Maverick Citizen

CORONAVIRUS DAILY DIGEST #136

A newspaper lands amid a global crisis, the story of a viral SA anthem is revealed and anti-corruption action is lined up

Compilation image by Sahra Heuwel.

Over the weekend, global cumulative confirmed cases of Covid-19 surpassed 25 million – but almost 16.5 million people have recovered. The pilot edition of Daily Maverick 168 landed in the middle of this global pandemic and the story behind the global success of the South African anthem ‘Jerusalema’ is revealed. Meanwhile, more action on Covid-19 corruption is lined up for the week ahead.

Scroll through the gallery below to view the latest Covid-19 numbers available on 30 August at the district level. All maps are sourced from provincial health departments. Eastern Cape and Gauteng did not provide an update by the time of publishing:

Over the weekend, the global cumulative confirmed cases of Covid-19 surpassed 25 million and deaths exceeded 840,000 across 188 countries. Almost 16.5 million people have recovered.

On Saturday, the pilot edition of Daily Maverick 168 landed in Johannesburg and Cape Town. The official launch will be on 26 September. Why launch a newspaper now, in the middle of a global crisis? This is why:

“AD2020 has been a harrowing year. Covid-19 has taken its toll on more than just our physical well-being – it has stretched our mental and emotional fibre to breaking point. The irony of launching a newspaper during a pandemic was not lost on us while we were planning our way through this brand-defining project.

Daily Maverick 168 scheduled for its first test flight

“And yet, it is also the perfect moment: this newspaper will help you reclaim your own space and time from the ever-present and always-on devices. It is about stealing some time for ourselves, away from the uninterrupted noise, the distraction, the tension that we sometimes do not even understand we suffer from.

“So put your phone face down, make yourself a cup of coffee, and read Daily Maverick 168. (Warning: Reading it may take some time. No chance of just paging through and then discarding it.)”

A silver lining during this global pandemic has been the global reverberation of  South African musician Master KG’s house music anthem Jerusalema. With over 100-million clicks, it has taken the world out of isolation and into physically distanced dance, celebration and connection. As music critic and historian Bongani Madondo writes: “Jerusalema, then, serves as a soothing balm, in the age of dystopia.” Read why here.

Jerusalema: How Master KG’s global anthem launched 100-million clicks and feet onto dance floors

On Sunday, it was reported that the Special Investigating Unit will question presidential spokesperson Khusela Diko this week. Diko has been implicated in recent allegations of corruption in a personal protective equipment contract awarded to her husband, Madzikane Thandisizwe Diko, who has already been questioned. Khusela Diko remains on leave and is due before the ANC’s Gauteng Integrity Committee. 

Meanwhile, the South African Council of Churches launched its anti-corruption campaign against the stealing of funds meant for the country’s Covid-19 response. Archbishop Thabo Makgoba said “corrupt bigwigs” in political parties have declared “genocide against the poor”. DM/MC

Gallery

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