Daily news update: Covid-19 deaths top 8,000, former minister’s wife arrested and crime stats

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize.

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Covid-19 update: South Africa’s recovery rate increases to 66%

Despite being the country with the fifth-highest number of Covid-19 cases in the world, South Africa has reason to be hopeful, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize told the National Summit on Science and Innovation Response on Friday.

He said another reason to be hopeful lies in the recovery rate, which has now increased to 66%, showing that more people were overcoming the virus, he said.

South Africa has recorded a total of 493,183 confirmed Covid-19 cases.The country has recorded 193 new Covid-19 related deaths: 8 from Eastern Cape, 103 from Gauteng, 36 from KwaZulu Natal, 33 from Western Cape and 13 from Mpumalanga. This brings the cumulative number of deaths to 8,005.

Deputy finance minister asked to step down by the ANC’s Integrity Committee

The ANC’s Integrity Committee has recommended Deputy Finance Minister David Masondo should step down from his position in the government and ANC.

The committee’s chairperson, George Mashamba, had written to Masondo asking him to voluntarily step down from his position given accusations made against him that he had used his influence as deputy minister to set the Hawks on a former lover.

Crime stats: Murders increase yet again, but bank robberies down 100%

31 July 2020 – Police Minister General Bheki Cele at the release of the annual crime statistics 2019/2020 hosted in Pretoria, Gauteng, on Friday | Image: Supplied GCIS

There were 21 325 murders recorded in the previous financial year, representing an increase of 1.4% from last year’s murder rate, said Police Minister Bheki Cele on Friday.

But while contact crimes saw an increase of 0.7% or 4,072 cases in the year, the small silver lining in the crime statistics released on Friday is that bank robberies are down from four in the previous year to zero this year.

Bank robberies have declined by 100% according to the police ministry who stated that during the period under review (April 2019 to May 2020)

There seemed to be a drop in robberies overall as burglary at residential premises recorded a decline of 6.7% while robbery at residential properties recorded a decrease of 5.8%.

Former minister’s wife has been arrested – reports

A former minister’s wife has reportedly been arrested and is being detained at the Brooklyn Police Station in Pretoria.

She was allegedly under investigation for damaging a Mercedes Benz G-Wagon believed to belong to her husband.

While she was arrested on alleged assault and malicious damage to property, the Hawks told SABC news that she could face more charges.

The complainant in her arrest is reportedly her husband and “another person”.

“The complaint has been with us for some time we are still busy working on those allegations,” Hawks spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi told the SABC.

Mbeki criticises ANC’s synchronised election plan

Former President Thabo Mbeki in thought during a discussion about the 25 years that the ANC has been in government. Picture: Masi Losi

In a newsletter published by his foundation on Friday, Mbeki said having synchronised elections would mean local government would continue to be neglected and that crises in most municipalities across the country would persist, if not worsen.

“This would entrench processes according to which practically, local government would not be given the special focus it needs. Necessarily this would ‘legalise’ the counter-productive neglect which the ANC itself has visited on local government for two decades,” Mbeki said.

The former president wrote at length about the challenges in local government across the country, noting that the ANC had neglected the local government since 1994.

“As the country must move away from this position, the ANC NEC (national executive committee) must review the decision it has taken to ‘synchronise’ the elections,” Mbeki wrote.

KZN hospital allegedly torched for treating Covid-19 patients

According to a statement by the KZN health department, it is alleged that the torching of the brand new centre in Amatikulu, near Eshowe, was linked to disquiet among sections of the community over the conversion of a part of the hospital into a Covid–19 treatment facility. The centre was also burned down three years ago.

“The fully furnished centre, with computer equipment and some patient files, also had offices for the occupational safety nurse, monitoring and evaluation personnel, infection prevention and control officials, as well as the public relations officer,” the department said.

Police said it is alleged that at 01:00 on Thursday, a group of unknown people attacked the hospital in Eshowe and set alight a park home comprised of eight offices.

One security guard was left with a facial injury after he was hit by an object during the incident.

Twenty arrested in Thokoza after xenophobic violence

Army and Police patrol in Phola Park, Thokoza, 30 July 2020, after foreign nationals where targeted. Some foreign nationals say this has been going on for at least three days. The shops and homes of foreigners were looted, set on fire and their belongings were stolen or set on fire. Police and army patrolled the area coming up against sporadic instances of burning property around the area. Picture: Neil McCartney

Dozens of shops and homes occupied by foreign nationals in Thokoza, East of Johannesburg, were ransacked, with some burnt down, in a flare up of xenophobic attacks on Wednesday.

According to the Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (CoRMSA), the violent attacks followed a meeting held by residents last weekend to discuss unemployment within the Ekurhuleni area. “Foreign shop owners were targeted and on 29 July, large groups of people went door-to-door, chasing out foreign nationals renting backyard rooms and shacks,” CoRMSA said in a statement on Thursday.

A SAPS statement said that 20 people were arrested and that six of them face charges of possession of stolen property. The other 14 face charges of contravening the Covid-19 disaster regulation restriction on being outside between 9pm and 4am.

Netflix’s Strong Black Lead shows SA’s Ama Qamata some love

Ama Qamata covers the fifth issue of Netflix’s ‘Strong Black Bae’ | Image: Screenshot (Instagram)

Star of Netflix’s Blood & Water Ama Qamata is the latest star to cover the fifth issue of ‘Strong Black Bae.’

Strong Black Bae is a digital series started by Netflix’s Strong Black Lead account, and it is aimed at “putting the spotlight on the hottest and finest talent in the game.”

Previous cover stars include the likes of Sex Education’s Ncuti Gatwa, Dolemite is my Name’s Da’Vine Joy and Queen Sono’s Pearl Thusi, so it’s safe to say that Qamata is in good company.

Thanks to the feature, we now know that Qamata is a Virgo queen who is all about her beauty rest, shopping, and Netflixing while she chills.

WATCH: Niniola opens up about working with Beyonce’s team

Nigerian singer Niniola. Picture: Edesiri Ukiri

Afro-house sensation Niniola Apata’s star continues to shine bright.

The Nigerian singer captured the hearts of music lovers all around the world following her 2017 debut album, This Is Me.

Her hit single “Maradona” featuring DJ Snake dominated South African airwaves and dance floors.

And if her new track “Addiction” from her upcoming album is anything to go by, she is here to stay.

Mercedes-AMG GT line-up shuffled

Mercedes-AMG has followed the unveiling of the hardcore GT R Black Series earlier this month up with a number of changes to the rest of the GT line-up.

On the model front, the simply titled GT remains the entry level model, but now comes with a power hike of 40 kW from 350 kW to 390 kW with torque remaining unchanged at 700 Nm. Dropped from the range though is the GT S with the GT C being retained along with the GT R and of course the Black. In these models, the 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8 engine continues as is.

Shabba would only play again for Kaizer Chiefs – agent

Siphiwe Tshabalala Pic: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

If Siphiwe Tshabalala returns to play in the Absa Premiership it will only be with Kaizer Chiefs, his agent Jazzman Mahlakgane told Phakaaathi on Friday.

Tshabalala has not played professional football since returning to South Africa last year from a spell in Turkey with Erzurumspor, who he joined from Amakhosi in August 2018.

The 35 year-old is now also looking at his options outside of football, but would return to play for Chiefs, the club he served for 11 years, after joining from Free State Stars in 2007.

“He is considering other options,” said Mahlakgane on Friday.

Five talking points before Serie A season finale

Atalanta are aiming for an historic second-place finish in Serie A.. AFP/MIGUEL MEDINA

Juventus have already sealed their ninth Serie A title in a row, but the league’s single-season scoring record could yet be broken and the battle against the drop is going down to the wire.

Here AFP sport looks at five talking points before the final round of Italian top-flight games this weekend.

Immobile targets record

Ciro Immobile needs just one more goal to equal the scoring record for a single campaign as Lazio make the short journey to Napoli for their final game.

The 30-year-old forward already has 35 goals and can match Gonzalo Higuain’s record of 36 goals, made playing for Napoli in the 2015-16 season.

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