Citizen Reporter
3 minute read
15 Dec 2021
5:20 am

Daily news update: Pfizer vaccine vs Omicron, Zimbabwean Exemption Permits and Eastern Cape storm

Citizen Reporter

Here’s your morning news update: An easy-to-read selection of our top stories. Stay up to date with The Citizen – More News, Your Way.

Picture: iStock

Click on the links below for the full story or visit our home page for the latest news.

Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine less effective against Omicron, experts say

New insights from Discovery Health shows there is reduced effectiveness in the two-dose Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine against the Omicron variant.

However, it’s important to note the vaccines were developed to prevent serious illnesses that arise from Covid-19 infections.

According to Discovery’s real-world analysis of the Omicron outbreak in South Africa, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine’s effectiveness reduced from 80% during the Delta wave to 33% during the Omicron wave.

At the same time, protection against severe complications reduced from 93% in Delta wave to 70% in Omicron wave.

EC storm kills six people, damages more than 1,000 homes

EC storm kills six people, damages more than 1,000 homes

A severe storm in the Eastern Cape has claimed the lives of six people and left more than 1,000 families homeless, with the count “ongoing” as Gift of the Givers comes to the aid of the affected families.

According to Gift of the Givers founder Imtiaz Sooliman, the number of homes damaged by the storm might be more than that because not everyone has been reached yet.

“In addition to the houses, businesses have been damaged by the storm, 14 clinics and three hospitals have also been damaged. The destruction is huge so we’re starting with the basics. Sometimes people just want to be comforted and someone to tell them something is being done,” Sooliman told Newzroom Afrika on Tuesday evening.

DA’s Randall Williams announces multi-party Tshwane mayoral committee

DA's Randall Williams announces mayoral committee
Tshwane Mayor Randall Williams. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

City of Tshwane executive mayor Randall Williams has announced the list of members who will serve as the city’s members of the mayoral committee (MMCs), after the Democratic Alliance (DA) reached a multi-party agreement with its coalition partners in the metro.

The list of MMCs included a mixed bag of councillors from the DA, ActionSA and Freedom Front Plus (FF Plus), similar to the approach taken on Monday by the executive mayor of Johannesburg, Dr Mpho Phalatse.

IFP suspends KZN councillor who allegedly raped, impregnated child

IFP suspends KZN councillor accused of rape
Picture for illustration: iStock

An Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) councillor from KwaZulu-Natal who allegedly repeatedly raped and impregnated a 14-year-old girl has been suspended from the party with immediate effect.

IFP national spokesperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa made the announcement on Tuesday, saying the party’s national executive committee (NEC), which met on Monday, took the decision to suspend Musa Sibisi from KwaDukuza, in the KZN north coast.

Sibisi was arrested on Saturday for sexual assault and released on bail of R3,000 on Monday by the KwaDukuza Magistrates Court.

Motsoaledi says decision to not renew Zimbabwean Exemption Permits still stands

Zimbabwean Exemption Permits (ZEPs)
Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi. Picture: Gallo Images/Netwerk24 / Elizabeth Sejake

Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has dismissed suggestions that his department has withdrawn its decision to end the Zimbabwean Exemption Permits (ZEPs).

On Monday, the Department of Home Affairs published a statement withdrawing a directive it issued last month, although it did not expand on said directive.

Speaking to 702 on Tuesday, Motsoaledi provided clarity on the matter, explaining that the government’s decision not to renew the special exemption permit still stands.

“There should not be any impression that the decision about terminating the [ZEP] and then giving them a 12-month grace period to apply for other statuses… there is no withdrawal of that decision,” he said.

Bodies of five kidnapped family members found burnt, decomposed in KZN

Kidnapped family members found burnt and decomposed
The murdered family members had been missing since 16 November after they were kidnapped from their farm. Picture: iStock

The burnt and decomposed bodies of five missing family members, including a one-month-old baby and two-year-old child, were found in a forest in Richmond, KwaZulu-Natal, on Monday.

The family had been missing since 16 November after they were kidnapped from their farm in Boston, just outside Pietermaritzburg. Their vehicle was also missing.

The missing family members were Sizwe Mauris Ngcobo, 64, Thandazile Zondi, 41, Bonokwakhe Khuboni, 40, Sibongile Fanelesibonge, 2, and one-month-old Libra Ngcobo.