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Mkhize embarks on two-day KZN visit amid expected COVID-19 peak
6 August 2020, 12:00 PM

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize is on a  two-day visit to KwaZulu-Natal ahead of the COVID-19 pandemic reaching an expected peak in the province in the coming weeks.

The National Health Department has said, in a statement, Mkhize will be visiting a few COVID-19 facilities across the province to better understand the challenges they face.

This follows a sharp rise in new cases in KwaZulu-Natal over the past weeks.

Mkhize is expected to hand over a COVID-19 site at the Richmond Hospital in the Midlands on Thursday, before addressing the media later in Durban.

The tweets below provide an outline of the Minister’s visit:

In the video below, KZN is expected to reach COVID-19 peak in coming weeks:

Botswana suspends sale of alcohol amid COVID-19 pandemic
6 August 2020, 10:47 AM

Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi on Wednesday ordered the immediate suspension of alcohol sales amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In a media statement issued by the country’s Health Services, the decision to stop alcohol sales is based on “evidence that consumption of alcohol increases the risks posed by COVID-19 due to its negative effects to protocol adherence”.

Botswana says all liquor stores in the country will remain closed, and the sale and consumption of alcohol in public will be prohibited until further notice.

The media statement can be read in the tweet below:

Lockdown reinstated

Botswana’s capital city Gaborone returned to a two-week lockdown last Thursday.

Officials say this is a bid to stem the latest local coronavirus surge in the country.

Under new rules for the capital and surrounding areas, only essential workers would be able to leave home for work, with others only able to leave the house to buy groceries.

All gatherings have been banned and hotels, restaurants, gyms and schools are closed.

Botswana had ended a national lockdown on June 15, allowing businesses and schools to reopen under strict conditions.

The country was recording most of its cases at border points from truck drivers bringing goods into the landlocked country from South Africa.

The diamond-rich country is now experiencing a surge in local transmission cases, with most infections coming from schools in the greater Gabarone region, coordinator of the COVID-19 Task force team, Kereng Masupu, said in a televised briefing.

Botswana currently sits at 804 confirmed cases, with 63 recoveries and two deaths.

-Additional reporting by Reuters.

Free State graft allegations back in the spotlight at State Capture Inquiry
6 August 2020, 9:15 AM

The Commission of Inquiry into State Capture will on Thursday continue to hear evidence relating to allegations of corruption at the Free State government.

Expected to testify are Director of the ORI Group Abel Kgotso Manyike, SMD Trading owner Shaun Duminy and former Director General of Department of Human Settlements, Thabane Wiseman Zulu.

Their testimony relates to a R255 million tender to eradicate asbestos roofs from low cost homes in the province.

Official’s testimony postponed

The testimony of the Free State Head of Human Settlements Nthimose Mokhesi was postponed yesterday to a date that is yet to be determined.

Mokhesi has also been implicated in the asbestos multi-million rand tender.

He and other officials are alleged to have received money, luxury cars and property from tender recipient, joint venture company Blackhead-Diamond Hill.

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo granted the application after it was explained by GVR Fouche that he was standing in for senior counsel, Advocate Mike Hellens, who has COVID-19.

The video below outlines yesterday’s proceedings:

VIDEO: State Capture Inquiry
6 August 2020, 8:57 AM

The Commission of Inquiry into State Capture will on Thursday continue to hear evidence relating to allegations of corruption at the Free State government.

Expected to testify are Director of the ORI Group Abel Kgotso Manyike, SMD Trading owner Shaun Duminy and former Director General of Department of Human Settlements, Thabane Wiseman Zulu.

Their testimony relates to a R255-millon tender to eradicate asbestos roofs from low cost homes in the province.

Live proceedings will be streamed in the video below: 

 

Mokhesi’s corruption related testimony postponed at State Capture Inquiry
5 August 2020, 1:02 PM

The State Capture Commission has postponed the testimony of the Head of the Human Settlements Department in the Free State, Nthimose Mokhesi, to a date to be determined.

Mokhesi has been implicated in corruption related to a 2014 tender worth R255-million which aimed to eradicate asbestos roofs in low-cost housing in the province.

He and other officials are alleged to have received money, luxury cars and property from tender recipient, joint venture company Blackhead-Diamond Hill.

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo granted the application after it was explained by GVR Fouche that he was standing in for senior counsel, Advocate Mike Hellens, who has COVID-19.

“In his view, he would like to see Mr Hellens remain on brief. His view is also the person who helped in throughout the draft, the affidavits, so he is the senior counsel with the knowledge at the moment and the current legal team simply does not have the knowledge to assist him sufficiently.”

The Commission has been adjourned and is set to continue at 17:00.

In the video below, today’s State Capture Inquiry Live proceedings: 

 

 

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