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Woman loses out on late hubby’s R3.5m estate as he failed to divorce customary wife before marrying her

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A customary marriage one simply walked away from years ago without dissolving it through a divorce remains valid even after death.

Such a marriage cannot also be rendered invalid because an estranged spouse went ahead and entered into a civil marriage with another person.

Instead, it is the civil marriage that is null and void because it was entered into while the customary union remained undissolved.

These are findings of a landmark judgment delivered by Judge Clive Plasket at the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA). The court ruled over a legal battle between two wives of the late Tlou Coliphta Phago, a Limpopo man who died intestate in 2012.

Matsatsi Monyepao, who Phago married in 2010 and lived with until his passing, wanted the SCA to declare invalid his marriage to Mokgaetji Ledwaba.

Phago married Ledwaba in 2007 and separated from her in 2008, leaving her in their matrimonial home with their minor child.

Phago’s estate pitted the women against each other. Monyepao wanted the house occupied by Ledwaba and her minor child to be awarded to her minor child.

Ledwaba argued in court papers that Monyepao only sought to remove her from matters of Phago’s estate after an amount of R3.8 million was paid into his business accounts.

Monyepao wanted the court to rule that the marriage between Phago and Ledwaba got dissolved in 2008 after they went separate ways.

Ledwaba’s civil marriage to Andrew Kwele, entered into in November 2009, was another factor that invalidated her customary marriage to Phago, Monyepao argued.

Ledwaba admitted that she married Kwele. But she argued that this marriage “was null and void and did not have the effect of dissolving my customary marriage with the deceased”.

Judge Plasket found in Ledwaba’s favour on the nullity of her civil marriage, on grounds that it was registered while her customary union to Phago was undissolved.

“Ledwaba’s purported civil marriage to Kwele was a nullity and it had no impact on the validity of her prior customary marriage to Phago,” said Judge Plasket.

He also shot down Monyepao’s argument that her husband’s customary marriage to Ledwaba got dissolved in 2008.

“There is no factual basis for finding that Ledwaba’s customary marriage to Phago was terminated – presumably by divorce – in 2008,” said Judge Plasket.

“Monyepao placed no admissible evidence before the court of first instance to establish this fact.”

Judge Plasket pointed out that according to legislation customary marriages can only be dissolved by divorce.

“In order for the marriage to have been brought to an end prior to the death of Phago, it would have been necessary for a decree of divorce to have been issued in terms of section 8 of the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act 120 of 1998,” he said. IOL

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N2 Kei Cuttings bus accident leaves 27 dead

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At least 27 people have been killed in a bus accident on the N2 at Kei Cuttings between East London and Butterworth in the Eastern Cape on Monday afternoon.

The death toll has been revised from earlier reports which indicated that 10 people have died.

Eastern Cape transport department spokesperson, Unathi Binqose, says the number of the deaths could increase as more people were still trapped inside the wrecked bus.

A large number of search and rescue personnel, traffic officers, firefighters and paramedics are on the scene.

Binqose said the death toll is likely to increase as search and rescue personnel plan to flip the bus over to see whether more people are trapped underneath.

The accident took place on the notorious section of the N2, known as the Kei Cuttings, north of the Kei River, which is known for its perilous twists and turns.

Binqose said the driver of the bus is among those who died.

The driver is believed to have lost control of the long-distance passenger bus before it plunged 200 metres down a steep embankment.

Read | 13 killed in KZN horror truck and minibus taxi crash

“He lost control just before he could cross the river on the last curve,” said Binqose.

Chief director of clinical support services for the health department, Kidwell Matshotyana, told TellitallSA that 22 people were stable and did not want to go to hospital.

“In terms of the injured people, we have five patients admitted at Frere Hospital and one at Life St Dominic’s Private Hospital [both in East London],” he said.

The department will arrange transport for the 22 people, who don’t want to go to hospital, to the nearest town. They will be given accommodation.

The bus is understood to have been transporting passengers from Cape Town.

Hospitals and emergency services in the area and further afield were offering help with triaging patients.

He said the police had the grim task of going through the luggage to find identity documents, in order to begin informing the next of kin of the tragedy.

The department would also work with the bus company to establish a contact centre for worried families checking up on people who were on the bus, and those details would be announced later.

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Skeem Saam’s Koko Mantsha death dismissed as fake news

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Koko Mantsha, the popular Skeem Saam character acto, real name, Lydia Mokgokoloshi is not dead.

Social media is awash with news of her death which seems to have been fuelled by fake news sites aiming to profit from unsuspecting lovers of the 80 year-old veteran actress.

Lydia Mokgokoloshi, has appeared in many television shows including Muvhango and Bophelo ke semphego.

Mokgokoloshi was born on 27 September 1939, in Polokwane, Polokwane Local Municipality, Capricorn District Municipality, Limpopo.

She is most famous for acting as Koko Mantsha the grandmother of Katlego Pietersen (Patrick Seleka) in the soap, Skeem Saam.

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Watch: Thulani Dlomo an alleged ‘Zuma spy’, hands himself in

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Thulani Dlomo, the axed former SSA top spy and former SA ambassador to Japan has handed himself over to police on Friday.

Dlomo’s lawyer Philani Shangase said that he handed himself over at his own will at the Durban Central Police station on Friday.

He said Dlomo was not arrested but wanted to clear his name following media reports.

Dlomo was being interviewed by police officers at 17h00 on Friday.

“He has denied all wrong doing,” Shangase said.

Dlomo was suspected to be one of the instigators of the unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

This is a developing story.

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