South Africa: Public Health Lab Struggles After Ransomware Hit - South African News Briefs - July 04, 2024

4 July 2024


Public Health Lab Struggles After Ransomware Hit

More than a week after a crippling cyberattack on the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS), the organization is still struggling to restore its online systems fully, reports News24. NHLS CEO Koleka Mlisana estimates that the systems will not be fully operational until mid-July. Before the cyberattack, laboratory reports were automatically generated, sent to clinicians, or made available on WebView. However, the attack disrupted this functionality. Currently, all urgent results are communicated to clinicians via telephone. The NHLS operates an extensive network of laboratories that provide testing services for the public health sector. It is the sole provider of laboratory services for the public sector, analyzing samples of body fluids, tissue, and cells to detect, diagnose, and treat diseases such as AIDS and tuberculosis.

Trio in Court for Disability Grant Fraud

Two women and a Sassa official are scheduled to return to the Kgapane magistrate's court, facing charges of submitting fraudulent documents for a disability grant, reports TimesLIVE. Mphekgwana Elisa Modjadji, 59, Lefupane Mahloatlie Mamotome, 58, and Malekutu Walter Ramoshaba, 48, were arrested in Limpopo and charged with fraud. Hawks spokesperson Colonel Katlego Mogale said that Modjadji and Mamotome applied for disability grants at the Bolobedu Sassa office in Kgapane on May 26, 2021, and December 23, 2021, respectively. A Sassa official provided the women with application forms to be completed by government doctors. "The forms were completed but not approved as the two did not qualify for disability grants. They were resubmitted with amendments that enabled their approval," Mogale explained. However, a capturing clerk suspected fraud and reported the matter to the Hawks' serious corruption investigation unit. The investigation discovered that the handwriting on the documents was that of a Sassa employee.

Sports Minister Donates Entire Salary to Missing Children Foundation

The newly elected Sports Minister, Gayton McKenzie, has announced that he will donate his entire parliamentary salary to the Joshlin Smith Foundation for missing children, reports IOL. The Patriotic Alliance leader, earning R1.27 million annually from his ministerial position, is expected to hold the post for the next five years. McKenzie emphasized that his motivation is not financial gain, but rather to make a positive impact on people's lives. In March, McKenzie offered a R1 million reward for the safe return of six-year-old Joshlin Smith from Saldanha Bay. Joshlin's mother, Kelly Smith, her boyfriend, Jacquen 'Boeta' Appolis, Stevano van Rhyn, and Lourentia Lombaard have been charged with trafficking in persons for exploitation and kidnapping. The State alleges that Joshlin was sold for R20,000.

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