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COVID-19 hospital admissions soar as infections climb
11 June 2021, 6:50 AM

The National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) says  7300 people are currently being treated for COVID-19 in hospitals across the country with 844 new admissions reported on Thursday.

Almost 5000 of those treated in high care and ICU wards are in private hospitals.

The NICD confirmed on Thursday that the country has technically entered the third wave of the pandemic as the seven-day moving average of almost 6 000 cases now exceeds the threshold set by the Health Department.

9 149 new cases were identified in the last reporting period of which 61 percent are in Gauteng. Another 100 people have succumbed to the virus.

Epidemiologist, Professor Salim Abdul Karim, says the real current rate of infections is probably twice what is being reported. He says the latest data is actually a reflection of what happened well over a week ago.

“Reality is we’ve been in the third wave for quite a while, technically we have not met the particular threshold but several of our provinces are on the third wave, the country as a whole is in a third wave and cases are rising across the country. As epidemiologists, we look at a seven day moving average and a 5000 average is concerning because it means those infections occurred about 10 to 14 days ago. If we are saying there are 9000 cases today, those infections already occurred somewhere between a week and two weeks ago.”

Latest SA stats:

Patricia de Lille tests positive for COVID-19
6 June 2021, 2:11 PM

Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille has tested positive for COVID-19.

De Lille went for a COVID-19 test after showing symptoms. She is the latest Minister in President Cyril Ramaphosa’s cabinet to test positive for the virus.

De Lille’s spokesperson Zara Nicholson says, “Minister de Lille tested positive for COVID-19, she took the test of Friday after showing symptoms. As per the COVID-19 regulations the Minister immediately self quarantined and she has also informed those she had come into contact with to do the same.”

She adds: “As we enter the third wave of the pandemic Minister de Lille calls on all South Africans not to let their guards down to keep wearing mask correctly and covering their mouth and nose and wash hands and sanitize correctly.”

The country has also recorded 97 new COVID-19 related fatalities on Saturday, which brings the total number of deaths to 56 929.

Latest SA stats:

Mkhwebane’s challenge against Parliaments impeachment rules to be heard on Monday
6 June 2021, 1:45 PM

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s challenge against Parliament’s impeachment rules will be heard in the Western Cape High Court on Monday.

The matter, expected to be heard by 3 judges, has been set down until Friday.

Last month, Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe withdrew from the case after the Democratic Alliance requested his recusal.

Hlophe was recently found guilty of gross misconduct by the Judicial Conduct Tribunal.

In October last year, the court dismissed Part A of Mkhwebane’s challenge which was a bid to stop her removal proceedings. This paved the way for Parliament to establish a 36-member committee to look into Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office.
As part of Part B of her application, she wants Parliament’s new impeachment rules to be declared unconstitutional and invalid. The motion to impeach Mkhwebane was brought by the DA.
Meanwhile, the Judicial Services Commission will decide at the end of next month whether Hlophe is guilty of gross misconduct and should face impeachment.

The Economic Freedom Fighters was among the parties that did not support the establishment of the committee. The party’s Member of Parliament Natasha Ntlangwini said the rules were deliberately crafted with the Public Protector in mind.

“We are opposed to the recommendations by the panel. This House never had rules on the removal of Chapter 9 leaders.  These rules were made with the Public Protector in mind, a water-tight method to remove the Public Protector and no one else.”

Parliament votes on Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office to proceed:

 

Sinckler replaces injured prop Porter in Lions squad
6 June 2021, 1:37 PM

Kyle Sinckler has been added to the British & Irish Lions squad for the South Africa tour after tighthead prop Andrew Porter was ruled out with a toe injury, head coach Warren Gatland said.

Ireland international Porter, 25, picked up the injury in Leinster’s PRO14 Rainbow Cup loss to Glasgow Warriors on Friday.

Sinckler was in the Lions squad for the 2017 tour of New Zealand but was among the notable absentees when the squad was announced last month.

“It’s really bad luck for Andrew and we send him our very best wishes for a quick and successful rehab,” Gatland said.  “Andrew is a young man with a big future ahead of him and I’m sure he’ll be in contention again in four years’ time.”

“As always in rugby, when there’s an injury there’s an opportunity for someone else. I have been very pleased to see the way Kyle has responded to initially being left out of the touring party. He’s showed some excellent form of late and I hope he continues to stick two fingers up to me about leaving him out in the first place.”

The Lions play Japan at Murrayfield on June 26 ahead of their July-August tour of South Africa where they will play eight matches, including three tests against the world-champion Springboks.

Mpondo Revolt Massacre commemorated
6 June 2021, 12:12 PM

The Eastern Cape government is commemorating the Mpondo Revolt Massacre at Ngquza Hill in Flagstaff.

Eleven people were gunned down whilst 58 others were left injured on this day in 1960. The Mpondo people were attending a meeting at the hill when policemen fired shots at the crowd.

Twenty-three people were arrested for participating in uprisings and executed in Pretoria in 1964.

The commemoration is meant to acknowledge the role played by the AmaMpondo people in the struggle for freedom and liberation.

Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane, government officials and traditional leaders will attend the launch of an exhibition at the Ngquza Hill museum.

Among those who are expected to speak at the commemoration are Professor Somadoda Fikeni and AmaMpondo King Zanozuko Sigcau.

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