Daily news update: Covid-19 stats, Khusela Diko’s apology and questions over SA diplomat’s death

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Covid-19 update: Recoveries in Gauteng breach 100,000

South Africa has recorded a total of 471,123 confirmed Covid-19 cases – an increase of 11,362 from Tuesday, and 240 new Covid-19 related deaths: 34 from Eastern Cape, 156 from Gauteng, 27 from KwaZulu Natal, and 23 from Western Cape. This brings the cumulative number of deaths to 7,497.

As of Wednesday, Gauteng had registered 105,614 recoveries, translating to a 62% recovery rate.

Thabo Mbeki: Mlangeni had ‘very good cause’ to be concerned about ANC

29 July 2020 – President Cyril Ramaphosa flanking members of the SANDF as they carry Andrew Mlangeni’s casket out of Imbizo Hall, UJ, Soweto Campus | Image: Supplied (GCIS)

Former president Thabo Mbeki believes that struggle stalwart and Rivonia trialist Andrew Mlangeni had “very good cause” to be concerned about the state of African National Congress.

This, according to Mbeki, is due to the conduct of the party in recent years and the public’s perception of the party as a result.

Mlangeni’s funeral was held at Imbizo Hall, UJ, Soweto Campus on Wednesday. President Cyril Ramaphosa, Minister Fikile Mbalula, Jackson Mthembu and MEC Panyaza Lesufi were among those in attendance.

“I must say that because of who he was, this kind of person that all of us are describing, this kind of leader we’re describing, this very moral person that even Hlengiwe Mkhize has just spoken about, he was very concerned about his movement, the ANC. A movement that he and others built over many decades and very concerned about what is happening in our country with regard to the revolution for which he sacrificed his life,” Mbeki said.

Khusela, Madzikane apologise for ‘error of judgement’ on R125m PPE contract

Khusela Diko

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s spokeperson, Khusela Diko, has been nominated for a Feather Award | Image: Twitter

Spokesperson to President Cyril Ramaphosa, Khusela Diko, and her husband, King Madzikane II Diko, have finally broken their silence on the R125 million Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) supply contract that was awarded to Madzikane’s company, Royal Bhaca Projects, by the Gauteng Health Department.

In a joint statement on Wednesday, the couple said the contract had been cancelled despite the “absence of any illegality and confirmation that no public funds were ever paid” to the company.

Khusela has further taken leave of absence from all official roles in government, pending investigations into alleged tender irregularities.

The couple expressed their understanding of the outrage from South Africans, saying the Zondo commission had shown there was a correlation between political office and influence, and private enterprise that unlawfully benefits from state coffers, though this is not what happened in the procurement of the contract.

Questions over SA diplomat’s death, after alleged fraud surrounding estate

The family of a South African diplomat who collapsed and died “suspiciously” in his Midrand home in November has laid charges of fraud and theft against his ex-wife, after she allegedly misrepresented herself as his surviving spouse.

The family of deceased Mangaliso Bam,have also approached the high court in Pretoria for an inquest into his death, which could lead to an order for the exhumation of his remains. The family suspects foul play, and seek to have his remains examined in order to verify the cause of death.

R1bn spent on commissions, but with very little to show for it

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond ‘Ray’ Zondo greets the commission before hearing testimony from Trevor Manuel and Siphiwe Nyanda, 28 February 2019. Picture: Karen Sandison / African News Agency (ANA)

The Commission of Inquiry has spent more than R1 billion without convictions being made in regards to the officials involved in the various corruption scandals.

The commission has gone through several inquiries including Zondo, Marikana, Nugent and the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) for example, with each inquiry costing millions of rands in the process.

Another blow for Cricket SA as acting CEO calls it quits

Cricket South Africa acting CEO Jacques Faul has resigned from the post and will not extend his contract in September. Picture: Gallo Images

South African cricket was plunged into more uncertainty on Wednesday with the news that Cricket South Africa acting chief executive Jacques Faul would stand down on September 15.

The beleaguered organisation was already facing losses of close to a billion rand before the Covid-19 pandemic struck.

In addition, it had still not made any meaningful progress on the charges laid against former CEO Thabang Moroe after a forensic audit (the contents of which were long overdue) and the federation was trying to douse the flames following allegations of racism in cricket and criticism that its transformation programmes had failed.

Faul was appointed by the CSA board last December following Moroe’s suspension.

Reported Pirates target Xulu joins Israeli side

Siyanda Xulu (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)

Siyanda Xulu has joined Israeli Premier League giants Hapoel Tel Aviv following his departure from Maritzburg United earlier this month.
Xulu’s agency, Siyavuma Sports, confirmed the Bafana Bafana defender’s move on their Twitter account on Wednesday.

READ: Bafana star Zungu close to Rangers move

The Bafana Bafana joins the Israeli side as a free agent, having left the Blue Hearts earlier this month.

Here’s what South Africans are eating during lockdown

Second annual Uber Eats Cravings Report reveals SA’s eating habits.

The second annual Cravings Report from Uber Eats is out and, in addition to praising our good manners when using the App, it turns out South Africans also have some of the most peculiar takeaway tastes.

Maybe our diverse heritage, and love of curries and peri-peri is to blame, but when it came to ordering extra trimmings, chillies seemed to be a firm favourite.

According to Uber Eats’ latest report, over 5000 orders were made in the ‘hot’ category, while at least 1300 went a step further and requested ‘extra hot’.

Medium to mild was less of a crowd-pleaser but still performed well for those who prefer sweet over spicy.

Petrol price likely to rise, AA says

The Automobile Association says the price of paraffin is set to rise by about 43 cents.

The Automobile Association says fuel prices are set to increase in August despite the strengthening rand.

The association was commenting on unaudited month-end fuel price data released by the Central Energy Fund.

“As matters currently stand, petrol is likely to increase by between nine and 16 cents a litre, diesel by up to 48 cents, and illuminating paraffin by 43 cents,” it said.


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