Citizen Reporter
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4 minute read
20 Dec 2021
4:30 am

Daily news update: Ministerial cook-off investigation, Mantashe gets Covid and Zim permits won’t be renewed

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.

Former tourism minister Mmamoloko Kubayi poses for a photo with Somizi Mhlongo, DJ Shimza and other participants of the ministerial cook-off on 17 May, 2021. Photo: Facebook

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Public Service Commission to investigate Mmamoloko Kubayi over ministerial cook-off saga

A letter addressed to Department of Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu from the Public Service Commission (PSC) has made it clear that the ministerial cook-off saga involving now Minister of Human Settlements Minister, Mmamoloko Kubayi, is far from over. 

According to the PSC, a complaint was received through its anti-corruption hotline, alleging “procurement irregularities at the National Office of the Department of Tourism.” 

According to the complaint, in May, a tender worth R150,000 for a cookout in Tembisa, Gauteng was “irregularly awarded” to DJ Shimza, real name Ashley Raphala. 

Covid-positive quarantine escapees on the run after SA deportation

Covid-positive quarantine escapees on the run after SA deportation
A nurse working for the National Health Department escorts a travellers to get a COVID-19 PCR test done before entering South Africa at a testing station at the Beitbridge border post between South Africa and Zimbabwe, near Musina, South Africa, on January 8, 2021. (Photo by Guillem Sartorio / AFP)

Police in Zimbabwe are on the hunt for 12 Covid-positive inmates deported from South Africa earlier this week, after they escaped quarantine. 

Zimbabwe Republic Police confirmed the incident in a statement, saying the escape took place at the Beitbridge Border Quarantine Centre on Friday. 

The 12 inmates were being held as per Covid-19 health protocols, but escaped “in unclear circumstances”, national spokesperson Paul Nyathi said. 

Gwede Mantashe tests positive for Covid-19

Gwede Mantashe Covid
Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe has tested positive for Covid-19. Picture: GCIS

Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe has tested positive for Covid-19.

In a statement Minister in the Presidency Modli Gungubele said Mantashe tested positive on Saturday after experiencing mild symptoms.

“Minister Mantashe is in good spirits and he is currently in self-isolation,” said Gungubele.

400 left homeless after fire rips through Paarl informal settlement

Paarl fire destroys shacks at Drommedaris informal settlement
Photo: Twitter/Gift of the Givers

A fire in Paarl, Western Cape, has left 400 people homeless after it gutted 100 informal homes in the Drommedaris Informal Settlement in Mbekweni.

Firefighters in the Cape Winelands have battling to contain fires for the past few days.

Humanitarian organisation Gift of the Givers said community members and Drakenstein Disaster Management asked them to help with the “devastating fire” at the Drommedaris Informal Settlement.

Motsoaledi sticking to decision not to renew Zimbabwean Exemption Permits

Motsoaledi will not reverse the decision to terminate ZEPs
Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi. Picture: GCIS

Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says he will not reverse the decision to terminate the Zimbabwe Exemption Permits (ZEPs) issued to asylum seekers when they expire at the end of this month.

There was confusion earlier this week when the Department of Home Affairs published a statement withdrawing a directive it issued last month to end the ZEPs.

However, Motsoaledi on Monday said that the government’s decision not to renew the exemption permit still stands.

According to City Press, Motsoaledi is adamant that Home Affairs will push ahead with the termination of the permits.

It also reported that South African government officials were facing pressure from Zimbabwean politicians to withdraw the decision.

Stolen identities mean no vaccination for some

Vaccination
A woman gets jabbed with the Pfizer vaccine at the Centurion municipal offices vaccination site in Lyttleton, 3 September 2021. Picture: Jacques Nelles

When she registered for her Covid vaccination, Dimakatso Sedibe did not receive the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS) confirmation but thought little of it, until she was told someone else had received the jab on her identity number days earlier.

“I was shocked because I have not received any vaccination. I have gone to other side but it is the same story. According to the system, I have received my first Pfizer jab and must get a second one. Who got my jab and how?” she asked in dejection.

This as the Omicron variant revealed in SA and Botswana on November 25 is tightening its grip, with a rise in cases and hospitalisation in SA, though at a slower pace than in previous waves.

UPDATE: More than 100 reported dead in Philippines typhoon

More than 80 reported dead in Philippines typhoon
A resident dries her clothes on the ruins of a home in Del Carmen town in Surigao del Norte province on 18 December 2021, days after Super Typhoon Rai devastated the province. Photo: Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) / AFP

More than 100 people have been reported killed in the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year, official tallies showed on Sunday, as efforts to deliver water and food to devastated islands ramped up.

More than 300,000 people fled their homes and beachfront resorts as Typhoon Rai ravaged the southern and central regions of the archipelago.

The storm knocked out communications and electricity in many areas, ripped off roofs, toppled concrete power poles and flooded villages.

That took the overall number of reported deaths to 108, according to the latest official figures.