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12 Feb 2021
5:05 am

Daily news update: Covid-19 stats, Sona 2021 wrap and Proteas edged in first T20

Citizen Reporter

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Proceedings in Parliament during the 2021 State of the Nation Address by President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: GCIS

Your morning news update: Click on the links below for the full story or visit our home page for the latest news.

2,488 new cases, 237 more deaths confirmed

Health workers are seen at the Nasrec Field Hospital for Covid-19, 25 January 2021. Picture: Michel Bega

As of Thursday, 11 February 2021, the cumulative number of detected Covid-19 cases is 1,484,900 with 2,488 new cases identified, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has confirmed.

237 more Covid-19 related deaths were reported. This brings the total number of Covid-19 related deaths to 47,382.

Recoveries now stand at 1,377,980 representing a recovery rate of 92,8%. 

Sona 2021 in a nutshell: ‘Like fynbos, South Africa will rise again’

President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers 2021 State of the Nation (Sona) address on 11 February. Picture: GCIS

With a life changing pandemic showing no chances of slowing down to the point of normalcy, President Cyril Ramaphosa’s 2021 State of the Nation (Sona) address was one which had to be ruthlessly prioritised. 

Programmes to boost unemployment levels and the economy before Covid-19 reached South African shores were abandoned in the hope that social relief packages for businesses and workers would keep residents and businesses afloat. 

This year’s Sona addressed Covid-19 vaccines, corruption, energy supply, unemployment and gender-based violence. 

State of disaster extension opens doors for more Covid-19 looting

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. Picture: Twitter / @governmentza

Critics have pointed out that the national state of disaster declared under the Disaster Management Act has opened up state resources for plundering and abuse, because of the lax controls of emergency procurement.

This following yet another extension of the national state of disaster announced on Wednesday evening as government begins its first phase of the Covid-19 roll-out. A court challenge over the Act was expected to be heard later this week.

Bushiris’ extradition matter likely to be concluded next month

Shepherd Bushiri

Self proclaimed Prophet Shepherd Bushiri and his wife Mary in the Pretoria Magistrates court during their bail application for, 4 November 2020, Pretoria. Bushiri and his wife were released on R200 000 bail. Picture: Jacques Nelles

Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) church leader Shepherd Bushiri and wife Mary’s extradition process is likely to be concluded in March.

This after the Malawian government having applied to extradite the self-proclaimed prophet and his wife to South Africa. The couple will appear in the Lilongwe Magistrate’s Court on 8 March and the decision on the extradition is expected to be made on the same day.

Sona 2021 ‘the definition of insanity’, says EFF’s Shivambu

EFF deputy leader Floyd Shivambu. Picture: Jacques Nellis

If you do the same thing over and over again and expect different results, you are insane, Economic Freedom Fighters’ (EFF) deputy president, Floyd Shivambu, said as he responded to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s 2021 State of the Nation (Sona) address. 

In an interview with the SABC’s Tshepiso Maktwetla on Thursday evening after the Sona address, Shibambu said Ramaphosa was the “hype man of a dying, not dying, a dead horse”.

Sona 2021: Government extends R350 grant, UIF Ters payments to some

Picture: Moneyweb

During the 2021 State of the Nation (Sona) address, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the extension special Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress Grant (SRD) of R350 by a further three months.

Ramaphosa also confirmed that the Unemployment Insurance Fund’s (UIF) Covid-19 Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (Ters) would be extended until 15 March 2021.

ConCourt is infringing on Zuma’s rights, says MKMVA’s Carl Niehaus

Carl Niehaus on day 2 of former President Jacob Zuma’s testimony at the State Capture Commission in Parktown, 16 July 2019. Picture Neil McCartney

The Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) is set to meet with former president Jacob Zuma on Thursday afternoon at his Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal.

The meeting follows the former president’s “tea” meeting last Friday with EFF leader Julius Malema and his delegation amid his threat to defy a Constitutional Court order compelling Zuma to appear and answer questions before the Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture this month.

Malusi Gigaba laments state’s refusal to pay R1m for his lawyers to prep for Zondo

Minister of home affairs Malusi Gigaba. Picture: ANA

Former home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba says he will appear before the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, to “help him separate fact from fiction”.

Gigaba’s name has been mentioned by witnesses at the commission, with allegations by Witness 3, whose name was withheld for security reasons, that bags full of cash, secret visits to the Gupta family mansion in Saxonwold, and to the family’s business, Sahara, were normal occurrences for him when he was a government minister.

SIU investigators intimidated, threatened during probes into PPE corruption

SIU head advocate Andy Mothibi briefed the media on Friday on 5 February 2021, on the unit’s finalised investigations into the procurement of PPE and other goods by state institutions. Picture: @RSASIU/Twitter

Head of the Special Investigating Unit (SIU), advocate Andy Mothibi, has revealed that the unit’s investigators have been intimidated and threatened during their investigations into the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE) by state institutions.

Mothibi on Wednesday briefed Parliament’s standing committee on public accounts (Scopa), saying the intimidation of investigators was done in an attempt to block them from doing their work. The SIU’s ongoing probe into the PPE scandals has zoomed in on 2556 contracts valued at more than R13.3 billion.

Presidency announces 600k jobs created under Ramaphosa’s employment stimulus

President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: GCIS

The Presidency has announced that more than 600,000 jobs have been supported or are currently open for applications under the Presidential Employment Stimulus.

President Cyril Ramaphosa, in his address to a joint sitting of Parliament in 15 October last year, announced the Presidential Employment Stimulus as part of the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan in response to the rise in unemployment.

At least 6 life terms handed down in 3 weeks for crimes against women, children

Police Minister Bheki Cele. Picture: Gallo Images/Darren Stewart

At least six life sentences have been handed down in the past three weeks for crimes committed against women and children, says the South African Police Service (Saps). Police Minister Bheki Cele has commended the police investigators who put together solid cases that led to the hefty sentences.

I wasn’t involved in R1.6 billion prepayment to Gupta firm – ex-Eskom board member

An Eskom sign at the entrance of the power utility’s Megawatt Park offices in Sunninghill on 25 August 2020. Picture: Michel Bega

A former Eskom board member has told the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture that he was not involved in approving a R1.6 billion prepayment for coal supply to Gupta-owned Tegeta in December 2015.

The commission on Thursday continued to hear more Eskom-related evidence. It heard from former Eskom board member Mark Pamensky, who served on the board from 11 December 2014 to November 2016.

Motsoaledi to review permanent residence visas after Mkhwebane’s Gigaba finding

Home Affairs Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi briefs media on department of Home Affairs services under lockdown alert level 2, 28 August 2020. Picture: GCIS

Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has resolved to review some permits issued over the years, especially permanent residence visas – which are just a step away from citizenship.

This was in response to the public protector report this week that found former home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba acted in breach of the Executive Ethics Code when he failed to submit the names of persons who were granted South African citizenship under exceptional circumstances to Parliament every year, as required in terms Section 5(9)(b) of the South African Citizenship Act, 1995.

Tembisa Hospital CEO appeals suspension over Shonisani Lethole’s death

The main entrance of the Tembisa Hospital in Tembisa near Kempton Park, 20 January 2020. Picture Neil McCartney

Tembisa Hospital CEO Dr Lekopane Mogaladi is appealing the Gauteng health department’s intention to place him on precautionary suspension.

He is also challenging the scathing findings against him by Health Ombudsman Professor Malegapuru Makgoba over the death of Shonisani Lethole. The department announced in January it had served Mogaladi with a notice of precautionary suspension following the damning report.

Johannesburg city manager on ‘leave’, Makhubo confirms

Johannesburg mayor Geoff Makhubo. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

Mayor of the city of Johannesburg Geoff Makhubo says city manager Ndivhoniswani Lukhwareni’s has taking leave months before the end of his five-year contract.

According to Makhubo’ spokesperson, Mlimandlela Ndamase,the mayor received and approved a leave request for today. He also rejected allegations that the city manager had resigned or that ANC caucus had any hand in Makhubo’s decision to end accept the leave application.

UKZN students up in arms over 2021 fees

UKZN students during a virtual graduation ceremony earlier this year. Image: Twitter/@UKZN

While students at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) are up in arms over various fee payments, including registration for 2021, the institution says it gives some of the best concessions in the country and not all fees students referred to are covered by national funding.

WATCH: Vaal Dam sluices opened as more rains expected

The Vaal Dam wall is seen with during a period of heavy rains on 3 January 2021. Picture: Michel Bega

The Department of Water and Sanitation on Thursday decided to open at least three sluices in order to release water from the Vaal Dam.

Heavy rains across the country over the past few weeks have seen the dam exceed 100% capacity. As of Wednesday morning, the dam was already at 103.5% capacity. The dam was built to allow for least 120% water capacity before it will overflow.

Buthelezi dismisses rumours that Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini has died

King Goodwill Zwelithini addresses thousands of his subjects at an imbizo in Ulundi, 4 July 2018. The king called the imbizo to address the issue of communal land held under the Ingonyama Trust. Picture: ANA

Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) president emeritus Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi on Thursday dismissed rumours that Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini had died following his admission at a Zululand hospital on Sunday to deal with his diabetes.

This followed rumours circulating on social media on Wednesday that the king had died.

Norma Mngoma’s arrest by the Hawks was unlawful, rules high court

Norma Mngoma, former minister Malusi Gigaba’s ex-wife, can be seen with her legal counsel at the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court, 14 September 2020. Picture: Jacques Nelles

An urgent application brought by Norma Mngoma to challenge her arrest by the Hawks in July 2020 has been granted by the high court in Pretoria.

Judge Cassim Sardiwalla ruled that the arrest was unlawful and should be set aside.

DStv is hiking its prices and SA is not happy

Picture: iStock

Despite a financially devastating year for many, individuals and businesses alike, MultiChoice has announced that prices for their various packages will be going up in April this year.

With an increase of between R5 and R16, depending on the package in question, MultiChoice has defended the decision to hike prices by pointing out that increases are well below inflation.

Proteas edged in first T20 as Pakistan’s spinners shine

Opener Reeza Hendricks is one of few rookies who have been in some sort of form. Photo: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images.

Quality spin bowling once again proved to be South Africa’s downfall in the first T20 against Pakistan in Lahore on Thursday night as the Proteas fell three runs short of their target of 170.

That was in the main due to a thrilling spell of leg-spin trickery from Usman Qadir, son of the great Abdul, who took two for 21 in his four overs.

Pitso’s Ahly stun Palmeiras to finish third at Club World Cup

Al Ahly’s head coach Pitso Mosimane unshaken by ‘negetive’ remarks from some Red Devils agents. Picture: EPA-EFE/KHALED ELFIQI.

African champions Al Ahly shocked Brazilian giants Palmeiras to win the third-place play-off of the Club World Cup in a penalty shoot-out on Thursday.

After a goalless 90 minutes, the game went straight to penalties and Al Ahly captain Mohamed El-Shenawy saved the final spot-kick from former Juventus midfielder Felipe Melo to seal a 3-2 shoot-out victory.

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