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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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.