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Mass COVID-19 vaccination will assist in minimising deaths and hospitalisations: NICD
14 August 2021, 2:50 PM

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) says, the coronavirus will never fully disappear – but mass vaccination will assist in minimising the deaths and hospitalisations in the years to come. This comes as many scientists questions if South Africa and any other country in the world- will ever reach population immunity, especially with the highly infectious Delta variant.

Government initially intended to vaccinate 66% of the population – but that target is not even close to being achieved with just over 10% of the adult population now fully vaccinated.

Dr. Melinda Suchard, head of the Centre for Vaccines and Immunology at the NICD, explains:

“It’s very likely that the virus is going to become part of viruses that circulate and make people ill but not at epidemic levels. Viruses like influenza, it’s relatively few people every year. It’s very likely that it’s going to happen to SARS COV-2. It will continue to circulate, there will always be some people catching it in any season but those that are vaccinated will not suffer from severe illness or death. SARS COV-2 is going to be with us for a long time, years.”

Over 9.3 million vaccines have been administered across South Africa so far – with 4 million people having been fully inoculated. 

Stigmatization

Meanwhile, a senior official at the World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned against stigmatization that could emerge as the divide between vaccinated and unvaccinated people within communities or societies grows.

This sentiment was echoed by an official at GAVI- The Vaccine Alliance who reiterated their view that vaccinations were an individual choice despite the urgent public health implications not getting vaccinated might have.

This, as the federal government, the military, companies, and cities in the United States increasingly demand employees are vaccinated to be able to return to work or mandate it for entry into indoor facilities like restaurants and gyms.

The video below has more on the report on the divide between vaccinated and unvaccinated:

 

Power outage hits coal export terminal at Richard’s Bay
13 August 2021, 9:03 PM

A power outage in the main coal export terminal Richards Bay has forced state-owned logistics monopoly firm Transnet to delay offloading of trains for 10 hours, the company said on Friday.

“The outage meant that the Richards Bay Coal Terminal was unable to offload trains for approximately 10 hours, resulting in a 50% wagon capacity for Friday’s production plan,” the freight logistics group said.

Zondo thanks members of the Commission for hard work and commitment over the years
12 August 2021, 9:27 PM

Acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has thanked members of the Commission for their hard work and commitment over the last three years that the inquiry has been running.

Speaking after the testimony of President Cyril Ramaphosa, Zondo said while the plan had been that the President would have been the inquiry’s last witness there are a few loose ends still to be tied up.

“We continue to ask some people for affidavits to clarify certain matters that we pick up as we prepare, analyse evidence, and prepare the report. But we will continue with that work Mr. President and in due course, you will get the report and from my side, I can’t wait for the day when I hand over the report and know that I am done.”

In the video below SABC News Political Editor Mzwandile Mbeje wraps up the proceedings:

Meanwhile, President Ramaphosa says South Africans have a shared responsibility to leave the era of state capture behind and act together to prevent corruption in all its forms.

He says democratic checks and balances must be reinforced to prevent the abuse of power.

“We must strengthen the institutions established to support democracy and effectively capacitate our law enforcement agencies. We need to safeguard the freedom and independence of the media. We must professionalize the public service and we must attract skilled people back into the public service.”

In the video below the President gives his closing arguments:

 

Sexual assault trial of former Orlando Pirates coach postponed to October 19
12 August 2021, 9:15 PM

The case of former Orlando Pirates and Zambian national soccer coach Milutin Sredojevic has been postponed to the 19th of October for judgment by the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court.

The 51-year-old coach is facing charges of sexual assault after a 39-year-old woman laid charges against him during the Cosafa Cup tournament last year in Gqeberha.

Earlier the defence filed an application for all the charges to be dropped against Sredojovic citing there’s no prospect of prosecution due to lack of evidence. The defence argued that the two-state witnesses, the complainant and Cosafa Events Manager Dianne Stark’s evidence was contradictory during cross-examination.

The court dismissed the application saying the accused has a case to answer. During his testimony, Sredojovic denied any conversation with the complainant besides asking for a litter bin to throw a paper cup.

He says he was surprised when confronted by Stark about these allegations on his way to throw the paper cup.

Maimane to join other parties opposing IEC’s application to postpone LGE
12 August 2021, 8:48 PM

The leader of One South Africa (OSA) Mmusi Maimane, says he’ll be joining other parties and organizations in opposition of the application by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to have the October local government election (LGE) postponed.

Maimane says the country needs to adequately prepare for the reality of elections during COVID. He was addressing the Cape Town Press Club on electoral reforms. Maimane says the mandate of the ANC and other political parties expires in October.

The Moseneke Commission of Enquiry, which has been adopted by the IEC, has proposed that the election be postponed until February next year.

INFOGRAPHIC: Moseneke’s report:

Maimane says it’s inevitable that elections will be held under COVID conditions.

“This is sacrosanct to our democracy. It’s vital that you don’t allow your Constitution to simply be amended by those who apply to the ConCourt. More than anything imagine if you had told the people of America please stick it up with President Trump, because we’ve got COVID. Imagine if you went to Malawi and said please let’s hold on for a while until there is no COVID. Imagine Zambia today go to the polls and you say to President Lungu, listen don’t worry just wait until the end of COVID.”

Urgent intervention

Meanwhile, the African Transformation Movement (ATM) filed an urgent intervention application to the Constitutional Court to oppose the IEC’s application to have the elections postponed.

The papers were filed Thursday afternoon.

Acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has set down the 20 August to hear the IEC’s application.

Constitutional crisis

On Wednesday the Democratic Alliance (DA) said a constitutional crisis will be created if the Constitutional Court accedes to the IEC’s application for the deferment of the LGE.

The party said it will also approach the court to oppose the IEC’s application.

Federal Council chairperson, Helen Zille says the only way the constitution can be amended is through achieving a requisite majority in Parliament.

Zille says postponing the election will be a fatal mistake.

“If they were to accede to the IEC’s demands they will be in fact fundamentally violating their own role, which should be to defend the Constitution against all and it would create the impossible precedent of a small group of people being able to override the Constitution should they see fit to do so.”

In the video below Helen Zille speaks to SABC News:

Weather

 

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