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Covid-19 update: 132 new deaths confirmed in SA, latest global developments
Source: Health Department
As of Thursday, 01 October, the cumulative number of detected Covid-19 cases is 676,084 with 1,745 new cases identified, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has confirmed.
132 more Covid-19 related deaths were reported: 41 from Mpumalanga, 49 from KwaZulu-Natal, 8 from Gauteng, 7 from North West, 7 from Northern Cape, 6 from Western Cape and 14 from the Free State.
Thus bringing the total number of Covid-19 related deaths to 16,866.
"We extend our condolences to the loved ones of the departed and thank the healthcare workers that treated the deceased patients," the Minister added.
Recoveries now stand at 609,854 which translates to a recovery rate of 90%
November's 96 by-elections: Voter registration open this weekend
Sealed IEC ballot boxes at a voting tent in Brackenfell, Western Cape, 8 May 2019. Picture: Henk Kruger / African News Agency (ANA)
Voter registration will be held this coming weekend for 96 municipal ward by-elections scheduled for 11 November.
The by-elections will take place in 56 municipalities in all nine provinces across 461 voting districts affecting more than 600 000 registered voters, the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) announced on Wednesday.
This after by-elections were postponed in March due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Voting stations in affected wards will be open on Saturday and Sunday from 08:00 to 17:00 to allow all eligible voters to register and for current voters to check their registration details and to update address details where necessary.
Voters who are already registered have the further option to check their registration status online at if they have internet access or to SMS their ID number to 32810 at a cost of R1 per SMS.
Malema takes a dig at 'imaginary billionaire president', as ANC pays salaries late, again
EFF leader Julius Malemabriefs media after appearing at the Randburg Magistrates Court in Johannesburg, 14 September 2020 , for assaulting a police officer at the funeral of struggle icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in 2018.Picture; Nigel Sibanda
The payment of salaries for ANC staff members has been delayed again, according to a letter with the governing party's letterhead and signed by the party's general manager Febe Potgieter.
According to the letter shared on social media, salaries for September will be paid late, on 9 October 2020.
"We urgently request staff to make the necessary arrangements with their banks, and we most sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused," the letter reads.
EFF leader Julius Malema took a dig at the party's president in a tweet of the letter.
Malema tweeted: "Imaginary billionaire president, sies", tagging the party and state president Cyril Ramaphosa on the social media platform.
Almost 900 state farms up for grabs – Didiza
The new Danish vegan party aims to end all livestock farming for human benefit. AFP/File/JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER
At least 896 state farms measuring 700,000 hectares are under utilised or vacant, minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Thoko Didiza announced on Thursday, adding that the land will be made available to the public
The farms are situated in the Eastern Cape, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, and North West and the minister's department is expected to issue advertisement notices for the occupation of the land in the next two weeks.
Government will offer a 30-year leasehold, with an option to buy, and this form of leasehold places certain obligations to the State as the lessor and beneficiaries as the lessees.
ANC Free State convene urgent meeting after officials arrest
Executive Mayor of the Mangaung Metro Municipality, Olly Mlamleli. PHOTOS: PIERCE VAN HEERDEN
Ousted Mangaung metro mayor Olly Mlamleli's future hangs in the balance as the ANC officials in the Free State have been locked in talks after her arrest on Wednesday.
News24 reported that Mlamleli was arrested on Wednesday morning and taken to Bainsvlei police station in Bloemfontein.
News24 understood that the arrests were related to the controversial asbestos contract, which Mlamleli was fingered for during her stint as MEC.
Officials in the province convened an urgent meeting following the arrests of Mlameli and other high-profile people in the province.
An insider said officials were deadlocked on whether to implement resolutions by the ANC's national executive committee, which instructed all those implicated in wrongdoing to step aside; "or follow the party's constitution and the law that everyone is innocent until proven guilty".
High court dismisses Peterson Siyaya's case, slaps him with costs order
Peterson Siyaya who is suing media houses for defamation can be seen leaving the Pretoria High Court, 27 August 2020. Picture: Jacques Nelles
The North Gauteng High Court has thrown out a R5 million damages claim launched by Peterson Siyaya after he was labelled a "businessman" and "trade unionist" in media reports linking him to the ongoing domestic drama between former Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba and Gigaba's estranged wife, Norma Mngoma.
Judge Elizabeth Kubushi on Thursday found the statements that Siyaya had taken issue with did not lower his reputation in the eyes of a reasonable person.
"At worst, the statements are neutral and may in fact increase the esteem in which some members of the community hold him," she said.
Siyaya approached the court with an urgent application against eNCA, City Press, Sunday Times, The Sunday World and The Citizen last month, over reports identifying him as the owner of a G-class Mercedes Benz that Mngoma allegedly damaged during a violent outburst.
Lamola raises eyebrows over 'no need for Covid-19 anti-corruption unit' comment
Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Ronald Lamola. Picture: Jacques Nelles
Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola says there is no need for the establishment of a special Covid-19 anti-corruption unit.
Lamola also revealed no such unit had been established by the government. This was revealed in his reply to DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach's written parliamentary question.
Breytenbach wanted details on the status of the unit and whether it had been established.
Lamola said the country's existing law enforcement agencies have the capacity to deal with corruption.
"Instead, the president [Cyril Ramaphosa] has requested the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security [JCPS] cluster to consider establishing measures through which corruption emanating from Covid-19, both in terms of procurement as well as the implementation of the Covid-19 stimulus package announced by the president, could be dealt with."
NSFAS receives 300,000 applications for 2021 academic year
Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande, 26 August 2020. Picture: GCIS
The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has so far received 300 995 applications for the 2021 tertiary academic year.
This was 20 000 more applications compared to the same period last year.
Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande said the number was extremely overwhelming and encouraging and they anticipated a high volume in applications leading up to the closing date.
Nzimande said the received applications were consistent for the past three consecutive years where Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, and Limpopo led with the highest applications submitted.
Senior ANC politician handing himself over to police is a 'deflection', says Malema
Former ANC MP Vincent Smith. Image: Twitter / @AdvoBarryRoux
In a surprising turn of events, former ANC MP Vincent Smith handed himself over to police in Alberton on Thursday morning, appeared in the Palm Ridge Specialised Commercial Crimes Court, and was granted R 30 000 bail, for allegedly benefitting off a relationship with Bosasa (now known as African Global Operations) officials.
The accused faces one count of fraud and one of corruption, while his company – Euroblitz 48 – also faces a corruption charge.
Following a brief appearance at the commercial crimes court, the accused was granted bail by Magistrate P Venter, and is expected back in court on October 14.
Part of his bail arrangement was that he submit his passport and not change his physical address without adequate notice.
The fraud charges relate to suspected non-disclosure of benefits he received from Bosasa officials.
ANC distances itself from rape-accused MEC's supporters, after clashes outside court
ANC banner. Picture: Twitter
A group of his supporters – some dressed in ANC gear holding placards calling for him to get bail – clashed with EFF members outside the Nelspruit Magistrate's Court.
The group insisted that the charges against the man and his 26-year-old stepson were a smear campaign against the politician.
They clashed with EFF members and were seen tearing up their posters, which called for bail to be denied.
The man is appearing for a formal bail application for the alleged rape of two 8-year-old girls. It is understood the matter was delayed and he would appear after 14:00.
ANC spokesperson Sasekani Manzini said those who were supporting the accused were not representing the ANC.
Government official hands himself over to Hawks for FS asbestos corruption
Hawks. Picture: Gallo Images / Beeld / Felix Dlangamandla
A former government official who was on the run after the Hawks made several arrests in connection with the controversial multimillion-rand asbestos audit project deal in the Free State on Wednesday, has handed himself over.
Hawks' Warrant Officer Lynda Steyn said at 12pm on Thursday, the former government official who worked at a national department handed himself over to his lawyers in Umhlanga, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.
On Wednesday, the Hawks made several arrests in connection with a 2014 Free State asbestos audit tender worth R255 million.
Olly Mlamleli, the former mayor of the Mangaung metro municipality, was allegedly among those arrested.
Govt to resolve e-tolls 'fiasco' to bring back Sanral borrowing capacity – Mbalula
Minister of Transport, MbalulaFikile/\r\n/during the launch of PRASA Ministerial Security Plan. Image: Twitter / @EsethuOnDuty
The government wants to move with haste to resolve the e-tolls debacle in an effort to restore the SA National Roads Agency (Sanral) to its full borrowing capacity, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula said.
"We had already started, but were derailed by the pandemic. But we are back to it now. We have got to finalise it and get it done, so that the Sanral borrowing capacity can be unleashed and restore confidence in investors," he said on Thursday.
He was speaking at the launch of Transport Month and the opening of the Hammarsdale interchange project between Durban and Pietermaritzburg.
"We looked at the hybrid model for e-tolls, but we know we are up against a revolt. We are looking at that in relation to the scrapping and what then becomes the alternative," he told journalists at the Mpumalanga Regional Stadium in Hammarsdale.
'Money will be recovered,' says Makhura on PPE tender corruption
Gauteng Premier David Makhura. Image: Twitter / @GautengProvince
Gauteng Premier David Makhura on Thursday vowed that action would be taken against every corrupt official involved in the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE), as well as those who allowed it to happen.
Makhura on Wednesday placed the head of the provincial health department, Professor Mkhululi Lukhele, on precautionary suspension with immediate effect.
Makhura's office said he was acting on the recommendations of the Special Investigating Unit (SIU), following the presentation of an update report on 22 September 2020.
On Thursday, the premier reiterated that the SIU's recommendations would be acted on.
"I want to make sure we hold everybody accountable for the wrong that has happened. We've got to tackle this decisively and rise to the occasion."
Only 34 days until 2020 matric exams begin
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga addresses the top 30 top matric achievers and their parents at a breakfast hosted by Vodacom in Midrand, 7 January 2020. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark
Thursday marks the start of the countdown until the consolidated 2020 matric exams, which will officially commence in 34 days.
This according to Education Minister Angie Motshekga who was speaking at a briefing on the changes affecting the education sector under level 1.
"It is now 34 days to the start of the NSC examination for the matric class of 2020! We, therefore, appeal to parents, guardians, and communities to rally behind all the candidates who will be writing their final exams this year. It is an extraordinary time for them and all of us, but they need the support more," said Motshekga.
As part of changes made to the school calendar to accommodate days lost during the national lockdown, the June Senior Certificate examination was postponed, and will now be written together with the November exam, according to Motshekga.
Western Cape already in preparation for possible second Covid-19 wave
Positive vaccine news comes as some countries start to reintroduce virus control measures. AFP/Fred TANNEAU
The country remains at significant risk of a second wave of Covid-19 cases, according to Western Cape head of health Dr Keith Cloete.
On Thursday, Western Cape Premier Alan Winde held a digital press conference with his MECs and Cloete following President Cyril Ramaphosa's announcement of the easing of lockdown restrictions.
Speaking about the province's aim during the hard lockdown, he said the focus had been about flattening the curve.
"We wanted our peak to look like Table Mountain."
Winde added some of the things that stood out for him was the innovation from the government such as the Red Dot taxi system and new intervention of delivering medication to people's homes
Lucky Free State winner of R121m PowerBall jackpot yet to come forward
Photo: Roxanne Joseph
Somewhere in the Free State, one lucky person has won more than R121 million – but he or she still needs to cash it in.
National Lottery operator Ithuba said the player scooped the third largest PowerBall jackpot for this year in Tuesday's draw.
But the winner is yet to make contact with Ithuba.
The person bags a massive R121 730 295.90 – the third biggest jackpot for 2020, after two winners from KwaZulu-Natal earlier won R135 million and R153 million respectively, from playing on their banking apps.
The player used a ticket wager of R15 and opted for the Quick Pick selection method to choose the winning numbers of 07, 12, 16, 28, 38, and PowerBall number 13.
Second Russian virus vaccine passes early trials – report
The studies, published in The Lancet medical journal, constitute a major step on the road towards a COVID-19 vaccine that is effective and safe for widespread use. AFP/File/CHAIDEER MAHYUDDIN
Early clinical trials of a second Russian coronavirus vaccine have proved successful, its developer said Thursday after Russia boasted of approving the world's first vaccine.
Russia's Vektor – a top-secret state virology research centre in Siberia – said that early-stage trials were successful for its own experimental vaccine, named EpiVacCorona.
"The first two phases of clinical trials demonstrated the effectiveness and safety of the EpiVacCorona vaccine," Vektor's press department told the Interfax news agency.
Russia announced in August that it had developed the world's first registered vaccine – named "Sputnik V" after the world's first satellite.
VIDEO: Apartheid spies inspire Thebe Magugu's latest range
A model in Thebe Magugu designs from the Spring/Summer21 Collection titled 'Counter Intelligence' | Image: Twitter
A Paris Fashion Week showing from 2019 LVMH prize winner Thebe Magugu is all the rage in fashion circles this week, not just for the quality of the garments on display, but for the show's inspiration which is a nod to South Africa's politically and racially charged past.
The designer was one of many designers who put on a digital show, his being a short film titled Counter Intelligence by Thebe Magugu aimed at showing off the latest designs in his Spring 2021 ready-to-wear collection.
The new PS5 will set you back R9,999.99 (and other things you need to know)
Image : Supplied :PS5
Launching on 19 November and just in time for Christmas the PS5 will launch in SA and the rest of the world, including Europe, Middle East, South America, Asia all at the same time.
The PS5 Digital Edition will be available for a recommended retail price (RRP) of R9,999.99 and PS5 with an Ultra HD Blu-ray™ disc drive will be available for an RRP of R11,999.99. Pre-orders will be available starting today at select retailers.
Sony Interactive Entertainment revealed new updates to the PS5™ game portfolio, including Final Fantasy XVI, Fortnite, Hogwarts Legacy, and a new God of War title.
WATCH: Al Ahly unveil Pitso as new coach
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – SEPTEMBER 14: Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane with the three trophies during the Hyundai Sundowns Lounge: The Road to La Decima Interview Opportunity with Mamelodi Sundowns at Hyundai Head Office on September 14, 2020 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)
Following Mosimane's much-publicised move from Mamelodi Sundowns to Al Ahly on Wednesday, the Egyptian giants have confirmed the former African Coach of the Year's arrival at their club.
Sundowns confirmed Mosimane had resigned as the club's coach after a successful season that saw them win the treble with four years left on the former Bafana Bafana mentor's contract with the Pretoria club.
"The wait is over! Pitso Mosimane is now officially the coach of the African club of the century," read a caption on the club's twitter account which also produced a video of Mosimane.
Mosimane revealed after resigning from Sundowns that he has been in talks with an African side that has been interested in his services for a few seasons and made him a good offer to lure him from the Brazilians.
Messi v Ronaldo in Champions League group stage
(COMBO) This combination created on October 1, 2020 shows file pictures of Barcelona's Argentine forward Lionel Messi (L) controls the ball during the Spanish league football match between FC Barcelona and RC Celta de Vigo at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on November 9, 2019, (L) and Juventus' Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo controls the ball during the Italian Serie A football match Juventus vs Sampdoria on September 20, 2020 at the Juventus stadium in Turin. (Photo by Josep LAGO and Miguel MEDINA / AFP)
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo will meet in a mouthwatering clash in this season's Champions League after Barcelona and Juventus were placed in the same group in Thursday's draw.
Messi and Ronaldo will resume the rivalry they developed when the Portuguese superstar was at Real Madrid. Between them they have won 11 of the last 12 Ballons d'Or.
The two heavyweights were drawn in Group G along with Dynamo Kiev of Ukraine and Ferencvaros, the Hungarian club returning to the group stage for the first time in quarter of a century.
Meanwhile, beaten 2020 finalists Paris Saint-Germain will have a chance for revenge against Manchester United, who ousted the French club in the last 16 two seasons ago.
Semenya's lawyer prepares testosterone rule challenge in European court
Caster Semenya's fight to run internationally is on-going following another recent setback. Picture: Getty Images
The lawyer of South Africa's Olympic 800m champion Caster Semenya, barred from certain races unless she takes hormone suppressants, has told AFP he is preparing to approach the European Court of Human Rights to challenge the ban.
Two-time Olympic gold medallist Semenya has differences of sexual development (DSD), a condition that causes her body to produce elevated testosterone levels.
The World Athletics governing body in 2018 banned Semenya and other DSD athletes from races between 400 metres and a mile unless they take hormone-suppressing drugs.
Semenya, 29, unsuccessfully challenged those rules at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
She then turned to Switzerland's Supreme Court, which dismissed the appeal last month.
Djokovic storms to 70th win, as Anderson keeps SA hopes alive
Novak Djokovic of Serbia returns the ball in his first-round match at Roland Garros. Picture: Getty Images
World number one Novak Djokovic took another confident stride closer to an 18th Grand Slam title with his 70th win at Roland Garros on Thursday as Jelena Ostapenko stunned second seed Karolina Pliskova, throwing the women's draw wide open.
Djokovic, the 2016 champion, needed just 83 minutes to complete a 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 demolition of Lithuania's Ricardas Berankis in the second round.
The top seed went level with Roger Federer for victories at the tournament, although still 25 behind Rafael Nadal's all-time best.
He will now face Colombian lucky loser Daniel Elahi Galan, ranked 153, for a place in the last 16.
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