The Eyewitness News Breakfast Brief

Eyewitness News previews a selection of the news that you will find on the website today.

Picture: Stephanie Albert/Pixabay

On this morning, South Africa's COVID-19 vaccination campaign will be further expanded from today, with children between the ages of 12 and 17 now being asked to start lining up for their shots. More than 20.5 million vaccine doses have been administered nationally so far. With the jab now being offered to minors, it's hoped that the inoculation drive will be given another push. The Health Department says it is expecting a significant number of parents and guardians to take their children to vaccine sites after school today to get their Pfizer jabs.

Former State Security Agency head, Arthur Fraser, has objected to the nomination of Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo as the next Constitutional Court chief justice. In a letter to the panel assisting President Cyril Ramaphosa with the shortlist process, Fraser raises what he says was Zondo’s bias and lack of independence while he was chairing the state capture commission inquiry.

Axed Health Minister Zweli Mkhize is challenging the Special Investigating Unit’s report which led to his departure. Mkhize wants the High Court in Johannesburg to review and set aside the findings and recommendations in the report which looks into the multi-million rand tender awarded to Digital Vibes. He also wants it declared unlawful and unconstitutional. Digital Vibes is a front company that was used by close associates of the minister to score massive communications contracts from his department. Mkhize maintains that the SIU would have reached a different conclusion regarding his alleged role in the saga, if it took his submissions and evidence into account.

Police have confirmed that KwaZulu-Natal hitman, Fisokuhle Ntuli, who has been convicted for multiple crimes including murder, has also been linked to the murder of former Bafana Bafana captain, Senzo Meyiwa. Meyiwa was killed in Vosloorus in Ekurhuleni in 2014 but no one has been convicted. On Monday, Ntuli was found guilty of committing multiple crimes, including the murder of an ANC councillor in Nongoma in 2016. However, his sentencing was adjourned until December to allow time for social workers to assess his personal circumstances.

Forty-two suspects involved in the St George's Hotel hostage drama case have been ordered to return to the Pretoria Magistrates Court on the first of February after they were each granted R500 bail. Fifty-three military veterans are facing charges after ministers Mondli Gungubele, Thandi Modise and her deputy minister Thabang Makwetla were allegedly barred from leaving a meeting with the veterans at the Irene hotel. The charges include one of conspiracy to kidnap and twenty-six of kidnapping. Meanwhile, eleven others who were found to have previous convictions ranging from robbery to murder are expected to appear in court for their bail application on Friday.

Axed Mpumalanga Agriculture MEC Mandla Msibi says he plans to meet with the ANC leadership to discuss allegations that some MEC's are behind his arrest. Msibi addressed his supporters outside the Nelspruit Magistrates Court yesterday. The former MEC and his co-accused were granted bail of R20,000 each in connection with the murder of 2 people and the attempted murder of a third in August.

ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa has told all ANC candidates for the local government elections to go and serve the people with the pledge they’ve made in their hearts. Ramaphosa was speaking at the ANC’s inaugural roll-call event for candidates. About 10,000 of these officials have had to sign a pledge for service delivery. Ramaphosa has reiterated the party's stance on corruption, insisting they will not protect any member who stands accused of a crime.

Three suspects in the most recent mass shooting in Mitchells Plain are to appear in court today. On Saturday, a woman was shot dead and seven others, including three children, were wounded at a 21st birthday party in Montclair. Anti-gang unit detectives arrested the suspects the next day.

The Western Cape Education Department says following the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic and the effect it's had on schooling, matriculants cannot afford any disruptions. Practical exams for the National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations for 2021 started yesterday, with more than 10,000 learners across the Western Cape completing their Computer Applications Technology (CAT) practical exam. Almost 900 pupils will sit for the Information Technology practical today. With the looming threat of load shedding, Education MEC Debbie Schafer has called on Eskom to do everything it can to prevent disruption to power supply.

In world news, lawmakers investigating the deadly assault on the US Capitol voted unanimously Tuesday to pursue criminal contempt charges for Steve Bannon, a key ally of former President Donald Trump, for refusing to testify.

Canadian parliamentarians will need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to serve in the House of Commons starting in late November, Speaker Anthony Rota said Tuesday night.

Zimbabwe's main opposition MDC Alliance says its leader Nelson Chamisa has escaped an assassination attempt in the eastern city of Mutare after a bullet shattered windows of his car. Last week, the party made a similar claim after Chamisa's motorcade was stoned by ruling party supporters in the southern province of Masvingo.


Ramaphosa: We won't protect any ANC leader who faces corruption charges and other serious offences - ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa introduced the governing party’s almost 10,000 candidates for the upcoming local government elections on 19 October 2021. Ramaphosa said the candidates have pledged to end corruption and fraud. He also said he is mandating candidates to fix municipal finances and provide basic services to the communities they have been elected to serve.

R1.5 billion approved for business relief after July riots - Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel briefed the media on 19 October 2021 about the progress of the economic relief package, saying that R1.5 billion had been approved by the IDC to assist businesses affected by the July riots.

Military veterans hostage case: 42 suspects granted bail - A total of 53 military veterans were arrested in connection with a hostage situation on 14 October 2021 which included 2 Cabinet ministers and one deputy minister.

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