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By Nicholas Zaal

Digital Journalist


Daily news update: What was said at the Sona, Ramaphosa’s plan for the NHI Bill, and IFP councillor shot dead

Here’s your morning news update: An easy-to-read selection of our top stories.


In today’s news, President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers the State of the Nation Address (Sona), how the president said he is merely looking for a pen to sign the NHI Bill into law, and an Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) ward councillor and two schoolchildren are shot down in KwaZulu-Natal.

We also look at lions that were left vulnerable to raging fires in the Western Cape, the Senzo Meyiwa case, and how Chippa United and Nigeria goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali says he still loves South Africa.

News today: 9 February

Ramaphosa delivers the 2024 State of the Nation Address (Sona)

The 2024 State of the Nation Address (Sona) was hosted at the Cape Town City Hall on Thursday.

More than 400 people were expected to attend, with at least R6.5 million being budgeted for this year’s event. The Sona marks the start of the parliamentary programme for the year.

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‘I am looking for a pen’- What Ramaphosa said about the NHI at Sona

President Cyril Ramaphosa has spoken on the highly contentious National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill, jokingly saying he is “looking for a pen” to sign it.

Ramaphosa SONA
President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers the State of the Nation Address. Photo: GCIS

The bill aims to provide free universal health care to all South Africans. It has been praised by some and criticised by others who claim it will collapse the private medical care industry and decline health services in the country. The bill was passed by the National Council of Provinces late last year and is sitting on the president’s desk to be signed into law.

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Gunmen kill IFP councillor before firing on taxi, killing two children

KwaZulu-Natal police have launched a manhunt for suspects who killed an Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) ward councillor and two schoolchildren.

Gunmen kill IFP councillor before firing on taxi killing two children
The councillor and two kids were shot on Wednesday afternoon. Photo: iStock

It is believed the Nongoma Local Municipality councillor was ambushed in a suspected hit on the R618 on Wednesday afternoon while attending to a broken-down vehicle.

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Tragedy strikes as burnt lions suffer illegally at nature reserve

The National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) recently responded to a distressing situation at the Fairy Glen Nature Reserve in Worcester, Western Cape, where three lions had fallen victim to severe burns during the raging wildfires in the area.

Lions burnt
Lions burnt and left to suffer at game reserve. Picture: NSPCA.

NSPCA Chief Operations Officer, Grace de Lange, expressed deep concern, saying: “One male and two females were left vulnerable to the raging wildfires, resulting in burns that inflicted brutal suffering upon them.”

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‘I was even bleeding by the nose’ – Senzo Meyiwa murder accused tells court of alleged assault

Bongani Ntanzi, one of the accused in the murder case of former Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa, has stressed he experienced multiple instances of assault by the police.

Bongani Ntanzi assault / Senzo Meyiwa shooting
Accused number two Bongani Ntanzi at the Pretoria High Court on 15 September 2022. Picture: Gallo Images/Tebogo Letsie

The High Court in Pretoria heard evidence from Ntanzi in a trial-within-a-trial, which is being held to determine the admissibility of confession statements, a pointing out and warning statements by accused in the main trial.

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Murder accused Xolani Khumalo to make a TV return

Former Sizok’thola presenter Xolani Khumalo has shared that he will be making a TV return soon.

Xolani Khumalo
Former Sizok’thola presenter Xolani Khumalo. Picture: X/Twitter

The TV presenter, who is currently facing murder charges, shared the news during his recent interview on DJ Sbu’s podcast, The Hustlers Corner.

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WATCH: ‘Election season is such a wild time’ – Cyril Ramaphosa joins Tyla’s Water dance challenge

A video of President Cyril Ramaphosa jamming to Tyla’s hit song Water has set tongues wagging on social media.

Cyril Ramaphosa and Grammy award-winning singer,Tyla
President Cyril Ramaphosa and Grammy award-winning singer, Tyla. Pictures: Supplied and Instagram/@tyla

The video was captured at the Presidential Youth Engagement on Tuesday at the Belhar Sports Centre in Cape Town.

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Nigeria’s shootout hero Nwabali – I still love South Africa!

Chippa United and Nigeria goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali, who broke Bafana Bafana hearts in the Africa Cup of Nations semifinals on Wednesday, has sent a message of sympathy to South Africa and their fans.

Stanley Nwabali - Nigeria
Stanley Nwabali was Nigeria’s hero on Wednesday against Bafana. Picture: Weam Mostafa/BackpagePix

Nwabali took to Instagram after he saved two penalties in the shootout, from Teboho Mokoena and Evidence Makgopa, to help the Super Eagles get to the final against the Ivory Coast on Sunday.

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Proteas given a ‘wake-up call’ in thumping defeat to Black Caps

The vast difference in experience between the two sides is now evident, head coach Shukri Conrad admits, after the new members of the Proteas Test squad were given a ‘wake-up call’ during their thumping defeat in the first match against New Zealand.

Proteas player Duanne Olivier
Proteas player Duanne Olivier leaves the field after being dismissed during the first Test against New Zealand. Picture: Joe Allison/Getty Images

The SA team were swept aside with bat and ball at Mount Maunganui, falling in a 281-run loss to their hosts within four days earlier this week.

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