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MSC stops remaining cruises in SA amid global Covid-19 panic

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msc stops cruise ships

Durban – MSC Cruises which has been sailing to the islands of Mozambique from the Port of Durban has stopped all its remaining cruises for this cruise season as the Covid-19 pandemic continued its rampant global grip on Tuesday.

The cruise that left Durban for Pomene Islands on Monday was the last for the season. The cruise season was meant to finish at the end of April.

The company said that the decision was taken in light of the extraordinary circumstances the world is currently facing in connection with the Covid-19 virus and in consultation with all relevant stakeholders and government.

MSC Cruises has taken the decision to stop all its remaining South African cruise departures for the 2019/2020 cruise season ending April 2020.

The last cruise on the MSC Orchestra departed on 16th March 2020 and will return on 20th March 2020.

On Sunday President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a national state of disaster resulting in the closure of the majority of South African ports of entry into the country to control the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

“MSC Cruises’ decision aims to mirror and further support the effectiveness of these efforts and as a result we have no option but to stop all cruises for the remainder of the season,” it said in a statement.

Ross Volk, Managing Director of MSC Cruises South Africa, said: “This is not a decision we took lightly but under the current circumstances, the health and safety of our guests, crew and the communities ashore – including our employees and their families – must come first. As a family company with over 300 years of maritime tradition, we felt that this was the right decision to make.”

In light of this, customers will receive a voucher for the value of their current 2019/2020 cruise package, which they can redeem in the upcoming local cruise season in 2020/2021.

In addition, they will also receive shipboard credit of $50 per cabin to be used on a cruise in the next season.

For any other expenses that they may have incurred, such as flights, hotels, transport, etc. they will need to contact their travel insurance company or supplier directly, MSC said.

Due to the above suspension in operations guests booked on the remaining theme cruises as well as the Grand Voyage will receive separate communications to explain the changes relating to these events.

Each passenger on the remaining cruises will receive communication in the coming days explaining the voucher.

When you are ready to cruise move or redeem your voucher please contact our Customer Care department at customercare@msccruises.co.za or our call center.

The company said that due to the volume of passengers affected by this announcement we would appreciate your patience and understanding.

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Skeem Saam’s Koko Mantsha death dismissed as fake news

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Koko Mantsha, the popular Skeem Saam character acto, real name, Lydia Mokgokoloshi is not dead.

Social media is awash with news of her death which seems to have been fuelled by fake news sites aiming to profit from unsuspecting lovers of the 80 year-old veteran actress.

Lydia Mokgokoloshi, has appeared in many television shows including Muvhango and Bophelo ke semphego.

Mokgokoloshi was born on 27 September 1939, in Polokwane, Polokwane Local Municipality, Capricorn District Municipality, Limpopo.

She is most famous for acting as Koko Mantsha the grandmother of Katlego Pietersen (Patrick Seleka) in the soap, Skeem Saam.

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Watch: Thulani Dlomo an alleged ‘Zuma spy’, hands himself in

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Thulani Dlomo, the axed former SSA top spy and former SA ambassador to Japan has handed himself over to police on Friday.

Dlomo’s lawyer Philani Shangase said that he handed himself over at his own will at the Durban Central Police station on Friday.

He said Dlomo was not arrested but wanted to clear his name following media reports.

Dlomo was being interviewed by police officers at 17h00 on Friday.

“He has denied all wrong doing,” Shangase said.

Dlomo was suspected to be one of the instigators of the unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

This is a developing story.

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Residents warned against consuming dead fish washing up at Umhlanga and Umdloti beaches – video

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The eThekwini Municipality has sent out a warning to residents against collecting and consuming dead fish and crayfish that have washed up on the beaches of Umhlanga and Umdloti, north of Durban.

The public has been asked to refrain from fishing, surfing and swimming on the beaches after a video of the dead fish on the beaches emerged on social media.

The municipality said it was investigating what caused the marine life to die.

“It is considered serious and can affect one’s health if collected and consumed.”

According to reports, run-off water and chemicals reached the ocean through storm water drains after firefighters battled a blaze at a chemical plant at Cornubia started by looters on Tuesday.

WATCH | Outrage after several monkeys and dog poisoned in Umdloti

“The public is advised to refrain from all recreational activities, including fishing or surfing, bait collection and picking up of dead species in this area,” said the municipality.

“Collecting or harvesting of any marine living resource in the area is temporarily prohibited until the cause is determined and the threat has abated.

“Authorities are investigating the source of the pollution and cleanup companies are trying to contain the spill.”

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