Daily news update: Matric 2020 pass rate, Zondo vs Zuma and Bushiri detained in Malawi

This year's matric class could find it hard going, having missed out on much of Grade 11. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

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Matric 2020 pass rate of 76.2% better than expected ‘blood bath’ – Min Motshekga

Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, announcing the results of the National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations in Pretoria. Picture: GCIS

Despite months of school closures and being forced to adapt to the new way of schooling, the matric class of 2020 has came out with a 76.2% pass rate, representing a drop of 5.1% as compared to 81.3% in the previous year.

Click here to view your matric results, or to read more articles

Basic education Minister Angie Motshekga announced the long-awaited results on Monday afternoon, following a thumbs up of the final results from quality assurance board Umalusi last week. All nine provinces saw a decrease in their pass rates.

Zuma must spend two years in prison – Zondo

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo. Picture: Karen Sandison

Justice Raymond Zondo has asked the Constitutional Court to declare former president Jacob Zuma in contempt of court and to be sentenced to two years imprisonment.

In papers filed urgently on Monday, Zondo asked the court to confirm Zuma’s refusal to honour a summons for him to appear before the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture was in contempt of an order of the court earlier this month.

Malawian police detain Shepherd Bushiri, daughter in ‘critical condition’

Shepherd Bushiri in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court during a bail application on 2 November 2020. Picture: Jacques Nelles

With only less two weeks left to Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) church leader Shepherd Bushiri and his wife’s formal extradition hearing, the couple has been detained after a warrant of arrest was executed by the Malawian police on Sunday, 21 February.

According to ECG’s spokesperson Ephraim Nyondo, the Malawian police raided Bushiri’s premises on Sunday morning to effect the warrant of arrest. This is after the couple’s daughter was stopped from leaving Malawi for Nairobi in Kenya on Friday, to seek medical attention.

792 new cases as deaths edge slightly closer to 50,000 mark

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize. Picture: GCIS

As of Monday, 22 February 2021, the cumulative number of detected Covid-19 cases is 1,504,588 with 792 new cases identified, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has confirmed.

97 more Covid-19 related deaths were reported. This brings the total number of Covid-19 related deaths to 49,150.

Meanwhile, the total number of vaccines that have been administered stands at 23,059.

Yes, there’s still plenty of tea at Nkandla, says Zuma

Jacob Zuma and Bheki Cele at Zuma’s Nkandla homestead on Thursday, 18 Feb 2021. Picture: Twitter /@DZumaSambudla

Following several high-profile visits in recent weeks to his KwaZulu-Natal homestead, former president Jacob Zuma on Sunday said there was still plenty of tea available for those who wanted to visit his Nkandla home.

“Don’t worry, the tea is still there to be used by those who want to come to Nkandla. Don’t worry, they can come, we’ll have it,” Zuma said, speaking during a virtual umrhabulo round table organised by the ANC, themed Social cohesion and the national question.

‘It wasn’t me’: Ex-transport minister denies influencing tenders at Prasa

Former minister of transport Dipuo Peters. Picture: Siyabulela Duda

Former transport minister Dipuo Peters has told the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture that she was never involved in wrongdoings at the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa during her tenure as minister between 2013 and 2017.

Peters was giving testimony on Monday before the commission regarding matters relating to allegations of corruption at the agency. She had previously claimed that she was unaware of how prevalent corruption and wrongdoing had been at the agency.

ANC refusing no confidence motion in Premier Makhura, says DA’s Msimanga

DA Gauteng premier candidate Solly Msimanga. Picture: Nokuthula Mbatha / African News Agency (ANA)

DA Gauteng leader Solly Msimanga on Monday accused the governing ANC of stalling debate on a motion of no confidence in Gauteng Premier David Makhura in the provincial legislature.

Speaking at a virtual press briefing ahead of the premier’s State of the Province Address (Sopa) on Tuesday, Msimanga slated Makhura for his running of the province, saying the ANC had refused to schedule the debate to hold him accountable.

Covid-19 may have been a major setback for the education system in 2020

Pupils from Curtis Nkondo School of Specialisation in Zola, Soweto, queue up for the first day of school on 15 February 2021. Photo: Michel Bega

The strides made in improving the education system have been impeded by conditions brought on by the government’s response to Covid-19.

This is according to Equal Education (EE) ahead of the expected release of the matric results for the class of 2020 on Monday. Last year, the Deparment of Basic Education (DBE) estimated that 326 000 learners were unaccounted for since the start of the year.

Alleged mastermind of Tshegofatso Pule’s murder to apply for bail next week

Friends of the late Tshegofatso Pule, who was murdered earlier this year demonstrate against GBV at the Johannesburg High Court, 19 November 2020. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

The man accused of masterminding the death of slain mother-to-be Tshegofatso Pule will be applying for bail next week.

Ntuthuko Shoba – understood to have been the father of Pule’s unborn baby – made a brief appearance in the dock of the Roodepoort Magistrate’s Court on Monday morning, following his arrest on Friday. His case was postponed to next week for a formal bail application.

MPs demand ‘real accountability’ on vaccine roll-out plan

Healthcare workers administer the first batch of Johnson and Johnson vaccines at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto, 17 February 2021, as health workers receive the first jabs of the vaccine in the fight against the coronvirus pandemic. Picture: Michel Bega

Lawmakers are expected to demand answers on the supposed veil of secrecy surrounding the government’s vaccine procurement and roll-out plans at a parliamentary debate on Tuesday.

This follows the DA stopping short of dragging the government to court to force it to reveals details of the roll-out plan last week. As the first phase of the programme aimed at healthcare workers crawled on, with limited sites causing long queues at some hospitals, politicians want the government to open itself up to more scrutiny.

Kenny Kunene’s PA to lay charges against Makhubo

Johannesburg mayor Geoff Makhubo gives evidence at the State Capture inquiry in Johannesburg on 27 November 2020. He was implicated in testimony this week, in relation to questionable payments made by an IT company. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

The Patriotic Alliance (PA) will lay charges of corruption and money laundering against Johannesburg mayor and ANC regional chairperson Geoff Makhubo.

According to PA NEC member Kenny Kunene, the party will lay charges at the Sandton police station on Tuesday.

This is after the head of ENSafrica Forensics, Steven Powell, implicated Makhubo at the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture in November last year.

Bongo wants corruption case against him thrown out

Bongani Bongo answering questions before the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) in the New Assembly in Parliament on December 07, 2017 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Gallo Images / Daily Sun / Lindile Mbontsi)

Corruption accused ANC MP Bongani Bongo wants the case against him thrown out based on evidence presented in his trial.

On Monday, the state closed its case against Bongo, who has pleaded not guilty to a corruption charge emanating from an accusation that he tried to disrupt a parliamentary inquiry into state capture at Eskom on 10 October 2017, by allegedly bribing an official. In a surprise move, Advocate Mike Hellens SC, Bongo’s counsel, requested a Section 174 application to discharge the case based on evidence presented so far.

Condolences pour in for Khusela Diko after husband Chief Madzikane II dies

Khusela Diko

Khusela Diko. Picture: Twitter

Messages of support were pouring on social media for presidential spokesperson Khusela Diko following the death of her husband Madzikane Diko II on Sunday.

The death was confirmed by the KwaBhaca Great Kingdom which announced the traditional leader had passed away in hospital in East London following a “short illness”.

Local cane growers renew call for Mboweni to lower sugar tax

What is left of the sugar cane field. Image: Zululand Observer

The South African Cane Growers Association (SA Canegrowers) have called on Finance Minister Tito Mboweni to decrease sugar tax to help save the local industry. Mboweni is due to deliver the Budget Speech on Wednesday. 

SA Canegrowers said reducing the health promotion levy will help the industry recover, adding that an additional R100 billion in revenue accrued to National Treasury means government has room to help the 65,000 direct jobs the local sugar industry reports.

Taxpayers exposed to Eskom’s nuclear waste disposal, decommissioning liabilities

Pylons at Eskom’s Koeberg nuclear power plant on August 24, 2015 in Cape Town, South Africa. Koeberg is the only commercial nuclear power station in Africa. (Photo by Gallo Images / Nardus Engelbrecht)

South Africans labour under the misguided belief that Eskom and the Nuclear Energy Corporation of South Africa (Necsa) make real funding provisions monthly over the operating life of their nuclear reactors to cover the costs of decommissioning and disposal of high-level nuclear waste in terms of the “polluter pays” principle.

DJ Fresh and Euphonik accuser alleges her home address was leaked

DJ Fresh. Image: Tracy Lee Stark

After alleging that a police officer leaked her witness statement to the media, DJ Fresh and Euphonik’s accuser, known only as “Nampree”, has further alleged her home address was also leaked.

She shared this information along with a statement by Women Inspired Solutions for Empowerment (Wise) which is a not-for-profit organisation assisting in her pursuit for justice.

Ex-Bafana coach Parreira set for SA return?

E-Bafana Bafana coach Carlos Alberto Parreira linked with a move to Maritzburg United (EPA/NUNO VEIGA)

Could former Bafana Bafana coach Carlos Alberto Parreira make a move to South Africa again? Well, according to a Phakaaathi source, this is possible.

The source has claimed that Parreira, who earned more than R2-million a month as Bafana coach leading to and during the 2010 Fifa World Cup, could be coaching in the Premier Soccer League in the next few months.

Lions crush Titans in rain-hit T20 Challenge clash

Rassie van der Dussen

Rassie van der Dussen made an unbeaten 37 runs off 24 balls, helping the Lions lay the foundation of their win against the Titans. Picture: Gallo Images

The Lions were outstanding in the field as they hammered the Titans by 18 runs on the DLS method to win the Gauteng derby and move ever closer to the playoffs in the T20 Challenge at Kingsmead.

The win saw the Lions leapfrog the Titans into second place on the log, with a game in hand. The rain which interrupted the decent Lions innings in the 17th over on 124 for four saw the Titans target adjusted to 131 in 15 overs.

Bigger squads, more rest at 2023 Rugby World Cup

Springboks

The Springboks, winners of the World Cup in 2019, are confident of facing the British and Irish Lions later this year, revealed director of rugby Rassie Erasmus. Picture: Getty Images

Teams heading to the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France will be allowed bigger squads and will benefit from greater gaps between matches, the organisers announced on Monday.

In order to improve player welfare, squads will be expanded from the 31 used in 2019 to 33 while all teams will have a guaranteed five-day break between pool matches which means that tournament will run one week longer than in Japan. The 2023 edition will kick off on September 8 and conclude with the final on October 28.

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