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NEWSFLASH NEWS AGENCY 7 February 6 am

Good morning,

In this bulletin:

# CASAC says the Judicial Service Commission misunderstood its role in the chief justice interview process
# Eskom says the power system is looking good for the week ahead
# And cricket, the Proteas Women secure a series victory against the West Indies

# The Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution says the interview process for the next chief justice was deliberately marred by politicisation, the demeaning and ambushing of candidates. The Judicial Service Commission says it will recommend Supreme Court of Appeal president Mandisa Maya for the position. She was among four senior judges shortlisted by president Cyril Ramaphosa for the top judicial post. CASAC’s Lawson Naidoo says the role of the JSC was to advise the president on all four candidates and not to choose for him. He adds that the JSC misunderstood its role in this important process.

# Eskom says it was able to return nine generating units to service, which resulted in the suspension of load-shedding yesterday evening. The power utility’s spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha says the period of load-shedding assisted them in replenishing the emergency generation reserves in anticipation of the week ahead. He says a generating unit each at Hendrina and Majuba power stations in Mpumalanga returned to service, as well as three units each at Kriel also in Mpumalanga and Matimba in Limpopo.

Play sound: ENG MantshantshaOnPower

# The dean of Cape Town’s St George’s Cathedral Michael Weeder says he is convinced a fire early yesterday morning in the iconic building’s basement was started deliberately. He says a security guard spotted the flames. The fire department managed to contain the blaze and only smoke damage has been detected. According to Weeder, someone was seen running away from the scene. A lit piece of material was apparently thrown through the small window near the cathedral’s steps. A police docket has been opened:

Play sound: ENG WeederOnFire

# An 18-year-old is expected to appear in the Randburg Magistrate’s Court today in connection with the murder of a 17-year-old pupil from King Edward VII School. The pupil was stabbed to death outside the Madison Avenue nightclub on Wessel Road in Rivonia, Johannesburg, on Saturday night. The club says the two were involved in a fight in a car park but security intervened and the situation was normalised. However, later the suspect allegedly confronted and stabbed the teenager about 70-meters from the club’s car park entrance. The police’s Mavela Masondo says the motive for the murder is still unclear.

# The World Health Organisation’s director-general Tedros Ghebreyesus has discussed the need for stronger collaboration with China on the origins of the Covid-19 virus rooted in science and evidence. Ghebreyesus and Chinese premier Li Keqiang met for talks on strained relations between China and the West. In December last year, the WHO said Beijing had still not disclosed some early data that might help pinpoint Covid-19’s origins and called for a second phase investigation into it.

# Cricket: A clinical performance from the Proteas Women saw them win the fourth and final One-Day International against the West Indies by six wickets and claim a series victory at the Wanderers in Johannesburg. Shabnim Ismail took four wickets for 44-runs as the visitors were dismissed for 175 in 49.2 overs. In reply, Andrie Steyn’s 52 and 47 from Sune Luus led the home side to victory. This is South Africa’s fifth consecutive ODI series win ahead of next month’s World Cup in New Zealand.

# And the financial indicators: The dollar is trading at 15-rand-43-cents and the euro at 17-rand-68-cents. One British pound costs 20-rand-88-cents and Bitcoin trades at 41-thousand-957-dollar-4-cents. Gold is selling at one thousand-810-dollars-65-cents a fine ounce and Brent crude oil is quoted at 93-dollars-70-cents a barrel.

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