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, a political analyst has described Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu’s public attack of the judiciary and Constitution as a mischievous way of throwing her hat into the ANC presidential race. Last week, Sisulu wrote an article for IOL about what she says is legitimised wrongdoing under the rule of law that has enabled a sea of African poverty in the country while she used derogatory language referring to the country’s black members of the judiciary.

Opposition parties have welcomed the decision by the High Court in Pretoria to declare the Aarto Act unconstitutional. Civil society group, the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse, had challenged the act and its amendment, saying there had been no consultation. The Aarto Amendment Act governed the planned demerit system for traffic offences. It's unclear if the Transport Department will appeal yesterday's ruling or review the legislation.

An East Rand grade 10 pupil has shot and killed another pupil before taking his own life. The Gauteng Education Department says the shooting took place on Wednesday, the first day of the 2022 academic year.
The 16-year-old pupils from Lesiba Secondary School in Daveyton, allegedly quarrelled during school hours. Their argument then led to one of the pupils shooting the other in the head outside the school premises. The teenager allegedly then turned the gun on himself.

A man accused of the Parliament fire is undergoing mental evaluation. The National Prosecuting Authority says Zandile Mafe started his 30-day observation at the Valkenberg Psychiatric Hospital yesterday.
A preliminary assessment has shown he could be suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, which has been disputed by his defence. Mafe was apprehended soon after the blaze which gutted parts of the national legislature this month.

While the fire-damaged National Assembly building has been declared unsafe, plans to stage the State of the Nation Address in Cape Town’s City Hall are at an advanced stage. Officials gave an update at a meeting of the programming committees of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces yesterday. Parliament had to scramble to find a new venue for President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address on 10 February after a blaze gutted the new and old Assembly chambers and offices 12 days ago. A top-level meeting today will consider security for the event, for which R1.9 million has been budgeted.

Western Cape health experts say there's growing evidence the COVID-19 fourth wave has been less severe. There's also a growing gap between the number of infections, hospitalisations and deaths when compared to the third wave. Ninety percent of the province's adult population had some form of protection against severe COVID-19 symptoms ahead of the latest wave of infections.

The African Farmers Association of South Africa has called on the Cooperative Governance Department to relook at the allocation of land. The organisation says some of the land in KwaZulu-Natal given to farmers has been devastated by recent flooding.

One of the accused in the case of a North West family killed, allegedly on the instruction of their teen relative, says he does not believe the State has a strong case against him. Tumelo Mokone says he will plead not guilty to all charges against him, which include murder and aggravated robbery. Tumelo and Kagiso Mokone and alleged mastermind, Onthatile Sebati, are expected back in Brits Magistrates Court next week while Sebati undergoes mental evaluation.

The bail application of a Piketberg police officer accused of killing his girlfriend will only be heard at a later stage. Yesterday, officer Richard Smit appeared in the Piketberg Magistrates Court. He was arrested earlier this month shortly after Natasha Booise was shot in front of family members.

In news abroad, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was fighting for his political future on Thursday as his Conservatives descended into open internal warfare after he belatedly apologised for attending a party during a coronavirus lockdown.

The US Supreme Court delivered a blow to President Joe Biden on Thursday, blocking his COVID vaccination-or-testing mandate for employees of large businesses.

The World Health Organization approved two new COVID-19 treatments on Friday, growing the arsenal of tools along with vaccines to stave off severe illness and death from the virus.

VIDEOS

WHO Africa: Lockdowns should be reserved for exceptional case - World Health Organisation Africa held a media briefing to update the current trends of COVID-19 in the continent.

WHO Africa: 'Only 10% of the continent is fully vaccinated; we are running too far behind' - World Health Organisation Africa held a media briefing to update the current trends of COVID-19 in the continent and the prevalence of the Omicron variant.