The Citizen
10 minute read
22 Jan 2021
10:41 pm

Daily news update: Covid-19 stats, vaccine supply approved and Mthembu funeral on Sunday

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Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu. Picture: GCIS

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Daily Covid-19 update: Regulator approves vaccine supply as 11,761 new cases identified

As of Friday, 22 January 2021, the cumulative number of detected Covid-19 cases is 1 392 568 with 11,761 new cases identified, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has confirmed.

575 more Covid-19 related deaths were reported. This brings the total number of Covid-19 related deaths to 40,076.

On the Covid-19 vaccine, Mkhize said the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) has granted approval to the Serum Institute of India to supply the department with the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Jackson Mthembu to be laid to rest in official funeral on Sunday

Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu. Photo: Jairus Mmutle / GCIS

The Presidency on Friday announced that the late Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu will be honoured with an Official Funeral Category 1 this Sunday at his home in Emalahleni, Mpumalanga.

Mthembu died on Thursday from Covid-19 complications after having tested positive for Covid-19 earlier this month. He was 62 at the time of his death.

NPA relishing ‘criminal hearing’ after dismissal of Thales’ racketeering challenge

Former President, Jacob Zuma leaves the State Capture Commission in Braamfontein after hearing that Judge Raymond Zondo will not recuse himself, 19 November 2020. Picture: Neil McCartney

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has welcomed a ruling by the Pietermaritzburg High Court to dismiss, with costs, the application of French arms company Thales, challenging racketeering charges it faces with former president Jacob Zuma.

NPA spokesperson Sipho Ngwema said: “We look forward to the criminal hearing.”

Advocate Barry Roux, for Thales, said he had not seen the judgment dismissing the application and could not give any comment on whether the company would appeal the ruling.

Party Funding Act ‘a historic development for transparency and accountability’

President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: GCIS

Lobby group My Vote Counts has welcomed the signing of the proclamation on the commencement date of the Political Party Funding Act, which will regulate the public and private funding of political parties.

The 2018 Act was signed into law in January 2019 and has been awaiting President Cyril Ramaphosa’s decision on its implementation date.

EFF labels Mboweni ‘incompetent’ over failure to submit Treasury statements to Parliament

Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni delivers the 2020 National Budget Speech at the Parliament House on February 26, 2020 in Cape Town. Picture: Gallo Images / Brenton Geach

The Economic Freedom Fighter (EFF) on Friday condemned Finance Minister Tito Mboweni for failing to submit National Treasury’s annual financial statements to Parliament, with the party calling on the minister to submit the documents immediately.

This after Mboweni on Thursday asked Parliament for an additional extension, citing a dispute with the Office of the Auditor-General (AG) for the delay, among other reasons, in a letter to National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise.

Zondo in good health, shows no Covid-19 symptoms, says State Capture Commission

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo. Picture: Refilwe Modise

The chairperson of the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo Is in good health” and is not showing any symptoms of Covid-19 after he went into isolation last Friday.

The testimony of former Eskom chief executive officer (CEO) Brian Molefe had to be cut short and the commission adjourned its proceedings on 15 January, after it became known that Zondo had been in contact with a person who has tested positive for Covid-19.

‘I would have done it too’ – SA reacts to Johann Rupert’s Covid-19 vaccine jab in Switzerland

South African businessman and Chairman of Remgro, Johann Rupert speaks at the University of Pretoria in Pretoria, South Africa on 15 October 2008. (Photo by Gallo Images/Foto24/Cornel van Heerden)

South Africans have taken to social media to voice their opinion on reports of billionaire Johann Rupert getting a Covid-19 vaccine jab in Switzerland.

According to Swiss publication Tages-Anzieger, Rupert was one of the 12 people who received the vaccine as part of its test from the Hirslanden hospital group in Thurgau, last week.

Senekal farm murder case postponed to 30 March

Famers observe a moment of silence for the murdered farm manager Brendin Horner. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

The two men who were arrested in connection with the murder of Free State farm manager Brendin Horner briefly appeared at the Senekal Magistrate Court on Friday morning, where their case was postponed to 30 March 2021.

According to the National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA’s) Free State spokesperson Phaladi Shuping, the case was postponed to allow for further investigations.

1,448 died on SA’s roads during the festive season

Minister of Teransport Fikile Mbalula and Road Traffic Management Chief Executive Officer Advocate Masini Msibi before briefing media on 2020 Festive Season Road Statistics at N12 , Eldorado Park Pedestrian Bridge, 22 January 2021. Picture; Nigel Sibanda

There were 1448 road fatalities recorded in South Africa during the festive season, from 1210 crashes.

This is a 7% decline in fatalities and 10.3% decline in crashes, year-on-year.

This was revealed by Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula on Friday, as he released the 2020 festive season road statistics in Eldorado Park.

Total blackout at SABC today as union workers down tools

General views of the SABC building in Auckland Park, Johannesburg, on 18 November 2020. Picture: Michel Bega

The Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) says they are forging ahead with the total blackout at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) on Friday from 11am to 2pm.

According to CWU’s Aubrey Tshabalala the blackout will start with workers downing tools, followed by a go-slow, and then a total blackout.

‘SA can’t afford another procurement fiasco’ – Corruption Watch seeks clarity on vaccines

According to the World Health Organization, some 168 potential vaccines are currently in development. AFP/File/CHANDAN KHANNA

With more questions being raised about government’s plan on Covid-19 vaccines, Corruption Watch says it has written to Treasury about its concerns over the threat of corruption in the procurement and distribution of Covid-19 vaccines.

The non-profit organisation posed questions to Treasury related to transparency in the procurement of vaccines from manufacturers globally as well as on oversight, transportation, storage and the distribution of the vaccines across the country.

Trucking union threatens national shutdown if memorandum is ignored


A national shutdown of the trucking industry looms as the South African National Cargo Transport Drivers Association (SANCATDRA) continues to push for clarity on the employment of foreign drivers. 

The association marched to the National Bargaining Council for the Road Freight and Logistics Industry (NBCRFLI) in December last year to hand over a memorandum.

Shootout between alleged CIT robbers, cops in Katlehong leaves 4 dead

Police inspect the scene of a cash-in-transit heist in Langlaagte, 22 January 2021. The suspects were later tracked to a house in Katlehong where they tried to shoot their way out. One suspect was arrested, while four others were fatally wounded. The team has launched a manhunt for the suspects that managed to flee the scene. Picture: Sibongumenzi Sibiya

Four alleged cash-in-transit (CIT) robbers were left dead following a shootout with police in Katlehong, east of Johannesburg.

South African Police Service (Saps) spokesperson, Colonel Brenda Muridili, said the shootout came after a CIT robbery on Edison Street, in Langlaagte, on Friday morning at around 7am.

Muridili said one suspect has been arrested following the robbery.

Tropical storm Eloise: Heavy rains could disrupt power supply

Limpopo, parts of Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal will likely see an increase in rainfall from this weekend, due to Tropical storm Eloise. Picture for illustration: iStock.

Power utility Eskom says it has put contingency plans in place as tropical storm Eloise could disrupt power supply in parts over southern Mozambique, parts of Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces as well as northern KwaZulu-Natal.

This is after the South African Weather Service (SAWS) warned on Wednesday that Eloise was making its way across Madagascar, and is expected to increase in intensity over the next few days.

Unisa semester change raises students’ ire

Main entrance of the University of South Africa (UNISA), the largest university on the African continent. Image: iStock

University of South Africa (Unisa) students have been outraged by the new announcement that the university would only have one semester instead of two and have launched a petition for the university to reverse its decision.

Unisa issued a letter to students this week stating that they would be extending the registration period to March due to Covid-19 related disruptions, resulting in the academic year starting in April.

Dineo Ranaka confirms secret marriage but removes post

Dineo Ranaka and husband Klaas Phesha.

The candid celebrity shocked fans when she changed her surname from Dineo Ranaka to the double-barrel Ranaka-Pesha on 16 January 2020, with the surname first appearing on the end credits of the TV show Mzali Wam, where she is an executive producer.

This week, she posted a message to her husband: “Please help me wish my husband a happy birthday you’re one in a million-boo thang! Plugged for life and loving it”

Sundowns’ Mokwena well aware of Swallows threat

Steve Komphela, Rulani Mokwena and Manqoba Mnqgithi during the MTN8 quarter final between Mamelodi Sundowns and Bloemfontein Celtic at the Moripe Stadium.(Photo by Samuel Shivambu/ Backpagepix/ Gallo Images)

Mamelodi Sundowns co-head coach Rulani Mokwena is wary of a ‘brave’ Swallows FC side with that ‘winning feeling,’ as the two teams lock horns in a top-of-the-table DStv Premiership clash at the Lucas Moripe Stadium today.

The Birds have surprised as the closest challenges to defending champions Masandawana at this stage of the season, with the sides tied on 26 points from 12 games, two clear of third-placed SuperSport United.

Kolisi’s short and sharp message to his teammates ahead of Sharks semifinal

Siya Kolisi

Siya Kolisi during a practice session in Cape Town earlier this week. Picture: Gallo Images

Captain Siya Kolisi had a clear and simple message for his Western Province team ahead of Saturday’s Currie Cup semifinal against the Sharks at Newlands – “Just do your job”.

This coastal derby has produced some interesting results in recent years and it has regularly been the visitors who have come out on top. It is something that has not been lost on Kolisi and he’s fully aware there are a number of threats in the Sharks team ahead of the game.

Rickelton leads the way as Lions register easy win against the Cobras

Ryan Rickelton

Lions opening batsman Ryan Rickelton recorded a wonderful unbeaten century as his team swept past the Cobras in a One Day Cup game in Potchefstroom on Friday. Picture: Getty Images

Ryan Rickelton celebrated his inclusion in the Proteas squad for the first time with a marvellous unbeaten century to take the Imperial Lions to a bonus-point victory over the Cape Cobras in their Momentum One-Day Cup match in Potchefstroom on Friday.

Rickelton thoroughly dominated the bowling as he stroked an impressive 109 not out off 98 deliveries, as the Lions chased down their target of 222 in just 39.2 overs with six wickets to spare.

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