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Bill Gates
G20 countries adopt Rome Declaration for future pandemic preparedness
22 May 2021, 9:25 AM

G20 countries have adopted the Rome Declaration which commits to equitable access to vaccines, investing in global health systems and ensuring future pandemic preparedness. The declaration was finalised on Friday during the Global Health Summit hosted by Italy and the European Commission.

The text speaks on the importance of having multilateral trading for efficient and reliable global supply chains across the whole value chain related to health emergencies.

This would include the raw materials to produce vaccines, manufacturing of access to diagnostic, tools and non-pharmaceutical goods.

Rich countries and pharmaceutical giants have agreed to bridge the gap of global health inequity that has been widely highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

President of the European Union Commission Ursula von der Leyen says this is groundbreaking and historical.

“I think it is groundbreaking and really historical because we have for the very first time the G20, that is the United States and China, the European Union and Russia, India and Latin America, South Africa and many others, all of them committing to basic principles. At the beginning the big principle of multilateralism that goes like a golden thread through the declaration. What is so important in there, important is that this is a very clear ‘no’ to health nationalism.”

At the World Trade Organization, South Africa and India are leading the proposal to impose a waiver on patents on COVID-19 vaccines, products and equipment.

Their argument is that to fight the pandemic with full force, there needs to be increased manufacturing capacity, and this means the sharing of knowledge and technology transfer in order for the health products to be produced globally.

According to the World Health Organization’s data, more than 1-and-half billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered globally but only around 1-percent of them have been in Africa.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the Summit.

He said: “For this Global Health Summit to achieve its aims we must share lessons and best practices on how we are dealing with this current pandemic we must show our commitment to equitable access to tools, supplies, vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics. We must do away with health and vaccine nationalism. It is for this reason that we must review the international intellectual property and patent regime and determine with regard to how it should be applied in the event of global health emergencies. We are in a global war and must use all our weapons without hiding behind profit at the expense of lives.”

American philanthropist, Bill Gates, urged the Richer nations to cover the costs of vaccinating the Global South.

“The European Union committed to donating one-million vaccines to poorer nations by the end of the year. This is on top of its pledge of 1-point-2 billion dollars to build vaccination manufacturing plants in Africa. While Pharmaceutical company, Pfizer-BioNTech agreed to provide 1-point-3 billion doses to low-income nations without profit; and to middle-income nations at a lower cost.”

France-Africa Summit | Macron calls for investment, good governance in Africa: Prof Daniel Meyer

Police Minister Cele and MEC Mazibuko to visit Zandspruit following mob justice incidents
22 May 2021, 9:09 AM

Police Minister Bheki Cele will visit the Zandspruit informal settlement north west of Johannesburg on Saturday morning where six people were killed in an alleged mob justice attack.

Cele together with Gauteng Community Safety MEC Faith Mazibuko will meet with the Zandspruit community leadership structures and discuss some of their concerns around policing.

The closed meeting will take place at the local community hall. Zandpruit made headlines earlier this week following the brutal murder of six people, accused of terrorising the community.

Three others are in hospital.

It’s believed about two hundred people attacked a group of nine boys, who they suspected was robbing people in the area. Six suspects have been arrested so far.

They are facing charges of murder, attempted murder and kidnapping.

The video below reports on the initial arrests: 


Cold front
Joburg residents urged not to leave heating devices unattended as cold front hits
22 May 2021, 7:20 AM

As a cold front moves into Gauteng on Saturday morning, the City of Johannesburg has urged residents not to leave heating devices unattended to avoid fire incidents.

This follows a warning from the South African Weather Service that most parts of Gauteng will experience a significant drop in temperatures on Saturday and Sunday.

City of Johannesburg Emergency Management Service spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi has appealed to residents in informal settlements to be vigilant.

“From our side as the City of Johannesburg Emergency Management Services, we will remain on high alert so that we can be able to respond to any emergency which might occur throughout the weekend.”

President Ramaphosa to hand over land title deeds in Limpopo
22 May 2021, 6:49 AM

President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to hand over land and title deeds to 30 black farmers at Tafelkop in Groblersdal in Limpopo province on Saturday.

The Presidency says the deeds were registered earlier this year in the names of the beneficiaries.

“President Ramaphosa will hand over land and title deeds to farmers who have been farming for 25 years on the land. The farmers supply their produces to local food stores, school feeding schemes as well the Pretoria and Johannesburg fresh produce markets.”

“The extent of the land now officially registered in the names of the farmers is approximately 189 hectares and is valued at more than R25.5million,” says the Presidency.

In the video below, Deputy President David Mabuza hands over land to Covie community, on the Garden Route near Plettenberg Bay:

Some accuse the Land Claims Commission of withholding compensation funds

Some land claimants from Dzumeri outside Giyani in Limpopo are accusing the Land Claims Commission of withholding their R10-million in compensation funds.

More than 300 claimants received over R100 000 as compensation in 2006, after their successful land claim. The commission kept R10-million, which was to be used for community development.

Claimants say when compensation funds for land that they lost were released, the commission informed them that R10-million of the funds would not be released to them, but would instead be used for community development.

The claimants say 15 years later, the development still has not been done.

Seventy-eight-year-old Mhlava Mabunda and 92-year-old Rangana Mabunda are some of the disgruntled beneficiaries: “We are not happy because we were not compensated as we were promised, they should have given us all of the money that was due to us.”

Late King Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu’s first wife and daughters contest his last will
21 May 2021, 6:18 PM

The first wife of the late AmaZulu monarch King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu and two of her daughters have filed a new application to contest his last will and testament. They have previously filed separate applications, but those were withdrawn. The new application came before Judge Rishi Seegobin in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Friday.

Before the matter could be heard the court was adjourned to allow the legal representatives of all the parties to agree on a timeline for the filing of court documents. Legal representative for the applicants Mondli Thusini says Queen Dlamini-Zulu is entitled to half of the late King’s estate as they were married in community of property.

Princesses Ntandoyesizwe and Ntombizosuthu are challenging the authenticity of the signature of the King in the will. They believe the signature was forged, which means the new King cannot be installed until the matter is resolved.

The SABC is in possession of one of the responding affidavits on behalf of three of the respondents.

They are traditional Prime Minister of the AmaZulu nation Inkosi Mangosuthu Buthelezi, the late Queen Regent Mantfombi Dlamini-Zulu, as the executor of the estate, and King Misuzulu kaZwelithini.

Buthelezi argues that despite the dispute over the validity of the King’s will, the AmaZulu royal family took the decision to recognise the late Queen as the Regent and Prince Misuzulu Zulu as the successor to the throne.

Judge Rishi Seegobin postponed the matter and ruled that the other respondents have until the 18th of June to file their papers.



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