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US donates 17 million J&J doses to African Union
14 October 2021, 9:27 PM

US President Joe Biden told visiting Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday that the United States will make a one-time donation of more than 17 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to the African Union, the White House said.

“We are hopeful this donation will help AU countries build vaccination programs and get shots into arms,” the White House said in a statement.

The meeting with Kenyatta at the White House marked Biden’s first as president with an African leader.

Kenya holds the rotating presidency of the UN Security Council this month. The United States and Kenya have long cooperated on economic and security initiatives including counter-terrorism.

The White House said the donation of the vaccine doses will help the African Union’s own regional procurement of J&J via the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust.

The African Union, which has 55 member states and a combined population of over 1.3 billion people, has accused vaccine manufacturers of not giving its members fair access. Of the 5.7 billion doses of coronavirus vaccines administered around the world by mid-September, only 2% had been in Africa.

The 17 million doses are on top of the 50 million the United States has already donated to the African Union. The 17 million doses of J&J are available for delivery immediately and will be delivered to the African Union in the coming weeks, the White House said.

African countries and the World Health Organisation have been urging drugmakers for months to set up vaccine plants on the continent to help it secure supplies of COVID-19 shots that have been hoovered up by wealthier nations.

As of last week, only about 4.5% of Africans had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the continent’s top public health official John Nkengasong.

SA records 947 new COVID-19 cases
14 October 2021, 8:11 PM

South Africa has recorded 947 new COVID-19 infections, taking total cases to 2914 827. A further 40 COVID-19 related deaths have been reported by the NICD. Total COVID-19 related fatalities in the country are at 88 506.

Latest SA stats:

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Provincial breakdown of cases according to the NICD, ” KwaZulu-Natal (25%), followed by Western Cape accounting for 20%. Gauteng accounted for 14%; Northern Cape accounted for 12%; Free State accounted for 11%; Eastern Cape accounted for 8%; North West accounted for 6%; Mpumalanga accounted for 4%, and Limpopo accounted for 1% of today’s new cases .”

Over 215 000 people have been vaccinated in the past 24-hours. Total vaccinations are now just under 19,9 million, with almost 10,6 million being fully vaccinated, meaning they have taken either the one-dose J&J vaccine or the two-dose Pfizer vaccine.

 

 

Zuma says he handed himself over to authorities in July to avoid potential loss of lives
14 October 2021, 5:35 PM

Former president Jacob Zuma says he handed himself over to authorities in July to serve a 15-month prison term for contempt of court, to avoid the potential loss of innocent lives.

Zuma’s virtual address to a prayer meeting at Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium was his first public address since he went to prison in July.

Earlier, the Jacob Zuma Foundation could not confirm if the former president will attend Thursday’s prayer event being held for him.

The prayer meeting was held to welcome Zuma from hospital, where he was recuperating following an operation.

Zuma’s address to prayer meeting:

Zuma says there was a build-up of security forces in the King Cetshwayo District of KwaZulu-Natal before he handed himself over.

This happened against the backdrop of supporters of the former president at his home at Nkandla, who vowed to prevent his arrest.

Zuma says the security actions appeared to him to be a heavy-handed show of force and an unwarranted threat of violence.

Zuma on his arrest

Zuma says the rule of law is being used as a weapon to settle political scores.

“The constitution and the rule of law appear to be used as weapons to avenge oneself against political opponents and to suppress alternative viewpoints. The rule of law is losing its essential power to build a strong and united nation.”

Is the IEC doing enough to educate voters?
14 October 2021, 2:07 PM

Ahead of the local government elections on November the 1st, Independent Political And Social Commentator, Tebogo Khaas, has questioned whether the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) is fulfilling its mandate.

One of the things the IEC should be doing is educating voters.

Khaas says, ” There is an inherent assumption that people would be better empowered to understand the essence of voting and the significance of exercising that right to vote. If you look at a few elections back, voters with rather abstain, thinking by abstaining they will be hurting the very people they dissatisfied with.”

Khaas shares more in the interview below:

SA’s total COVID-19 related deaths now at 88 466
13 October 2021, 7:46 PM

South Africa recorded 942 new COVID-19 cases, taking total infections to  2913 880. A further 37 people have succumbed to COVID-19 related complications. The death toll from the pandemic now stands at 88 466.

Latest SA stats:

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According to the NICD, ” The majority of new cases today are from Western Cape (23%), followed by Gauteng Province accounting for 18%. KwaZulu-Natal accounted for 15%; Free State accounted for 11%; Eastern Cape and Northern Cape each accounted for 10% respectively; North West accounted for 6%; Mpumalanga accounted for 5%; and Limpopo accounted for 1%.”

The NICD further reports that there has been an increase of 70 hospital admissions in the past 24 hours.

 

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