Friday, October 1, 2010
Cele to wed at charming historic hall
01 October 2010, 00:10
National police commissioner Bheki Cele will exchange his trademark brusque “shoot to kill” exhortation for a peaceful “I do” when Pennington comes alive to the sounds of wedding bells when he ties the knot tomorrow afternoon.
Political heavyweights, high-profile socialites and influential business people are expected to gather in the little South Coast town to witness and celebrate the nuptials.
Well-known for his controversial warnings to criminals, Cele will no doubt lay on the charm when he exchanges vows with Thembeka Ngcobo at the
historic Lynton Hall.
Before that, though, a traditional ceremony will take place at the bride’s home in Nyandezulu, also on the South Coast.
The approximately 300 guests will then move to Lynton Hall for the “white wedding”, where the colour of the day is champagne, the cuisine delectable, and the entertainment “ziyawa” (roof is on fire).
Lynton Hall is steeped in “sweet history” and was completed in 1895.
It was built by Charles Reynolds, who came from a family of prosperous sugarcane farmers, and took 21 years to complete. After Reynolds’s death, his brother Sir Frank, also a sugar baron, moved into the estate and enlarged it and laid out the gardens.
Lined with light bush and shrubbery, and canopied by towering trees, the 1.5km smoothed dirt road leading to the gates will be a wedding photographer’s dream.
Yesterday an earthmover was filling holes and flattening uneven parts of the track.
Unconfirmed reports were that local businessman S’bu Mpisane – who was also one of the chief lobola negotiators acting for Cele – was reluctant to lend the couple one of his multimillion-rand luxury vehicles for use on the day because of the poor state of the track.
Set back from the gate, the majestic establishment awaits, with rolling lawns, beautiful vegetation, and a charming hotel, housing only 11 suites.
The lawn in front of the hotel is dominated by an air-conditioned, glass-sided marquee, set to be the scene of much festivity and celebration once the formalities are done tomorrow.
Award-winning chef Andrew Draper, who will be cooking the food, refused to divulge details about the menu.
However, sources say the couple have requested six to seven courses for the occasion.
It is understood that the bride and groom asked that the courses be served in small portions during the speeches, which are expected to go on for several hours, while a special table will also be laden with traditional African food.
Popular Umlazi gospel group iThemba will be among the entertainers.
Band member Thami Mhlongo said it would be among the biggest events they had performed at.
“Although we also performed at the wedding of Presi-dent Jacob Zuma to Thobeka Madiba, this wedding is also going to be very special.”
He said the couple had asked that, apart from their gospel repertoire, the group should also sing romantic wedding songs.
DJs Muntu, Siyanda and Happy Girl will also ensure that the couple and their guests keep the celebrations alive on the dance floor. Durban multimillionaire Mabheleni Ntuli, well-known for throwing parties, is believed to be handling the decor.
The cost of the wedding could not be established, but the venue hire package for Lynton Hall alone, which includes accommodation in the 11 suites, costs R19 500.
However, this excludes a R2 500 “lawn fee” and a further R2 000 to use the kitchen, and all other costs, including entertainment, food and the marquee, which was brought from Joburg.
The guest list is believed to include President Jacob Zuma, Justice Minister Jeff Radebe, Premier Soccer League chairman Irvin Khoza, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale, Zuma’s nephew Khulubuse Zuma, eThekwini mayor Obed Mlaba, Lamontville Golden Arrows chairwoman Manto Madlala and Durban high-fliers Shauwn and S’bu Mpisane.
Durban designer Lindiwe Khuzwayo and billionaire Robert Gumede are also on the guest list.
Comments by Sonny
Let's hope this commissioner discloses all his gifts and he is not like convicted
Political appointments do have their perks!