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Man wearing a sheep face mask drinking a beer

Several residents of Cape Town protested lockdown measures by gathering on the city's beaches.

Some protesters said officials were lying about the virus and held signs asking to get their freedoms back.

South Africa is the continent's most hit country with more than 43,000 deaths and over 1.4 million cases amid as a new coronavirus variant spreads.

Several African countries are struggling to contain a second virus wave that has proved more virulent than the first, piling pressure on weary staff and under-equipped hospitals.

Only a small handful of African countries have started immunising populations amid the global race for coronavirus vaccines.

Wealthier nations have been accused of buying excess doses directly from manufacturers -- limiting supply and securing better deals than governments with less purchasing power.

Most African countries are relying on the World Health Organization and the African Union to shoulder at least part of their inoculation campaigns by providing vaccines and helping to finance their rollout.