discrimination, which has made it harder for white youth to find jobs and which fans the flames of racism. Many of them feel unwanted. “Anyone [in authority] can take their frustration and channel it in a negative way,” Bornman says.

The boys run from the army tent to the mess hall. Before them, under the glare of fluorescent lighting, stands 57-year-old Franz Jooste. Army decorations gleam on his uniform; Jooste fought in the old apartheid army. “We’re going to make men of you all,” he says in Afrikaans.

Jooste is the head of the Kommandokorps, a little-known but potentially dangerous extreme right-wing group. On its website, the Kommandokorps describes itself as an elite organization, “protecting its own people” in the event of an attack, necessary “because the police and the military cannot provide help quickly enough”. The organization claims to have trained more than 1,500 young white Afrikaners in defence skills since 2000. Jooste, who spreads his message via email and newsletters, says that 40 per cent of boys sign up themselves. The rest are volunteered by their parents.

Kommandokorps feeds on anxiety. Though the national crime rate is dropping, South Africans are increasingly anxious. Every year, 16,000 murders are committed and 200,000 assaults with intent to cause bodily harm. The violence breeds a sense of fear. As a result, farmers organise themselves into countryside militia that patrol at night to ensure their cattle are not stolen, urban residents form neighborhood watches, and every South African (white and black) who can afford it hires a private security company that will send an armed response team to his home when the alarm goes off. All of which provides fertile ground for an organisation such as the Kommandokorps. “We always have to lock our doors at night,” 18-year-old Nicolas says. “This camp will teach me how to protect my father and mother and little brother and sister.” But the group’s leader has a greater objective.

It is 4:30 on the first morning of camp. The boys are sent out on a one-and-a-half mile run in their heavy army boots, down a rocky country road filled with potholes. Sixteen-year-old E. C. is in the middle of the exhausted troop. Though not one of the youngest present, he is one of the smallest, a childlike teenager who is primarily excited at being able to shoot his paintball gun. “I want to be able to defend myself. And I am also doing this for my paintball career,” he says with a smile.

At 18, Riaan is more self-assured. “I want to learn how to camouflage myself in the field,” he says. As we talk about their country, the teenagers say they believe in the idea of South Africa, the “rainbow nation”. “People generally get along pretty well,” Riaan says. “We have to fight racism.” E. C. has two black friends, Thabang and Tshepo. “I don’t like racism,” he says.

Yet some of the older generation’s fears are visible in these boys, even though they were born after the end of apartheid. “I’m terrified to walk past black people,” Jano says. E.C. adds he would never marry a black woman. The boys seem trapped between the ideas their parents have passed on to them and what they learn at their mixed-race schools.

Leader Jooste sits in the mess hall and looks through the glasses on his nose at the following day’s programme. Kitsch paintings of buffalos, elephants and rhinos hang on the wall. The wicker furniture is covered in zebra-print fabric. Jooste is a proud veteran. He fought along South Africa’s borders with Zimbabwe and Mozambique and in Angola in the 1970s and is scarred by what he calls treason. While he was fighting for the white regime, his leaders were making peace with Nelson Mandela. “Aside from the Aborigines in Australia, the African black is the most underdeveloped, barbaric member of the human race on Earth,” he tells the boys during one of his lectures.

Few of South Africa’s 4.6 million whites (in a population of almost 52 million) share Jooste’s desire to return to the past. The majority of whites support the new democratic South Africa. “There are a few right-wing splinter groups, though I think they have no more than a thousand active members,” says Professor Hermann Giliomee, a historian specializing in Afrikaners.

The most prominent is the Afrikaner Weerstandbeweging or AWB (Afrikaner Resistance Movement), with which Jooste shares certain ideological views, but that organisation has lost momentum since the murder of its leader, Eugène Terre’Blanche in 2010. As the voice of hardcore Afrikaners has become quieter, men like Jooste have become more desperate to preserve, as he sees it, the Afrikaner identity – its culture, language and symbols. That means cultivating a new generation.

Jooste is lecturing in the mess hall. “Who is my enemy in South Africa? Who murders, robs and rapes?” His cadets sit cross-legged on the ground. “Who are these creatures?” he asks. “The blacks.” He goes on to tell the boys that black people have a smaller cerebral cortex than whites, and thus cannot take initiative or govern effectively.

Jooste boasts that it will take him just an hour to change the boys’ minds. “Then they’ll know they aren’t part of the rainbow nation, but part of another nation with an important history.” He picks up the South African flag, which was adopted in 1994, and lays it before the entrance to the mess hall like a doormat. He orders the boys to wipe their filthy army boots on it. They laugh uncertainly, then they do as they are told. Jooste tells them that they should love the old South African flag and the old national anthem.

Indoctrination takes root best in exhausted minds and hungry bodies. Outside, the cadets are made to crawl across the ground, army-style, gripping a wooden beam they call “sweetheart” in their arms, their knuckles bleeding. “Persevere! You’ve got to learn to persevere,” Jooste shouts. The sound of crying rises from the rearmost ranks. Jooste’s assistants, older members of the Kommandokorps, grin as they take photos of the boys with their mobile phones. It feels almost sadistic.

E. C. is struggling. The beam weighs almost a third as much as he does. The nights, too, are hitting him hard. “We sleep on the ground and our sleeping bags get wet. In three nights, I’ve slept six hours. Every day I think about giving up.”

Frans Cronje, director of the Institute for Race Relations, insists that “relations between black and white are civil” in South Africa, but while he dismisses Kommandokorps as a extremist fringe, he believes that the camp nonetheless represents a real concern. Jooste’s message is that conflict between whites and blacks is just around the corner. “I think we’re sitting on a time bomb here in South Africa,” Jooste says. “It’s inevitable that something is going to happen in this country, because there is discord.”

Cronje’s worry is that it only takes one boy to act upon Jooste’s words for there to be a serious incident. “When you convince a child that blacks are the enemy, the danger is that he will act upon it. He gets a gun, climbs onto a bus full of black schoolchildren, and shoots 20 of them dead. That’s a realistic danger. It’s brainwashing, and it’s easy to do.”

At camp, the young faces are increasingly marked by exhaustion as the days pass, yet the boys seem to grow more and more confident. “The training has taught me that you should hate black people,” E. C. says. “They kill everyone who crosses their path. I don’t think I can be friends with Thabang and Tshepo any more.”

Riaan repeats what he has learned in nine days almost word for word. “There’s a war going on between blacks and whites,” he says. “A lot of blood will flow in the future. I definitely feel more like an Afrikaner now. I feel the Afrikaner blood in my veins.”

Jooste maintains that he doesn’t want to force the boys in any particular direction and just wants to teach them how to defend themselves. “All we want to do is channel the feeling they already carry within them. We don’t want them to hate. We just want them to love their own culture, traditions and symbols, and to fight for independence and freedom.” As he prepares to leave camp on the final day, Riaan appears to have absorbed Jooste’s message: “This is my country,” he says. “I will fight for it.”

Ilvy Njiokiktjien is a freelance news and documentary photographer based in The Netherlands.

Elles van Gelder is a Dutch freelance writer based in Johannesburg, South Africa.

With reporting by Aryn Baker, TIME’s Africa correspondent.

TIME Crime

Old South African Flag Finds Second Life as White Supremacist Symbol

Photos of Charleston shooting suspect show him wearing African flags linked to white nationalism

The two African flags seen in Facebook photos of Dylann Roof, who allegedly shot dead nine people in a Charleston church on Wednesday, have long been discarded by their countries. But at least one has been resurrected by white supremacist groups.

Soon after Roof was named the chief suspect in the deadly shooting, Facebook photos began circulating of the 21-year-old wearing a jacket with two flag patches. One appeared to show the standard of the Republic of Rhodesia, the post-colonial name for Zimbabwe after its white prime minister declared independence in 1970. The other showed the flag of apartheid-era South Africa, which in the last half of the 20th century had institutionalized segregation imposed by minority white rule.

A civil rights group which monitors white supremacist groups says the latter flag, which South Africa dropped in 1994, has begun showing up in several white supremacist demonstrations in the U.S. and elsewhere over the last several years, oftentimes among protesters who make claims of white genocide in South Africa.

Stephen Piggott, a campaign coordinator at the Southern Poverty Law Center, says that the apartheid-era flag has recently appeared at rallies in the U.S. for a nationalist group called the South Africa Project, a group that raises awareness of alleged genocide against white farmers in South Africa.

It has also appeared at what are called “white man marches,” which have recently taken place in the U.K., and are centered around the “white genocide movement,” which attempts to maintain political and cultural white power around the world.

“The flag shows up at protests where there’s talk of white genocide, not just in South Africa,” Piggott says. “The last time we’ve seen the apartheid flag has been around the white genocide movement.”

Piggott says the SPLC has not seen the Rhodesian flag pop up at protests, but the website of at least one white nationalist group, the Council of Conservative Citizens, links to a site that sells the flags online. The site, South Carolina-based Patriotic-Flags.com, did not respond to TIME’s request for comment.

TIME Crime

The Meaning of the Flags Worn by the Suspected Charleston Killer

A photo, thought to be of Dylann Roof, shows him wearing a fleece decorated with the flags of Rhodesia and apartheid-era South Africa

A profile photo taken from a Facebook page thought to belong to the FBI’s now-captured suspect the killing of nine people at a black church in Charleston, South Carolina, offers the strongest clue yet as to what might have been his motivation. The photo, thought to be of Dylann Storm Roof, shows a young man wearing a black fleece jacket. Affixed to the right breast are two flags, one for apartheid-era South Africa, and another for the former colony of Rhodesia, which is now known as Zimbabwe.

The short-lived state of Rhodesia, which was never recognized internationally, is closely identified with white supremacy. It was born in 1965 when the predominantly white government of what was then known as the British colony of South Rhodesia refused to transition to black majority rule on the eve of independence. Instead, the government issued its own declaration of independence, raised its own flag, and stayed in power for more than a decade. A bloody guerilla war ended in the establishment of a bi-racial government in 1979.

MORE Why It’s So Hard to Gauge Level of Hate Crimes in U.S.

The apartheid-era South African flag represents one of the worst periods of that country’s history. Under apartheid, which lasted from 1948 to 1994, the majority black population, along with ethnic Indians, Asians, and those of mixed-race were denied their basic rights. The white minority, which ruled the country, enforced the laws with brutal efficiency and violence. “As a South African, you see that flag and it sets alarm bells ringing,” says Christopher Charles Nicholas, a concierge in Cape Town. “To us, it brings back all the horrors of that time. Ninety-nine percent of South Africans hate that flag.” The remaining one percent, he adds, are the people who want apartheid back — South Africa’s own white supremacists.

Read next: Everything We Know About the Charleston Shooting

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