Citizen reporter
13 minute read
13 Sep 2020
10:07 pm

Daily news update: Covid-19 latest, Funeral industry’s shutdown and Mapaila slams Zimbabwe, Zanu-PF

Citizen reporter

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Covid-19 update: Only 20 Covid-19 deaths reported, with 1,579 new cases identified

Source: National Department of Health.

As of Sunday, 13 September, the total number of confirmed Covid- 19 cases is 649,793 with 1,579 new cases identified.

20 more Covid-19 deaths have been reported: 4 from KwaZulu-Natal, 6 from Gauteng, 4 from Eastern Cape and 6 from Western Cape.

The total number of deaths is 15,447 and the total number of recoveries is 577,906.

“We extend our condolences to the loved ones of the departed and thank the health care workers that treated the deceased patients,” said Health Minister Zweli Mkhize.

Funeral industry planned 3-day national shutdown to start on Monday

A mortuary worker wearing a face mask and gloves prepares supports for coffins, most of them containing the bodies of COVID-19 victims, at the parking of the Collserola funeral parlour in Montcada i Reixac, near Barcelona. More than 900 people died in Spain over the past 24 hours for the second day running, government figures showed on Friday, although the rate of new infections and deaths continued to slow. (Photo by PAU BARRENA / AFP)

The funeral industry is planning a three-day national shutdown of its services in a bid to get government’s attention over a long list of demands it wants addressed.

The call for the shutdown was led by the Unification Task Team (UTT) – a grouping of 17 funeral associations and forums and was planned to begin on Monday, 14 September until Wednesday, 16 September.

During the planned shutdown, there would be no removal of bodies from hospitals or homes and there would be no burials, UTT national coordinator, Peter Matlatle, told News24 on Sunday.

UTT said the South African government had not done enough to ensure the industry was diverse and transformed. It said that since 1994, the industry was still dominated by “white minority capital” and a handful of “black elites”.

Two men arrested for allegedly murdering Ocean Basket owner and her mother

File Image.

Two men have been arrested following the murder of an Ocean Basket seafood restaurant owner and her mother in Polokwane, Limpopo, police said on Sunday.

The suspects, aged 30 and 35, allegedly murdered Lizette Deacon, 55, and her mother, Hettie Deacon, 70, in their house at Welgelegen next to Cycard in Polokwane.

The mother and daughter were found stabbed to death on Thursday evening after they had been abducted earlier.

“Both suspects were arrested today at different locations by a high level team of investigators led by deputy provincial commissioner responsible for crime detection, Major General Samuel Manala. The team was assembled soon after this incident,” said police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo.

He said the first suspect, aged 35, was arrested in Mookgopong at about 02:35am and the second in Polokwane at about 08:00am on Sunday.

SACP’s Mapaila slams Zimbabwe, Zanu-PF for its ‘growing authoritarianism’

South African Communist Party (SACP) deputy general secretary Solly Mapaila. Picture: ANA

The SACP’s first deputy secretary Solly Mapaila has hit out at the Zimbabwean government and Zanu-PF for its “growing authoritarianism”, a stance that contradicts that of its alliance partner, the ANC.

Commenting on the Zanu-PF government during a virtual media briefing in a post central committee meeting, Mapaila said it was a pipe dream for any revolutionary movement to think they could achieve any objectives without their people.

“There is growing authoritarianism in Zimbabwe which we reject with the contempt it deserves. Particularly from our comrades in Zanu-PF. We don’t think a revolutionary movement should decline in its ethos and democratic practices in the manner that is happening, whilst denying it, we see that many Zimbabweans are running away from their own country,” he said.

Mapaila’s statement was in stark contrast to that of the ANC’s, which denied that neighbouring Zimbabwe was facing a crisis.

UIF Covid-19 Ters payments temporarily halted to improve controls

Minister of Labour and Employment Thulas Nxesi.

Payments for new and outstanding applications for Covid-19 Ters relief fund have been temporarily halted following concerns raised by the auditor-general of South Africa (AGSA).

In a statement by the Department of Employment and Labour and the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) on Saturday, the pause in payments would allow the department to improve controls and deal with gaps identified by the AGSA.

Acting UIF Commissioner, Marsha Bronkhorst, said people who had defrauded the system would face the law, with police investigating cases.

“There are already some cases that we have brought to the SAPS for investigation and prosecution – 35 out of a total of 146.

“This also serves as a notice to those who may have intentions to try and defraud the system. Not only will it be harder to do so, but even if they do succeed, the law will eventually get them and they will pay for stealing from the workers,” Bronkhorst said.

She added that the AGSA identified deficiencies in payments of Covid-19 benefits which were already picked up by management.

Free State 9-year-old girl found dead inside wardrobe, residents allegedly kill suspect

File picture: SAPS Twitter

The body of nine-year-old Free State girl Boipelo Sesele, who disappeared while playing with other children on 1 September, has been found.

Free State police spokesperson Brigadier Sam Makhele said Sesele’s body was found not far from her home on Saturday afternoon.

“It is alleged that the children were playing in the street when they sensed a bad smell from a shack not far from Boipelo’s home and alerted community members who’ve been assisting to look for the child.

“They went to the shack and found it locked, forced entry and opened the wardrobe where the smell was coming from and found the body of Sesele, then alerted the police.”

Makhele said while at the scene, it’s alleged the owner of the shack appeared and was attacked by the community.

Covid-19 Solidarity Fund gets R50 million boost from UK government

Nurses set up the new ventilators during an event at Charlotte Maxeke hospital in Johannesburg, 24 August 2020, in which the Solidarity Fund delivered a batch of ventilators to the hospital. This is the first batch of over 20 000 locally produced ventilators that are easy to use, non invasive and cheaper than previous versions. Picture: Neil McCartney

The Department of Trade and Industry has announced that South Africa’s Covid-19 Solidarity Fund has been given a R50 million grant by the government of the United Kingdom.

In a tweet on Sunday morning, the department said: “The grant is aimed at extending the Fund’s ongoing efforts to counter the repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic in SA focusing specifically on projects supporting and promoting women.”

The Solidarity Fund was created at the start of South Africa’s national lockdown as a platform for South Africans from both the public and private sectors to donate money in order to combat some of the greatest challenges presented during the pandemic response.

Mpumalanga man arrested for stealing R1,4 million worth of train tracks

The man was an employee of a well-known waste management and scrap metal company in Mpumalanga, said police spokesperson Captain Dineo Lucy Sekgotodi on Sunday.

Sekgotodi said the man was expected to appear before the Vosman Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

The arrest came after members of the Middelburg Serious Organised Crime team, Afri Guard at Transnet, and Durban harbour police observed a group of suspects at Kromdraai who were loading stripped railway tracks onto a truck, said Sekgotodi.

Mali opposition rejects junta-backed transition charter

Some military personnel were still celebrating the coup in Mali a day later. AFP/ANNIE RISEMBERG

Mali’s popular opposition movement has rejected a charter for a transition government backed by the ruling army officers who ousted president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

The military junta backed a charter for an 18-month transition government on Saturday, after a three-day forum with political parties and civil-society representatives.

But the June 5 Movement, which took part in the talks, later rejected the roadmap in a statement, and accused the junta of a “desire to monopolise and confiscate power”.

It also said that the discussions had taken place against a backdrop of “intimidation, antidemocratic and unfair practices worthy of another era”.

European nations pin hopes on new measures as virus cases mount

People in Paris aged 11 and over are now required to wear the masks in crowded areas and tourists hotspots. AFP/File/PHILIPPE LOPEZ

Austria and Britain were among European nations grappling with mounting coronavirus infections Sunday, while restrictions were eased in the South Korean capital Seoul and work resumed on a much-hyped potential vaccine.

New cases in the UK reached more than 3,000 in 24 hours for the second day in a row Saturday, with the Sunday Times newspaper reporting that around one-third of those were at elderly care homes where the virus has roared back.

“I think one would have to say that we’re on the edge of losing control,” Mark Walport, the British government’s former chief scientific adviser, told BBC radio.

After a spate of local lockdowns this month, new government restrictions come into force across England on Monday, limiting social gatherings to no more than six people.

Meanwhile France reported 10,000 new infections Saturday, close to the peak of the first wave in April.

Prime Minister Jean Castex declined to announce any new major restrictions Friday despite noting a “clear worsening” in the country’s outbreak.

Around the world, 921,219 people had died of the virus from among 28.8 million cases on Sunday.

We need to talk about Rasta

Rasta has managed to be the talk of the town again. Picture: Twitter/@RastaArtist

The self-proclaimed “best paint artist in South Africa” has done it again.

The artist Lebani Sirenje, popularly known as Rasta, once again has South Africans on social media questioning their own eyesight with his painting of whom was meant to be murdered actress Thandeka Mdeliswa.

As is usually the case with Rasta’s paintings, the responses ranged from those accusing him of wasting paint, some questioning whether he is a troll, to those suggesting he find another hobby as his constant artistic gaffes might get in trouble with the likes of the EFF.

Sirino strikes as Sundowns seal treble with Nedbank Cup win

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – SEPTEMBER 12: Pitso Mosimane, coach of Mamelodi Sundowns celebrates a victory during the Nedbank Cup final match Bloemfontein Celtic and Mamelodi Sundowns at Orlando Stadium on September 12, 2020 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Samuel Shivambu/Backpage Pix/Gallo Images)

Pitso Mosimane delivered the treble to Mamelodi Sundowns as Gaston Sirino’s late strike was enough to give them a 1-0 win over Bloemfontein Celtic in the Nedbank Cup final on Saturday evening at Orlando Stadium.

Sundowns’ victory was tainted slightly by an administrative error that saw Tebogo Langerman included in their match-day squad, when he was supposed to be suspended.

Langerman did not take the field against Phunya Sele Sele, but national Soccer League rules are clear that any player in the match-day squad is said to have participated in the match. Celtic immediately lodged a protest over Langerman’s inclusion.

However, the rules also state that Celtic’s protest had to come at least 30 minutes before kick off, and while the Premier Soccer League will surely charge Sundowns for contravening their rules, the likelihood is that Masandawana will only be fined.

Salah hat-trick sees Liverpool edge Leeds 4-3 in thrilling opener


Mohamed Salah scored a hat-trick as Liverpool saw off three fightbacks from Leeds to begin their defence of the Premier League with a thrilling 4-3 win at Anfield.

Leeds’ return to the English top-flight under Marcelo Bielsa after a 16-year absence was highly anticipated and a clash against the reigning champions lived up to expectations as three times they equalised through Jack Harrison, Patrick Bamford and Mateusz Klich to cancel out Salah’s first-half double and Virgil van Dijk’s header.

However, Salah’s second penalty of the game two minutes from time ensured Liverpool got off to a winning start.

Liverpool dropped points at Anfield just once on their romp to a first league title in 30 years last season but were nearly undone on the opening day of their title defence by Leeds’ daring attacking endeavour and a host of defensive errors.

Koeman begins Messi reconciliation at Barca

Though his genius on the field has remained undimmed, Messi has been unable to carry his imploding club. AFP/File/Josep LAGO

Barca faced Gimnastic Tarragona in a friendly on Saturday and Messi featured after Koeman said he will field two separate line-ups in each half.

Messi only returned to pre-season training on Monday and has worked on the squad’s days off as he tries to make up for lost time following a chaotic few weeks.

Koeman said last month he only hoped to keep players who wanted to be at the club and he then held a meeting with Messi, in which he reportedly took a hard line with the Argentinian.

But after Messi’s explosive interview with Goal last week, in which he said he had been forced to stay but pledged to give his all for the team, Koeman struck a more conciliatory tone on Friday.

“I have already said it several times that Messi is the best,” said Koeman.

“Messi when he is physically fit is a very important player as he has shown for many years and I hope he can repeat it this year.”

Hamilton wins chaotic Tuscan Grand Prix

Walking on air: Lewis Hamilton leaves his car after winning the Spanish Grand Prix. ‘I was ecstatic.’ he said. POOL/AFP/ALBERT GEA

Lewis Hamilton won a chaotic, crash-littered Tuscan Grand Prix on Sunday, extending his lead at the top of the Formula One drivers’ championship.

Reigning champion Hamilton finished ahead of his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas to claim his 90th F1 victory in a race which only 12 drivers finished, moving the Briton to within one win of equalling Michael Schumacher’s all-time record.

“It’s was all a bit of a daze,” said Hamilton to Sky Sports.

“It was incredibly tough today… All the those restarts, the concentration that’s needed during that time, it was really, really hard.”

Hamilton, 35, is now on 190 points, some 55 ahead of Bottas and is also on course this season to equal Schumacher’s record of seven world titles after claiming his sixth win in nine races this year.

Thiem, Zverev eye first Grand Slam title in US Open final

Dominic Thiem can’t wait for the US Open. AFP/File/Andrej ISAKOVIC

Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev are both looking to bag a breakthrough first Grand Slam title when they face off behind closed doors in the US Open final on Sunday.

It will be the 27-year-old Thiem’s fourth major tennis final and his second in a row after reaching the last-two in Australia this year, while Zverev, 23, is playing his first.

Thiem joked after his straight-sets semi-final victory over Daniil Medvedev that if he loses, he might have to contact a multiple-Slam winner who lost four finals before winning his first, and then going on to win two more.

“If I win, I have my first. If not, I probably have to call Andy Murray (about) how it is with zero,” the Austrian said ahead of the showdown inside Arthur Ashe Stadium.

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