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Covid-19: South Africa Records Over 400 More Deaths

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A total of 14 858 new Covid-19 cases have been identified in South Africa, which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 2 342 330.

This increase represents a 26.5% positivity rate, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) said on Thursday.

According to the National Department of Health, a further 433 Covid-19-related deaths have been reported, bringing the total fatalities to 68 625 to date.

The majority of new cases today are from Gauteng (34%), followed by the Western Cape (22%). KwaZulu-Natal accounted for 11% of the new cases; Limpopo and North West each for 8%; Mpumalanga for 6%; Eastern Cape for 5%; Free State for 4%; and the Northern Cape for 3%.

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The total number of cases today (14 858) is lower than yesterday (16 240), but higher than the average number of new cases per day over the seven preceding days (12 727).

There has been an increase of 720 hospital admissions in the past 24 hours, with 16 999 people now being treated in the country’s public and private hospitals.

There were 238 020 vaccine doses administered in the past 24 hours, the second-highest single-day number of jabs after 257 492 on Wednesday.

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A total of 14 425 215 tests have been conducted in both public and private sectors.

The Western Cape has hit a plateau in its third wave, says the head of health in the province, Dr Keith Cloete, and the SA Covid-19 Modelling Consortium, which said there is a 73% probability that the Western Cape has passed its peak for this wave.

Speaking on Thursday, Cloete said: “Our third wave looks like a flattening in terms of the number of cases. However, if you look at oxygen use, hospitalisation and daily deaths, these are increasing.”

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Cloete said the third wave had been “slightly lower than the second wave” and that the Delta variant remains dominant.

The province is seeing about 230 hospital admissions a day and there are now 3 010 people admitted to hospitals.

Africa, battling a severe third wave of Covid-19 infections, will start to receive the first batch of 400 million doses of vaccines from Johnson & Johnson next week, the AU’s special envoy on Covid-19 said on Thursday.

Only about 60 million doses have been administered among a total population of 1.3 billion so far on the continent.

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General News

Two People Shot Dead In Phoenix Following A Shootout With Police

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Two People Shot Dead In Phoenix Following A Shootout With Police

Two people were fatally wounded and another person taken to hospital following a shootout with police in the early hours of this morning in Phoenix.

According to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate, SAPS members spotted a suspicious vehicle travelling on northern drive, in Phoenix and activated blue lights and siren to stop the vehicle.

Ipid spokesperson Grace Langa said the driver allegedly refused to stop.

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“SAPS members drove side on the side of him shouting for him to stop but he still failed.”

Langa said it is alleged that when they stopped and a Sergeant police officer alighted from the vehicle and approached the suspects car, they fired shots at him injuring him on his leg.

“Suspects then opened fire and tried to escape.

“SAPS members returned fire and two of the suspects were killed while one was taken to hospital.”

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Langa said two firearms were recovered from the suspects.

She said investigations were ongoing.

SAPS police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said police are investigating charges of attempted murder and inquest.

“More charges will be added at a later stage.”

In a separate incident earlier this month, a Verulam husband was shot and killed allegedly by police officers.

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It is alleged his wife was being dropped off by members from Verulam SAPS when someone asked for her number.

There was an exchange of words and the husband was shot and died in hospital.

Langa said the officers claimed the husband opened fire on them and they were awaiting ballistics.

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A Further 250 Officers To Be Deployed To Hot Spot Areas In Cape Town

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A further 250 officers to be deployed to hot spot areas in Cape Town

Western Cape MEC Albert Fritz welcomes the training of a further 250 Law Enforcement Advancement Plan (LEAP) officers which commences on Monday.

Fritz said that meant the officers would be ready for deployment to hot spot areas on the Cape Flats by mid-December.

This comes amid arguments for greater provincial policing powers from the Western Cape Government.

Over the next few weeks, the LEAP officers will be receiving training on how to use a handgun, how to stop and approach, radio procedures, how to use a tonfa (enforcement baton), and how to use pepper spray.

Fritz said the officers would also be receiving training on how to open a docket, take statements and understand the powers and duties of LEAP officers.

“To date, 721 law enforcement officers and 110 LEAP commanders have already been deployed. The additional 250 officers will bring the total number of officers deployed to 1.081. LEAP Officers work to increase visible policing in the identified crime hot spots in the Metro,” he said.

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Fritz also welcomed the successes by LEAP officers over the past week.

Officers conducted 7 078 person-searches, 345 house searches and 879 vehicle searches in hot spot areas.

Officers conducted 104 autonomous operations and 100 joint operations with the SAPS.

The successful operations led to the confiscation of 60 mandrax tablets, 76 half mandrax tablets, 66 packets and parcels of dagga, 96 packets of crystal meth, 96 units and 18 straws of heroin along with other narcotics.

Officers also confiscated many dangerous weapons which include a panga, two swords along with knives, illegal firearms and ammunition.

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“Over a seven-day period, we are searching more than a thousand suspicious people in our crime hot spots every day. We are searching more than 100 vehicles every day.

“Their (LEAP officers) work rate is really impressive. And with the addition of 250 more officers, this work rate will only increase and intensify,” Fritz said.

He said the local government wanted more policing responsibility, so that it could make a policy that spoke to the needs of the province and support the Western Cape SAPS to a greater extent than they were doing.

“The Constitution makes provision for greater involvement by the provinces, beyond just an oversight role. We can’t afford to be mere spectators ticking boxes. Our citizens need us to be more involved” Fritz added.

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Premier Alan Winde welcomed the announcement and said that when the province launched its safety plan on September 19, 2019, it did so with the aim of making communities safer through a combination of violence prevention and law enforcement initiatives.

“It is only fitting that as we approach the second anniversary of this launch that we have begun training the third cohort of LEAP officers, to be deployed in our crime hotspots by the end of the year.

“I commend the City and provincial government on their joint partnership, which has made the LEAP programme possible, and which has made our most vulnerable communities feel safer,” he said.

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Mpumalanga Man Fatally Stabbed Ex-lover In The Presence of New Boyfriend

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Mpumalanga Man Fatally Stabbed Ex-lover In The Presence of New Boyfriend

The Mpumalanga High Court sitting in Graskop has sentenced Shorence Delson Nghala, 50, from Mkhuhlu near Bushbuckridge to life and fifteen years imprisonment for the murder of his ex-lover, 20-year-old Zanele Makhubela.

Nghala was convicted of murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances after he pleaded guilty to the offences, according to National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Mpumalanga provincial spokesperson Monica Nyuswa.

“In his plea statement, he told the court that on 27 October 2020 the deceased, Zanele Makhubela was in her home with her boyfriend near Mantangaleni, Mkhuhlu when he emerged. This [presence of the new boyfriend] angered him and as a result, he stabbed Makhubela with a knife several times,” said Nyuswa.

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Makhubela succumbed to the stab wounds and injuries.

Nghala then fled the scene, taking Makhubela’s cellphone with him.

“Senior State Advocate, Vuyo Mkhulisi in aggravation of sentence emphasised on the scourge and prevalence of gender-based violence in the society. He said, Nghala interfered with the most precious gift of life such that he became cruel and heartless,” said Nyuswa.

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The court heard that Makhubela suffered “the most horrific death” in the hands of his ex-lover. The court also heard that the slain woman had a bright future ahead of her.

“The judge, Johanna Mthimunye sentenced Nghala to life for murder and fifteen years imprisonment for robbery with aggravating circumstances. The court ordered the sentence in count two to run concurrently with the sentence in count one. The effective sentence being life,” said Nyuswa.

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“Nghala was declared unfit to possess a firearm as part of the sentence. The judge further ordered that the deceased’s family must be consulted to make representation when Nghala is eligible for parole.”

The NPA has welcomed the sentence.

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Boyfriend, 22, Held After Soweto Teacher Stabbed To Death At Hostel

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Boyfriend, 22, Held After Soweto Teacher Stabbed To Death At Hostel

GAUTENG police have arrested a 22-year-old man in connection with the murder of school teacher, Lerato Mosia, who was found stabbed to death in her flat at the Jabulani Hostel in Soweto.

Police said the suspect was under police guard at a hospital in Greytown, KwaZulu-Natal.

The 36-year-old Mosia’s body was discovered in her flat on Thursday.

Gauteng police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Mavela Masondo said police received a tip-off that Mosia had been killed in her flat.

“A 22-year-old man is under police guard in a hospital in Greytown, KwaZulu-Natal, as he is suspected to be responsible for the killing of his 36-year-old girlfriend in Soweto.

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“The body of the victim was discovered in a flat at Jabulani in Soweto on Thursday.

“Police received information about a woman who might have been killed and locked inside a flat in Jabulani,” he said.

Police officers had to break down the door and when they got into the flat, they discovered the woman lying dead with stab wounds to her upper body.

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“Investigations led police to KZN where the suspect was found in hospital with suspicions that he poisoned himself.

“The suspect was placed under police guard and will be charged with murder as soon as he recovers,” said Masondo.

He said further police investigations were under way to determine the circumstances that led to the murder.

Meanwhile, earlier yesterday (Monday), Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said he was disheartened by the brutal death of the Mara Primary School teacher.

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“Our psycho social unit has been dispatched to visit the school for necessary support to all affected.

“It is really disheartening to learn of the brutal and untimely death of Ms Lerato Mosia.

“We wish to convey our deepest condolences to her family and the entire school community.

“She played a vital role as an educator at Mara Primary School and in her community.

“As such, a void has been created due to her passing,” said Lesufi.

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South Africa Declines To Host Afghan Refugees

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South Africa Declines To Host Afghan Refugees

South Africa has said it is unable to take in refugees from Afghanistan despite a request.

“South Africa is already home to a substantial number of refugees and is seized with addressing their needs,” the Department of International Relations said in a statement.

It said it had been requested to accommodate refugees who were in Pakistan enroute to their final destination countries.

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But it said it was not in a position to accept as “the refugees will be best served by remaining in Pakistan, their first country of arrival”.

Some other countries including Rwanda and Uganda have already accepted to host Afghan refugees as they await to be resettled in other countries.

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