A state funeral for former South African president Nelson Mandela will be held on December 15, President Jacob Zuma has announced in a televised address. The anti-apartheid hero will be buried in his ancestral home of Qunu in the country’s Eastern Cape.
Latest update: 15/11/2009
Young woman marries fiancé killed in car crash
A 26-year old French woman was permitted to marry her dead fiancé in a small town in eastern France. Authorities were moved to grant the bride her unusual request due to the couple's tragic story.
By FRANCE 24 (with wires) (text)
He was the love of her life. On Saturday, 26-year old Magali Jaskiewicz said ‘I do’ to her fiancé Jonathan at a civil ceremony in the eastern French town of Dommary-Baroncourt. A simple, traditional ceremony like so many others, except for the absence of the groom: Jonathan was killed last year in a car accident.
Christophe Caput, the mayor of Dommary-Baroncourt, performed the unusual ceremony. He told reporters that Magali’s request to be legally married to her deceased fiancé was exceptionally granted due to the tragic circumstances of Jonathan’s death.
On November 25, 2008, the young couple had registered to be married at the town hall the following January. Two days later, Jonathan was killed in a car crash. He was 25 years old. The couple had lived together for five years and had two young daughters, aged 18 months and three.
After the accident, a devastated Magali eventually learned about the possibility of posthumous marriage under specific circumstances and decided to file an official request, with the support of her town’s mayor and other elected officials. The final go-ahead from French President Nicolas Sarkozy came early in September.
“Magali’s file was rock-solid, including the fact that the couple lived together for five years, had children and had already picked a date to be married. The bride had even already bought her wedding dress,” explained the mayor.
Magali wore her white gown to take Jonathan as her lawfully wedded husband. A portrait of her late fiancé was propped up on a chair next to her during the ceremony. A small gathering of family and close friends around Jonathan’s grave followed the union.
“Magali became a widow today at her wedding,” said Christophe Caput after the ceremony, visibly moved. She now wears her wedding ring on her left hand and her husband’s on a small chain around her neck.