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Mthembu remembered as a humble servant of the people
25 January 2021, 1:11 PM

The late Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu has been remembered as a humble servant of the people by media practitioners and his subordinates in government.

Government Communications is hosting a memorial service for Mthembu who was buried in Emalahleni, Mpumalanga on Sunday.

He succumbed to COVID-19 on Thursday.

Mthembu was the former National Spokesperson of the African National Congress on two occasions under former presidents Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma.

The South African National Editors Forum’s Mahlatse Mahlase says Mthembu was a communicator par excellence.

“As the media, we have also lost, we have lost a communicator par excellence. We have lost a gentleman who spoke to us no matter what. Jackson Mthembu has been part of our lives for so long, it is hard to imagine him gone.”

Live stream: Minister Jackson Mthembu’s Memorial Service:

I have lost more than a colleague

President Cyril Ramaphosa says Mthembu’s passing has shocked people into stopping the constant bickering that has been dividing the country.

Ramaphosa delivered the eulogy at Mthembu’s official funeral service. He says he has lost more than a colleague and a comrade in Mthembu.

Ramaphosa says it is unbearable that those who knew and loved Mthembu will not see him again. He says Mthembu’s death has united South Africans in their sorrow.

Minister Jackson Mthembu funeral service:

Government’s main goal is to achieve herd immunity: Mkhize
25 January 2021, 11:45 AM

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has sought to allay fears over the efficacy of various coronavirus vaccines, saying government’s main goal is to achieve herd immunity.

The country expects 1.5 million doses from India’s Serum Institute at the end of January.

Mkhize says government is negotiating for another batch of vaccines from various manufacturers.

He says, “It does not yet matter too much who gets which vaccine. The approach is let’s get whatever vaccine we can and administer to make sure our people are safe. The safety of the individual is generally assuring if you’ve got the efficacy over 60-70%, but the real issue for us is each one of these vaccines have been approved and they are good to use. We must always recalculate what the numbers of the people who need to be vaccinated so we can get population immunity.”

Mkhize gives more clarity on when SA will receive vaccines:

Prof. Gregory Hussey of the Vaccines for Africa Initiative at the Institute of Diseases and Molecular Medicine at the University of Cape Town says the only solution to South Africa’s crisis is a safe and effective vaccines.

Prof. Hussey elaborates:

EXPLAINER VIDEO: South Africa’s vaccine rollout strategy:

South Africa has reported 1 412 986 coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic and over 40 000 COVID-19-related deaths.

Latest SA stats:

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[SENSITIVE CONTENT WARNING] Northern Cape couple explains decision to bury baby in the yard
25 January 2021, 11:00 AM

A couple in Warrenton in the Northern Cape insists their decision to bury their baby in a shallow grave behind their home was a necessary one.

This comes after police took the couple in for questioning after police exhumed the child’s remains following a tip off.

They were subsequently released.

The baby was eight months old at the time of her death earlier this month.

The baby’s father says the baby died of natural causes but they had no money for the burial and had nowhere else to turn to.

“We are not okay, we are not doing well at all. I also hate what happened. I’m even losing weight as a result of this. I am exhausted. It is okay even if they arrest me. God is for all of us. I did what I had to because the baby was not insured and I am unemployed. I have nothing.”

Police have opened an inquest docket into the death of the child.

Neighbours of the couple have expressed their shock about the discovery of the shallow grave:

We will work tirelessly to end unemployment caused by COVID-19: Ramaphosa
25 January 2021, 9:53 AM

African National Congress (ANC) President Cyril Ramaphosa says they will work tirelessly to end poverty, inequality and unemployment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is amongst the decisions taken at their virtual three day ANC NEC Lekgotla over the weekend.

The meeting was attended by ANC deployees in government, alliance partners and members of civil society and traditional leaders.

Both former presidents Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma as well as the party’s former deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe attended the meeting.

Ramaphosa says they are planning to hold an economic indaba to help deal with the impact of the coronavirus on South Africans.

He says, “The important decision of this Lekgotla is to convene an Economic Summit that critically looks at what COVID-19 has merely accentuated: poverty, inequality and unemployment in South Africa. This Summit needs to focus renewed attention on broad-based black economic empowerment, the transformation of ownership, management and control patterns in the economy, and the promotion of black and women entrepreneurs and industrialists.”

 Ramaphosa delivers closing address at the ANC Lekgotla:

In November, Statistics South Africa revealed that South Africa’s unemployment rate increased by 7.5% points to 30.8% in the third quarter of 2020: 

SANParks concerned about increase in graffiti on Table Mountain
25 January 2021, 8:51 AM

South African National Parks (SANParks) authorities say they are concerned about the increase in graffiti in the Table Mountain National Park.

Park management has asked visitors to refrain from crafting graffiti images in the park.

SANParks’ Reynold Thakhuli says, “This kind of behavior is in contravention with the Environmental Management Act in Protected Areas. Graffiti is not allowed and is prohibited at any National Parks and if a person is caught doing so will be fined. We urge the members of the public to report this act and contact our Emergency number at  086 110 6417 or please send us an email at Table.Mountain@sanparks.org.”

SANParks arrest suspected poachers in Kruger National

South African National Parks (SANParks)  rangers arrested seven suspects in an anti-poaching campaign in the Kruger National Park in early January.

The first group of three suspected poachers were arrested in the Skukuza area of the park.

Four more suspects were arrested less than a week later in different areas of the park.

SANParks’ spokesperson, Isaac Phaahla, says the rangers recovered heavy calibre hunting rifles, ammunition and poaching equipment.

Phaahla says the suspects have been handed over to the police to face poaching charges.

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