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Convicted child rapist Nicholas Ninow blames substance abuse

Convicted child rapist Nicholas Ninow took a stand in migration of sentence on the first day of sentencing proceedings in the High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday.


Ninow admitted he had taken drugs the day he assaulted the 7-year old girl in the bathroom of a Silverton Dros restaurant in Pretoria in September last year.

“I rushed to the bathroom, the first thing I did when I arrived at the restaurant, the most private place to go and use and to feel better. I was using the drug CAT.”

He added: “As I came back from the toilet, I decided to sit outside. I was not waiting for anyone.  I was alone and helpless.” He said he was supposed to be work and not drinking alcohol and picking up drugs. “It is difficult for me to describe what happened at that moment it’s one of the hardest things that I had to say especially with the press and the media around. It is something that breaks me every day.”

The 22-year old child rapist blamed substance abuse as contributing factors to him raping the child. “That day, I must agree, in the state I was in anything is possible when I’m on drugs and alcohol, especially after R650 worth of liquor. Knowing myself, yes, I did act on impulse,” he said.

During arguments presented by the State and his defense team,  Ninow read out a poem to his victim before breaking down in tears. The State has rejected his plea explanation and pushed for the maximum sentence.

The court case has since postpone the case to tomorrow.

 – ZONK NEWS WIRES

Moroccan journalist jailed for abortion freed after royal pardon

Moroccan journalist Hajar Raissouni who was sentenced to one year in jail for an “illegal abortion” and sexual relations outside marriage walked free on Wednesday, an AFP photographer said, hours after being granted a royal pardon.

Moroccan journalist Hajar Raissouni who was sentenced to one year in jail for an “illegal abortion” and sexual relations outside marriage walked free on Wednesday, an AFP photographer said, hours after being granted a royal pardon.

In a case that provoked a storm of protests from rights groups, the justice ministry said the 28-year-old woman was released on a pardon issued by King Mohammed VI.

Rassiouni was sentenced on September 30, along with her Sudanese fiance, a gynaecologist, anaesthetist and a medical assistant, whose convictions were also overturned, an official told AFP.

The ministry said the monarch wanted to help “preserve the future of the couple, who wanted to establish a family in line with our religious and legal precepts, despite the error they made”.

The journalist works for Arabic-language newspaper Akhbar Al-Yaoum, which has a history of run-ins with the authorities.

Raissouni was arrested on August 31 as she left a clinic in Rabat. In court, she denied having had an abortion, saying she had been treated for internal bleeding — testimony backed up by her gynaecologist.

She was sentenced under Article 490 of the legal code of the Muslim kingdom.

That article punishes sexual relations out of wedlock, while the law also forbids all abortions unless the mother’s life is in danger.

The journalist denounced the affair as a “political trial”, saying she had been questioned by police about her family and her own writing.

Obsolete’ ban

In a case that sparked widespread debate on personal and media freedoms in Morocco, her gynaecologist, who spoke up in her defence, was given two years and her Sudanese fiance one year in prison.

An anaesthetist was handed a one-year suspended sentence and a medical assistant eight months, also suspended.

Rights groups were quick to condemn the verdicts, with Amnesty International describing them as a “devastating blow for women’s rights in Morocco”.

Ahmed Benchemsi, the regional director for Human Rights Watch, described the sentencing of Raissouni and her fiance as a “black day for freedom in Morocco”.

The verdicts were “a blatant injustice, a flagrant violation of human rights, and a frontal attack on individual freedoms,” he wrote on Twitter.

The prosecution insisted she had been seen by a medic and showed signs of pregnancy and of having undergone a “late voluntary abortion”.

It had contended her detention had “nothing to do with her profession as a journalist”.

Between 600 and 800 back-shop abortions occur each day in Morocco, according to estimates by campaign groups.

In a manifesto published on September 23 by Moroccan media outlets, hundreds of women declared themselves “outlaws” by claiming to have already violated the “obsolete” laws of their country on abortion and other social norms.

In the early 1970s, in a similar text, French women calling themselves the “343 sluts” famously declared they had had an abortion when it was still illegal.

Last year, Morocco tried thousands of people for sex out of wedlock, 170 people for being gay and 73 for pregnancy terminations. – AFP

Plus-size model Sasha-Lee headed to Miss World

The Miss SA office has announced that this year’s runner-up Sasha-Lee Olivier will represent South Africa at the Miss World in London, UK in December.


“We  have been officially told Sasha is going to Miss World, which is just phenomenal. We’re so over the moon that she gets to represent South Africa at one of the greatest pageants.” Miss SA CEO Stephanie Weil said in a short video clip posted on Twitter. 

A great believer in the power of “purpose” , the plus size model from Alberton said she’s excited to get the opportunity to showcase her ‘Beauty with a Purpose’ project, which she said is something close to her heart.

“It’s just a surreal moment to have your dreams become a reality..and be afforded the opportunity to have a voice  not only for myself but for so many women.  I’m just so grateful,” added Sasha-Lee.

A proud Bey Hive member, the 26-year-old was crowned Miss SA runner-up during a gliterring live ceremony in August in Pretoria.

Eastern Cape beauty, Zozibini Tunzi, who shared an impassioned Instagram message in her support today walked away as the Miss SA 2019 title winner on the night.

– ZONK NEWS WIRES

S.Africa’s Zuma to appeal against corruption trial

South Africa’s embattled former president Jacob Zuma will appeal against a court ruling that he stand trial on corruption charges, his lawyer said Tuesday.

Zuma’s last-minute appeal will delay the case over bribery allegations dating back to a 1990s arms deal. He dismissed the charges as a conspiracy.

The trial would be the first time Zuma faced a court on graft charges, despite a string of accusations over his long political career.

The High Court in the southeastern city of Pietermaritzburg last week rejected his request to have charges of fraud, graft and racketeering dismissed, clearing the way for the trial to start on Tuesday.

But Zuma’s lawyer Thabani Masuku told the court at the start of the trial that the ex-president would appeal, dragging on a case that has seen numerous legal twists over 15 years.

“Mr Zuma would like to exercise the full extent of his constitutional rights, which includes the right to appeal,” Masuku said.

Outside the court, Zuma told a small crowd of supporters that “there have been many conspirators against me”.

There is no justice that will be served by continuing with this case,” he told the crowd in Zulu.

He was forced to resign as president last year by the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party after a nine-year reign marred by corruption allegations and dwindling popularity.

He is accused of taking bribes worth four million rand ($270,000) before he became president from a 51-billion-rand ($3.4-billion) 1999 arms purchase by five European firms, including French defence company Thales.

Both Zuma and Thales, which is accused of paying the bribes and was also to stand trial, deny the charges.

The appeal will be heard on November 22, and proceedings are scheduled to resume on the provisional date of February 4.

Conspiracy

Clad in the ANC’s green, black and yellow, the crowd outside the court chanted Zuma’s name and waved party flags as he took to the stage.

Ntombizodwa Khumalo, a 65-year-old pensioner outside the court, said “we miss having Zuma as our president.”

“It’s clear there is a vendetta against the man.”

State lawyer Billy Downer told the court that the prosecution believed the appeal would fail.

“We don’t think that there is a reasonable prospect of success” for the appeal, he said.

AFP /Key dates for South Africa’s former president Jacob Zuma

Downer said the prosecution wanted the trial to start as soon as possible. Legal analysts have cast doubt on whether that would have been possible given the size of the case, predicting the trial would have been delayed regardless of the appeal.

The defence team of Zuma, who has claimed he is so broke he had to sell his socks to raise legal fees, maintained that the ex-president had been ready for trial for 14 years.

Zuma faces 16 charges of fraud, graft and racketeering related to the purchase of fighter jets, patrol boats and military equipment when he was deputy president to the country’s second black president Thabo Mbeki.

Critics have dubbed Zuma the “Teflon president” for his reputed ability to evade judicial reckoning.

Analysts have warned that if Zuma goes on trial, he will drag down with him many leaders of Nelson Mandela’s ANC, which has governed the country since the end of apartheid in 1994.

King of corrupt people

Zuma has also been accused of organising the systematic plunder of government coffers in a scandal known as “state capture”.

He appeared at an inquiry into the scandal in July, putting on a defiant performance and denying all wrongdoing.

“I have been vilified, alleged to be the king of corrupt people,” he said, adding that he had been the victim of “character assassination over 20 years”.

High on the list of alleged benefactors is the wealthy Indian-born Gupta business family.

AFP/File / RODGER BOSCHAnger over corruption sparked protests against Zuma in 2017

They were accused of unfairly obtaining lucrative government contracts and even influencing Zuma’s ministerial appointments.

Last week the US Treasury blacklisted three Gupta brothers, calling them a “significant corruption network”.

Zuma’s successor President Cyril Ramaphosa said earlier this week that corruption during Zuma’s nine-year administration is estimated to have cost South Africa more than 500 billion rand ($34 billion).

Ramaphosa has vowed to tackle deep-seated corruption but faces opposition from powerful senior ANC members, many of whom remain Zuma allies.

“Zuma was in charge for nearly two terms but did very little for us ordinary people,” Sakhile Dube, a 30-year-old clothes seller, told AFP outside the Pietermaritzburg court. We are still waiting to see if Ramaphosa can assist us and remedy the situation,” he added. – AFP

Second Ebola vaccine to be used in DR Congo next month

Doctors will use a second Ebola vaccine from November in three eastern provinces in the Democratic Republic of Congo to fight the deadly virus, medical officials said Sunday.

“It’s time to use the new Ad26-ZEBOV-GP vaccine, manufactured by Johnson & Johnson’s Belgian subsidiary,” said Dr. Jean-Jacques Muyembe, who leads the national anti-Ebola operation in the DRC.

It will arrive in the eastern city of Goma, in North Kivu province, on October 18 and be used from the beginning of next month, he added.

DRC’s latest Ebola epidemic, which began in August 2018, has killed 2,144 people, making it the second deadliest outbreak of the virus, after the West Africa pandemic of 2014-2016.

Muyembe said the communes of Majingo and Kahembe had been selected to receive the vaccine as they were considered the epicentres of the epidemic.

“We will extend this vaccination to our small traders who often go to Rwanda to protect our neighbours,” he added.

“If it works well, we will expand vaccination in South Kivu and Ituri.”

DR Congo’s eastern provinces of Ituri, North Kivu and South Kivu sit on the borders with Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.

The Belgian laboratory will send a batch of 200,000 doses to neighbouring Rwanda and 500,000 doses in the DRC, Muyembe said.

More than 237,000 people living in active Ebola transmission zones have received a vaccination produced by the pharma company Merck Sharpe and Dohme since August 8, 2018.

The J&J vaccine had been rejected by DRC’s former health minister Oly Ilunga, who cited the risks of introducing a new product in communities where mistrust of Ebola responders is already high.

But Ilunga’s resignation in July appears to have paved the way for approval of the second vaccine. He currently faces charges that he embezzled funds intended for the fight against Ebola.

In his letter of resignation Ilunga said “actors who have demonstrated a lack of ethics” want to introduce a second vaccine, but did not elaborate.

Muyembe, who took over the Ebola fight in the DRC in July, said “The Johnson & Johnson vaccine has the most science-based data.” – RELAXNEWS

Black Coffee gears up for an iconic chat with Trevor Noah

by TANKISO KOMANE

Two of South Africa’s hottest international entertainment properties, Trevor Noah and DJ Black Coffee, will come face to face tonight in what is set to become Mzansi’s most ‘iconic’ moment on ‘The Daily Show’.

The globe-trotting Johannesburg-based DJ took his 2,7 million Twitter followers by surprise as he revealed at the weekend that he’s set to appear on ‘The Daily Show With Trevor Noah’ on Monday. 


“My Ancestors wildest dreams,” Black Coffee shared the news, along with a screenshot from the Comedy Central website – which listed him as one the upcoming guests. 

The news soon spread like wildfire on the popular social media platform with South Africans congratulating the ‘We Dance Again” hitmaker for the “iconic moment”, as described by Twitter user, Mildly Handsome @DapperDon_ZA. 

While this will be the first time the Emmy Award winning comedian gets to chat with Black Coffee, renowned globally for his annual summer residency at club Hi in Ibiza, his first fellow SA to guest-appear on ‘The Daily Show’ was renowned fine artist, Nelson Makamo.

The episode will air at 10pm on Comedy Central Africa (DStv 122) on Tuesday.

ZONK NEWS WIRES

The world’s most expensive smartphone sold out in SA

by TANKISO KOMANE

WITH a whopping R43.999 price tag, Samsung Galaxy Fold is officially the world’s most expensive smartphone.

And if you thought that the price tag is outrageous enough for South Africa’s conscious consumers, think again! South Africa’s elite lot clearly have no qualms parting with their hard-earned cash, as long as it whets their tech savvy appetite.

Samsung announced at the weekend that the first batch of Galaxy Fold pre-orders is already sold out. The news came just days after Samsung South Africa hosted a “Fold” reveal party at Taboo in Sandton on Thursday. 

“Samsung South Africa is currently working on increasing stock levels to keep up with demand. Even after a delayed-release, there is clearly an appetite for this pioneering devic,” the company said.

Officially on sale on Friday (October 18), the Galaxy Fold will cost R10,000 more than the most expensive iPhone, the Pro Max 512GB – which is priced at R32,399 in South Africa.

Galaxy Fold boasts the world’s first 7.3-inch Infinity Flex Display

Top features: what you’re paying for

Debuting 8 years after Samsung’s first flexible display prototype in 2011, the Galaxy Fold is said to have cost over $130 million in total to develop. Reaffirming its position as the king of smartphone hardware, it offers a powerful new way to multitask. Whether it’s texting, making calls, browsing the internet or streaming video games and watching movies.

  • Tablet-like experience

Boasting a 4.6-inch display when folded, users will be greeted with the world’s first 7.3-inch Infinity Flex Display when opens up for a tablet-like experience. Although slightly heavier than your average phone, it’s a dream come true for gamers – thanks to its wide screen which also comes in handy to tablet users looking to put the multi-task functionality to good use.

  • Multi-camera functionality

Coming with a total of six cameras, the idea is that no matter how you hold it – folded or unfolded – you should be able to take pictures. In that regard, there are three cameras on the back, one on the front and two inside.

The two cameras inside are equipped with a 10-megapixel selfie camera and an 8-megapixel depth camera – when the phone is unfolded. The front also has a 10-megapixel single selfie camera – when the phone is folded.

The three rear cameras uses a 12-megapixel sensor, while the ultra-wide lens has been paired with a 16-megapixel sensor and the telephoto lens uses a 12-megapixel.

  • Memory

The 2GB RAM is powerful enough to handle this massive gadget and run as many as 3 apps at once. While it has no microSD, there’s also no need to worry about running out of storage space as it comes with 512GB of in-buit storage.
Interestingly it comes with a 2 batteries;  one on each side of the foldable phone. Depending on the model you choose, the battery comes in two sizes; 4,380mAh for the LTE and 4.235mAh battery for the 5G.

Zimbabwe readmitted as International Cricket Council member

Cricket chiefs readmitted Zimbabwe as an International Cricket Council member on Monday following a three-month suspension over political interference.

Cricket chiefs readmitted Zimbabwe as an International Cricket Council member on Monday following a three-month suspension over political interference.

An ICC statement said the move followed a meeting in Dubai involving the Zimbabwe Cricket chairman Tavengwa Mukuhlani and sports minister, Kirsty Coventry.

“I would like to thank the Zimbabwe sports minister for her commitment to the reinstatement of Zimbabwe Cricket,” said ICC chairman Shashank Manohar.

“Her desire to work in support of Zimbabwe Cricket was clear and she has unconditionally complied with the conditions set down by the ICC board.”

Zimbabwe will now be able to take up their place in the men’s Under-19 World Cup in January and the ICC Super League later in 2020.

Nepal has also been readmitted as an ICC member on a conditional basis following their 2016 suspension for a breach of the ICC regulations which prohibit government interference and require free and fair elections.

Manohar said: “Given the progress made in Nepal, a transition plan will now be developed for the Cricket Association of Nepal to support full compliance with associate membership criteria, which will also involve controlled funding.”

Zimbabwe’s punishment was imposed in July after the cricket board was suspended by the government and replaced with an interim committee.

Political turmoil within the sport and a string of humiliating performances led Zimbabwe to suspend their involvement in Test cricket in 2005 although they continued to play one-day internationals and Twenty20 (T20) internationals at the highest level.

They returned to Test cricket in 2011 but are languishing in 11th place in the rankings.

They are 12th in the ODI rankings and did not qualify for this year’s World Cup in England and Wales. – Relaxnews

Bonang’s big ‘dreamy’ Texas red carpet moment

By Tankiso Komane

Mzansi A-lister, Bonang Matheba, truly knows how to turn heads with any given occasion. And not even the bright lights of Texas seem powerful enough to dim her ever glorious star-power. 


The ‘Being Bonang’ star, who was in the city of the violet crown to host the prestigious Equanimity Awards, gave guests an eyeful as she stepped out onto the red carpet. Looking like a dream bride, the star cut quite the figure in a dreamy white mermaid bridal gown designed by Stephen Goudeau.

As her followers pointed out, she looked breathtakingly beautiful and blissfully happy, as she shared social media posts of her look with her glam squad for the night, so much so that some thought she had dropped a surprise wedding announcement on them.

Soon-to-be brides should be taking notes from this one on how to look like a real Goddess on your wedding day!


The Equanimity Awards Gala is an annual star-studded charitable community event. The awards recognize change makers in various communities, while raising funds for JB Dondolo Inc, a nonprofit organization which provides charitable services to impoverished communities worldwide. – ZONK NEWS WIRES

Village Girls’ #WeAreTakingAction march a resounding success

By Jobe Sithole


Students from the North West University brazed the scorching Mahikeng sun on Thursday to take part in the #WeAreTakingAction march organised by the cast of Moja Love’s reality TV show, Village Girls.


The march which started a little after 10am was a call for action against the scourge of gender based violence. Leading from the front was property mogul Fikile Chimphondah and her three sisters.


Belting out struggle songs such as ‘Senzeni Na?’ (What have we done?), multitudes of young women commenced their march at the university’s main campus before proceeding to the local magistrates court where they assembled.

Leading from the front was property mogul Fikile Chimphondah and her three sisters


Alefa Phasha, one of the sisters from Village Girls addressed the march outside the court. Phasha said its time women took a stand against abuse.
“Everyone must speak out. We are appealing to our communities to say not in our name! The killings have to be stopped. Men have to understand that a ‘no’ is a ‘no’,“ Phasha said.

Motswane More, a student from Rustenberg said she was in support of the march. “This is about women who have been killed. It’s therefore important for us as young women to stay united. I appeal to my sisters who are abused in any form to report the abuse immediately,” she said.

Once various speakers had addressed the group waving placards written ‘Stop Violence Against Women Abuse‘ and ‘Enough is Enough’, the crowd returned to the campus led by members of the (South African Police Service).

A call for a unified approach


Business Management student, Lebogang Kwinana, told Zonk News that for gender based violence to be defeated men must lead the fight. “The reason I am here is that this is now a serious issue. We should act more than women because all these crimes are committed by men. As men we know of abuse committed by our friends but choose to turn a blind eye to it,” said the 25 year old.

#WeAreTakingAction march calls for an end to gender-based violence


Member of the Mayoral Committee for Planning and Development at the Mahikeng Municiplality, Cllr Monametsi Moeti, was in attendance representing the Mahikeng mayor.
Calling on victims of gender based violence to speak out, Moeti said marches such as these are encouraging those suffering in silence. “As the municipality we are working on a prayer day where various stakeholders will be brought under one roof to address these issues. We have also partnered with members of the SAPS in various structures to see how can we offer our support “ she said.


Last month after a spate of high profile killings President Cyril Ramaphosa convened a joint sitting of both houses of parliament. The president announced that the government would reallocate R1.1bn in additional funding this financial year to dispel the “dark and heavy shadow” of gender-based violence that has been cast across the country.

– ZONK NEWS WIRES