South Africa: Today’s latest news and headlines, Wednesday 2 February 2022

We’ve got all the latest news stories and headlines in South Africa you really need to know on Wednesday, 2 February 2022.

The Johannesburg Zoo has hit back at claims that their lions and pumas tested positive for Covid-19 after interacting with staff after a Pretoria University study revealed that such took place at a private zoo in Gauteng.

The study revealed that Covid-19 Delta variants were transmitted from humans who had mild symptoms to animals.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization chief warned Tuesday that it is too early for countries to either declare victory over Covid-19 or give up attempts to halt transmission.

On Tuesday, parents and community members staged a protest and shut down the Lotus Gardens Secondary in Pretoria earlier after the Gauteng Department of Education failed to deliver mobile classrooms as promised.

The parents alleged that the school in Pretoria West was declared unsafe by the department last week and that they were told six mobile classrooms would be delivered by 30 January; however that has not happened.

In shocking news, the alleged drunk driver who killed SA triathlete Andre Piehl in an accident on the R512 has been released despite being arrested at the scene of the accident.

This comes after the Porsche SUV driver hit two cyclists, Andre Piehl and Je’an Francois Du Preez, who was riding in the emergency lane along the R512 on Saturday.

The accident was so horrific paramedics said Piehl sustained severe deformity after being dragged about 400 metres under the car.

TODAY’S LATEST NEWS IN SOUTH AFRICA, Wednesday 2 February

Johannesburg Zoo denies its staff infected animals with Covid-19

The Johannesburg Zoo has hit back at claims that their lions and pumas tested positive for Covid-19 after interacting with staff after a Pretoria University study revealed that such took place at a private zoo in Gauteng.

The study revealed that Covid-19 Delta variants were transmitted from humans who had mild symptoms to animals.

Data from the study titled “SARS-CoV-2 Reverse Zoonoses to Pumas and Lions, South Africa” suggested that SARS-CoV-2 was circulating among staff during the time that the lions got sick, and suggested that those with direct contact with the animals were likely responsible for the reverse zoonotic transmission.

The Johannesburg Zoo veterinary team which is led by Dr Arnold Kanengoni has verified that the big cats at the Joburg Zoo have not been infected and neither contracted the Covid-19 virus since the start of the pandemic.

‘Premature’: WHO warns it’s too early to declare victory over Covid

“It is premature for any country to either surrender or to declare victory over covid,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters.

“This virus is dangerous, and it continues to evolve before our very eyes.”

His comments came as Denmark on Tuesday became the first EU country to lift all of its domestic Covid curbs despite record numbers of cases of the milder Omicron variant, with a number of other countries weighing up similar moves.

“We’re concerned that a narrative has taken hold in some countries that because of vaccines and because of Omicron’s high transmissibility and lower severity, preventing transmission is no longer possible, and no longer necessary,” Tedros said.

“Nothing could be further from the truth,” he added, stressing that “more Covid-19 transmission means more deaths”.

The UN health agency chief pointed out that since Omicron was first spotted in southern Africa 10 weeks ago, nearly 90 million Covid cases have been reported to the WHO – more than in all of 2020.

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WATCH: Parents shut down Lotus Gardens Secondary in Pretoria

Parents and community members staged a protest and shut down the Lotus Gardens Secondary in Pretoria earlier today after the Gauteng Department of Education failed to deliver mobile classrooms as promised.

The parents alleged that the school in Pretoria West was declared unsafe by the department last week and that they were told six mobile classrooms will be delivered by 30 January however that has not happened.

The parents who blocked the gates said that they have been engaging with the department, teacher unions and district officials for the past three weeks but no action has been taken to address the issue at hand. They also said that no teaching and learning will take place until there is a plan of action by the Gauteng Department of Education.

Alleged drunk driver who killed SA triathlete Andre Piehl released

This is just shocking! The alleged drunk driver who killed SA triathlete Andre Piehl in an accident on the R512 has been released despite being arrested at the scene of the accident.

This comes after the Porsche SUV driver hit two cyclists, Andre Piehl and Je’an Francois Du Preez, who was riding in the emergency lane along the R512 on Saturday.

The accident was so horrific paramedics said Piehl sustained severe deformity after being dragged about 400 metres under the car.

According to the law firm, HJW attorneys, several eyewitness reports also suggested that the driver was under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.

The law firm said they had been placed on a brief to assist the families of Piehl and Du Preez following the fatal cycling accident.

Fish Hoek beach ‘railway line’ is really the remains of a 90-year-old wall

The City of Cape Town’s Coastal Management team said what was first thought to be the remains of a temporary railway line – built in 1929 – on Fish Hoek Beach is now considered to be the skeleton of a retaining wall built more than 90 years ago.

The Coastal Management team said it spent most of Monday morning, 31 January, trying to uncover the line and ascertain its origins.

First, it was thought to be part of a temporary spur line built on Fish Hoek beach in 1929 when the government decided to remove all the sand dunes from that particular section of the beach.

However, the City now believes that the intriguing lines in the sand are the remains of the first beach revetment built at Fish Hoek in 1930.

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HOROSCOPE TODAY

Free daily horoscope, celeb gossip, and lucky numbers for Wednesday 2 February.

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