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Former Zimbabwe finance minister to remain in custody until trial
27 November 2017, 7:18 PM

Ousted Zimbabwe finance minister Ignatius Chombo, charged with three counts of corruption in offences that allegedly took place more than a decade ago, was denied bail on Monday and will be detained in custody until his case is heard on Dec 8.

Chombo faces charges including trying to defraud the central bank. He was among those detained by the military when it seized power before Robert Mugabe resigned as president on Tuesday.

He was one of several members of the so-called G40 group allied to Mugabe and his wife Grace who were detained and expelled from the ruling Zanu-PF party.

Chombo’s lawyer says he was assaulted while in military custody on Friday.

Last Sunday, the governing Zanu-PF fired President Robert Mugabe, and at the same time expelled Mugabe’s wife Grace and banned her for life from the party’s politics.

Manana co-accused sentencing postponed to Tuesday
27 November 2017, 5:54 PM

The sentencing of the two co-accused charged alongside former deputy higher education minister Mduduzi Manana of assaulting two women in a Johannesburg nightclub, will know their fate on Tuesday.

Cyril Madonsela, 35, and Thulani Mdaka, 42, have pleaded guilty to two counts of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm after they hit Mandisa Duma and Noluthando Mahlaba at Cubana restaurant in Fourways in August.

“The court should not take these types of assaults lightly and a strong message should be sent to the public. It is my submission that there is enough evidence before court,” State prosecutor Yusuf Baba told Randburg Magistrate Saras Naidoo during proceedings on Monday.

At their previous appearance, the court heard that the two men had no previous convictions and were responsible for the well being of their families.

Just like Manana, Madonsela and Mdaka said alcohol played a role in their behaviour on the evening.

Defence counsel for the two men told Magistrate Naidoo that they felt a R3,000 fine or three months imprisonment, or a R6,000 fine with a suspended sentence would be an appropriate sentence as Manana had already been ordered to compensate the women.

The matter was postponed to Tuesday for sentencing.

Manana was earlier this month sentenced to one year in jail or a fine of R100,000 for the assault, while also ordered to do 500 hours of community service. In addition, he was ordered to compensate the victims.

Britain’s “thrilled” Prince Harry announces he will wed US actress Meghan Markle
27 November 2017, 5:18 PM

Britain’s Prince Harry said he was thrilled after he and U.S. actress Meghan Markle announced they were engaged on Monday with the couple to tie the knot in the spring of next year.

Harry, 33, Queen Elizabeth’s grandson and fifth-in-line to the British throne, and Markle, 36, best known for her role in the U.S. TV legal drama “Suits”, got engaged this month in London.

“Thrilled, over the moon,” said Harry as he posed for photographs with his fiancee in the grounds of Kensington Palace in central London where the couple will live in a cottage.

Asked when he knew Markle was “the one”, he replied: “The very first time we met.”

Markle, who wore a white coat, said she was “so very happy” as she clutched her future husband’s arm tightly during their brief appearance. They left with their arms around each other.

She showed off a dazzling three-stone ring, designed by Harry himself with at its centre a diamond from Botswana, which his office said was a place special to the couple, surrounded by two diamonds taken from the personal collection of his late mother Princess Diana.

The queen, who had to give her assent for the union, and her husband Prince Philip were delighted, Buckingham Palace said, while Harry also received the blessing of Markle’s parents.

“We’re thrilled. I hope they will be very happy indeed,” his father, heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles said.

Harry and Markle, who is a divorcee, met in July 2016 after they were introduced through friends.

The prince, the younger son of Charles and his first wife Diana, publicly confirmed their relationship months later in a rebuke to the media over its alleged intrusion into Markle’s private life.

But it was not until September that they made their first public appearance together at the Invictus Games in Toronto, a sports event for wounded veterans.

“We’re in love,” Markle told Vanity Fair magazine that month. “I’m sure there will be a time when we will have to come forward and present ourselves and have stories to tell, but I hope what people will understand is that this is our time.

“This is a time of huge celebration and excitement for two people in love and, on behalf of myself, the government and the country, I wish them great happiness for the future,” British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Twitter.

ROYAL WEDDING

Reuters

The wedding is likely to attract huge attention across the world, as did the marriage of Harry’s elder brother William to Kate Middleton in 2011.

“We are very excited for Harry and Meghan,” William and Kate said in a statement. “It has been wonderful getting to know Meghan and to see how happy she and Harry are together.”
In his office’s warning to the media, Harry referred to the sexism and racism directed at Markle, whose father is white and her mother African-American.

“We are incredibly happy for Meghan and Harry. Our daughter has always been a kind and loving person,” Markle’s parents Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland said in a statement.

“To see her union with Harry, who shares the same qualities, is a source of great joy for us as parents. We wish them a lifetime of happiness and are very excited for their future together.”

Harry’s previous girlfriends included Zimbabwe-born Chelsy Davy and actress Cressida Bonas.

IN THE PUBLIC EYE

Reuters

Educated at the exclusive Eton College, Harry’s teenage years were overshadowed by negative press headlines, fostering an intense dislike which he and his brother harboured because of the way papers hounded their mother. She died in a Paris car crash in 1997 while being chased by paparazzi.

Harry was portrayed as a royal wild child and playboy prince, and in 2002 he admitted smoking cannabis and getting drunk when underage in a pub near the royal family’s country estate amid suggestions he had fallen in with a bad crowd.

He later scuffled with paparazzi outside a London nightclub and drew outrage by dressing as a Nazi officer at a party.

But he turned around his image after joining the army, where he spent 10 years and included two tours of duty in Afghanistan. He said it was a role where he felt he could be himself without media scrutiny or any other trappings of his gilded upbringing.

Even when he was photographed partying naked and playing billiards in a private room in Las Vegas in 2012, the response was less critical and more understanding.

“It was probably a classic example of me being too much army, and not enough prince,” he said of the Vegas incident.

He left the army in 2015 to focus on royal duties and charity work, particularly the welfare of military veterans, and continuing his mother’s work helping those with AIDS, and mental health issues.

His easy-going manner with the public has made him one of the most popular members of the Windsors. That has put him at the forefront of a rebranding of the monarchy as modern and relevant, a far cry from the perception of a hopelessly out-of-touch institution following the 1997 death of Diana.

To coincide with the 20th anniversary of her death this year, Harry opened up about his own trauma at losing his mother at a young age, and was even quoted as saying he wanted out of the royal family altogether.

“I didn’t want to be in the position I was in, but I eventually pulled my head out of the sand, started listening to people and decided to use my role for good,” he said. “I am now fired up and energized and love charity stuff, meeting people and making them laugh.”

NO PRINCESS BRIDE

Reuters

Like William’s wife Kate, Meghan will not become a princess in her own right after marrying Harry. However, Harry, like his brother, is likely to be made a duke when he marries, meaning Meghan would become a duchess.

Markle was born in Los Angeles in 1981. Her father was a TV lighting director for soaps and sitcoms and her mother a clinical therapist.

She made her first TV appearance in a 2002 episode of medical drama “General Hospital” has appeared in a number of TV shows and films, such as “Horrible Bosses”, but achieved greatest fame for her starring part as Rachel Zane in the ongoing “Suits” series.

In 2011, she married film producer Trevor Engelson but they divorced two years later. She had her own lifestyle blog thetig.com, which she recently shut down, and like her future husband has become a prominent humanitarian campaigner.

The couple will live in Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace.

“I sometimes still feel I am living in a goldfish bowl, but I now manage it better,” Harry said in an interview with a U.S. magazine Newsweek published in June 2017.

“But I am determined to have a relatively normal life, and if I am lucky enough to have children, they can have one too.”

Nkoana-Mashabane to represent SA at Kenyatta inauguration – Presidency
27 November 2017, 5:05 PM

International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana Mashabane will be representing South Africa at the Kenyan inauguration ceremony of Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday.

A statement from the presidency on Monday said Maite Nkoana-Mashabane would represent President Jacob Zuma at the ceremony at the Kasarani National Statium in Nairobi.

The inauguration comes a week after the Supreme Court in Kenya upheld president-elect Kenyatta’s victory in the October 26 presidential polls.

WATCH Life Esidimeni Arbitration Hearings
27 November 2017, 2:44 PM

Suspended Gauteng Mental Health Director Dr Makgabo Manamela is facing further cross-examination at the Life Esidimeni hearings in Parktown, Johannesburg on Monday.

On Friday, Manamela refused to accept that she did not have the powers to sign off licences for NGOs that received mentally ill-patients.

143 patients subsequently died at these NGOs.

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