Boots on the ground

TIMESLIVE PODCASTS  |  Podcast , ±27 min episodes every 3 weeks, 4 days  | 
In this short podcast series, we follow Sunday Times top investigative journalists as they cover the real stories that make-up SA’s national headlines.

Boots on the ground is a true piece of mobile journalism — all interviews, voices and sound effects have been gathered using nothing but smartphones.

Boots on the ground is a production of MultimediaLIVE, a division of Arena Holdings.

PLEASE NOTE: This podcast may contain explicit and sensitive content. Listener discretion is advised.

#COVID-19, #SALockdown, #Coronavirus, #Investigation, #Police

Subscribe to this channel

You can subscribe to new audio episodes published on this channel. You can follow updates using the channel's RSS feed, or via other audio platforms you may already be using.

RSS Feed

You can use any RSS feed reader to follow updates, even your browser. We recommend using an application dedicated to listening podcasts for the best experience. iOS users can look at Overcast or Castro. Pocket Casts is also very popular and has both iOS and Android versions. Add the above link to the application to follow this podcast channel.

This channel is available for listening in the Pocket Casts web player, or via the iOS and Android Pocket Casts applications. Follow the above link to listen on Pocket Casts.

Pocket Casts

This channel is available for listening in the Pocket Casts web player, or via the iOS and Android Pocket Casts applications. Follow the above link to listen on Pocket Casts.


This channel is available on Spotify. Follow the link above to view episodes on Spotify.

Signup to

Sign up for a free user account to start building your playlist of podcast channels. You'll be able to build a personalised RSS feed you can follow or listen with our web player.

Truck drivers ‘flying’ to meet increased export demand blamed for road carnage

The horrific crash between a truck and bakkie that claimed the lives of 20 people, including 18 pupils, on the N2 in Pongola, northern KwaZulu-Natal, on September 16 has shone a spotlight on the cracks in SA's road freight industry. 

The rising global demand for coal caused by Russia's invasion of Ukraine has hurt the local trucking industry as it races to meet growing export demands amid a crisis. This increased demand has resulted in more heavy vehicles on SA's national roads, particularly on the N2.

In this episode of Boots on the Ground: Behind SA’s National Headlines, we look at why our national roads have become unsafe; the role of the freight industry in the carnage, particularly the working conditions of truck drivers, and what needs to be done to make SA's roads safe.  

We hear from various stakeholders including trucking industry associations, drivers, concerned citizens and the government.

Royal Rumble - how are Zulu monarchs actually selected?

Welcome to Royal Rumble, a short podcast series. This series is dedicated to celebrating the amaZulu Monarchy and its traditions; while unravelling the complicated power dynamics associated with traditional succession and leadership.

In this first episode of our three part series, we focus on the significance of traditional leadership and the contradictory parallel existence of a constitutional democracy and a traditional monarchy within SA.

SA already has a president, so why do its various clans need traditional rulers or kings? What authority and sway is associated with the title of king of the Zulu’s? How is succession decided? And what ramifications lie in wait, if a traditional king’s authority is questioned? 

The bloodiest days in SA's democratic history

In today’s episode of Boots on the Ground, behind SA’s biggest headlines we commemorate the bloodiest days in our democratic history, by not only reliving what our country went through, but also trying to make sense of it.
You will hear testimony from looters themselves, who saw an opportunity and took it, community members who witnessed racial tension rip through their hometowns, vigilantes justifying gun-toting to protect their homes and recollections from journalists on the ground.  

SA’S IS CRISIS | State lets scores of fighters return from Syria in secret scheme

The government is repatriating hundreds of South Africans and their families, who for years fought for and aided the Islamic State (IS) in Syria, providing them with new identity documents and a means to resettle.
A TimesLIVE investigation can reveal the repatriations — done through the international relations and cooperation and home affairs departments, with the State Security Agency’s (SSA) approval — began in 2019, shortly after IS’s caliphate in Syria and Iraq collapsed.
The repatriations have met stiff resistance from SAPS and Hawks officers investigating terrorism cases. Anti-terrorism officers say repatriations are “growing SA’s IS ranks”, with police unable to effectively monitor returnees because of a lack of resources.

Inside Gauteng's psychiatric healthcare crisis

In today’s episode of “Boots on the ground: Behind SA’s national headlines”, we dive into the state of psychiatric healthcare in SA, particularly in some of Gauteng's public hospitals in the inner cities and townships. We look at the challenges faced by hospitals when it comes to the treatment of psychiatric patients and how they have affected their staff and other patients, and what is being done to address this worsening issue.

Here is why kidnapping for ransom cases have exploded in SA

In today’s episode of Boots on the ground: behind South Africa’s national headlines, we dive into the secretive, underground world of ransom kidnappings. Why has this kind of organized crime become so prevalent? Who are the targets and how are they being targeted? How is it possible for syndicate to extort millions of Rands without leaving a trace? And what happens behind the scenes when high profile kidnappings take place?

Why are SA’s most deadly convicted criminals up for parole?

In this week’s episode of Boots on the Ground: behind South Africa’s national headlines, we focus on the Van Vuuren and Van Wyk judgments that paved the way for lifers to be eligible for parole after 12 years and four months of serving their life sentence.

Parole for lifers has had devastating emotional impacts on the families of victims and communities.

What is really going on with the parliament fire?

In today’s episode of Boots on the Ground: behind South Africa’s national headlines, we critically consider the information related to last week's parliament fire which held the country’s attention for the first week of 2022.

What does a raging fire at a strategic national key point mean? Is Zandile Mafe responsible? How could it be possible for anyone to slip into parliament undetected and cause this much destruction? And could it be linked to other strange happenings in SA?

Hunting Ndlovu: the story behind the capture and prosecution of Rosemary Ndlovu

Family, for most, is a concept that represents togetherness, love and — despite the occasional conflict — a bond that supersedes most.
But recently convicted female serial killer and former police officer Nomia Rosemary Ndlovu saw her family more as a living pay cheque, ready to be harvested at will.
Ndlovu was found guilty of the murder of five of her relatives and one of her lovers. She arranged the brutal murder of her lover, sister, cousin, niece and two nephews to cash in on life and funeral policies, and according to the investigating officer on her case, tried to cash in on more policies while behind bars.
Today on Boots on the Ground: behind South Africa’s national headlines, we get an opportunity to speak to investigators, prosecutors and journalists who had a very direct hand in bringing Ndlovu to justice. We will hear about the ins and outs of the investigation, including the efforts it took to keep the investigation from a fellow police officer and seasoned murderer. We will hear about the charges that are still pending, including those related to the murder of Ndlovu’s own son. And finally we will dissect Ndlovu’s court persona and how it shifted when media were allowed to cover her case.

Where is the international outrage for Lindani Myeni?

KwaZulu-Natal rugby player Lindani Myeni had been on the phone with his wife Lindsay. He had told his wife he would be home “soon”, but Lindsay and their two young children would never hear from him again.
Myeni was shot by officers in Honolulu’s police force while they were responding to a call about an alleged burglary in progress. He was outside and unarmed at the time of the shooting.
Police shootings have been a hot issue in the US for many years. Research by renowned American news agency the Washington Post and the business data platform Statista indicate fatal police shootings in the US are increasing, with 292 civilians shot, 62 of them black, in the first four months of 2021. In 2020, there were 1,021 fatal police shootings.
The rate of fatal police shootings among black Americans is much higher than that for any other ethnicity, standing at 36 fatal shootings per million of the population as of April 2021.However, there is little outrage for Myeni, or sympathy for his widow and children.

The children orphaned by Covid-19

Grace Rohan cannot understand why at seven years old she no longer has a daddy while her mother, who is in her 40s, still has hers.The grade 2 pupil from Durban and her 18-year-old brother, Daniel, are mourning their father, José, who died of Covid-19 in February, a month after he turned 51.About 1,600km away in Langa, Cape Town, Sindiswa Lugulwana, 70, asks God to grant her a long life. She cares for three orphaned grandchildren whose single-parent mothers - twin sisters Phumla and Phumeza - both died of Covid-19 in January at the age of 45.And in Boksburg, Ekurhuleni, Dewald Badenhorst, 14, is mourning the death of his father and his stepmother, who died days apart in January. He is being cared for by his brother, Billy, 24.Today on Boot’s on the Ground: behind South Africa’s national headlines, we are going to listen to the stories of those who the pandemic has left orphaned. We are going to take a moment to remember the person they have lost and to mourn with them.

Raped and then raped again: an 11-year-old's horror story

Somewhere in Burgersfort, Limpopo, there is an 11-year-old girl whose life will never be the same. She sits quietly on a bright red wooden bench beneath a tree, gripping her father's hand.
Her parents fear she is on the verge of another epileptic fit. Since her second rape, the fits have intensified.
As her father speaks about the family's anxious wait for her HIV results, the girl watches leaves blow across the dusty front yard of their home.
She is seated just a stone’s throw away from the outdoor toilet that served as the scene of her first assault.  
In today’s episode of Boots on the Ground: Behind South Africa’s National Headlines, we are going to interrogate sexual assault and the scourge of gender-based violence in SA.

35 episodes

« Back 1—12 More »