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SA records 12 271 new COVID-19 cases, 498 deaths
23 January 2021, 10:30 PM

South Africa has recorded 12 271 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the country’s total cases to 12 271. Gauteng still accounts for the highest number of cases provincially, accounting for 27% (378 656) of the country’s total infections.

The death toll has climbed to 40 574 after 498 new deaths were reported.

Most of the new fatalities are from the Gauteng, which has recorded 201 new deaths.

“Regrettably, 498 deaths have been reported: Eastern Cape 45, Free State 17, Gauteng 201, Kwa-Zulu Natal 125, Limpopo 19, Mpumalanga 18, Northern Cape two and Western Cape 71; which brings the total to 40 574 deaths. We convey our condolences to the loved ones of the departed and thank the health care workers who treated these patients,” says Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize.

Tests and recoveries

South Africa has conducted 7 947 007 tests so far, with 64 143 conducted in the last 24-hour cycle.

The private sector accounts for 57% (4 543 926) of total tests, while the public sector accounts for 43% (3 403 081).

The country’s recoveries stand at 1 217 492, recoveries with a recovery rate of 86.6%.

Below is a snapshot on the latest COVID-19 stats: 



Limpopo vigilant as cyclone Eloise lashes Mozambique
23 January 2021, 10:00 PM

Disaster management teams have been deployed in Limpopo ahead of the arrival of cyclone Eloise that is expected to hit the province as well as Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal on Sunday. The South African Weather Service issued an alert nine for Limpopo and Mpumalanga, warning of heavy rain and flooding.

The cyclone made landfall in the Mozambican port city of Beira early Saturday morning.

South African Weather Service warns residents of Mpumalanga and Limpopo of tropical cyclone Eloise:

Limpopo’s Cooperative Governance MEC, Basikopo Makamu, says the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) will be on stand-by to rescue people who might be trapped or cut off.

“We are ready for the cyclone after we have been advised by the South African Weather Services, we expect the cyclone around four districts in the province. We then activated our disaster management centre, which eventually activated our district disaster management centres, which created their joint operation centres, which are now ready to make sure that we respond to any eventuality that we may expect. Everybody is prepared; the South African National Defence Force, even if there could be people trapped in some other areas the South African National Defence Force will be ready to assist.”

Farmers on high alert as tropical storm Eloise expected to hit Limpopo:

Damage in Mozambique

Reports from Mozambique indicate that tropical storm Eloise has caused mild to severe damage and flooding in the port city of Beira.

However, the president of Mozambique’s National Institute for Disaster Risk Management and Reduction, Luisa Meque, says it is still too early to quantify the extent and scale of destruction.

Eloise made landfall in the early hours of Saturday morning in Beira with wind speeds of 160km per hour. Pictures on Twitter show cars submerged in water, collapsed walls and flooded agricultural land.

Mozambique’s National Institute of Meteorology (INAM) said Sofala province, which includes Beira, had seen 200 millimetre of rainfall and was likely to see another 100 millimetre over the next 24 hours. The city is still recovering from the devastation of cyclone Idai which hit the region in March 2019.

KZN bracing for storm

Communities in northern KwaZulu-Natal are bracing themselves for the impact of the storm.

Weather forcaster Julius Mahlangu says they expect the cyclone to affect the north-eastern parts of KZN at midday on Sunday.

“We are expecting the cyclone to start affecting the north eastern parts of KZN after midday. That is when we are expecting some showers and thunderstorms and then becoming heavy as we proceed into the late afternoon and evening as well as going into Monday.”

Gwangwa’s family devastated to lose him 17 days after their mother’s passing
23 January 2021, 8:58 PM

The family of legendary Jazz musician Jonas Mosa Gwangwa, has described the late music maestro as a loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather, friend and mentor. The family says Gwanga has gone to join his wife mam’Violent, who died 17 days before her husband.

Gwangwa died on Saturday at the age of 83.

Prince Lengoasa pays tribute to the late Jonas Gwangwa:

In a statement, the family says Gwangwa’s memory lives in the minds of millions across the world.

“Dr Gwangwa’s international and activist contribution to and participation in the areas of music, theatre, and the arts in general is contained in the memory and minds of millions across the world and we are blessed and grateful to have been part of a life and legacy of love and avant-garde creativity that spans the space of over seven decades,” says the family.

Gwangwa a world giant

Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa has described Gwangwa as a world giant who used his talent to fight apartheid in South Africa and help forge unity.

From 1980 to 1990, Gwangwa was the leader of Amandla, the cultural ensemble of the African National Congress (ANC) who toured around to world during the anti-apartheid struggle.

Mthethwa says Gwangwa is known for over 40 years of his service.

“South Africa has lost a maestro today, a world giant who’s been known over 40 years of his service and sharing with the nation. He will be remembered by showing the potency of art and culture across the world. Even when the ANC gave him the task of being part of the Amandla art ensemble, one of the things he kept on emphasising was the unity of our people. He put SA on the map.”

The family has expressed gratitude at the outpouring of love and has asked to be allowed to respectfully lay Gwangwa to rest.

Remembering Jonas Gwangwa with Minister Nathi Mthwethwa: 

Jonas Gwangwa described as kindest and best composer SA ever had
23 January 2021, 8:40 PM

Tributes continue to pour in for jazz musician, Jonas Gwangwa. Jazz music promoter, Peter Tladi, has described the late legendary Gwangwa as the kindest and best composer South Africa has ever had.

Gwangwa died on Saturday at the age of 83.

Coincidentally, another South African musical giant Hugh Masekela and Zimbabwean music legend Oliver Mutukudzi died on the same day in 2018 and 2019 respectively.

He was an Esteemed Member of the Order of Ikhamanga and is a globally recognised and awarded composer, arranger, producer and jazz trombonist.

Remebering Joans Gwangwa with Minster Nathi Mthethwa:

His passing comes more than two weeks after he lost his wife, mam’Violet.

Tladi says Gwangwa was not only a family man, but was also a man of the people.

“Bra Jonas was not only a family man, but also a man of the people and his band was like family, and all of us promoters; he loved everybody. He was the kindest of all musicians. And he was one of the best composers the country has ever seen. His arrangements were unequalled.

Peter Tladi pays tribute to Jonas Gwangwa: 

Humble and upright

Prince Lengoasa, who used to work with Gwangwa, says one is now afraid of the 23 January.

“One is now afraid of the 23rd of January of any year thinking about how it robs us of great legends of this business. I’ve known Jonas since we came back from exile and we worked with him as his backing band. He is a father, not like a father, but a father to me. I remember when I got married, he was the only principal musician that I had worked with who came to my wedding…It is a sad day to lose Ntate Gwangwa so soon after his wife passed on.”

Lengoasa says he learned humility from Gwangwa.

“The one most important lesson that I will in my heart is that he was a humble man and humility is one of the things that help us in life to further and further. He was a very humble man and he was an upstanding man.”

Lengoasa says it is sad that he might not get the opportunity to bid Gwangwa farewell due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Prince Lengoasa pays tribute to Jonas Gwangwa: 

South African sculptor, poet, writer, and academic Professor Pikita Ntuli says Gwangwa played an important role during exile.

“The role that Jonas in donating money to help educate and to pay their rent…When massacres were taking place in the country, they were the people who used their music through the ant-apartheid movement that had dominated the world at the time, to highlight the plight that we were confronted with during that time,” says Ntuli.

Professor Pitika Ntuli pays tribute to Jonas Gwangwa: 

US to reverse Trump’s ‘draconian’ immigration policies, Biden tells Mexican president
23 January 2021, 7:30 PM

The United States plans to reverse the Trump administration’s “draconian” immigration approach while working on policies addressing the causes of migration, President Joe Biden told his Mexican counterpart, the White House said on Saturday.

In a Friday call with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Biden outlined his plan to create new legal pathways for immigration and improve the process for people requesting asylum, according to an account of the call released by the White House.

Priorities include “reversing the previous administration’s draconian immigration policies,” the White House said.

The two leaders agreed to work together towards reducing “irregular migration,” the White House release said.

Mexico has a major role to play in Biden’s plans for immigration reform. Earlier in January, Mexico helped coordinate efforts in Central America to contain a large caravan of migrants heading for the US.

Mexico’s Foreign Ministry also said it had begun talks with Washington about a COVID-19-related order signed by Biden to establish firmer health protocols for people entering US territory.

The call was “pleasant and respectful,” López Obrador said in a brief Twitter post. “Everything indicates relations will be good and for the benefit of our people and nations,” López Obrador said.

Nevertheless, Biden’s inauguration comes at a time of simmering tension over a now-dropped US investigation into former Mexican defence minister Salvador Cienfuegos.

Cracking down on both legal and illegal immigration was acore focus of Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump. Biden, meanwhile, has made an early push for a bill that would open a path for citizenship for the roughly 11 million people living in the US illegally, though even his allies in Congress acknowledge that may be “a Herculean task.”



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