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COVID-19 testing in Africa has been challenging from the beginning: WHO
20 October 2021, 7:31 AM

The World Health Organisation (WHO) African Region’s Technical Officer Dr. Mary Stephen says testing has been challenging from the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic on the African continent.

This comes after the WHO announced that more than 85% of COVID-19 cases in Africa remain undetected.

According to the Health body, six out of every seven coronavirus cases are not being detected in Africa.

So far, only eight million COVID cases have been recorded, but the WHO now estimates that the real figure is 59 million.

Stephen says, “Countries had to develop different testing strategies based on their context and capacities. If you look at the countries in Africa right from the beginning of the pandemic, most of them the testing strategies is still around testing strategies with people, mainly symptomatic. “

“Many countries in Africa ended up being some sort of community testing and if you look at the testing capacity, the recommendation is 10 by 10 000 population. The majority of the countries are defiantly lagging behind in this testing, so yes testing has been a challenge. In addition to this as well the number of asymptomatic cases in the continent is the highest among all the regions. So the majority of the young population we have are either presenting with no symptoms at all or mild symptoms that they don’t think requires any form of testing,” she added.

Below is the full interview:

Al Jama-ah to implement expropriation of land if it wins control of Cape Town
20 October 2021, 6:22 AM

The Al Jama-ah party says it will implement expropriation of land without compensation if it wins control of the City of Cape Town in the upcoming Local Government Elections.

Party leader Ganief Hendricks was speaking to the SABC in a series of interviews the public broadcaster is holding on election manifestos.

Hendricks has made it clear that he does not want a coalition, but to co-govern and be given the mayoral chain.

He says Cape Town is the ideal place to start expropriating state land without compensation.

Hendricks says, “We feel that Cape Town is the ideal place to start expropriating state land without compensation at the same time white land in white areas which belong to the state via municipalities. It is not a pipe dream, we have done the numbers, we spoke to experts and they have told us that there is enough.”

Hendricks had a one-on-one with SABC News politics editor Mzwandile Mbeje:

Law can be used to persuade people to take COVID-19 vaccine: Justice Cameron
20 October 2021, 6:00 AM

Retired Justice of the Constitutional Court, Justice Edwin Cameron, says the law can be used to persuade those who are hesitant to take a COVID-19 vaccine.

Cameron, who is the Chancellor of Stellenbosch University was speaking during an online panel discussion that the university had hosted.

The question of whether or not COVID-19 vaccines should be mandatory in South Africa was the topic of the discussion.

The decision about whether or not to receive a COVID-19 vaccine has been voluntary since the vaccines became available in South Africa. However, the uptake in vaccine doses administered has been low compared to the set targets.

Cameron says the law could be used to limit access to places or events for those who are not vaccinated.

He says, “You might be barred at certain sporting events or access to your place of employment if you’re not vaccinated, so there are a combination of things that we can use and for most people we want the law to be a persuasion and an enticement in our Constitutional state, rather than a draconian Apartheid era wagging the finger at our people.”

Director of the Centre for Medical Ethics and Law at the university, Professor Keymanthri Moodley, says introducing a mandatory vaccine policy would help to boost the number of vaccine shots that are being administered.

‘Too early’

Last week, Higher Health SA says it is still too early to make vaccination against COVID-19 mandatory for the higher education sector.

In the video below, the CEO of Higher Health SA, Ramneek Ahluwalia, says each institution will have to look at its structure before making the decision:

Accusations against Msibi have no substance: Lawyer
15 October 2021, 12:32 PM

Defence Advocate Coert Jordaan is giving closing arguments in the bail application of former Mpumalanga Agriculture MEC Mandla Msibi and two co-accused at the Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court in Mbombela, Mpumalanga.

The three are facing two counts of murder and one of attempted murder.

Jordaan says the state did not indicate its intention to oppose bail from the onset until the investigating officer testified.

He says the officer also failed to execute his duties because he effected arrest seven weeks after the incident occurred.

Jordaan says the allegations against the accused have no substance.

The hearing is continuing.

On Wednesday, the court adjourned the bail application after a bomb scare at the court premises.

The video below reports on what happened on Wednesday:

Fired

On Tuesday, Mpumalanga Premier Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane fired Msibi after he handed himself over to police on Monday.

Mtshweni-Tsipane says, “I have decided, after consultation with the ANC leadership in the province, to release MEC Msibi from his position in the Provincial Executive Council with immediate effect. The decision to relieve MEC Msibi has been taken into consideration of the seriousness of the charges he is facing.”

Buthelezi denies using his position as Traditional Prime Minister of the AmaZulu to gain votes
15 October 2021, 11:23 AM

Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) founder, Mangosuthu Buthelezi, has denied that he is using his position as Traditional Prime Minister of the AmaZulu tribe to help the IFP gain votes in the upcoming municipal elections.

Buthelezi is addressing the media in Durban in reaction to recent attacks from the African National Congress (ANC) in KwaZulu-Natal.

The IFP was recently criticised for a poster it circulated in support of traditional leadership.

Buthelezi says the ANC’s accusations about his position as Traditional Prime Minister is not new.

He says he is serving in this position without any financial gain.

Buthelezi has, however, expressed concern about the ANC’s silence at a national level as the party in the province is tearing his legacy down, as he put it.

“I’ve never needed nor used the royal family as a prop in my political life, why should accusations like this cause me to retreat? Why should I retreat? As I’ve said, ladies and gentlemen, I’m not a coward. I was not born a coward.”

Phoenix

On Tuesday, Buthelezi said it is disturbing that some political parties have used the killings in Phoenix during the July unrest, to gain votes.

He joined the party’s campaign and called for unity.

In the video below, Buthelezi says politicians should not divide communities:

Weather

 

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