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NEWSFLASH NEWS AGENCY 4 February 12 pm

Good afternoon,

In this bulletin:

# Judge Raymond Zondo says many of his judgments have stood the test of time
# The Health minister says South Africa is likely to reach the fifth Covid-19 wave in winter
# And Rugby: This year’s Six Nations kicks off in Dublin tomorrow

# Acting chief justice Raymond Zondo says many of his judgments have stood the test of time. He is being interviewed for the position of chief justice by the Judicial Services Commission. Zondo’s interview started with his career and academic qualifications and he told the panel he has been part of the judiciary for the past 25 years. He referred to one of his groundbreaking judgments while he was a judge at the Labour Appeal Court:

Play sound: ENGRaymondZondo

# Health minister Joe Phaahla says South Africa is likely to reach the Covid-19 fifth wave in winter however it could be earlier if there are new variants. He gave a virtual update on the country’s fight against the pandemic today. Phaahla says they are seeing a plateau on the current Covid-19 cases in the country:

Play sound: ENG PhaahlaOnCases

Meanwhile, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases head of the division of Public Health Surveillance and Response, Michelle Groome, says there has been an increase in the positive test percentage in Gauteng, Free State, Mpumalanga, and Limpopo. She says this is driven mainly by the age group 19-years and younger:

Play sound: ENG GroomeAgeGroup

# South Africa needs to keep an eye on the rising tensions between Ukraine and Russia given the role of these two countries in the global agricultural market. This is the opinion of the chief economist of the Agricultural Business Chamber of South Africa, Wandile Sihlobo. He says this is also necessary as Russia produces about 10-percent of global wheat, while Ukraine accounts for 4-percent. Sihlobo says disruption of trade in this significant producing region of the Black Sea would have a knock-on effect on global food prices.

# Rugby: This year’s Six Nations competition kicks off tomorrow with the Test between Ireland and defending champions Wales at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Scotland then takes on England at Murrayfield in Edinburgh, while France will play host to perennial loser Italy at the Stade de France in Paris on Sunday afternoon. Wales clinched the title last year by winning their first four matches and was only denied a Grand Slam when the French beat them by virtue of a late try in Saint-Denis in their final game.

# Financial indicators: The dollar is trading at 15-rand-26-cents and the euro at 17-rand-49-cents. One British pound costs 20-rand-72-cents and Bitcoin trades at 37-thousand-947-dollars-3-cents. Gold is selling at one thousand-808-dollars-80-cents a fine ounce and Brent crude oil is quoted at 92-dollars-4-cents a barrel.

# And finally: A resident of the Eastern Cape has been recognised on the Queen’s Honours list. The 33-year-old Harrisson Dax Nash was yesterday bestowed with the British Empire Medal by the British High Commissioner, Antony Phillipson. An embassy spokesperson says the former Plymouth resident started the United Kingdom charity Maranatha Care Children, which aims to help South African children in providing suitable home environments. Nash manages the Maranatha Children’s Home in Southdene, Gqeberha. The centre provides full-time accommodation and educational programmes for youngsters aged two to 24.

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