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, Cabinet has approved changes to our COVID-19 regulations. This means if you test positive for the virus but have no symptoms, you don't have to isolate. However, if your test comes back positive and you do have symptoms, you'll need to stay away from people for 7 days - that's down from the previous 10 day period. Cabinet has also agreed that anyone who comes into contact with someone who has contracted COVID-19 does not have to isolate unless they develop symptoms. Cabinet also says primary, secondary and special schools will return to daily attendance.

Our latest COVID data shows we racked up 1,366 more infections over the latest 24-hour reporting cycle. It's a positivity rate of 8.1%. Sadly , another 71 deaths have also been confirmed as part of the Health Department's ongoing audit. These take our known death toll since the start of the pandemic to 95,093. On the vaccine front, just over 29.8 million jabs have been administered here on home soil so far.

Former President Jacob Zuma looks set to learn the outcome of his application to appeal a judgment in favour of State advocate Billy Downer later this month. During yesterday's court proceedings, lawyers argued in the Pietermaritzburg High Court that he be granted leave to appeal, saying the NPA had erred. On the other hand, the prosecution argued that Zuma has no right to seek leave to appeal until he has been convicted and sentenced. Judge Piet Koen adjourned the matter to the 16th of February 2022.

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde says he is willing to account to any parliamentary committee on the information he has on hand relating to the Albert Fritz scandal at any stage should he be called to do so. An independent investigation's currently under way into sexual misconduct allegations which have been brought against Fritz, who's the provincial Community Safety MEC. Fritz has been suspended following the allegations made by the complainants. He has also stepped aside from his position as interim DA provincial leader for the time being to focus on the investigation.

President Cyril Ramaphosa will receive the second part of the state capture inquiry report today. This next installment comes two weeks after the first part was handed to the president and made public. The commission which sat for four years heard testimony relating to how the country's public institutions were infiltrated, looted and hollowed out during former President Jacob Zuma's tenure as head of state. Ramaphosa's office has confirmed that it will publish the report today.

The final step in the search for the country’s Constitutional Court Chief Justice will get under way this morning. The Judicial Service Commission will be interviewing the four shortlisted candidates for the top post in Sandton, Johannesburg. This follows a thorough selection process which for the first time involved public nominations.

Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana will this morning have to clarify to members of Parliament how a multi-billion rand World Bank loan will be serviced. The Standing Committee on Finance wants to hear from him on how the funds will be spent and paid back.

The Automobile Association has once again called for the review of the petrol price following the latest fuel price hike announcement. Yesterday, the Mineral Resources and Energy Department announced that both grades of petrol will cost you 53 cents more from tomorrow. The price of diesel and illuminating paraffin is also going up.

The cellphone expert in the Tshegofatso Pule murder trial is expected to continue giving evidence in the Johannesburg High Court this morning. It's the second week of Ntuthoko Shoba's trial - he faces charges relating to the June 2020 murder of his heavily pregnant girlfriend - her body was discovered hanging from a tree in Durban Deep. Warrant Officer Andries van Tonder, who specialises in cellphone mapping, revealed to the court that based on the available records, Pule's phone was inactive for over three hours between 6:44 pm and 22:17 pm on the night she was killed.

The Road Freight Association says contingency measures remain in place even though no disruptions have been reported during the anticipated foreign truck drivers' strike. A stay away by foreign drivers is planned for this week but the association says there were no demonstrations yesterday. The drivers are protesting over the attacks by locals who want them to be replaced by South Africans. The association's Gavin Kelly says they remain on high alert.

The George Magistrates Court has heard that a man strangled his girlfriend to death after she refused to have sex with him. Yesterday - Collin Heyns was sentenced to 15 years behind bars. This was for the June 2020 murder of Esmeralda Botha in an informal settlement in Pacaltsdorp.

In international news, Russian President Vladimir Putin will host talks on Tuesday with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who has taken a softer line on the Ukraine crisis than NATO and the EU, with Hungary a member of both.

The United States, Britain and Canada unveiled coordinated sanctions on Myanmar officials on Monday as the junta leveled fresh charges against Aung San Suu Kyi, one year after ousting her in a coup.

And Superstar Rihanna revealed her baby bump in Harlem over the weekend, dropping the news that she is pregnant with her first child.

VIDEOS

Education vs Survival: SA’s youth struggle to stay in school - COVID-19 has not been kind to young South Africans as we see more of them dropping out of school. Eyewitness News spoke to some of them and spoke to experts to explain why this is happening.

Another round in Zuma’s fight to remove Downer from arms deal case - Former President Jacob Zuma returned to the Pietermaritzburg High Court on 31 January 2022 for his corruption trial - but this time, he sought leave to appeal Judge Piet Koen’s decision to keep State prosecutor Billy Downer on the case.

Cape Town City Hall officially handed over to Parliament - Following the fire that destroyed South Africa's parliamentary buildings, City of Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis handed over the Cape Town City Hall to parliamentarians ahead of the president's State of the Nation Address (Sona) at the venue on 10 February 2022.