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By Citizen Reporter


Daily news update: Covid-19 stats, 5 billion vaccine pre-orders, Van Rooyen and White House shooting

An easy-to-read selection of our top stories. Stay up to date with The Citizen – More News, Your Way.

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Covid-19 update: SA records only 2,511 new cases as recovery rate reaches 75%

As of today, a cumulative total of 566,109 confirmed Covid-19 cases in South Africa have been recorded, the lowest daily tally since late June.

The country recorded 3,740 on Monday.

Unfortunately, 130 new Covid-19 related deaths were also recorded today: 20 from Eastern Cape, 35 from Gauteng, 30 from KwaZulu-Natal, 20 from North West, 25 from Western Cape. This brings the cumulative total of reported Covid-19 related deaths to 10,751.

“We convey our condolences to the loved ones of the departed and thank the health care workers who treated the deceased. The number of recoveries currently stands at 426 125 which translates to a recovery rate of 75%,” said Health Minister Zweli Mkhize.

Despite the surprisingly low numbers, Mkhize has said it is still too early to lift the national state of disaster, which he recommended should continue.

Pre-orders of Covid-19 vaccine top five billion

Countries and organisations that have announced advance agreements to acquire doses of COVID-19 vaccines. AFP/Simon MALFATTO

First shipments of a Covid-19 vaccine created by Western laboratories have often been snapped up by the United States.

Five vaccines — three Western and two Chinese — are in Phase 3 efficacy trials involving thousands of people.

In a surprise announcement, Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed Tuesday that a vaccine dubbed “Sputnik V” — after the Soviet satellite — conferred “sustainable immunity” against the novel coronavirus.

As research laboratories around the world race to develop a vaccine, manufacturers have received financing to help them prepare to have millions of doses ready to administer in 2021 or even before the end of the year.

Van Rooyen’s Gupta-linked advisors had access to documents, without contracts – Fuzile

As the Zondo commission proceedings resumed on Tuesday, former national treasury director-general Lungisa Fuzile took the stand for cross-examination by advocate Kgomosoane Mathipa, where he claimed the two Gupta-linked advisers, Mohamed Bobat and Ian Whitely, started working without signing their contracts.

Mathipa is a legal representative for former finance minister Des Van Rooyen. The Zondo commission is also expected to hear evidence relating to Van Rooyen’s appointment in December 2015.

“We had to deal with the fact that Mr Rooyen had committed a serious violation by bringing Mr Bobat and Mr Whitely into the department and give them access to everything before they had formalised contracts,” said Fuzile.

NDZ bashes tobacco industry

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. Picture: EPA

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has accused the Fair-Trade Independent Tobacco Association (FITA) of being motivated by its own financial interests and little more, in its fight to have tobacco sales allowed.

This in papers filed in the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) on Friday, in response to another bid by the association to overturn a previous judgment dismissing its challenge to the tobacco sales ban.

A full bench of the North Gauteng High Court in June dismissed FITA’s urgent application to have sales declared lawful.

This prompted the association to launch an application for leave to appeal to the SCA which was also dismissed.

This, in turn, prompted FITA to approach the SCA directly.

Court sets aside report’s finding that Danny Msiza was VBS Bank looting ‘kingpin’

Former ANC Limpopo Treasurer Danny Msiza, who is returning after being suspended for two years over alleged links to the looting of VBS Bank. Picture: Twitter/ANC

Suspended ANC Limpopo treasurer Danny Msiza has successfully challenged parts of Advocate Terry Motau’s report into the collapse of VBS Bank, in which he was identified as a “kingpin” in the widescale looting of the bank.

The report, titled The Great Bank Heist, said that Msiza used his political influence numerous times to persuade municipalities in Limpopo to invest in the bank.

About nine Limpopo municipalities lost over R1.2 billion in the bank’s scams. Msiza was labelled as “kingpin” in the heist by a bank official, alleging he masterminded the deposits by 12 municipalities.

The report also said that the so-called commissions agent Kabelo Matsepe, who was allegedly an intermediary between the bank and municipalities that invested in the bank, worked for Msiza.

Russia has developed ‘first’ coronavirus vaccine: Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his annual press conference in Moscow on December 19, 2019. / AFP / Alexey NIKOLSKY

Russia has developed the first vaccine offering “sustainable immunity” against the coronavirus, President Vladimir Putin announced Tuesday.

“This morning, for the first time in the world, a vaccine against the new coronavirus was registered” in Russia, he said during a televised video conference call with government ministers.

“One of my daughters had this vaccine. I think in this sense she took part in the experiment,” Putin said.

Russia has been pushing hard to quickly develop a coronavirus vaccine and said earlier this month it hoped to launch mass production within weeks and turn out “several million” doses per month by next year.

Man shot outside White House, Trump evacuated from press conference

US President Donald J. Trump speaks during a news conference in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, DC, USA, 05 August 2020. President Trump discussed progress being made on negotiations over the next coronavirus relief package. EPA-EFE/Stefani Reynolds / POOL

US Secret Service agents shot and wounded a man who was apparently armed outside the White House on Monday, President Donald Trump said, after being briefly whisked away in the middle of a press conference.

A 51-year-old male approached a Secret Service officer standing at the corner of 17th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, one block from the White House, according to Tom Sullivan, the chief of the Secret Service Uniformed Division.

The suspect told the officer he had a weapon and ran “aggressively” towards him, drawing an object out of his clothes, Sullivan said in a statement that was broadcast on Twitter.

He then assumed a “shooter’s stance” as if he intended to fire, whereupon the Secret Service officer shot him in the torso, Sullivan added.

Bok centre Lukhanyo Am remains loyal to the Sharks

Sharks captain Lukhanyo Am. Picture: Darren Stewart/Gallo Images

Springbok centre Lukhanyo Am has extended his contract with the Sharks, with the KwaZulu-Natal union confirming the skipper would stay with the side for another two years.

“Lukhanyo Am has been locked down and reloaded with the Cell C Sharks until 2022,” the Sharks revealed on social media.

Earlier this year, according to Sport24, he had been targeted by overseas clubs during a 21-day transfer window for local players, but the 26-year-old star had opted to remain loyal to the Durban outfit.

Bobby Motaung’s shenanigans give Chiefs management headache

Bobby Motaung, Kaizer Chiefs football manager, will have to hear from CAS or Fifa on whether he can sign players. (Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix)

Bobby Motaung’s misdemeanors at Kaizer Chiefs are said to be a huge headache for the club’s management, who were forced to suspend him after a video showing the team’s football manager at a party during lockdown was made public.

Having a gathering of any kind is forbidden during lockdown.

“It’s a complicated mess because this came when the team really needed him. He is supposed to be helping as the team are preparing for their appeal with the Fifa case and also negotiating with some players over a possible move.”

Zodwa Wabantu claims ex-fiancé Vusi is a fraudster

Vusi Ngubane and Zodwa Wabantu. Photo: Twitter @VusiBokison

Zodwa Wabantu’s spat with her ex-fiancé Vusi Ngubane is not pretty.

Late on Monday evening, Zodwa claimed that Vusi was a fraudster after he posted a picture of himself with a new Audi.

Zodwa claims he brought the car under her name and has laid a charge at the Empangeni police station.

“I am not scared of you. Listen here, the police are looking for you. I can see you still you want me. I have proof, you are a fraudster, I have a case against you. I can’t believe I dated a fraudster, why are you so angry?”

Zodwa says that Vusi took full advantage of her relationship with Audi to buy the car, allegedly using her account card.

WATCH: Remembering the life and times of radio legend Bob Mabena

Power FM host Bob Mabena. Image: Twitter / @HermanMashaba

Veteran radio personality Bob Mabena died on Monday, 10 August after suffering a cardiac arrest at the age of 51.

Power FM 98.7’s management confirmed the death of Mabena in a statement.

“It is with deep grief and pain that we announce that Power 98.7 breakfast host Mr Bob Mabena passed away this afternoon from cardiac arrest.

“The family is coming to terms with his passing and respectfully requests the public to afford them the appropriate space.”

Friends and fans have paid tribute to the legendary broadcaster on social media.

Fresh faced Audi S3 makes eagerly awaited appearance

After a development run of nearly two years, and with its Sportback and sedan  already out, Audi has revealed its challenger for the Mercedes-AMG A35/CLA35 in the shape of the all-new S3 Sportback and Sedan.

Providing a preview of the rumoured 331 kW five-cylinder RS3, the S3 is once again powered by the familiar 2.0 TFSI engine whose outputs are unchanged at 228kW/400Nm. Hooked to a seven-speed S tronic gearbox with drive going to all four wheels, the S3 will sprint from 0-100 km/h in 4.8 seconds before hitting the electronic buffers at 250 km/h.

Aesthetically, S3 differentiates itself from its siblings by featuring a model bespoke Singleframe grille with a rhombus pattern, alloy look mirror caps, quad exhaust outlets, 18 or optional 19-inch alloy wheels, a rear diffuser, S front and rear bumpers, a bootlid spoiler, S side skirts and extended wheel arches, plus the Matrix LED headlights from the options list.

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