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Veld fires
Mopping up operations underway in Coldstream and Koopmanbos following veld fires
25 June 2021, 6:56 AM

Mopping up operations have started in the Coldstream and Koopmansbos areas of Tsitsikamma in the Eastern Cape, following veld fires that started on Monday.

Over 2 400 hectares of commercial plantations and natural veld have been destroyed.

The Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment worked with non-governmental organisations to put out the fire.

Department spokesperson Nthabiseng Mokone says the fire is under control.

“Five Working on Fire teams, SanParks and MOT firefighters together with seven tankers are working at Coldstream area this morning to do mopping up and patrolling while two WOF teams are based in Koopmansbos area also doing mop up and monitoring. The fire is under control and all Southern Cape teams, Aeriel resources and Sarah Baartman Fire Services were released this morning from this fire.”

Mokone adds: “The weather condition has improved and light drizzling rain assisted a lot in the fire suppression operations. All efforts will focus to get the fire contained completely.”

Julius Malema
EFF to protest outside SAHPRA offices
25 June 2021, 6:10 AM

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) is expected to protest outside the offices of the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) in Pretoria on Friday morning. The party is demanding that the Authority approves the use of vaccines from Russia and China.

Party leader Julius Malema says they will give the health regulator seven days to give Sinovac and Sputnik V the green light for emergency use in the country.

He says if SAHPRA fails to do this, the party will stage a sit-in outside the house of SAHPRA’s CEO.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SAHPRA to assess efficacy of Sinopharm vaccine

The health regulator said on Wednesday it had received documentation for China’s Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine and will evaluate the data to assess the efficacy of the shot.

Now in the grip of a third wave of infections, South Africa is inoculating its population with Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer vaccines, but the rollout has been slow partly due to setbacks in supply.

Additional report by Reuters

Military
Air strike kills dozens in Ethiopia’s Tigray region: Witness
23 June 2021, 12:43 PM

An airstrike killed dozens of people in the town of Tagogon in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, an eyewitness and a medical official told Reuters on Wednesday, a day after residents said new fighting had flared in recent days north of the regional capital Mekelle.

The bomb hit a market at around 1pm on Tuesday, according to a woman who said her husband and 2-year-old daughter were injured in the strike.

“We didn’t see the plane but we heard it,” she said. “When the explosion happened, everyone ran out after a time we came back and were trying to pick up the injured.”

A medical official said dozens had been killed, citing witnesses and first responders.

Ethiopian military spokesman Colonel Getnet Adane did not confirm or deny the incident. He said airstrikes were a common military tactic and the force does not target civilians.

Three other health workers told Reuters that the Ethiopian military was blocking ambulances from reaching the scene.

One medical worker said around 20 health workers in six ambulances had tried to reach the wounded but soldiers stopped them at a checkpoint.

“They told us we couldn’t go to Toboga. We stayed more than one hour at the checkpoint trying to negotiate, we had a letter from the health bureau, we showed them. But they said it was an order.”

Getnet denied the military was blocking ambulances.

Filipe Nyusi
SADC leaders to meet in Maputo to discuss regional integration and development
23 June 2021, 9:29 AM

Heads of State of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) are meeting in Maputo, Mozambique today to discuss issues of regional integration and development.

The agenda will also deliberate on the insurgency in the country’s northern region of Cabo Delgado, regional food security as well as responses to HIV and COVID-19 by member states.

The Extraordinary Summit will be chaired by Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi. It will review progress made in the implementation 40th SADC Summit: 40 Years Building Peace and Security, and Promoting Development and Resilience in the Face of Global Challenges.

The meeting will also pay homage to late former Zambian President, Kenneth Kaunda. The 97-year-old played a pivotal role in the formation of the regional bloc and was instrumental in the liberation of several countries including Zimbabwe and South Africa.

The SADC flag and those of member States shall be flown at half-mast during the Summit.

SANDF
SANDF soldiers arrested for alleged corruption to appear in court
23 June 2021, 8:25 AM

Six SANDF soldiers who were arrested for alleged corruption in three provinces are expected to make their first court appearance at the Musina Magistrate’s Court in Limpopo. They were arrested by the Hawks on Tuesday.

The soldiers were allegedly conniving with an international car smuggling syndicate to smuggle out vehicles from South Africa to Zimbabwe during 2017 and 2019 when they had been deployed around the Beit Bridge border post outside Musina.

The Hawks arrested the suspects in the North West, Free State and Northern Cape provinces. Police say the soldiers were allegedly charging R15 000 per vehicle to assist the syndicate to move it across the Limpopo river.

Meanwhile, two SANDF soldiers were also arrested on the N1 outside Beit Bridge for allegedly transporting illicit cigarettes in an army vehicle over the weekend. They will appear tomorrow at the same court for bail application.

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