Earning solo stripes: US first lady Melania Trump cuddled a baby, handed out teddy bears and beamed smiles on her first day in Africa on Tuesday during a visit to a hospital in Accra, Ghana. Picture: REUTERS
Earning solo stripes: US first lady Melania Trump cuddled a baby, handed out teddy bears and beamed smiles on her first day in Africa on Tuesday during a visit to a hospital in Accra, Ghana. Picture: REUTERS

1. Is Melania slumming it?

Melania Trump’s swing through Africa is the first lady’s first major trip abroad on her own. All eyes will be on how she represents America, after her husband, President Donald Trump, in January reportedly referred to some African countries as "shitholes". Melania Trump arrived in Ghana on Monday and will also visit Malawi, Kenya and Egypt. Her mission is to promote child welfare, education and her "Be Best" initiative. The president, no doubt hoping to repair the damage of his earlier remarks, gushed: "We both love Africa. Africa is so beautiful."

Deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo. Picture: ALON SKUY
Deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo. Picture: ALON SKUY

2. When Zondo wraps up

Deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo said in court papers the commission of inquiry into state capture plans to be done with hearing evidence by August next year. The High Court in Pretoria has extended the time the commission has to do its work to two years, which gives the entire process until March 2020. That’s too late for South Africans to see the final outcome before the 2019 elections, but at least they won’t wait ad infinitum.

3. Bezos heeds Bernie

Democratic socialist Bernie Sanders, who was nearly nominated to run against Donald Trump in 2016, notched up a big win on Tuesday. E-commerce behemoth Amazon said it would raise the minimum wage in its home market to $15 an hour from November, while it would also raise wages in the UK. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said the company was "listening to our critics", without naming Sanders, who for months has publicly attacked Bezos and the company over stingy pay. Sanders, who is likely to run for president again in 2020, recently proposed that Amazon and other large companies be taxed if their low-wage staff rely on government assistance for food and other expenses.