Citizen Reporter
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3 minute read
19 Dec 2021
4:03 am

Daily news update: Explosives seized, Vaal Dam full, Zuma’s prison appeal next week

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.

Police reportedly recovered explosives in KwaZulu-Natal which were allegedly going to be used to blow up national key points. Photo: Twitter/@crimeairnetwork

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Explosives seized as plot to bomb national key points uncovered – report

Police on Friday night seized a large number of explosives from a house in Mooi River, KwaZulu-Natal, which according to reports were meant to be used to blow up national key points.

KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo said in a media statement on Saturday the explosives have since been confirmed to be “Viper booster”, generally used in mining operations. 

France bans non-essential travel to and from UK

France bans non-essential travel to and from UK
People wait outside the Covid-19 testing facility at Heathrow’s Terminal 5 in west London on November 30, 2021 as new restrictions on travellers are introduced. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP)

France said Thursday that it would ban non-essential travel to and from Britain in a bid to keep the Omicron Covid-19 variant in check, as European leaders urged coordinated action and more booster shots to counter the more highly contagious threat.

Starting at midnight Saturday (2300 GMT Friday), the French government said, travellers will need “an essential reason to travel to, or come from, the UK, both for the unvaccinated and vaccinated… People cannot travel for touristic or professional reasons.”

‘Horrible’ head-on collision between two taxis leaves at least 13 dead

13 people were killed and four were injured in the early hours of Saturday morning when two taxis crashed head-on
Thirteen people died in an accident involving two taxis. Photo: iStock

At least 13 people were killed and four were injured in the early hours of Saturday morning when two minibus taxis crashed head-on on the R57 outside Reitz, in the Free State.

Police spokesperson Brigadier Motantsi Makhele labelled the accident scene as “horrible”.

Both drivers and 11 passengers died at the scene of the accident.

Zuma’s application to appeal return to jail to be heard next week

Zuma’s application to appeal return to jail to be heard next week
Former president Jacob Zuma. Picture: Gallo Images / Netwerk24 / Felix Dlangamandla

Former president Jacob Zuma’s leave to appeal a recent judgement ordering he return to prison will be heard on Tuesday morning, his legal team confirmed on Twitter on Saturday. 

“Judge [Elias] Matojane has indicated his intention to hear the application for leave to appeal on Tuesday 21 December at 10h00.

“Despite serious issues with the availability of President Zuma’s legal team, however in the interests of the country all efforts have been made to honour the date proposed by the Judge,” the JG Zuma Foundation tweeted. 

Vaal Dam full to the brim, thanks to recent rains

Vaal Dam full to the brim, thanks to recent rains
The Vaal Dam, which has breached 100% storage for the second time this year. Photo for illustration: citizen.co.za/Michel Bega

Sustained rainfall has resulted in the Vaal Dam breaching 100% storage, up almost 10% from this time last week. 

Over the past few weeks, the South African Weather Service has issued a number of weather warnings throughout the country. 

The Vaal Dam currently sits at 100.4%.

Babita Deokaran: One of the ‘hitmen’ still a government employee – report

Six suspects - Babita Deokaran
Six suspects appear for an earlier bail application at the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on 13 September 2021. They are on trial for the murder of whistleblower Babita Deokaran. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

Sanele Mbhele, one of the six men accused of killing whistleblower Babita Deokaran, is still employed by the government.

Mbhele remains a general worker at the Inkosi Langalibalele District Municipality in Estcourt, KwaZulu-Natal, despite being behind bars for four months.

He also reportedly went AWOL for nine months.

Len Cloete, the man shot in head by police officer at hotel, comes out of coma

Len Cloete shot in head by police officer at Gauteng hotel
Len Cloete has reportedly regained consciousness after being shot in the head. Photo: Screengrab from video

Len Cloete, the 59-year-old man who was shot in the head by a police officer at a hotel in Muldersdrift in November, has reportedly come out of his coma.

News24 reported on Friday that Cloete has regained consciousness.

Cloete’s wife, Chantal, told the publication that he had been kept in a coma by doctors after undergoing two operations on his brain and skull.