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ACDP marches against “mandatory COVID-19 vaccination”
14 October 2021, 11:22 AM

The African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) is on Thursday marching to the Constitutional Court in Johannesburg against what it calls “mandatory COVID-19 vaccination”.

Mayoral Candidate for the City of Johannesburg, Bishop Dulton Adams, says the ACDP will make sure that no one is forced to take the vaccine.

He says if it becomes mandatory, it will mean that South Africa is regressing to the Apartheid days, yet it’s a democratic country.

Meanwhile, members of the ACDP are gathering at Beyers Naude Square in the Johannesburg CBD, preparing to head to the Constitutional Court and hand over a memorandum.

Adams says, “We are not against vaccination, we are it for it, we are pro-choice, we want people to make a decision by themselves. We do not go with the notion that it must be mandatory, otherwise, it must be forced, people must be forced to get it.”

“And secondly, to have a passport to go everywhere, we believe it will be Apartheid in reverse really, when you have the vaccinators and non-vaccinators and I don’t think South Africa needs this after the strenuous lockdown we’ve gone through,” he adds.

Students

Amid concerns that COVID-19 vaccinations in South Africa are not going according to the set targets, the Higher Education and training sector is once again calling on students to get vaccinated.

This comes as some universities have been contemplating mandatory vaccination for staff and students and that those not vaccinated must undergo weekly testing at their own cost.

CEO of Higher Health, Prof Ramneek Ahluwalia, says it is a bit too early for tertiary institutions to institute mandatory vaccination:

Prayer meeting to be held for Zuma on Thursday
14 October 2021, 10:26 AM

The Jacob Zuma Foundation is set to host a welcome back prayer meeting at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Thursday morning for former President Jacob Zuma.

This follows Zuma’s discharge from hospital following his release on medical parole last month.

The former President handed himself to police after the Constitutional Court found him to be in contempt of court in July.

The Foundations’ spokesperson, Mzwanele Manyi, says it is unclear whether Zuma will make an appearance.

He says, “We are hoping to do that, we are just trying to make sure that as we do that we are still much in line with the requirements of the parole. So we are busy finalising the consultation with lawyers and all of that, just to make sure that if he does do that there is no opportunity given to the haters to now pounce him. So we are just being extra vigilant, to make sure that whatever we do must be in line with the law.”

Zuma was placed on medical parole on September 5, 2021:

Msibi’s bail application resumes
14 October 2021, 9:37 AM

The bail application for the former MEC for Agriculture and Land Reform, Mandla Msibi, and his two co-accused is expected to resume at the Nelspruit Magistrates Court on Thursday morning.

Msibi and the two accused are facing two charges of murder and one attempted murder which they allegedly committed in August in Mbombela.

The court adjourned the bail application on Wednesday after a bomb scare at the court premises.

In the video below, SABC Reporter Nhlanhla Jele reports on Wednesday’s court proceedings:

Msibi and the two co-accused have now spent three full days behind bars-as their bail application is dragging since Monday.

Msibi who was a MEC in Mpumalanga and an African National Congress provincial election manager handed himself to the police on Monday.

He is being accused of two counts of murder and one of attempted murder.

The investigating officer on the case is expected to continue with his testimony in court.

VIDEO: Mpumalanga Premier Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane announces Msibi’s dismissal on Tuesday:

On Wednesday, the Provincial Executive Committee of the African National Congress (ANC) in Mpumalanga suspended  Msibi.

 

Japan to dissolve Parliament, setting the stage for a general election
14 October 2021, 8:52 AM

Japan will dissolve its Parliament on Thursday, setting the stage for an election at the end of the month that will pit new Prime Minister Fumio Kishida against unpopular opposition in a battle over who can better fix the pandemic-battered economy.

Kishida enjoys reasonable public support about a week into the job, polls show, boding well for his goal of maintaining a lower house majority for his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and its Komeito party coalition partner.

Voters will want to see a government with plans for decisive action to end the pandemic and rebuild the economy. A recent Sankei newspaper poll showed that about 48 percent say they want the Kishida administration to work on coronavirus most, followed by economic recovery and employment.

Kishida’s party is promoting his push for coronavirus measures including supplying oral antiviral medication this year, as well as his vision of realising a “new capitalism” that focuses on economic growth and redistribution of wealth.

The ruling party has also called for a sharp increase in defence spending to acquire the capability to destroy ballistic missiles, amid China’s increasingly assertive posture over Taiwan. The largest opposition party, the Constitutional Democrats (CDPJ), led by Yukio Edano, has highlighted issues such as its support for same-sex marriage and different surnames for couples.

The LDP remains socially conservative and, while progress has been made on LGBTQ rights in society, Kishida has said he was not in favour of same-sex marriage. The biggest challenge for Constitutional Democrats is their low support ratings.

A recent poll by the Asahi Shimbun daily found only 13 percent were planning to vote for them, far behind the LDP’s 47 percent; most other polls record support in the single digits. Canvassing in many districts is already underway but formally the campaign will kick off on October 19, followed by the vote on October 31.

Ethiopian offensive in two northern regions intensifies: Tigrayan forces
14 October 2021, 8:40 AM

An air and ground offensive by Ethiopian troops and their allies against rebellious forces from the northern Tigray region is intensifying, a spokesperson for the Tigrayan forces said on Wednesday, claiming “staggering” casualties.

Getachew Reda of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) told Reuters by phone that the Ethiopian military and allies from the Amhara region were fighting the Tigrayan forces on several fronts, in both the Amhara and Afar regions which neighbour Tigray.

A spokesperson for the Ethiopian military did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The military and government have not acknowledged a fresh offensive, which the TPLF says began with airstrikes last week, days after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was sworn in for a new five-year term.

“It’s an ongoing fight and the number of casualties is staggering,” Getachew said, adding that he could not give details of the number of dead or wounded. He said there was fighting near the town of Weldiya in Amhara and that fighting had resumed in Afar, in the Haro and Chifra areas near the Amhara border.

Reuters was not able to independently verify the situation on the ground or to confirm casualty numbers because the area is closed to journalists and many phone connections are down.

The fighting has raised fears that it could further destabilise the Horn of Africa nation of 109-million people and plunge Tigray deeper into famine. The conflict has already drawn in Ethiopia’s neighbour, the secretive and repressive nation of Eritrea, which sent troops across the border to support the Ethiopian military when the conflict erupted in November 2020.

Aid workers citing witnesses told Reuters that Eritrean fighters were still inside Ethiopia and taking part in the conflict.

Eritrean Information Minister Yemane Gebremeskel did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The US State Department said on Tuesday it was considering the use of economic sanctions to penalise parties responsible for the violence.

Thousands of civilians have been killed and millions displaced by fighting since war erupted in Tigray. Tigrayan forces were initially beaten back, but recaptured most of the region in July and pushed into the neighbouring Amhara and Afar regions, displacing hundreds of thousands more people.

Amhara claims the Western Tigray, a swathe of fertile farmland with a strategically important border with Sudan, which has been under Amhara control since the fighting began. Tigray’s borders are now surrounded by hostile forces and the United Nations says the government is blockading food aid to hundreds of thousands of starving people – a charge it denies.

Another humanitarian worker citing witnesses said Eritrean forces were fighting Tigrayans in Berhale, a town in the Afar region.

Weather

 

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