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South-Africa

SA Court Rejects Application To Disclose Ramaphosa’s Campaign Bank statements

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President Cyril Ramaphosa’s lawyers have successfully blocked a move aimed at making public his campaign bank statements.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) approached the court to force the disclosure of the statements in an application linked to Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s invalidated report on the CR17 campaign finances.

The Gauteng High Court in Pretoria has therefore dismissed with costs, the EFF’s application to have the bank statements of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s CR17 campaign made public.

During the course of that litigation, Gauteng Deputy Judge President Aubrey Ledwaba agreed to a request from Ramaphosa’s lawyers for the bank statements to be sealed on the basis that they contained confidential donor information.

The EFF later challenged that decision.

While Ishmael Semenya SC, for the EFF, was at pains to say that the party was not insinuating that there was anything “untoward” in the donations to the campaign, he argued that when information that was supposed to be public was kept confidential, there was a danger that politicians would use public office to further the agendas of benefactors.

Earlier this month, the Constitutional Court dismissed Mkhwebane’s efforts to challenge the invalidation of her report on the campaign finances.

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South-Africa

South Africa Omicron Study Points to end of Pandemic

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A South African study from the epicenter of the world’s omicron surge offers a tantalizing hint that the acute phase of the COVID-19 pandemic may be ending.

The infection wave moved with “unprecedented speed” and caused much milder illness than earlier strains, a study of patients infected with COVID-19 at a large hospital in the South African city where the first outbreak of the omicron variant was recorded showed.

“If this pattern continues and is repeated globally, we are likely to see a complete decoupling of case and death rates,” the researchers said. That suggests “omicron may be a harbinger of the end of the epidemic phase of the COVID pandemic, ushering in its endemic phase.”

The study at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital Complex analyzed records of 466 patients from the current wave and 3,976 from previous bouts of infection. Researchers that worked on it included Fareed Abdullah, a director at the council and an infectious disease doctor at the hospital.

South Africa, the first country to have a major omicron outbreak, is being closely watched to see how infections from the variant may pan out globally. The comparatively young age of the country’s population and those hospitalized in the latest wave could also mask the severity of disease caused by the variant, the researchers said.

Still, the data add to hope among researchers that concern over omicron’s high transmission rates is being tempered by the mildness of the disease it appears to cause and the limited number of deaths that result from its infections.

South African hospitalizations have crested at half of their record in previous waves. Weekly excess deaths, a measure of the number of deaths compared with a historical average, peaked at less than a fifth of their record during the pandemic.

If other countries have similar experiences, that may help move the pandemic to an endemic phase, where widespread exposure gives more people immunity resulting in less serious disease. Still, the virus could mutate further into a strain that causes more severe disease and more easily evades antibodies produced from prior infections or vaccinations.

The study showed that just 4.5% of patients with COVID-19 died during their hospital stay in the current wave compared with an average of 21% in earlier waves, according to the South African Medical Research Council’s website. Fewer people were admitted to intensive-care units, and hospital stays were “significantly shorter.”

The rate of admissions climbed rapidly but began to decline within 33 days of the first analyzed, the study said. A snapshot of patients in the hospital on Dec. 14 and 15 showed that almost two-thirds of those infected with COVID-19 had been admitted for other reasons.

“This phenomenon has not been observed to this extent before in the Steve Biko Academic Hospital Complex or anywhere in South Africa,” the study said. It “most likely reflects high levels of asymptomatic disease in the community with omicron infection,” it said.

It also found:

  • Hospital stays averaged four days compared with 8.8 in previous waves. The mean age of those admitted was 39 compared with almost 50 in earlier waves.
  • Admissions to intensive-care units dropped to 1% of patients from 4.3%.
  • Admissions peaked at 108 compared with 213 during the delta wave.

The findings “were comparable to city-wide trends when cases and admissions from all public and private hospitals reported,” the researchers said. There was “a lower admission per case ratio, lower death rate and lower rates of admission to the ICU compared to previous waves.”

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South-Africa

SADAC Forces Kill Terror Leader In Mozambique

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The military mission of the Southern African Development Community in Mozambique (SAMIM) said Saturday it killed the insurgent’s religious leader in Cabo Delgado.

The Cabo Delgado–which is the terrorism’s epicentre in Mozambique–has seen the displacement of over 800,000 people and threatening the billions of gas projects by multinationals in the region.

Mozambique has been battling terrorists calling themselves Al-Shabaab.

According to the SAMIM’s statement, Sheikh Njile North who orchestrated the first attack on Mocímboa da Praia in October 2017, played a leading role in recruiting and indoctrinating terrorists’ personnel.

The Islamic State group took control of most of the five districts in Cabo Delgado in four years since 2017.

“He was leader of the religious sect of Al Sunnah wa Jama’ah”.

“Sheikh Njile North was killed last week along with 18 other insurgents and had an herbalist where he called on the population to rise up”, SAMIM said in.a statement.

The sheikh with ID name Rajab Awadhi Ndanjile was born in Litinginya village, Nangade district in Cabo Delgado.

Meanwhile, an armed group linked to the Islamic State attacked Saturday afternoon Namatili village in Mueda district in Cabo Delgado province without causing fatalities.

The group invaded the village on motorbikes, using machine guns of various calibres, causing widespread panic and the population fled into the woods, VOA Radio quoted eyewitnesses adding the armed group had not burned houses, they were just looking for food.

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Politics

Mozambique At 46 Amidst Terrorism Challenge

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Security has been extremely tightened across major parts of the Mozambiquan capital Maputo as the country began celebrations for the 46th independence day.

In Mozambique, Independence Day, also known in Portuguese as Dia da Independência Nacional is celebrated every year on June 25 since the country received its independence in 1975.

However, critics argue that Mozambique government has to work hard to regain control of the country which is under threat from Islamist Jihadists.

The terrorists are currently controlling a vast part of Cabo Delgado and continue to wrecked havoc.

From 3 to 16 June a total of 13,000 internally displaced people were on the move in Cabo Delgado district. Of these movements, 85% (11,073) originated from Palma. Other main locations of origin include Macomia, Muidumbe, Nangade and Mocimboa da Praia. The main districts of arrival are Pemba, Mueda and Montepuez.

“Everything will be done so that the coming times are one of despair and agony for the terrorist groups that attack and kill innocent people in Mozambique”, said the President of the Republic, addressing the nation on Friday from Praça dos Heróis Moçambicanos, in the capital, where he laid a wreath on the 46th anniversary of the proclamation of national independence.

President Filipe Nyusi said his country is seeking the necessary support from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and other partners and friends, without compromising national sovereignty.

He said it is urgent to stop the outbreaks of violence that are also registered in the provinces of Sofala and Manica to allow citizens to fully enjoy independence.

On the occasion, he recalled that SADC met in an extraordinary session in Maputo city and approved the mandate of a joint force in a state of alert to support Mozambique in fighting terrorism in the province of Cabo Delgado.

He also recalled that the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) of armed men from Renamo is ongoing in the country, which he considered to be proceeding smoothly.

Despite this, he said, the destabilization in the central region of the country is concerned, led by the self-proclaimed Renamo Military Junta, and for that reason he appealed to its leader, Mariano Nhongo, and all his followers to reconcile with reason and adhere to this process .

Regarding the 46 years since the proclamation of national independence, Filipe Nyusi said that there are several achievements recorded during this period, highlighting areas such as Education, Health, Water and Sanitation, among others.

He referred that illiteracy, for example, rose from 93% in 1975 to 48% in 2015, and today it stands at 31%. “Because we want to eradicate illiteracy, since 2020 students up to 9th grade have been exempt from enrollment,” he added.

According to Nyusi, in 1975 higher education in the country was limited to just one institution, but currently the country has 56 establishments, 22 of which are public and 34 private.

In the area of ​​Health, Nyusi stated that the country inherited from the colonial government a very fragile health system, with only 559 health units to serve around 10 million inhabitants.

“We grew and reached 1535 health units in 2015, and today the country has 1739 health units, but because we are not satisfied we launched the initiative [One district, one district hospital] which by 2024 will allow the country to have 1779 health units” , he added.

In terms of medical personnel, in 1975 the country had only 171 physicians and currently has 2658 professionals. The number of nurses also grew, from 3070 in 1980 to 15,155 this year, which contributed to the reduction of infant mortality.

In the Water and Sanitation sector, President Nyusi recalled that in 1975 supply coverage was only six percent and in 2018 it was 55%, and the PRAVIDA1 program raised the supply capacity from 55% in 2018 to 64% in 2020.

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