For all the latest news in South Africa, be sure to check out which headlines are making waves across the country on Thursday 24 June 2021.
Today the province of Gauteng finds itself in the eye of the storm. The latest COVID-19 stats update released by the Department of Health suggests that this third wave is already the worst one experienced by the economic hub of South Africa, which is responsible for 62% of new infections in the country. How the province will respond, and how many lives will be lost is the question on everyone’s lips.
TODAY’S LATEST NEWS IN SOUTH AFRICA, Thursday 24 JUNE
COVID-19: SA adds more than 17 000 new cases, positivity rate now 24.9%
South Africa identified 17 493 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, bringing the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases in the country since the onset of the pandemic to 1 861 065.
“The sharp rise in the reported daily COVID-19 cases is cause for concern, especially in the Gauteng Province where daily case numbers are exceeding those during the previous two waves,” warned Dr Michelle Groome, the Head of the Division of Public Health and Response at the NICD.
“Ultimately, it is up to each one of us to play our role to reduce the spread of the virus by limiting our interactions with others, as much as possible during this time,” added Groome.
Unfortunately, a further 166 COVID-19-related deaths have been reported, bringing the death toll to 59 258 to date.
Decuplets mom was never pregnant, Gauteng government confirms
Meanwhile, the saga of the Tembisa 10 seems to coming to its logical conclusion, with the Gauteng provincial government confirming that Gosiame Sithole was never pregnant with decuplets, and not pregnant recently at all. In more bad news for journalist Piet Rampedi and Independent Media, the Gauteng government has instructed the State Attorney to take legal action.
Earlier in June, Pretoria News reported that a Gauteng woman gave birth to ten babies at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital. The publication further accused the Gauteng Department of Health and the provincial government of trying to cover up medical negligence.
In a statement released on Wednesday, 23 June, the provincial government confirmed that Sithole was admitted to to Tembisa Hospital on 18 June 2021 and various medical tests were done to determine her state of health.
“Initially, she was meant to be kept at the hospital for 72 hours, upon completing their preliminary examination on Monday, 21 June 2021, her doctors recommended that she be kept at the hospital for a further 7 days for observation, in accordance with the Mental Healthcare Act.
“It has now been established by medical practitioners that Ms Sithole did not give birth to any babies in recent times. It has also been established that she was never pregnant in recent times.”
Gauteng Provincial Government
The Gauteng Provincial Government said, on Wednesday, 23 June, that it intends to take legal action against Pretoria News editor Piet Rampedi and the Independent Group over allegations made by the media group in its coverage of the notorious ‘Tembisa 10’ saga.
The Kiffness, Max Hurrell release Ramaphosa iPad parodies
There’s hardly a dull moment in South Africa, and if you missed the drama over President Cyril Ramaphosa’s “missing” iPad you may struggle to appreciate this gem of a parody by The Kiffness and producer Maxx Hurrell.
The mysterious disappearance of Ramaphosa’s iPad on Tuesday afternoon has certainly not gone unnoticed, with When People Zol creator Hurrell and The Kiffness both cracking their knuckles and releasing parodies on Wednesday.
Hurrell returned to his signature sound, while the Kiffness elected to run the President’s voice as a sample during a live looping session.
You’ll be pleased to know that Ramaphosa did eventually get his iPad back, but took a note out of Norma Mngoma’s songbook and resolved to never leave his gadget unattended again.
Rude awakening for Durban family as bus crashes into home
From the sublime to the ridiculous and dangerous. A Durban family got a rude awakening on Wednesday when a bus crashed into the front of their house while they slept.
Peter Govender, homeowner, said the accident happened around 5am.
“We were still sleeping when we heard this loud crashing noise. I immediately could up and look through the bedroom window.”
Govender said he was shocked to see that a bus had crashed through the boundary wall and into his house.
“The bus came to a standstill against the wall of the bedroom where we were sleeping.”
SIU to seize millions in Digital Vibes bank account
The Special Investigation Unit (SIU) has been granted an order to freeze R22 million held in bank accounts linked to Digital Vibes (Pty) Ltd or to individuals and other entities that received payments from the firm
SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said that although the SIU investigation into the Department of Health’s appointment of Digital Vibes was ongoing, the preliminary investigations had allegedly revealed evidence exposing “two highly irregular and unlawful transactions”.
The first transaction was a procurement process in 2019 in terms of which Digital Vibes was appointed to perform communications services relating to the National Health Insurance (NHI). The second transaction occurred in 2020 during the tenure of the first transaction when Digital Vibes was ‘appointed’ in respect of a Covid-19 awareness campaign without any competitive bidding or other procurement process at all.
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