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FW de Klerk Foundation denies reports on former President’s ill health
8 June 2021, 5:13 PM

Director of the FW de Klerk Foundation, Dave Stewart, has denied media reports that former President De Klerk’s health is rapidly deteriorating.

He says the reports are misleading and that De Klerk is in good health.

De Klerk was diagnosed with lung cancer earlier this year.

“This is not so. There has been no discernible deterioration in his health since he was diagnosed in March with mesothelioma – a cancer that affects the lining of the lungs. He is now considering the continuation of the course of immunotherapy that he has been following for the past two months,” says Stewart .

Stewart says De Klerk attended a meeting of the FW de Klerk Foundation Board on Monday – and comes into his office three or four times a week.

He says De Klerk and his wife Elita, hope to travel to Greece for a holiday as soon as COVID-19 regulations permit.


COVID-19 infections in Eastern Cape surge as government predicts third wave
8 June 2021, 3:01 PM

COVID-19 infections in the Eastern Cape have risen again. The province is currently dealing with just more than 1300 active cases. The Nelson Mandela Bay Metro is an identified hotspot.

The provincial government expects the third wave of the pandemic to hit the province by 14 June 2021.

Premier Oscar Mabuyane says they have used the past few months and the experience chalked up during the second wave to prepare for and mitigate the impact of the third wave in the province.

More than 700 of the 1300 new cases have been recorded in Nelson Mandela Bay.

The government is now redirecting its resources to the affected areas, starting with tracking, tracing and testing for COVID-19.

COVID-19 Pandemic | New infections increasing in the Eastern Cape, amid slow vaccination rate

Premier Mabuyane says all systems are in place in anticipation of the third wave. He has called on citizens to play their part.

“That on its own is not going to be successful – chasing people around. we want people to take responsibility for their lives, we want to work with businesses, NGOs (Non-Governmental Organisation) and social partners to ensure we mitigate [the] effects of this and minimize the impact that this virus has been doing on our people,” says Mabuyane.

Mabuyane says the vaccination programme is in full swing with over 450 000 people already registered for vaccinations.

“We received last week 76 000 additional Pfizer doses.  We’re expecting another 76 000. We’re looking forward to J&J (Johnson & Johnson) because it will be superb for us as a rural province. That one dose helps so that you don’t have to go and come back. You just go once so we hope that J&J will come on board to help us to move with speed,” says Mabuyane.

Other areas of concern regarding the infection rate are the Buffalo City Metro and the Sarah Baartman district.

COVID-19 Pandemic | Nelson Mandela Bay Metro declared COVID-19 hot spot in the Eastern Cape


TUT suspends contact classes following student’s death from COVID-19 related complications
7 June 2021, 9:31 PM

The Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) has suspended all contact classes following the death of another student from COVID-19 related complications.

The student, who lived on campus, passed away last week. She was the second TUT student reported to have succumbed to the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are extremely sad. The staff [and] the students as well. I would like to take this opportunity also to say condolences to the family and convey that message. A young life lost is devastating to the community, the University, to her friends and family as well, says TUT Spokesperson, Phaphama Tshisikhawe.

“Contact classes have been suspended and starting today actually. It’s not only because of the COVID-19 related death that we are experiencing in the university. It’s mostly because the infections are on a spike,” says Tshisikhawe.

COVID-19 cases

As of Sunday, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases identified in South Africa is 1 696 564.

The Department of Health reported 5 074 new cases and 45 COVID-19 related deaths,  bringing the total to 56 974 deaths. Recoveries now stand at 1 578 033, representing a recovery rate of 93,0%.



Video: Unpacking South Africa’s COVID-19 numbers with Dr Ridhwaan Suliman


FDA approves new drug for Alzheimer’s disease
7 June 2021, 9:00 PM

The United States (US) Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the medication, Aducanumab, as the first novel therapy for Alzheimer’s disease since 2003.

The drug is marketed as Aduhelm. In a statement, the FDA says the drug is the first treatment directed at the underlying pathophysiology of Alzheimer’s – a reference to the amyloid beta plaques in the brain.

Aduhelm is administered as a monthly intravenous infusion intended to slow cognitive decline in people suffering the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. It is the first approved drug to slow the disease process rather than managing just the symptoms associated with it.

The FDA says clinical trials were the first to show a reduction in the brain plaques, which is a hallmark finding in the brain of patients with Alzheimer’s disease and could therefore lead to a reduction in the clinical decline of this devastating form of dementia.

The FDA decision goes against an independent advisory panel that issued a recommendation late last year not to approve the drug. The FDA’s subsequent approval indicated that it considered the concerns and decided the benefits outweighed the risks of the therapy.

It also wants the drug manufacturer Biogen to conduct post-approval studies to verify the anticipated clinical benefit – a process that could lead to removing the medication from the market if those trials don’t affirm the drug’s anticipated benefit.

Future of MKMVA, MK National Council to be decided by ANC NWC: Mabe
7 June 2021, 8:10 PM

The African National Congress (ANC) says its National Working Committee (NWC) will decide on the future of the uMkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) and the MK National Council after its virtual meeting which is currently underway.

This follows reports that the two bodies representing ex-combatants of the ANC’s armed wing have been disbanded and collapsed into a single entity representing all former ANC soldiers. This has angered MKMVA members who say the decision hasn’t been communicated with them.

MKMVA President, Kebby Maphatsoe, says they are not aware of any disbandment of the two structures.

ANC Spokesperson, Pule Mabe, says any decision on the future of the two bodies will be communicated at the end of their meeting.

Gregory Nthatisi from the MK National Council says they support the disbandment of the two structures, insisting that the unity of ex-combatants should be above their personal interest.

Video: Kebby Maphatsoe denies speculation the MKMVA has been disbanded





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