Daily news update: Covid-19 stats, dagga lab worth millions busted and SIU finds irregular PPE contracts

A massive dagga business has gone up in smoke after police discovered it recently. Photo: Supplied

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Covid-19 update: SA records 3,398 more cases, breaches 60,000 mark

Source: Health department

The total number of confirmed positive Covid-19 cases in South Africa is now 603,338, announced Health Minister Zweli Mkhize.

A further 225 Covid-19 deaths have been reported – 57 from Eastern Cape, 46 from Gauteng, 81 from KwaZulu-Natal, 6 from Northern Cape, 10 from North West and 25 from Western Cape. This brings the total Covid-19 related deaths to 12,843.

“We convey our condolences to the loved ones of the department and thank the health care workers who treated the deceased.”

Recoveries now stand at 500,102.

Sars finds 17 PPE tenders of R1.2bn involving ‘politically exposed persons’

Sars commissioner Edward Kieswetter. Picture: Moneyweb

As part of the push to clamp down on Covid-19 related corruption, the South African Revenue Services (Sars) is fast-tracking the recovery of revenue owed in connection with personal protective equipment (PPE) tenders – and so far it’s picked up on at least 17 awards in which “politically exposed persons” were involved.

This was revealed on Friday, at a briefing before the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) from the inter-ministerial committee established earlier this month to assist with investigations into Covid-19 related corruption.

Saica strips former Transnet and Eskom CFO of his membership

Anoj Singh. Picture: Moneyweb

Former Eskom CFO Anoj Singh has been “excluded from” the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants’ (Saica’s) following the conclusion of a disciplinary hearing.

Singh, who is also a former Transnet CFO, has been found guilty of 12 of the 18 charges levelled against him.

The disciplinary hearing was concluded in July, which led to Saica’s disciplinary committee making a finding.

SIU freezes accounts of businesses fingered in irregular PPE contracts

National Director of Public Prosecutions, Adv Shamila Batohi.
Picture: Bongani Shilubane / African News Agency / (ANA)

As the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) tabled strategies to bring those facing allegations of corruption in the procurement of goods and services sourced for the purpose of combating Covid-19, the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has announced that it has obtained a court order to freeze accounts of businesses linked to alleged irregular Gauteng PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) contracts.

Xenophobic content in SA tweeted 120 times more since one toxic account was founded

Some of the 300 people stand in a queue soon after arriving from Durban by free transport after xenophobia attacks in the port town forced Zimbabwe residents to leave South Africa, Beitbridge, Zimbabwe, 25 April 2015. EPA/AARON UFUMELI

A Twitter account created in November last year has fuelled toxic dialogues on the social media platform aimed at debasing foreign nationals in South Africa.

This according to the Centre for Analytics and Behavioural Change’s (CABC) interim report released on Monday.

The report investigated content, users, and tracked the “intentional promotion of xenophobic conversation” relating to Twitter in South Africa.

PICS: Hydroponic dagga lab worth millions busted in Muldersdrift

A massive dagga business has gone up in smoke after police discovered it recently. Photo: Supplied

Three men were arrested after a hydroponics lab in which about 60 dagga plants were being cultivated was discovered on a plot in Muldersdrift recently, reports Krugersdorp News.

Sergeant Audrey Sefara, spokesperson for the West Rand District Police and the Westonaria Police, said the discovery was made during the Basadi crime prevention operation that was held in conjunction with operation Okae Molao in the Krugersdorp Policing Precinct last week.

Your weekend guide to where to go in the city

Get outdoors this weekend in Johannesburg. Photo: iStock

Many parks in Johannesburg, including nature reserves, have reopened but the Johannesburg Zoo will be closed until we reach Level 1.

“Social gatherings are still not allowed, it is only limited to walking, hiking and exercise. Photographers can visit, take pictures of nature and birds. They can share it on our social pages,” Joburg City Parks and Zoo spokesperson Jenny Mood-ley said.

Table Mountain Cableway welcoming back visitors soon

Table Mountain cable way has reopened. Photo: iStock

The beautiful city of Cape Town will have one of its top tourist attractions reopening soon – the Table Mountain CableWay.

In a statement on Friday, Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company (TMAC) managing director Wahida Parker said thanks to the easing of the lockdown regulations, they will be ready to welcome visitors from 1 September.

This follows the cableway’s earlier announcement of opening as a safety service for hikers during Level 3.

Johnson reacts to Zongo’s Platinum Stars claims

Coach Gavin Johnson believes he had a very good relationship with midfielder Masibusane Zongo and got the best out of him while he was on the books of the defunct club.

READ: Bad boy Zongo blames clubs for going AWOL 

Johnson signed Zongo from Chippa United to Platinum Stars where he made headlines for his match-winning performances.

Zongo claimed in a recent interview that coaches and management at some of the clubs he played at didn’t keep their word by paying him the money promised for match appearance or selecting him in the starting line-up which led to him going AWOL on some occasions.

Feisty Springbok De Klerk spurred on by being told he was too small

South Africa’s World Cup winning scrum-half Faf de Klerk says being told he was too small to succeed in rugby was the spark he needed to prove the doubters wrong. AFP/Anne-Christine POUJOULAT

Being told he was too small to make it in rugby acted as the spur for South Africa’s World Cup winning scrum-half Faf de Klerk to prove the doubters wrong, he told The Times.

The 28-year-old was pivotal in the Springboks’ impressive World Cup campaign in Japan last year climaxing with a 32-12 thrashing of England.

While he says off the pitch he is “a very easygoing, fun guy”, opposing players whether in Tests or in the English Premiership — he plays for the Sale Sharks — see a very different side to him on the pitch.

However, he admits standing at only 5 feet 7 inches (1.70 metres) he had to develop a feisty side.

Jeep Grand Wagoneer’s true self slowly being revealed in latest teaser

New Jeep Grand Wagoneer’s grille clearly inspired by that of the original.

Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has resumed teasing the all-new Jeep Grand Wagoneer ahead of its reported world debut next year.

Earlier this month, the automaker, somewhat oddly, kicked-off the campaign for its long overdue Commander replacement by showing an image of the Grand Canyon with the embedded words  “Grand/grand/: magnificent and striking in appearance, size or style”.

In the latest depicting posted on the official Jeep twitter page, two more finer details of the newcomer are revealed.

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