Citizen reporter
18 minute read
5 Nov 2020
10:00 pm

Daily news update: Covid-19 stats, ‘Mr X’ identity reveal, and Ramaphosa to address SA

Citizen reporter

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

Former South African Airways (SAA) chairperson Dudu Myeni. Picture: Gallo Images/Thapelo Maphakela

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Covid-19 update: 1,866 new cases reported in SA, latest global developments

Source: Department of Health.

As of Thursday, 5 November the cumulative number of detected Covid-19 cases is 732,414 with 1,866 new cases identified, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has confirmed.

92 more Covid-19 related deaths were reported: 27 from Eastern Cape, 17 from the Free State, 4 from KwaZulu-Natal, 7 from Gauteng, 1 from Mpumalanga, 23 from North West, 8 from Northern Cape and 5 from Western Cape.

This brings the total number of Covid-19 related deaths to 19,677.

Myeni reveals Mr X’s identity, says he is a ‘family member’

Former SAA chairperson Dudu Myeni. Picture: Neil McCartney

Dudu Myeni has revealed the identity of Mr X, the witness who alleged before the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture that she had instructed him to transfer R1 million into the account of the Jacob G Zuma Foundation.

Mr X testified at the commission earlier this year about various payments that were made into his business account, including three payments from Premier Attraction 1016 CC – a company Myeni’s son, Thalente, was a partner in.

Premier Attraction had made three payments into Mr X’s business account, including one that was done on 11 December 2015 and amounted to R1,150,000, the commission heard.

Ramaphosa to address the nation next week, Mthembu confirms

President Cyril Ramaphosa is absorbing reports. Picture: GCIS

President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to address the nation next week, Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu confirmed on Thursday, 5 November.

Speaking during a media briefing, Mthembu said the President would address the nation on government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic following a virtual Cabinet meeting held on Wednesday.

The Minister said Cabinet expressed their concerns during the meeting that some South Africans were “behaving recklessly and irresponsibly as if Covid-19 no longer existed”.

Matrics pupils who tested Covid-19 positive allowed to write exams, if deemed fit

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga and Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi visit the Sekano-Ntoane Secondary School in Soweto, 5 November 2020. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

Pupils who test Covid-19 positive will be allowed to continue writing their final NSC examinations, the Department of Basic Education has said.

This, after the department came to an agreement with the Department of Health on Wednesday.

Initially, guidelines issued by the department stipulated that pupils who tested positive would not be allowed to write.

The department said it received representations from parents and pupils who requested government to review the protocols.

The health and education departments then agreed that candidates who tested positive, and were deemed fit to write the examination, would be allowed to continue writing, but in isolation with secure conditions, in compliance with examination regulations.

The departments would work jointly to ensure that candidates confirmed to be positive were given an opportunity to sit for the exams, while ensuring that safety was observed.

‘SA can’t afford another lockdown, economy needs to recover,’ says Winde

Western Cape premier Alan Winde. Picture: Courtney Africa.

South Africa cannot afford to go into another lockdown, Western Cape Premier Alan Winde said on Thursday.

“Our economy cannot afford it. We’re getting poorer, we are losing jobs – we need to recover now,” he said during his weekly digital press briefing.

“We will only recover, only make sure we claw back those jobs and the economy that we’ve lost, if we make a safer environment for this to happen.

“We have to make sure that we manage Covid-19. We must not let down our guard.”

He said it was “very interesting” to see what was happening in the northern hemisphere in terms of lockdown, maintaining that back home, “we must learn the lessons”.

IFP president slams govt for ‘only erecting statues of ANC struggle heroes’

President Cyril Ramaphosa was accompanied by Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula, Minister of Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa and Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina at the unveiling . Picture: @SAgovnews, Twitter.

IFP president Velenkosini Hlabisa has called out the government for erecting statues that only celebrate the ANC’s struggle heroes.

Speaking in Parliament, Hlabisa said the process of erecting statues should be an inclusive one and not one that is biased towards the celebration of the governing party’s struggle icons only.

The task team established to consider the transformation of South Africa’s heritage landscape recently proposed the relocation of some apartheid and colonial monuments to theme parks which will be dotted across the country, Art24 previously reported.

Zondo inquiry’s legal team wants Myeni charged for outing Mr X

Former SAA chairperson Dudu Myeni testifies remotely at the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture. Picture: Neil McCartney

The legal team of the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture wants former South African Airways (SAA) chair Dudu Myeni to be charged for revealing the identity of Mr X, the witness who alleged that she had instructed him to transfer R1 million into the account of the Jacob G Zuma Foundation.

Ahead of the lunch break on Thursday, Myeni blurted out Mr X’s surname and claimed that he was “a family member”.

After the lunch break, commission chair Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo said Myeni’s transgression was “quite serious”.

The commission’s evidence leader, Kate Hofmeyr, said Myeni had been in breach of Section 5 of the Commissions Act and the commission’s regulation 12.

Hofmeyr submitted that for the commission to carry out its duties, witnesses needed to come forward with relevant information even when they feared for their lives, so they can testify under conditions of anonymity.

Hofmeyr said Myeni made the breach even after Zondo had explained why he made the order that Mr X’s identity should be withheld, and pointed out that she, Myeni, indicated that she had read in full the transcript of the day Zondo made the order.

Former MMCs, some fresh faces for Tshwane’s new mayoral committee

MMC for group human capital management, councillor Cilliers Brink, MMC for roads and transport, councillor Sheila Senkubuge and MMC for economic development and spatial planning, councillor Randa Williams. Picture: Brenda Masilela/ANA

The newly elected Tshwane Mayor has appointed his first mayoral committee and it includes former MMCs and some new faces.

On Thursday, Mayor Randall Williams, who was elected during a special council meeting last week, announced what he called a strong team of people who were armed diverse skills.

Williams said the team would hit the ground running and turn around the City, which has been “limping” operationally since the capital was put under administration and the council was dissolved earlier this year.

The mayor added that the pressure was on because they only had 11 months before the next local government elections which, he suspected, would be called in October 2021.

WATCH: EFF take to the streets to demand UIF, TERS payments

EFF members protest in Church square, Pretoria, 5 November 2020 ahead of their march to the Department of Employment and Labour, as well as the SASSA offices demanding among other things that workers receive the R350 unemployment relief and TERS monies. Picture: Neil McCartney

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) will on Thursday march to the Department of Employment and Labour, and South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) offices in Pretoria. 

The EFF said in a statement that the labour march was to demand that workers receive their R350 Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) pay, and to ensure that workers receive Temporary Employer Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) payouts. 

The march will be led by head of the EFF labour desk, Hlengiwe Mkhaliphi. 

Crowds will meet in Church Square, after which they will proceed to Paul Kruger Street and turn left into Francis Baard Street. From there, they will proceed straight until they reach the department’s offices, Tshwane Metro police confirmed on Thursday. 

From there, marchers would make their way to Sassa offices. They will do so by turning into Du Toit Street, and left into Pretorius Street. 

Police said marchers were expected to disperse from Sassa’s offices at around 12:30. 

South Africans skidding towards death with second-hand tyres

Tyre stock image.

Due to the economic knock the country has taken this year, more than two-thirds of South Africans are resorting to using second-hand tyres to save on motor vehicle costs. The consequences of saving financially now, however, could be detrimental and life-threatening when on the road, particularly during the festive season.

In 2019, it was reported that more than 60% of second-hand tyres sold in South Africa are illegal. It’s fair to assume that this number has increased with the rising unemployment rate and increased financial strain on consumers, according to Arrive Alive.

“That’s a frightening thought when you consider that burst tyres are responsible for 73.5% of accidents caused by the mechanics of a car,” says Darren Hayes-Powell, chairperson of the South African Tyre Manufacturers’ Conference (SATMC).

Every year there are more than 14 000 deaths recorded due to road accidents. Of these road accidents 41% can be attributed to the mechanics of a car, including tyres, according to the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC).

A burst back-wheel tyre could cause the vehicle to “fishtail” as one loses control of the back of the car, whereas a front-tyre burst results in the car instantly steering in the direction of the burst tyre. If driving at a fast speed, this could result in a serious and oftentimes fatal accident.

To assist their customers during this challenging time, some motoring and insurance companies have granted payment holidays on monthly premiums to support the overall maintenance of their vehicles and other essentials.

‘No dancing allowed’ – Western Cape police warn bars over Covid-19 rules

SAPS members at Blackdoor, a nightclub in Sandton which was busted for illegally operating past curfew during Level 1 lockdown. Photo: Twitter/@FaithMazibukoSA

Dancing patrons and DJs could soon land Western Cape bar and restaurant owners in trouble.

This according to a circular issued by the Western Cape police commissioner.

In the circular, titled “Offences: Amendment: Regulations Issued in terms of the disaster management act, 57 of 2002: 18 September 2020: Alert Level 1″.

“Since alert level 1 came into effect on 21 September 2020, a number of videos and social media posts have been supplied to this office indicating that clubs are operating as night clubs. In a recent incident, in excess of 70 patrons, of which a large number consisted of school children, have been infected by the Covid-19 virus after attending a party at a club.”

This contravenes both Regulation 72(1) and Regulation 80(2) of the Disaster Management Act applicable under level 1.

Under these regulations, no premises may operate as a night club and any premises that do are committing an offence in terms of the aforementioned regulations.

Biden at 253/264 electoral votes while Trump at 214 – US media

This combination of pictures created on September 29, 2020 shows Democratic Presidential candidate and former US Vice President Joe Biden (L) and US President Donald Trump speaking during the first presidential debate at the Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio on 29 September 2020. Picture: by Jim Watson and Saul Loeb/AFP

Democratic presidential challenger Joe Biden on Thursday edged toward the magic number of 270 electoral votes needed to win the White House, but several battleground states were still in play, as incumbent President Donald Trump cried foul over the ongoing vote count.

As it stands, there are five states still left uncalled, including major prizes such as Pennsylvania, and key small state Nevada — meaning both Trump and Biden still have a path to victory.

US media outlets have projected wins for the Republican incumbent in 23 states including big prizes Florida and Texas, as well as Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri and Ohio – all states he won in 2016.

Biden has captured 22 states including his home state Delaware and big prizes California and New York, as well as the US capital.

The former vice president has flipped three states won by Trump in 2016 – Michigan, Wisconsin and, according to two sources, Arizona.

Here are the European countries now in lockdown or under curfew

Picture: iStock

Lockdowns, curfews and tough restrictions are being imposed across Europe as it struggles to cope with the second wave of the coronavirus.

Europe has become the region with the highest number of registered cases of the new coronavirus, according to a tally by AFP on Thursday based on health authority data.

The continent’s 52 countries have a combined total of 11.6 million cases including more than 293,000 deaths, ahead of Latin America and the Caribbean which has reported 11.4 million cases with 407,000 deaths.

Europe has again become the epicentre of the pandemic in recent weeks after experiencing a lull during the northern hemisphere summer.

Since the beginning of October, the region has had the highest number of new infections daily in the world.

Last week, 277,000 new cases a day were recorded, more than half of the total number of cases worldwide of 517,000 daily.

And the pandemic continues to accelerate across the continent, with the number of cases detected last week 20 percent higher than the previous week.

In terms of fatalities, the pace is even faster, with almost 50 percent more new deaths — 21,500 last week, compared with 14,403 the week before.

The countries in the region with the most new cases in the last seven days are: France (44,000 cases daily on average, up 11 percent over the previous week), Italy (28,600, up 43 percent), the United Kingdom (22,400, up two percent), Spain (21,100, up 13 percent) and Poland (20,000, up 46 percent).

UN calls special General Assembly session on Covid-19 pandemic

This combination created of nine video grabs taken on May 18, 2020 from the website of the World Health Organization shows (top to bottom, LtoR) WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Swiss President Simonetta Sommaruga, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Chinese President Xi Jinping, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa delivering their speech via video link at the opening of the World Health Assembly virtual meeting from the WHO headquarters in Geneva, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the novel coronavirus. – The World Health Organization on May 18 kicked off its first ever virtual assembly, but fears abound that US-China tensions could derail the strong action needed to address the Covid-19 crisis. Picture: World Health Organization / AFP

The UN General Assembly moved Thursday to hold a special session focused on international coordination in response to the coronavirus pandemic from December 3-4 in New York.

Discussed since June, the meeting is intended to bring together heads of state and government according to a resolution adopted by 150 of the 193 General Assembly members.

No country voted against the measure, while the US, Israel and Armenia abstained.

Leaders will be able to submit five-minute pre-recorded statements to be broadcast in the General Assembly Hall.

The clips will be played after short introductions from representatives physically present in the room, according to the resolution – a format similar to that of the annual General Assembly meeting in September.

In-person appearances by world leaders are unlikely, given New York state’s required 14-day quarantine period for international visitors.

Gareth Cliff flagged for US election ‘fraud’ Instagram post

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – JANUARY 30: Gareth Cliff during a press conference at Cliff Central offices on January 30, 2016 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The opinionated radio and TV personality will make his official return to SA Idols this week after winning a high court application for his reinstatement on the show. (Photo by Gallo Images / Rapport / Deon Raath)

Chat show host Gareth Cliff was among many people flagged by fact-checkers for not bringing context to an Instagram post insinuating electoral fraud during the US elections.

He joins the ranks of many others, including US President Donald Trump and presidential contender Joe Biden, who have been flagged by fact-checkers of PolitiFact during the US election campaign and voting period. Claims are rated from “true” to “half-true” to “pants on fire”.

Cliff’s posting of a graph regarding the total presidential votes for each party in the state of the race in Michigan, with 86% of the vote counted by 7:17 on 4 November, was followed by a second image of the word “Fraud”.

The caption for his post was “Great logo”. Underneath the post, in red, was the message: “Missing context. The same information was reviewed by independent fact-checkers in another post.”

Tapping on the message for further information, the message continued: “The same information was reviewed in another post by fact-checkers. There may be small differences.

#EndSARS: I don’t feel free in Nigeria, says Tiwa Savage

Tiwa Savage | Image: Instagram

Nigerian singer Tiwa Savage says the #EndSARS fight is for everyone and not just for Nigerians because everyone was fighting a battle of some sort in their own country.
Speaking to The Dotty Show’s Dotty on Apple Music 1, Savage said she did not feel free being a woman of colour in Nigeria.
“…But for me, it’s a bigger picture. I feel like as a woman of colour, I feel like, if I’m not free, nobody else is free. A Jamaican, a Black American, a Black British, I feel like the fight is for everyone. Honestly, [in] the last week or so, I just haven’t been myself. It’s just overwhelming. I don’t know what to think. I don’t know how to help, what to say, I’ve not been myself,” said Savage.
The #EndSARS campaign began after a rogue Nigerian police unit, called the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), was outed as abusing its power by robbing, torturing, and killing the citizens they were employed to protect.
The campaign went viral after video footage showed the police unit brutalising Nigerians.
Celebrities from South Africa and internationally joined in solidarity to end SARS.

Nikita Murray’s marriage is ‘stronger’ after Katlego Maboe scandal

Katlego Maboe. Picture: Gallo Images/Brenton Geach

Nikita Murray the woman named in the now-infamous video of media personality Katlego Maboe confessing to cheating has broken her silence.

In a statement on behalf of herself and husband Matthew, their lawyer Vincent Bergh of Liquor Law and Business Consultants said the video was ‘malicious’, TimesLIVE reports.

Over two weeks ago, Maboe on-camera revealed the name of the woman he allegedly had an affair after his estranged partner Monique Muller pushed him to.

Muller then claimed she contracted an STD because of Maboe’s infidelity. The Murray’s say they are in shock of the allegations made in the video.

The statement read: “Due to these allegations, Mrs Murray had undergone a medical test to confirm that she has no sexually transmitted disease. The claims by Mr Maboe that Mrs Murray was the cause of him contracting the STD as accused of by the person who made the video, is therefore irresponsible and impossible.”

Hunt laments the absence of supporters’ boost for his Chiefs team

Gavin Hunt, coach of Kaizer Chiefs (Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix)

It is a known fact that players are extra-motivated when there are people watching them from the stands and the game has not been the same since supporters have not been allowed at match venues due to Covid-19 safety protocols.

Speaking to the media on Thursday morning ahead of his team’s MTN8 semifinal second leg on Sunday, where they have a mountain to climb to overturn Orlando Pirates’ 3-0 lead, Hunt said he feels his players miss playing in front of their supporters.

Chiefs could also only play out a goalless draw with TS Galaxy at home in the DStv Premiership on Wednesday evening and have won just two of their first five matches in all competitions.

Boks need hard games to prepare for Lions battle, says John Smit

Pieter-Steph du Toit

Pieter-Steph du Toit in action for the Springboks in last year’s World Cup semifinal against Wales. Picture: Getty Images

The Springboks will not be withdrawing from the Rugby Championship permanently, but with the tournament probably being played in the same late winter-spring window, they will not be deriving any battle-hardened preparedness from it ahead of the British and Irish Lions tour next year.

And that could be a problem for the world champions, according to former Springbok captain John Smit, who led South Africa to victory over the Lions in 2009.

The tourists will be in South Africa from the end of June to August 8, which will put pressure on SA Rugby to organise warm-up games for the Springboks once the Pro16 ends.

SA Rugby president Mark Alexander said on Thursday that director of rugby Rassie Erasmus was busy lining up three or four games which would need World Rugby’s permission.

Fresh-faced Nissan Navara revealed, ready to challenge Hilux and Ranger

Facelift Nissan Navara

Leaked last month in a series of spy images, Nissan has now officially unveiled the heavily updated D23 Navara in Australia and Thailand that South Africa will be receiving next year.

Set to provide the foundation for the American market Frontier, the latest and most extensive refresh to the now six year old Navara sees it adopting a front facia design similar to the Titan and Titan XD in the form of a more upright grille and new bumper, restyled bi-LED headlights, a new windscreen and more prominent wheel arches.

At the rear, the redesigned bumper gets an integrated step, while the tailgate is new and the taillights upgraded to appear more like those of the Titan.

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