The Eyewitness News Breakfast Brief

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

Picture: Engin Akyurt/Pixabay

On EWN.co.za this morning, Mxolisi Kaunda has been re-elected as eThekwini mayor at a council sitting that left a few opposition parties feeling blindsided. Councillors reconvened at the Durban ICC under tight security yesterday to elect the new leadership. The initial session on Monday was abandoned when ANC supporters stormed proceedings while a power cut added to the disruptions. Abantu Batho Congress president Philani Mavundla - who struck a deal with the ANC, has been elected deputy mayor. The IFP in eThekwini has slammed those who voted with the ANC in council, accusing them of getting into politics only to enrich themselves.

Political analysts say the ANC’s decision not to contest official positions of mayor and others in Tshwane is a sign of defeat. On Tuesday, the party opted not to field any candidates for the posts in council despite having the most seats.

Former Absa board director Sipho Pityana says the banking group is attacking his constitutional right to defend his name in court. Absa fired Pityana as director after their relationship broke down.
The group says Pityana failed to prove that he didn't cause harm after he dragged the prudential authority to court, accusing it of blocking his nomination as Absa board chair.

The first witness in former Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini's perjury trial is expected to testify today in the Johannesburg Magistrates Court. Dlamini is accused of lying at an inquiry into the 2017 social grants crisis when there was no contract in place to take over the distribution of these vital payments to millions of poor people who depend on them. Yesterday she pleaded not guilty.

It's been 30 years since the world first began observing 16 days of activism against gender-based violence, but activists say little has changed. South Africa, a country that's become infamous for abuse against women and children, joins the globe in observing the start of the campaign today. Western Cape Police Commissioner Thembisile Patekile says the SAPS can't tackle gender-based violence alone.

Companies accused of inflating prices during the Gauteng school disinfection scandal consider themselves national heroes and have told a Special Tribunal that the SIU is failing to acknowledge this. Yesterday the service providers and the SIU presented their sides of the wasteful expenditure story. The companies were awarded a R431 million tender to clean schools but the Special Investigative Unit wants those contracts declared invalid and unlawful as it sets about recouping the money.

Communications Minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni has warned against the dumping of analogue television sets as South Africa migrates to digital broadcasting. Ntshavheni yesterday gave an update, saying South African is making good progress to complete digital migration.

The Life Esidimeni inquest is expected to resume this morning with the cross-examination of former Gauteng Health deputy director, Nonceba Sennelo. Proceedings in the virtual sitting of the High Court in Pretoria were adjourned yesterday to allow for the inclusion of crucial documents on a shared platform. This was also done to allow time for the witnesses and lawyers in the matter to familiarise themselves with the evidence. The inquest is trying to determine whether anyone can be held criminally liable for the deaths of over 140 psychiatric patients

The Department of Basic Education has reminded South African educators of the code of professional ethics that governs their field. A report by the South African Council of Educators has found at least 11 teachers were fired for unethical misconduct and then removed from the register of educators. The council received at least 443 complaints of misconduct against educators for the 2020/21 financial year.
Of the 11 teachers that were axed, five of the cases were for sexual misconduct, followed by two for severe assault of pupils.

It's that time of the year again, Black Friday - where thousands of shoppers are expected to take advantage of massive price cuts across the country. Ozow COO Jerome Touze says they are excited and are waiting in anticipation of what's going to be another record year at Ozow. He says in 2019 there was about 3 billion rand of spend nationwide on Black Friday. Touze says there was a decline in spend in shops last year - and saw an increase in online activity.

In news abroad, three white men were found guilty of murder Wednesday for shooting dead an African American man after chasing him in their pickup trucks, following a racially-charged trial in the southern US state of Georgia that gripped the nation.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Wednesday reportedly joined the front line where government forces are battling rebels from the Tigray region, prompting US-led international calls for a diplomatic solution and immediate ceasefire to the conflict.

More than 100,000 people have died of COVID-19 in Germany since the start of the pandemic, a public health agency announced Thursday.

VIDEOS

Bathabile Dlamini pleads not guilty to perjury - Former Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini appeared in the Johannesburg Magistrates Court for her perjury trial.