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Six killed in Umlazi following an attack by unknown gunmen
29 August 2021, 1:30 PM

Six people have been shot and killed at U-section in Umlazi south of Durban.

They were attacked by gunmen in three neighbouring houses.

A brother of one of the victims Sifanele Manyoni says they don’t know the reason for the attack.

“I came here at U section to see what’s going on only to find out that my brother, his girlfriend and four other people were shot and killed. So as a family we’re still confused. We need answers and I’m sure the families of the other people are still traumatized as well.”

KwaZulu-Natal police say they are investigating six cases of murder. Those shot include a 14-year-old boy and two women.

Police spokesperson Jay Naicker says it is suspected that the victims were involved in criminal activities in the area.

“The scene was attended to by the Provincial task team as well as police from Umlazi. Information at the scene from the residences in the area indicates that the six individuals were involved in criminality in the area and it’s suspected that they were killed by their rivals,” says Naicker.

Reporting by Nonhlaknipho Magwaza

In the video below, SABC Reporter Vusi Khumalo provides more details:

 

Two killed in crash involving Mandela Bay Mayor Nqaba Bhanga who sustained serious injuries
29 August 2021, 12:41 PM

The Mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay, Nqaba Bhanga, will be undergoing surgery later today after sustaining serious injuries in a crash on the R75 in Gqeberha which claimed the lives of two people last night.

Bhanga who is also the DA’s mayoral candidate for the October 27  Local Government Elections, suffered internal bleeding from injuries and is being treated in a private hospital.

He was driving his personal vehicle at the time of the accident.

Eastern Cape police have confirmed that they have opened a case of culpable homicide.

Police spokesperson Sandra van Rensburg says, ” SAPS Algoa Park detectives are investigating a culpable homicide after two people were fatally injured in a collision between two vehicles late Saturday evening. It is alleged that at about 23:30 at an interception of Uitenhage road two vehicles a grey Audi and a navy blue Mercedes Benz collided with each other. Both occupants identities are still unknown in the Audi, died on the scene and the alleged driver of the Mercedes Benz is currently in hospital.”

Bhanga’s Spokesperson Leander Kruger earlier said: “I can confirm that Nqaba was involved in a motor vehicle accident on Saturday evening on the R75 in Port Elizabeth. He is currently in hospital for observation with minor injuries sustained and he was driving his vehicle.”

“Two persons involved in the accident have succumbed to the injuries. We extend our deepest condolences. The Mayor is thankful for work done by healthcare workers during this trying time and is grateful for the healthcare that he has received thus far.”

 

COVID-19 vaccine benefits outweigh risks: Expert
29 August 2021, 10:59 AM

National Immunisation Safety Expert Hannelie Meyer says despite reports that the effectiveness of some COVID-19 vaccines could decline over time, it remains important for people to get a level of immunity against the coronavirus.

Pfizer’s CEO Albert Bourla earlier said that a study has shown that the effectiveness of the jab could steadily decline over time, dropping to about 84% four to six months after getting a second dose.

The study found its effectiveness was strongest at 96.2% between one week and two months after receiving the second dose.

United States health officials are mulling over whether there is a need for a third dose to boost immunity protection.

Meyer says the benefits of the vaccines continue to outweigh the risks.

“There are so many unknowns out there. But yes, based on the data from the US, they have seen increased numbers of breakthrough infections. However, a large majority of these have been mild infection. So, it is clear that protection against the virus is beginning to decrease over time. But we need to look at the benefits and the risks. It is clear from the data out there that these vaccines, despite everything else, do protect against severe disease, hospitalisation and death. If you look at who is landing up in hospital and dying, it is those who are not vaccinated.”

Pfizer seeks US approval for COVID vaccine booster

Pfizer Inc on Wednesday said a booster dose of its two-shot COVID-19 vaccine spurs a more than threefold increase in antibodies against the coronavirus, as the company seeks US regulatory approval for a third injection.

The US government has said it was gearing up to roll out the third shot of vaccines from both Pfizer and Moderna Inc from mid-September to Americans who had their initial course more than eight months ago if the US Food and Drug Administration and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention decide that boosters are needed.

Pfizer said 306 people given a third dose of its vaccine between five and eight months after their second shot showed levels of neutralizing antibodies that were 3.3 times the levels seen after their second shot.

The study, details of which have not yet been published, also found that side effects of a third shot were similar to second-dose reactions, including mild to moderate fatigue and headache, the company said.

Vaccine hesitancy 

Psychologists say vaccine hesitancy stems from several factors including a lack of information as well as group thinking influence. The World Health Organization (WHO) says vaccine hesitancy is one of the global health threats.

Psychologists say more needs to be done to address vaccine hesitancy in the country.

In the video below, experts discuss vaccine hesitancy: 

-Additonal reporting by Reuters

VIDEO: Basic Education media briefing on COVID-19 impact on schooling
29 August 2021, 9:53 AM

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga will hold a media briefing to provide an update on the Basic Education sector’s response to the impact of COVID-19 on schooling.

Live proceedings streamed below:

No end in sight to two-decade long Hammanskraal water crisis
29 August 2021, 9:36 AM

Close to two decades since the water crisis started in Hammanskraal north of Pretoria and there is still no resolution.

Residents now say they fear for their lives.

The frustrated communities in the area say they are on the brink of a serious health crisis, while some are left traumatised by human faeces found in their tap water.

Startling testimonies

“You can boil faeces all you like, you can’t get rid of it, it’s faeces,” a startling testimony from Lungi Thobejane.

Even when boiled, the water remains toxic.

To protect her health, Thobejane bought a water purifying machine.

“We become angry and then we can’t express ourselves the way we are so angry because of this thing of water. It’s not the first time, and it’s been a long time that we are crying about the water but there’s nothing that’s happening,” says Thobejane.

Health crisis

Another resident Thabo Mashilo says, “The water we are drinking is dirty and people are getting sick. People are experiencing diarrhoea and remember we have kids here in the village, they are also sick.”

Another resident, Engineer Nelly Sebopa, who has studied the water quality intensely, paints a traumatising picture.

“We have water that is coming out of the taps that’s contaminated with human faeces. That is unacceptable in any language anywhere. You don’t need scientific proof that water is dirty when it’s contaminated with faeces. What happens is that sometimes it’s so contaminated, it’s visible sometimes it’s a bit clearer, but all in all the water is not fit for human consumption.”

The local tribal authority, inundated with complaints, has appealed to government and private business to urgently assist in resolving the matter.

City of Tshwane under criticism

The water crisis stems close to two decades and the City of Tshwane has been under heavy criticism for dragging its feet in resolving the problem.

 

 

The City acknowledged that the biggest challenge is at the Rooiwal Waste Water treatment plant.

Tshwane Mayor Randall Williams says phase one of the upgrade process is currently underway.

“The failure is at Rooiwal. So far, we have refurbished Rooiwal at 54%. We need to have Rooiwal up to a 100%  then the type of water that Rooiwal will push through to Themba will then guarantee portable water.”

However, for this desperate community, the feedback by the Tshwane Mayor is rhetoric echoed by all politicians who have led the Tshwane Municipality since the dawn of democracy.

As the water crisis continue to strip the dignity of the community, there is little faith that politicians will solve the problem.

Earlier this month, ActionSA tabled a damning report on the water crisis in Hammanskraal.

The report found that the water can cause deadly diseases like cancer and has a severe impact on people’s nervous system, due to toxic iron and copper levels, as outlined in the video below:

 

 

Weather

 

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