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 this morning, the country's 2022 political calendar has officially opened. The governing party, which delivered its January 8 statement over the weekend - a product of the organisation's national executive committee's first meeting of the year - will now try to implement some of the priorities it has set aside for the year. Issues the ANC has listed as important to tackle include unemployment, building a capable state, renewal of the party, and defending South Africa's democratic gains from being undermined. While extra security was deployed for the main event on Saturday, it went off without any incidents.

Pressure's being stepped up for the National Prosecuting Authority to bring charges against those singled in the state capture inquiry report. The Zondo Commission released its first report last week, with former SAA chairperson, Dudu Myeni, and ex-revenue service boss, Tom Moyane, among those named as being behind grand corruption.

A total of 4,482 new COVID-19 cases have been reported in South Africa in the past 24-hour review cycle. This represents a 17. 6% positivity rate. According to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, a further 82 COVID-19 related deaths have been reported, in the same 24-hour period. This brings to 92,453 the number of total deaths across the county so far.

The City of Cape Town has defended its release of a preliminary report into the Parliament fire a day before the bail application of the man accused of starting the blaze. Last Friday's document indicates Parliament's sprinkler and alarm system had failed during the fire and were last serviced in 2017. The National Assembly was destroyed, along with other areas of Parliament in two fires last week.

President Cyril Ramaphosa says the country will soon know what went wrong around the response to what has become known as the July unrest. The president tasked a 3-member expert panel to review the response to the deadly turmoil which unfolded in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. Human rights lawyer, Advocate Mojanku Gumbi, former deputy head of the South African Secret Service, Silumko Sokupa, and University of Pretoria's Professor Sandy Africa, who also chaired the team, concluded their work in December.

The Department of Basic Education says they are ready to welcome teachers, staff, and pupils back to school. Inland provinces are expected to return to school on Wednesday, while pupils in coastal areas will only resume a week later. The department says it's not just about re-opening but also ensuring that once teaching and learning resumes it's not interrupted, especially with regards to COVID-19.

Gauteng police say their investigations into the kidnapping of three Limpopo children are being hampered by their family. The father has secured an interdict against police to prohibit investigators from interviewing the 4 brothers or any member of the Moti family. The kidnapping shocked the country last October when the children were snatched by gunmen on the way to a school. They were released three weeks after the ordeal unharmed.

ANC national chairperson Gwede Mantashe says the country has lost a strong leader in Emalahleni Mayor Lihan Malatjie. The mayor and her husband were laid to rest yesterday a week after they passed in a car crash. The couple was returning from a birthday celebration of the Nkangala ANC regional chair and the MEC for Human Settlements, Speedy Mashilo, at Sun City. Senior ANC leaders, including Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, were among those who attended the funeral. Suspended ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule, who was banned from the party's weekend birthday celebrations in Polokwane, also joined mouners in Emalahleni to bid farewell to Malatjie. Mantashe said that the mayor's passing was a major loss for the ANC and the her family.

EFF leader Julius Malema has tasked his party leaders in various regions across the country to assess the hospitality industry in a bid to see if South Africans are prioritised in terms of employment. Malema addressed the party's Siyabonga rally in Durban on Saturday. The event was held to thank voters in the province for voting for the party in last year's local government polls. Malema says the industry has to prioritise South Africans.

In news abroad, an Australian judge demanded Monday to know what more Novak Djokovic could have done to meet the country's strict pandemic entry requirements, offering a glimmer of hope to the detained tennis superstar as he fights deportation.

Bob Saget, the US comedian who delighted millions as the star of television's Full House in the 1980s and 1990s, has been found dead in a Florida hotel room, the local sheriff said Sunday.