The Citizen
9 minute read
29 Jan 2021
5:00 am

Daily news update: Covid-19 stats, ConCourt rules against Zuma and Sibongile Khumalo dies

The Citizen

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Former president Jacob Zuma. Picture Neil McCartney

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

ConCourt rules that Zuma does not have the right to remain silent at Zondo inquiry

Jacob Zuma

Former South African president Jacob Zuma appears at the Pietermaritzburg High Court in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, 23 June 2020. Picture: EPA-EFE/KIM LUDBROOK

On Thursday, the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) handed down judgment on whether former president Jacob Zuma would be legally obliged to give evidence before the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture. 

The court ruled that Zuma has to obey all summonses and directives issued by the commission. He must appear before the commission on the dates determined.

PROFILE: All you need to know about the ANC’s new Chinese-born MP

Luthuli House, the ANC headquarters in Johannesburg. Picture: Michel Bega

The appointment of Xiaomei Havard, a Chinese-born South African businesswoman, as a member of Parliament (MP) following the passing of minister Jackson Mthembu in the National Assembly has been met with mixed reactions.

Following Mthembu’s sudden passing, the ANC appointed Havard to fill his seat in the National Assembly and she was sworn in on Wednesday.

Good news for provisional tax taxpayers: Sars extends filing deadline

Picture: Moneyweb

Even filing tax returns have become a problem for South African tax payers during the pandemic and as a result the South African Revenue Service (Sars) has decided to extend the filing season deadline for provisional taxpayers from 29 January to 15 February 2021.

Sars said in a statement it has noted “with deep concern the unprecedented health challenge manifested through Covid-19 with the accompanying loss of lives and livelihoods”.

Tributes pour in for legendary jazz singer Sibongile Khumalo

Sibongile Khumalo – Picture: Twitter / @Khanyi_Magubane

Tributes are pouring in for South African jazz musician, Sibongile Khumalo after she died at the age of 63.

The news of Khumalo’s was made public on Thursday evening, with the singer succumbing to stroke related complications, her family confirmed.

SCA dismisses Cape Town residents’ lockdown level 4 appeal

Cooperative Governance Minister, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. Picture: GCIS

Cape Town residents challenging the legality and regulations of last year’s national lockdown alert level 4 had their case struck off the roll by the Supreme Court of Appeal on Thursday.

Duwayne Esau and seven others challenged President Cyril Ramaphosa, Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Minister of Trade and Industries and Competition Ebrahim Patel.

Cabinet mum on burning questions as lockdown drags on

President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: @PresidencyZA

Government is hosting a three-day Cabinet lekgotla chaired by President Cyril Ramaphosa and the focus of the gathering is on the economy, the country’s finances and the state of local government.

That is according to the acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, who briefed the media on Thursday. The Cabinet lekgotla is the first one for the year and includes premiers of all nine provinces and representatives of the South African Local Government Association (Salga).

R17 million heist at SSA complex was an inside job, Miss K tells Zondo commission

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo. Picture: Refilwe Modise

To date, State Security Agency (SSA) officials who were allegedly involved in the R17 million heist from a safe inside the agency, are still holding their positions.

This was revealed by SSA’s unidentified witness, Miss K, to the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture on Thursday.

Advocate Paul Pretorius, for the commission, asked the witness about the involvement of the Cooperative Disability Investigations (CDI) members in the robbery that happened in December 2015.

EXPLAINER: The different Covid-19 vaccines and their side effects

Picture: iStock

South Africans are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the first batch of Covid-19 vaccines, which are set to land soon.

Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize announced on Wednesday that the first one million doses would arrive on Monday, 1 February.

Currently, only the AstraZeneca vaccine has been approved for use in the country to prevent Covid-19 infections.

All SAPS officials who attended Jackson Mthembu’s funeral to be investigated

Jackson Mthembu laid to rest. Picture: Twitter @GwedeMantashe

Police Minister Bheki Cele has announced that SAPS has started an internal process investigating all South African Police Service (SAPS) officers who attended the funeral of the late Minister in Presidency Jackson Mthembu.

This as the SAPS scored an own goal by allowing Mpumalanga Premier Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane at the proceedings without a mask.

Government’s booze ban argument no longer holds water, says alcohol body

Picture for illustration. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

The South African Liquor Brand owners Association (Salba) believes it has come up with yet another reason why government should lift the current restrictions on alcoholic beverages. 

The National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) has provided data on hospitalisations due to Covid-19, some of which shows decreases across the country.

DA draws in Hawks to investigate Makhura’s corruption allegations

Gauteng Premier David Makhura. Picture: Twitter/@GautengProvince

The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Thursday submitted an official letter to the Hawks requesting an urgent investigation against Gauteng Premier David Makhura’s involvement in the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) corruption scandal.

Makhura has been implicated in the scandal by the former Gauteng Health Department Chief Financial Officer, Kabelo Lehloenya who claims that she was given the names of the companies to appoint to supply and deliver PPEs in the province by Makhura.

This is how government plans to vaccinate SA’s 1.25 million healthcare workers

The only two nurses on duty, Sipho Wilson Batlhaping and Ruth Seikaneng walk through a corridor of the Reivilo Health Centre in Reivilo, a town an hour away from Taung, in the North West province, on 3 September 2020. Picture: Thomson Reuters Foundation/Gulshan Khan

Government is in a race against time to rollout the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine to the country’s 1.25 million healthcare workers starting in February after the Department of Health on Wednesday outlined how the process will work.

South Africa is aiming to vaccinate 65% of the adult population – 40 million people – in order to achieve herd immunity. And healthcare workers will play a critical role in this process, which will be at a scale greater than that of HIV treatment or elections.

Covering of coffins with plastics is unnecessary, says health department

Sello Headbush, the owner of a Funeral Parlour adjusts Venetian blinds, inside the showroom where coffins are on display in Port Elizabeth on July 11, 2020. – “People were not taking this seriously” said the owner of the family run business, as numbers in South Africa of COVID-19 related deaths soars. Photo by MARCO LONGARI / AFP (This picture is for illustrative purposes only.)

The Department of Health (DoH) has clarified safety protocol relating to the covering of coffins and burials of people who have died from Covid-19 complications.

This after South Africans took to social media during late minister in the presidency Jackson Mthembu’s funeral to question why his coffin was not wrapped in plastic as is done at many burials.

Patients are treated like animals at some public hospitals – EFF on Shonisani Lethole’s death

Shonisani Lethole. Picture: Twitter/@BusiLethole

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have welcomed the report by the Office of the Health Ombud released on Wednesday, relating to Shonisani Lethole’s death at Tembisa Tertiary Hospital in June last year.

The party says it supports claims that doctors and nurses at some public hospitals “treat patients similar to animals at the zoo”.

CCMA rules against Department of Agriculture in sexual harassment case

Picture: iStock

An employer must act when sexual harassment takes place on its premises, even if this is during a meeting which the employer has not authorised, the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) has found.

An employee of the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, who was subjected to “gross sexual harassment” at a union meeting on the department’s premises, has been awarded 10 months salary by the CCMA.

Body mix-up at Stanger Hospital mortuary grieves family

The body storage facility at a funeral parlour in Soweto on 21 July. Photographer Michel Bega explains: ‘Due to the number of deaths from Covid-19, this funeral home had been forced to increase its storage facilities. This image was taken as part of a feature which saw The Citizen team being taken on a tour of the facility. It’s not the first time I’ve been into such a facility, but this time was different. Description tags on the cold storage doors gave the name and cause of death for each individual. More than half were due to Covid-19. It was quite nerve-racking being literally so close to the virus and the effects.’

A grief-stricken family from KwaDukuza are still upset after their loved one’s body went missing from Stanger Hospital mortuary.

The corpse of matriarch Gladys MaQiki Njiyela, who died on Friday, 8 January, was reported missing 3 days later after the undertaker from the funeral home arrived at the mortuary to collect the 71-year-old’s body for burial.

Why Eskom wants to make changes to its tariff structure

An Eskom sign at the entrance of the power utility’s Megawatt Park offices in Sunninghill on 25 August 2020. Picture: Michel Bega

Eskom hopes its proposed retail tariffs for 2021 will help solve a looming problem triggered by increased solar generation across the country.

It cites a research study that projects between R3.5 billion and R4 billion in revenue will be lost to photovoltaic (PV) solar generation by the end of this year. Many would argue these numbers are on the low side.

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