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

Daily news update: Fourth wave warning, Hermione Cronje resigns, Prasa fires CEO

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.

Zolani Matthews, former chief executive officer of Prasa. Picture: Supplied

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Gauteng is on the cusp of the fourth wave of Covid infections, Makhura warns

Gauteng Premier David Makhura has warned that the province is on the cusp of the fourth wave of Covid-19 infections.

Makhura said the sharp increase in new daily Covid-19 cases recorded in Gauteng was due to the new Omicron variant. The variant initially started making waves in the Tshwane district and has now been detected in all five districts of the province.

“Our province is at the cusp of the fourth wave in a sense that with the new variant, we are the principal focus of this variant… as we see the numbers every day, we are very concerned about the reports coming from our clinical teams,” Makhura said.

SA breaches 10,000 mark for daily Covid-19 cases

Despite Omicron surge, SA so far sees mild symptoms
Image: iStock

South Africa has breached the 10,000 mark for daily Covid-19 cases as predicted by scientists earlier this week. As of Thursday, the country has recorded a total of 2,988,148 positive cases, with 11,535 new cases identified in the past 24 hours.

This increase represents a 22.4% positivity rate. 

The majority of new cases are from Gauteng (72%), followed by Western Cape (6%). KwaZulu-Natal accounted for 5%. Limpopo, Mpumalanga and North West each accounted for 4% respectively; Free State and Eastern Cape each accounted for 2%. Northern Cape accounted for 1% of the new cases.

Head of NPA’s Investigating Directorate Hermione Cronje resigns

Head of NPA's Investigating Directorate Hermione Cronje resigns
Top prosecutor Hermione Cronje lead an investigating unit in the NPA. PICTURE ELIZABETH SEJAKE RAPPORT

Head of the National Prosecuting Authority’s Investigating Directorate (ID), Advocate Hermione Cronje, has reportedly asked to vacate her office before her term ends.

National Director of Public Prosecutions Shamila Batohi confirmed the news to TimesLIVE, and said she supported Cronje’s request to resign effective from March 2022.

Deputy NDPP Rabaji-Rasethaba would support Cronje during the transition period, as they look for her replacement.

Prasa fires CEO Zolani Matthews over non-disclosure of UK citizenship

Prasa fires Zolani Matthews over UK citizenship debacle
Zolani Matthews, former chief executive officer of Prasa. Picture: Supplied

Zolani Matthews has been fired with immediate effect as group CEO of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa). 

According to a statement released on Thursday, the Prasa board “unanimously resolved” to terminate his employment contract. 

Matthews, who was appointed CEO of Prasa in February, was suspended on 19 November after failing to declare to Prasa that he has UK citizenship. 

Prasa said an investigation regarding the failure to disclose his dual citizenship followed. 

Court rules MPs must disclose campaign donations – but CR17 funds exempt

Poll shows that ANC may benefit from women's faith in Ramaphosa Picture: Neil McCartney
ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa spoke to a crowd in Alexandra stadium in Alexandra on 25 October 2021 as part of the ANC’s campaign ahead of local government elections. Picture: Neil McCartney

The North Gauteng High Court on Thursday ruled that members of Parliament (MPs) should be obliged to disclose all internal party campaign donations.

The ruling, however, “shall have no retrospective effect”. This means that the source of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s CR17 campaign funds will remain secret.

The CR17 campaign led to Ramaphosa being elected ANC president in 2017.

Gauteng health department wastes nearly R13 million as 70k litres of sanitiser expires

Gauteng health department wastes nearly R13 million as 70k litres of sanitiser expires
Picture: iStock

The Gauteng department of health has wasted 141,000 half-litre bottles of sanitiser, which cost R12.7 million, after they expired and were rendered no longer useable.

This was revealed by Gauteng health MEC Nomathemba Mokgethi in a written reply to questions asked by the Democratic Alliance’s (DA’s) MPL and spokesperson on health in the province, Jack Bloom.

According to Mokgethi, R100 million was paid for 544,000 units of sanitiser as part of the province’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, only 392,000 units (74%) were used while the remaining 141,000 units – which total 70,000 litres – cannot be used as they had expired and were currently stored at the Kushesh Warehouse quarantine area.

Omicron now the dominant variant in Gauteng as new Covid-19 cases spike

Omicron is now the dominant variant in Gauteng
Dr Mary Kawonga addressing the media on Thursday in Midrand, Johannesburg, on Gauteng’s Covid-19 cases. Picture: Supplied.

Gauteng is experiencing a rapid resurgence in new Covid-19 cases that is being driven by the discovery of the new Omicron variant.

However, the rate of hospitalisations and deaths recorded in the province continues to remain low due to vaccinations.

This was revealed on Thursday by the provincial coronavirus command council led by Premier David Makhura at a media briefing in Midrand, Johannesburg.

Dr Mary Kawonga, a member of the council, confirmed that the Omicron variant was now the dominant variant in Gauteng, overtaking the Delta variant that was behind the third wave of the pandemic.

KZN top cop accuses Mapisa-Nqakula of lying at unrest hearings

Former Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula (Photo by Gallo Images/Phill Magakoe)
Former minister of defence and military veterans, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula. Picture: Gallo Images

KwaZulu-Natal police commissioner Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi has disputed former defence minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula’s testimony at the South African Human Rights Commission’s (SAHRC’s) inquiry into the July unrest.

Mapisa-Nqakula had earlier told the inquiry that 800 soldiers were deployed to KwaZulu-Natal to help the police during the riots and looting that had gripped the province.

Mkhwanazi said this was a “blatant lie”.