Daily news update: Covid-19 stats, schools to open in February and Molefe spills the beans

A pupil sanitises her hands before entering the school premises at the CR Swart High School in Pretoria on June 8, 2020. - Grade 7 and grade 12 pupils in South Africa began returning to classrooms on June 8, 2020 after two and a half months of home-schooling to limit the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. (Photo by Christiaan KOTZE / AFP)

An easy-to-read selection of our top stories. Stay up to date with The Citizen – More News, Your Way.

Your morning news update: Click on the links below for the full story or visit our home page for the latest news.

Daily Covid-19 update: 14,880 new cases as another 615 deaths reported

As of Friday, 15 January 2021, the cumulative number of detected Covid-19 cases is 1,311,686 with 14,880 new cases identified, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has confirmed.

615 more Covid-19 related deaths were reported, with 100 from Eastern Cape, 41 from Free State, 99 from Gauteng, 189 from Kwa-Zulu Natal (KZN), 16 from Mpumalanga, 9 from Northern Cape and 161 from Western Cape.

This brings the total number of Covid-19 related deaths to 36,467.

Recoveries now stand at 1,062,690 with a recovery rate of 80,9%.

‘Revolting’ – Brian Molefe throws Ramaphosa, Glencore under the bus at Zondo commission

Former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe. Picture: Gallo Images

There was no load shedding at Eskom for three years. It came back only after Cyril Ramaphosa was elected president, and after the R1 billion ANC conference in Nasrec.

This is according to the power utility’s former chief executive officer Brian Molefe, in his opening remarks on Friday at the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture.

Brian Molefe’s testimony cut short as Zondo has to isolate

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo. Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency

The Commission of Inquiry into State Capture had to adjourn after it became known that Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo had been in contact with a person who has tested positive for Covid-19.

Zondo said he will have to isolate, voicing concerns on the disruption of the commission.

Ramaphosa denies Molefe allegations, promises corruption-free Covid-19 vaccine rollout

President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: @PresidencyZA

President Cyril Ramaphosa says the country is ready for a vaccine rollout and will get the capacity from “our people”.

He further denied accusations made by former Eskom chief executive Brian Molefe at the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture on Friday.

Why Cabinet decided to delay schools’ opening to 15 February

The Department of Basic Education has pushed the reopening of schools for learners to 15 February. Picture: iStock.

The Department of Basic Education’s academic calendar for the year 2021 has been postponed by two weeks to allow the already strained healthcare system to breathe.

The schedule of the curriculum resumption will now commence on the 15 February for learners. School management teams will report for duty on 25 January and teachers will follow 1 February.

Zuma to bail on Zondo commission – again

Former president Jacob Zuma at the state capture commission. EFE-EPA/Kim Ludbrook/Pool

Former president Jacob Zuma’s scheduled appearance before the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture on Monday has once again been contested by his lawyer, Eric Mabuza. 

In a letter addressed to the commission’s secretary Professor Itumeleng Mosala on Friday, Mabuza detailed the reasons for Zuma not appearing before the commission between 18 January and 22 January. 

SA needs to start seeing corrupt officials in jail, says EFF

Image for illustration: iStock

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have welcomed the Special Investigating Unit’s (SIU) freezing of the former chief financial officer (CFO) of the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development’s pension benefits.

Jacob Hlatshwayo was found to have been involved in alleged irregular personal protective equipment (PPE) contracts, the SIU said earlier this week.

Malema: ‘We should be able to pick up Bushiri like a chicken from a chicken run’

EFF leader Julius Malema. Picture: Jacques Nelles

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has been trending on social media following his party’s virtual press briefing on Thursday.

While he touched on a number of important elements during the briefing, he could not do so without throwing in a number of jabs directed at some well known people.

Govt stopped Covid-19 vaccine talks with middlemen due to overpricing – Mkhize

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize. Picture: GCIS.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said the government cut out dealing with middlemen to procure vaccines because of fear of over-pricing, corruption and possible defective vaccines.

In an interview with News24, Mkhize said talks with one company – acting as a middleman between the manufacturers and the government – was abandoned when they asked for four times the price of vaccines offered by manufacturers directly.

Ivermectin as Covid-19 elixir ‘fuelling fire’ of unconfirmed hope, says vet association

Ivermectin. Picture: Hospital Nacional Hipólito Unanue

For years, Ivermectin has been used to treat animal parasites and human diseases. The leap currently being made that it could ease Covid-19 symptoms, however, is not yet confirmed. 

Ivermectin was discovered in 1975, and first came into medical use in 1981. 

It is currently on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) list of essential medicines as an antifilarial, and is widely used to treat human diseases caused by roundworms and ectoparasites, such as sarcoptic mange mites that cause scabies. 

Process to appoint Mpumalanga’s 1,700 traffic cops ‘procedurally flawed’ – Premier

Photo: Archive

A police case has been opened into the recent appointment of 1 700 learner traffic officials by the Mpumalanga community safety, security and liaison department.

This follows a shock decision on Wednesday by Premier Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane to declare these appointments null and void after it was discovered the process was allegedly riddled with corruption and nepotism.

Allegations of Covid-19 non-compliance at Kruger Park camp ‘untrue’, says SANParks

Kruger National Park’s Malelane gate. Pic: Wikimedia Commons.

A recent outbreak of Covid-19 at Lower Sabie rest camp in the Kruger National Park (KNP) has revived allegations of non-compliance at the park’s Berg-en-Dal rest camp.

The allegations have since been refuted by South African National Parks (SANParks) spokesperson Isaac Phaahla.

70 new films coming to Netflix in 2021

Netflix viewership continues to rise throughout the coronavirus pandemic. AFP/File/Olivier DOULIERY

Netflix offered a preview of upcoming 2021 releases, a list with no fewer than 70 star-studded feature films, some starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Regina King and Jennifer Lawrence.

The sneak peek is unusual for the streaming giant, which historically has dropped news of only one film at a time — a testament to its clout as it easily surpasses the release volume of every Hollywood studio.

Chiefs’ Cardoso targets another win against Cape Town City

Daniel Cardoso of Kaizer Chiefs celebrates his goal with Samir Nurkovic, Bernard Parker, Yagan Sasman and Lebohang Manyama during the Absa Premiership match between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates at FNB Stadium. (Photo by Frennie Shivambu/Gallo Images)

After finally getting another DStv Premiership win under their belt, Kaizer Chiefs will look to hold onto that momentum as they travel south to take on Cape Town City on Saturday afternoon (kick off 5pm).

There wasn’t too much pretty about the midweek victory over AmaZulu, but Chiefs showed plenty of grit, summed up by the power of returning goalscorer Samir Nurkovic and by an excellent display in defensive midfield from Daniel Cardoso.

Proteas batsmen are ‘confident’, says Boucher, but they must adapt to Pakistan conditions

Mark Boucher (Coach) and Enoch Nkwe (Assistant Coach) during the South African national mens cricket team training session and press conference at Senwes Park on March 06, 2020 in Potchefstroom, South Africa. (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images)

Proteas coach Mark Boucher said on Thursday that, in the short-term, he looked forward to his batsmen capitalising in Pakistan on the confidence boost the series win over Sri Lanka had given them.

The Proteas were set to depart for their two-Test series in Pakistan on Friday and Boucher said it had historically been a good place for batting, something which a rebuilding South African batting line-up would welcome.

Dynamo lock Nortje ready to fire for Bulls in Currie Cup playoffs

Ruan Nortje of the Bulls during the during the Super Rugby, #SuperHeroSunday match between DHL Stormers and Vodacom Bulls at Cape Town Stadium on February 03, 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Carl Fourie/Gallo Images)

The ability of Ruan Nortje to tear around the rugby field in indefatigable fashion in the heat of summer has been one of the features of the season, but the Bulls lock said on Thursday he was grateful for the Covid-enforced break his team had to take, even though he is well aware and sad for the heartbreak the virus has caused for many.

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.



today in print

today in print