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Jackson Mthembu, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris dominate Google search queries this week

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ inauguration, the passing of Jackson Mthembu and Dr Death Wouter Basson made headlines this week.

Google senekal

Image via Adobe Stock

South Africa entered a period of mourning on Thursday after President Ramaphosa confirmed that Minister Jackson Mthembu passed away on 21 January 2021. It’s also been an intense week in the States.

Trump stepped down as the 45th President of the United States, and Joe Biden took over the reins at the 59th presidential inauguration with Kamala Harris as VP. The news rippled all the way over to South Africa. In addition,

We’ve included some of the highlights from the past week in one place. Here’s what you may have missed.

South Africa’s top Google searches

Jackson Mthembu — 500 000 searches

Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu passed away on 21 January 2021 due to COVID-19 related complications, just 10 days after being diagnosed with the virus. President Ramaphosa said in a statement:

Minister Mthembu was an exemplary leader, an activist and life-long champion of freedom and democracy. He was a much-loved and greatly respected colleague and comrade, whose passing leaves our nation at a loss. I extend my deepest sympathies to the Minister’s family, to his colleagues, comrades and many friends”.

Also read:

jackson mthembu
Minister in the Presidency, Jackson Mthembu, has died after succumbing in his fight against COVID-19. Photo: Twitter/Nyiko Chuma @Nyiko_Chum

Joe Biden — 100 000 searches

It’s a new era as Joe Biden steps up as America’s new chief to take the reigns in a post-Donald Trump world. Biden, 78, isn’t pushing the America First and Make America Great Again narratives as hard as Trump did.

A former senator and vice president under Barack Obama, Biden vowed back in November to get the coronavirus pandemic under control. He also promised to restore traditional US diplomacy after Trump’s dramatic pivot to unilateral nationalism.

“To all those who did not support me, let me say this, hear me out as we move forward, take a measure of me and my heart and if you still disagree so be it, that’s democracy”.

President Joe Biden
Joe Biden
US President Joe Biden delivers his inauguration speech on January 20, 2021, at the US Capitol in Washington, DC. Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the US. ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP

Also read:

Kamala Harris — 100 000 searches

Newly inducted US vice president dominated headlines this week for breaking barriers and making history by becoming the first female vice president of the United States of America. 

Her name was searched more than 100 000 times on Thursday. Andrea Chothia wrote: “During the inauguration ceremony, it was said that little boys and girls all over the world will now know that everything and anything is possible”. 

Now read: Vogue to release revised Kamala Harris cover after photo outcry

Kamala Harris vice president US
Kamala Harris has become a role model to millions. Image via Twitter @tyler_mitchell_

Al Ahly — 20 000 searches

The search term Al Ahly was trending on Thursday after head coach Pitso Mosimane named his squad for their clash against Arab Contractors.

Al Ahly enter the match in second place in the Egyptian Premier League following their draw against Bank Al Ahly last week, while Arab Contractors – who are also known as Al Mokawloon – are 12th.

Also read:

Wouter Basson – 10 000 searches

Wouter Basson – also known as Apartheid’s “Dr Death” – is working at a Western Cape facility, where he is freely allowed to practice cardiology for the last 15 years. Basson had avoided prosecution due to a series of legal technicalities.

Wouter Basson Dr. Death
Photo: Gallo Images

Basson faced dozens of legal charges but managed to escape prosecution at the turn of the century. These developments have taken many South Africans by surprise, forcing Mediclinic to offer the following defence:

“By law, doctors are independent practitioners and cannot be ’employed’ by Mediclinic Southern Africa. We cannot prohibit HPCSA registered doctors, including Dr. Basson, from practicing – unless they are prevented by law from doing so.”

Read more here: Wouter Basson, apartheid’s ‘Dr. Death’, revealed to be working at a Mediclinic