The Eyewitness News Breakfast Brief

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

Picture: Stephanie Albert/Pixabay

On EWN.co.za this morning, suspended ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule insists ANC member of Parliament Mervyn Dirks is doing the right thing and he claims no one was punished for speaking out against former President Jacob Zuma. Magashule says Dirks should not have been suspended for calling for President Cyril Ramaphosa to appear before the Standing Committee on Public Accounts. Dirks called on the president to explain leaked audio in which Ramaphosa said that he’d rather fall on his sword than have the public find out their money was used in ANC leadership contests. Magashule was speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the Sexwale home, where he had gone to pay his respects following the passing of former Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale’s mother in Soweto. He also used appeared to use the opportunity to endorse Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu’s contentious opinion piece on the judiciary and the Constitution.

Supreme Court of Appeal President, Judge Mandisa Maya, says while the position of Chief Justice is a “big job”, she’s ready for the challenge. Maya spent yesterday being interviewed by the Judicial Service Commission, the second of four candidates competing for the post. Maya has presented herself as a champion of transformation, backed by her record as head of the appeal court. But she has refused to play the gender card, saying she stands on her credentials as a judge and not because she is a woman.

Gauteng Judge President Dunstan Mlambo will be the third of four candidates for the position of Chief Justice to be interviewed by the Judicial Service Commission today. Mlambo comes with an impressive track record as a judicial leader.

Eskom is calling on everyone in the country to switch off non-essential appliances and use less of the only product it supplies. The country is once again having to navigate through disruptive and frustrating stage two blackouts that are likely to last until Monday. Eskom says it's working to build up emergency reserves and bring units back online after several breakdowns at various power plants.

As Stats SA begins its fourth population census today, South Africa’s LGBQTIA+ community has criticized the population count for not accurately accounting for some minority groups. The 2022 online census questionnaire asks a question relating to sex and not gender, providing only two options – male and female. Sex refers to the biological makeup of one’s sex organs only, meaning intersex people would be left out of the data. An LGBQTIA+ advocacy group, however, says that the focus on the sex assigned at birth will exclude intersex and transgender people, which will distort the data of the census.

Premier Alan Winde is calling on residents to get counted in the 2022 South African Census to ensure that the City and Province receives their fair share of the budget. Yesterday, Premier Alan Winde, and Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis, attended the launch of the 2022 South African Census. Winde says there's been an increase in population size over the last decade, with many people moving to the Western Cape. He says 2021, the mid-year population for the province was estimated at 7.1 million. Winde says since 2012, the province’s total population has increased by 18.7%, which is the second-fastest increase, after Gauteng.

The ANC in the Western Cape has launched a campaign of land audits, identification and land release in the province. The party yesterday called on the City of Cape Town to halt the auctioning of at least 18 properties in the city. They visited a site in Claremont - which is earmarked to be auctioned - which they are against.

The High Court in Johannesburg is expected to hear more testimony from a cellphone network specialist on the whereabouts of Nthuthuko Shoba's phone on the day his pregnant girlfriend Tshegofatso Pule was murdered. Shoba is being tried as the alleged mastermind who arranged a hit on Pule, whose body was found hanging from a tree in Durban Deep in June 2020. Shoba has pleaded not guilty to the charges of murder, conspiracy to commit murder and defeating the ends of justice. Muzikayise Malephane has been convicted for Pule's murder and has heavily implicated Shoba in the crime.

The ANC in the eThekwini region has called for the arrest of those behind the killing of its councillors even if the criminals are party members. It has reacted after the recent murder of party councillor Minenhle Mkhize, who was laid to rest over the weekend. With the party in the region expected to go to conference, there are many unanswered questions around politically-motivated killings in KZN.

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate says it cannot yet charge the police officer who crashed into a 15-year-old girl, fatally injuring her in Tsakane on the East Rand. According to a Sowetan report, Blessing Chibaya was carrying her six-year-old sister on her back last month when a police van crashed into her, dragging her for about 50 meters - the officer then allegedly fled the scene. Chibaya died and was reportedly buried last weekend while the six-year-old was admitted to hospital with severe injuries.

South African Cleaners, Security and Allied Workers Union members have taken to the streets to voice their concerns about the insourcing of workers. Joburg workers raised concerns about employment issues and other benefits, they say that they currently do not enjoy as a result of being treated as casual workers.

Can social distancing and shopper behaviour inside malls be tracked and analysed in real-time? The University of the Witwatersrand is currently in the process of developing an A.I.-enabled WiFi tracking solution for shopping malls to do just that. It’s being researched at the DataConvergance team under the campus’ School of Physics.

In international news, New Zealand will start easing some of the world's toughest pandemic border restrictions this month but will not fully reopen until October, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Thursday.

Burkina Faso's junta lifted Wednesday a nationwide curfew they imposed after seizing power in a coup last month, the military announced.

Neil Young's former bandmates from Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young said Wednesday they had asked their labels to remove their recordings from Spotify, making them the latest musicians to take a stand over misinformation on the platform.