Daily news update: Covid-19 stats, Gigaba denies wrongdoing and leopard spotted inside Pretoria estate

Minister of home affairs Malusi Gigaba. Picture: ANA

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Covid-19 surge lower than originally postulated, says Mkhize as SA records 286 new deaths

As of today, the total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases is 579,140, said Health Minister Zweli Mkhize.

A further 286 Covid-19 related deaths were recorded today – 42 from Eastern Cape, 20 from the Free State, 26 from North West, 76 from Gauteng, 54 from KwaZulu-Natal, 22 in Mpumalanga, 18 from Northern Cape and 28 from Western Cape. This brings the total Covid-19 related deaths to 11,556.

“We convey our condolences to the loved ones of the departed and that the health care workers who treated the deceased,” said Mkhize.

‘I did nothing unlawful,’ says Gigaba as he applies for leave to cross-examine Witness 3

Former finance minister Malusi Gigaba has denied any wrongdoing following explosive testimony against him at the State Capture Commission of Inquiry on Thursday.

Gigaba says he has instructed his legal representatives to apply for leave to cross-examine Witness 3.

“Witness 3 made spurious allegations against me. I strongly deny any suggestions or insinuation that there is anything unlawful that I did.”

Two men taken in for questioning for Mthwalume murders

Port Shepstone police at the scene on Tuesday. Photo: South Coast Herald

Two men have been taken in for questioning in connection with a recent spate of murders in Mthwalume, KwaZulu-Natal.

Colonel Thembeka Mbhele confirmed to The Citizen that no arrests have been made, and no one has been charged.

Police Minister Bheki Cele, while announcing the quarterly crime statistics on Friday afternoon, also touched on the matter and said police are confident that they will get “the proper answers” from at least one of the men being questioned.

UIF hits R40bn sweet spot to ‘ease lockdown blues’

The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) was in good spirits on Friday, after hitting the “magic figure” of R40 billion in Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (Ters) payments. 

This translates to 9,087,133 payments through 779,429 companies throughout the country. The deadline for Ters applications is Saturday. 

WATCH: Did EFF push Ramaphosa to act on Zimbabwe ‘human rights abuses’?

President Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe (left) and our own Cyril Ramaphosa at the AU Summit. Picture: Twitter (@GovernmentZA)

After decades of “quiet diplomacy”, “brotherhood” and silence by the ANC-led South African government on alleged human rights abuses in Zimbabwe, the almost unthinkable happened last week – the department of international relations and cooperation issued a series of tweets in which Pretoria for the first time referred to human rights concerns in the neighbouring country, in public.

WATCH: Warning sent out after leopard spotted inside Pretoria estate

Residents at an upmarket estate out on Garsfontein Road in the east of Pretoria have been asked to be careful after a leopard was spotted inside the estate.

A request was sent to members of Mooikloof estate after the animal was spotted along the riverine area on Friday, reports Rekord East. This after a screenshot of the leopard was captured on security footage on the south side of the estate.

You could own a luxury cottage with stunning views of the Welsh countryside for just R115

Cwellyn Cottage. Picture: Katherine Jablonowska

A couple in the UK are conducting a worldwide competition to raffle off their quaint cottage and donating thousands of pounds to a charity supporting vulnerable children in the process.

One lucky winner is guaranteed to become the new owner of the luxurious two-bedroom property for just £5, which is about R115. Ryan McLean and Katherine Jablonowska pledged to support The Children’s Society throughout the competition and have already donated £20,000 (R460,000) to the charity’s Emergency Coronavirus Appeal with a plan to raise thousands more.

WATCH: Ntando Duma’s daughter Sbahle Mzizi impresses fans with her singing skills

Ntando Duma with her daughter Sbahle Mzizi. Picture: Instagram / dumantando

Ntando Duma’s daughter recently showed off her vocal skills in an adorable video.

She took to Twitter to share a clip that three-year-old Sbahle Mzizi took of herself singing to India Arie’s I Am Not My Hair.

According to the Ntando, Sbahle was playing with her phone because she saw it as a toy and couldn’t help but sing along to her favourite tune in the car.

Sundowns fail to close gap between them and Chiefs

Mamelodi Sundowns again failed to capitalise on an opportunity to pile the pressure on Kaizer  Chiefs at the top of the Absa Premiership as they had to settle for a 1-1 draw against Highlands Park at the Dobsonville Stadium.

The defending champions are now three points behind the league leaders Amakhosi, who will play Polokwane City on Saturday.

‘Pros and cons’ for SA teams if they join Pro14, says Herbst

With a debate continuing behind the scenes, as South African rugby considers its next move in a potential shake-up for the sport, Wiehahn Herbst has compared the pros and cons of local teams staying in Super Rugby or heading to Europe.

It can be quite a culture shock competing in Europe, according to Herbst, but local players might have to take the good with the bad if plans proceed to explore the Pro14 market.

In the market for a compact SUV? Look no further

SUVs have been the preferred body style for car buyers for many years with various subcategories regularly popping up within the segment.

The compact SUV category has been one of the most active segments in the market of late with various manufacturers joining in on the feeding frenzy. And the demand for smaller SUVs continues to grow as consumer patterns show a steady trend of car owners trading down. This trend is nothing new, but has been amplified by the economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic.

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