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Snow falls in South Africa

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Snow falls in South Africa


Snow is not the sort of weather you would associate with South Africa but the white stuff has been falling on much of the country.

In the commercial hub of Johannesburg many made the most of it with snowmen and snowball fights the order of the day.

As temperatures dropped residents poured into the streets to watch the snowflakes fall.

One of them, Refilwe Kgofelo, said: “I’ve never seen snow in Jo’burg, and this is my first time experience with snow.”

“We are not used to such things, it’s something that is very exciting for us, we are not used to so much snow. It’s just a little bit but we are not used to it. It is exciting,” exclaimed Nokwazi Skhakhane.

Newspapers ran front-page photographs of snow-clad palm trees and a lion sitting disconsolately in its enclosure at Johannesburg zoo with snow gathering in its mane.

The cold snap also disrupted travel in Africa’s biggest economy, with drifting snow and sub-zero temperatures shutting
the motorway between the main port of Durban and the economic hub of Johannesburg for at least 24 hours.

On its website, the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation said snow had also been reported in the Vaal area and the West Rand, as well as northern Free State areas such as Parys and Sasolburg.

The South African Weather Service said there has only been snowfall in the country 12 times in the last 103 years. It has warned that extreme cold will blanket much of the nation for several days.

The last time there was snow in Johannesburg was 2007 as part of a freak weather system.

White wedding dream comes true

The unusually cold weather allowed one couple to fulfil a light-hearted promise to tie the knot the next time Johannesburg was covered in snow.

Portuguese emigre Rui Moca and Monique Joubert had planned to wed next year, but when the snow fell Joubert’s sister called Jacaranda FM to tell them about the couple’s dream of a “real” white wedding.

The radio station leapt into action, organising a minister, lawyer, photographer, flowers, cake and limousine, and the couple were married on air in the studio in the early evening – with Moca’s family listening in from Europe over the internet.

“The entire wedding with all the bells and whistles was organised in just three hours,” Jacaranda DJ Martin Bester said.

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