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“Farewell to my guardian angel”: Kungawo Pepeta
12 August 2020, 12:46 PM

The daughter of late Eastern Cape paediatric cardiologist Professor Lungile Pepeta has described her father as a trailblazer, saying she hopes he will fulfill that role in heaven as he did on earth.

In an emotional tribute, Kungawo says she has lost a father and her best friend, saying she is proud of all that he had managed to achieve.

Pepeta’s funeral service and burial took place on Wednesday at Nkantolo village in Mbizana.

He died from COVID-19 related complications at a Port Elizabeth hospital on Friday at the age of 46.

Kungawo says even though things are tough at the moment, the family will regain strength and rise again.

“I hope in heaven you are a trailblazer as you were on this earth. I’m happy because you are now out guardian angel and forever will be until we meet again.”

Pepeta was hailed for his contribution to the health fraternity

Dignitaries and speakers at Pepeta’s funeral service hailed his dedication to the medical fraternity.

Family spokesperson Dr Mthembeni Tebelele says Pepeta served with distinction; and was passionate in his pursuit for decent health services in the rural areas.

Pepeta also had a dream of establishing a medical school at the Nelson Mandela University.

Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane and other speakers said they would ensure that this dream becomes a reality.

The video below is Professor Pepeta’s funeral service: 

BUSA condemns acts of PPE tender corruption
12 August 2020, 10:37 AM

Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) says it’s very worried about the claims of corruption relating to the procurement of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

It says it will have zero tolerance for any of its members caught up in this scandal.

This after reports of PPE tenders being awarded to numerous African National Congress (ANC) bigwigs and their family members.

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Spokesperson Khusela Diko, Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku and two sons of ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule are among those alleged to have benefited from the tenders.

BUSA CEO Cas Coovadia says this is totally unacceptable.

“What we’re saying is that government needs to put resources behind the criminal justice system to investigate these things properly and do so with speed and with more capacity to bring cases to court. We need to identify those businesses in the private sector that are involved and we need to treat them just as harshly as we ask government to treat government people.”

Top officials dismiss corruption claims

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has refuted claims of him owning a PPE manufacturing company, terming this as fake news.

The Health Department has since clarified that the Minister has no involvement in the manufacturing of PPEs, nor does he own a company to that effect.

Meanwhile, Gauteng Premier David Makhura dismissed allegations that he and his family members unduly benefitted from PPE procurement.

The Gauteng government says the allegations are a smear campaign aimed to turn attention away from those who benefitted from PPE corruption, as stated in the tweet below:

Calls for probe into PPE corruption

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has since urged law enforcement agencies to take stringent measures against companies alleged to be involved in widespread corruption in the rewarding of PPE tenders:

VIDEO: State Capture Inquiry
12 August 2020, 10:00 AM

The Commission of Inquiry into State Capture will on Wednesday hear evidence from Attorney Madimpe Mogashoa on alleged corruption at the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa.

The live proceedings will be streamed in the video below: 


New modelling tools to help Africa navigate its COVID-19 response: Africa CDC
11 August 2020, 12:48 PM

The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) and the African Risk Capacity (ARC) have launched two COVID-19 modelling tools for Africa. They are the COVID-19 Potential Outcomes Scenarios and COVID-19 Spread Simulation Tool for Africa.

The Centre says the tools will help African Union member states to evaluate the potential magnitude of COVID-19 in their countries.

They will also assist in making decisions on appropriate responses to mitigate risks due to the pandemic.

Unpacking both tools

In a statement released recently, the Centre says the COVID-19 Potential Outcomes Scenarios will help in modelling the potential impact of the outbreak using specific sets of scenarios and assumptions.

The COVID-19 Spread Simulation Tool for Africa will enable simulations of different scenarios of COVID-19 spread for each country.

Director-General of the African Risk Capacity and Assistant Secretary-General at the United Nations Mohamed Beavogui says African countries can use these tools to deal with spread of the pandemic.

“COVID-19 has generated unprecedented socioeconomic consequences with the reversal of hard-won development achievements. Africa is particularly challenged in its efforts to cope with the decease burdens. ARC is happy to present the new Africa COVID-19 decision support tool which governments and institutions can leverage in designing timely and more informed policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic’, says Beavogui.”

Modelling tools used to better manage COVID-19 response 

Africa CDC says since the first case of COVID-19 in Africa was confirmed on 14 February 2020, the pandemic has spread to all AU member states.

It says the pandemic has had an increasing negative impact on the health and socioeconomic well-being of populations.

Experts says the continent needs a mechanism to better inform member states on the epidemiology of the disease and the impact of available non-pharmaceutical interventions so they can implement appropriate policies and programmes.

The tools have the capacity to use actual reported cases per time to generate the weekly cumulative number of infections, hospitalizations and deaths for each state over a period of three years; and the daily distribution of cases into disease stages at sub-national levels over a 300-day period.

“We at Africa CDC recognise that modelling is important in planning our response to the current and future pandemics. However, modelling is based on assumptions and the models will depend on the assumptions used to develop them,” said Dr John Nkengasong, Director of Africa CDC.

Following this launch, Africa CDC and ARC will work closely with states and partners to improve and promote the tools.

Key stakeholders will also be trained and trained so that the tools can be made more useful for tackling disease threats across the continent in the long-term.

Stats SA outlines plans for digital census
11 August 2020, 11:54 AM

Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) has sought to explain how they plan to conduct online and telephonic data collection.

In a trial, running until the 6th of September, respondents would be allowed to complete census questionnaires on their own or with the telephonic assistance of Stats SA call centre agents.

A census provides small area data on demographics, socio-economic and living conditions of the population.

Statistician-General Risenga Maluleke says they will assist people who are struggling to understand the new system.

“Once we know the numbers, we will be able to send them the message and they will need to open an app and go on our website. They will be able to complete the questionnaire and it will confirm their sampled area. There are people that we may not reach, in terms of them not knowing what to do, but a team of operators will be calling and assisting them.”

In the audio below, Maluleke outlines the full details of the upcoming online census:



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