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, the ANC in various provinces has voiced worries over the impact of a protracted stay-away by staffers on the upcoming regional and provincial conferences. The party, which has just set out a roadmap for its 2022 elective conference in December, is likely to experience continued delays as it tries to renew the mandate of its branches, regions and provinces. It is facing administrative concerns at the party's Luthuli House headquarters, with officials elected to serve in the secretariat being out of office. Treasurer-general Paul Mashatile is the acting secretary-general and he is being assisted in that role by other full-time national executive deployees. But the regions and provinces are in a race against time to elect new leadership before the ANC's policy conference in the middle of the year.

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde says he won't give the reasons for suspending his Community Safety MEC due to the seriousness of the allegations against him. Albert Fritz's sudden suspension was announced on Sunday night. He's also stepped down as the DA's interim Western Cape leader. Opposition parties in the province believe the public deserves to know why Fritz has been suspended. Western Cape Premier Alan Winde says he's respecting a complainant's wishes by not giving details of allegations against suspended Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz.

ANC MP Mervyn Dirks wants the Western Cape High Court to declare his suspension unlawful and unconstitutional. Dirks has taken legal action after he was told to step down. Dirks landed in trouble with the governing party after he asked President Cyril Ramaphosa be summoned to appear before Parliament's finances watchdog, Scopa.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga is expected to meet with the family of a murdered deputy school principal in Gauteng today. Thembisile Ngendane was shot on the premises of Phomolong High School on Friday. The motive is under investigation and arrests have yet to be made.

Another 88 COVID-19 deaths have been confirmed here in South Africa, taking our known death toll to 94,265. However, the Health Department says only 14 of these fatalities occurred over the past 48 hours. This means the other 74 people died sometime before Saturday. Over the past 24-hour reporting cycle, 1,332 people tested positive for the virus - it works out to a 7.8% positivity rate. On the vaccine front, 29.4 million jabs have been administered in the country so far.

The South African Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists says the Commission for Gender Equality's comments on mandatory vaccinations are irresponsible. It says the comments have the potential to increase vaccine hesitancy among women. The Chapter 9 body released a statement recently "warning against imposing mandatory COVID-19 vaccination on employees and students".

COVID-19's impact on the Western Cape's hospitality sector will come under the spotlight during workplace visits by the Department of Employment and Labour. Labour inspectors in the province kicked off-site visits to businesses in the sector yesterday to assess their compliance with employment regulations.

The Johannesburg High Court has heard of two suspicious events that happened in the run-up to Tshegofatso Pule's murder in June of 2020. The trial against Ntuthuko Shoba, the man known to be Pule's boyfriend, started yesterday in the Johannesburg High Court. Shoba is accused of orchestrating Pule's murder before her body was found hanging from a tree in Durban Deep. The young woman was 8 months pregnant at the time.

While there's concern the damage to crops due to heavy rains may have a knock-on effect on the price of maize, an economist at Grain SA says it's too soon to tell. Parts of the country have experienced flooding due to the higher than usual rainfall this summer, with grain farmers expecting a lower yield as a result. Grain SA's Luan van der Walt says currently, a maize shortage is unlikely but there should be a clearer picture at the end of the production cycle.

In international news, eight people were killed and many more injured in a crush outside a Cameroonian football stadium Monday ahead of an Africa Cup of Nations match.

US President Joe Biden was caught on a live microphone Monday calling a Fox News journalist a "stupid son of a b@@ch" on the sidelines of a White House photo op.

US actress Evan Rachel Wood has accused goth rocker Marilyn Manson of raping her on camera during the filming of a music video for his 2007 hit single Heart-Shaped Glasses.

VIDEOS

‘I am nobody’s victim, I left on my own accord’: Bongani Baloyi joins Action SA - On 24 January 2022, it was announced that former Democratic Alliance (DA) Midvaal Mayor Bongani Baloyi will be joining ActionSA.

Phomolong Secondary mourns deputy principal’s death - Pupils and staff at Phomolong Secondary School in Tembisa are mourning the death of deputy principal Thembisile Ngendane. Ngendane was gunned down at the school on 21 January 2022. Government officials visited the school and family on 24 January 2022.