Citizen Reporter
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3 minute read
29 Dec 2021
5:30 am

Daily news update: US lifts SA travel ban, Tutu’s Category 1 state funeral, Makhadzo forgives Babes

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.

US President Joe Biden. Picture: AFP

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US announces date for lifting of Omicron-related SA travel ban

President Joe Biden formally announced Tuesday he will lift a ban this week on travel from South Africa and other countries in the region, imposed due to fear of the Omicron Covid-19 variant.

“The travel restrictions… are no longer necessary to protect the public health” and will end on Friday, Biden said in a proclamation.

Archbishop Tutu to be honoured with category 1 state funeral

Archbishop Tutu's funeral, state funeral
Desmond Tutu. Picture: Gallo Images/BusinessDay/Robert Tshabalala

On Tuesday, President Cyril Ramaphosa declared the late Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Mpilo Tutu will be accorded an official Category 1 state funeral.

Government explains the decision for Category 1 funeral was made based on the “recognition of the late Archbishop Emeritus’ distinguished life and invaluable contribution to the nation”.

DA’s Helen Zille wants ‘undemocratic’ NCCC dismantled

Helen Zille Twitter war UDM Bantu Holomisa
Helen Zille. Picture: Gallo Images

A day after Democratic Alliance (DA) leader John Steenhuisen called for the curfew to be scrapped, the party’s outspoken federal council chair Helen Zille has insisted that the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) needs to be “dismantled”.

“There is a great risk of it being at the apex of an undemocratic hierarchy of control that bypasses our democratic institutions,” said Zille in a Twitter thread.

WATCH: Sluice gate opened as Vaal Dam breaches 100%

Sluice gate to open as Vaal Dam breaches 100%
The Vaal Dam is currently at 107.1%. Picture: Twitter/@ReenvalSA/Christo Snyman

For more than a week, the Vaal Dam has breached 100% storage, prompting the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) to announce the opening of one sluice gate on Tuesday morning. 

There is a possibility that other sluices could be opened by the DWS if rains and heavy inflows continue.

UPDATE: Interdict against Shell’s seismic survey successful

D-day for second Shell seismic survey interdict
A protest outside Shells offices in Bryanston, on 1 December 2021, by Extinction Rebellion against the company’s seismic survey operations along the wild coast of South Africa. Picture for illustration: citizen.co.za/Neil McCartney

Judge Gerald Bloem on Tuesday morning handed down his judgment in the second urgent interdict to halt Shell’s seismic survey currently taking place along the Wild Coast. 

According to court documents, Department of Minerals and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe and Shell have been ordered to pay the applicants’ costs of the application to three counsel. 

In addition, the third, fourth and fifth respondents (Shell) are interdicted from undertaking seismic survey operations under Exploration Right 12/3/252, pending finalisation of Part B of the notice of motion. 

Despite Omicron, domestic tourism sees upswing this December

Travel ban: SA tourism industry loses over R1bn in travel bookings overnight
Picture: iStock

Experts said it was a good festive season for the tourism industry over December, despite the fourth wave of Omicron infections.

After the Christmas weekend, Johannesburg led the Gauteng statistics with the most infections of 444,710 positive cases reported followed by Ekurhuleni with 224,079 cases and Tshwane with 320,800 positive cases. Sedibeng recorded 66,916 cases while the West Rand recorded 61,475 positive cases.

Makhadzi forgives Babes Wodumo for calling her ‘a b***h with no future’

Makhadzi and Babes Wodumo
Makhadzi is amused by the allegations Babes Wodumo levelled against her in a recent Instagram Live rant. Pictures: Instagram

In what has been billed as yet another ill-advised publicity stunt, musician Babes Wodumo went live on Instagram to insult another person, fellow musician Makhadzi.

She set her sights on the star just weeks after calling her mother in law all sorts of names.

Golf GTI smokes BMW 128ti – 2021 Motoring Newsmaker No 6

VW Golf GTI smokes BMW 128ti on drag strip - 2021 Motoring Newsmaker No 6
The only time the BMW 128ti could get close to the Golf GTI was on the starting line.

Two-thousand-and-twenty-one was an interesting year for the South African motoring landscape.

Some things changed, like an acceleration towards greener cars, while others stayed the same like Toyota topping the monthly sales charts.