For Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I’m Thabi Madiba.
Making headlines: NPA says it will push for Zuma trial to continue despite any appeals; South Africa records 3 699 new infections; And, Moderna patent application raises fears for Africa Covid vaccine hub
NPA says it will push for Zuma trial to continue despite any appeals
The National Prosecuting Authority says it will "resist" further delays in the long-awaited corruption trial of Jacob Zuma and French arms company Thales – and stressed that "despite any appeals, the matter must proceed".
The NPA expressed this a day after Judge Piet Koen in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg dismissed all six applications Zuma launched to challenge the legitimacy of his corruption prosecution – and ordered that the case against him and Thales should proceed on 11 April 2022.
NPA spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said the NPA will be fully prepared to proceed on April 11, and that it will do all that it can to ensure that the trial continues, despite whatever further steps there may be to delay the trial by yet further applications to appeal.
The NPA has typically put trials on hold to allow for the hearing of legal challenges to prosecutions and subsequent appeals – so its decision to push for the case against Zuma to go ahead regardless of any appeal he may lodge, could set an important future precedent.
South Africa records 3 699 new infections
South Africa recorded 3 699 new Covid-19 infections on Wednesday, which represented a 9.7% positivity rate.
Seven new Covid-19-related deaths have been reported, bringing the confirmed death toll to 97 520.
There were 78 new hospital admissions in the last 24-hour reporting cycle. As of Wednesday, 3 714 people were in public and private hospitals for Covid-19.
And, Moderna patent application raises fears for Africa Covid vaccine hub
Moderna has applied for patents in South Africa relating to its Covid-19 vaccine, prompting fears the company could eventually seek to prevent a new African vaccine manufacturing hub from making its own version of the mRNA shot.
Moderna spokesperson Colleen Hussey confirmed it had filed for patents "related to both the Covid-19 vaccine and Moderna's platform technology" in South Africa and elsewhere, after a group of 60 Africa-based charities raised concerns about them, but said the move would not block vaccine distribution in Africa.
She reiterated Moderna's October 2020 pledge not to enforce its Covid-19 related patents during the coronavirus pandemic.
But South Africa's Afrigen Biologics, which used the publicly available sequence of Moderna's vaccine to make its own version of the vaccine, said it had received no communication from the company about the patent filings.
It plans to start making and distributing across Africa in November.
That’s a roundup of news making headlines today
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