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Lesotho urged to engage with SA’s Health Minister for COVID-19 rapid test supplies
22 November 2020, 1:10 PM

South Africa’s International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor has urged Lesotho to engage with the country’s Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize with regards to the shortage of rapid test supplies for COVID-19.

The shortage has hampered travel between borders of the two countries particularly Lesotho nationals who travel regularly.

Pandor made the comments at the South Africa-Lesotho Joint Bilateral Commission of Cooperation held in Maseru this weekend.

The intensive three-day meeting marks a new era on how the two countries relate on matters of trade, cross border movement of goods and services as well as smooth transfer of school-going children across the borders.

Pandor has committed to assisting in resolving the issue of the rapid tests.

“Our colleagues now that we have revived the commission, they will interface far more than has been the case in the past, which was the reason for President Ramaphosa and Prime Minister Majoro directing us to meet as the ministerial commission to iron out the difficulties that confront us and ensure that we cooperate and stay in constant contact and not sit with problems and develop a resentment which is entirely unnecessary,” says Pandor.

The video below is on the SA-Lesotho joint bilateral commission of cooperation meeting:

Senior prosecutor in Omotoso trial dies
22 November 2020, 10:23 AM

A senior prosecutor in the Timothy Omotoso trial, Advocate Zukile Mdolomba, has died. Mdolomba passed away yesterday morning. This was confirmed by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in the Eastern Cape.

Advocate Mdolomba successfully opposed Omotoso’s bail application in the High Court in Port Elizabeth a few weeks ago.

He was one of the three prosecutors in the rape and human trafficking case against Omotoso.

The NPA’s Eastern Cape regional spokesperson Anelisa Ngcakani says they are determined to ensure a successful prosecution.

Omotoso bail appeal application judgment

Omotoso trial

Last week, the trial in the Port Elizabeth High Court was postponed to Monday morning. It was alleged that a member of the state’s legal team tested positive for the coronavirus, and a colleague was in quarantine.

Omotoso and his two co-accused are facing more than 90 sex-related charges. It is alleged that young women from the Jesus Dominion International were lured to a mission house in KwaZulu-Natal where they would have been spiritually educated but instead they were allegedly sexually assaulted and raped.

Last week, Omotoso’s legal team gave reasons for his application to apply for leave to appeal the ruling of Judge, Philip Zilwa, who refused to grant him bail.

Omotoso’s legal team argued that Judge Zilwa did not apply his mind to certain aspects of the bail application and that there were irregularities in his ruling.

This is the third time Omotoso has tried to get bail since his arrest three years ago.

Omotoso bail appeal application judgment, 11 November 2020

WARNING – GRAPHIC CONTENT: Gauteng Community Safety Dept embarks on a campaign against GBV
22 November 2020, 8:33 AM

The Gauteng Department of Community Safety has embarked on an oversight campaign on gender-based violence (GBV) in the province amid reports of more brutal attacks.

Members of the department visited Evaton on the Vaal where GBV is rife.

In one incident, a 26-year-old woman was killed by her boyfriend after he allegedly raped her. He is then alleged to have cut up her body and set it alight.

The suspect has been arrested and is expected to appear at Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court in Ekurhuleni on Monday.

Acting Head of Department, Sipho Thanjekwayo, has appealed to women and girls to immediately report any acts of violence against them.

“Most of our cases are open on Friday and Saturday and then on Monday, they are withdrawn. The majority of these cases are people who are dependent on these perpetrators. But what we are saying to the victims is that if you don’t continue with your case, the perpetrator is not going to stop. Today it might be a slap on the face, tomorrow it might be a murder. Like in this house where we are. It started with GBV until it came to murder,” says Thanjekwayo.

Twitter, Facebook to hand over @POTUS account to Biden on January 20
21 November 2020, 9:23 PM

Twitter Inc and Facebook Inc will transfer control of the @POTUS account to the Joe Biden administration on January 20, the social media companies said on Saturday.

The @POTUS account on both platforms is the official account of the President of the United States. It is separate from the @realDonaldTrump Twitter account and the @DonaldTrump Facebook page that US President Donald Trump mostly uses to write his posts.

“Twitter is actively preparing to support the transition of White House institutional Twitter accounts on January 20th, 2021. As we did for the presidential transition in 2017, this process is being done in close consultation with the National Archives and Records,” the company confirmed to Reuters on Saturday.

The social media giants will also hand over other institutional handles – for the White House, vice president and first lady of the United States – on inauguration day.

“In 2017, we worked with both the Obama Administration and incoming Trump Administration to make sure the transition of their Facebook and Instagram accounts was seamless on January 20th, and we expect to do the same here,” Facebook said in response to a query from Reuters.

Politico reported earlier that the handover of the @POTUS Twitter handle requires no sharing of information between the outgoing Trump team and incoming Biden team.

It also reported that Twitter will meet transition officials of Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in the coming months to discuss the particulars of how the new administration will use Twitter.

Biden, who has reached the two-week mark since becoming president-elect, is preparing to take office on January 20, but Trump has refused to concede and is seeking to invalidate or overturn the results through lawsuits and recounts in a number of states, claiming – without proof – widespread voter fraud.

Ramaphosa urges G20 nations to help address debt in developing countries
21 November 2020, 8:30 PM

President Cyril Ramaphosa has urged all G20 nations to help address debt in developing countries as global economies buckle under the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ramaphosa was speaking during the virtual session of the G20 Summit on overcoming the coronavirus pandemic and restoring growth and jobs.

The summit, hosted by Saudi Arabia, will also highlight efforts to ensure affordable access to vaccines.

Ramaphosa says developing countries have large financing needs and desperately need to return to economic growth.

“We call on the G20 Member States to use all of their persuasive powers, to convince all creditor countries, multilateral development banks, credit rating agencies to continue to work with us to address the problem of burgeoning developing country debt. The G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative has helped to defer the immediate debt service payments of participating countries, and the recently agreed 6-month extension will provide further support,” says Ramaphosa.

Ramaphosa says economic activity in Africa is expected to shrink by 3.2% this year. He says the continent has made great efforts to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In addition to the suspension of debt service payments, large financing needs remain necessary to both stave off a deep humanitarian crisis and stimulate economic rebirth. The IMF should urgently consider the issuance of additional special drawing rights and for the allocation of these to member countries that need the resources most,” says Ramaphosa.

Ramaphosa addresses the G20:

 

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