Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Polygamist president takes another wife

South African president Jacob Zuma, 67, was married on Monday, January 4, 2010 to his third wife, 36-year-old Thobeka Mabhija, in a traditional Zulu ceremony in the village of Nkandla in the country's KwaZulu-Natal province.

The polygamist couple, already married in the eyes of the the South African government, performed traditional dance, dressed in traditional animal pelts and white tennis shoes, for roughly 2,000 wedding guests. The guests savoured traditional Zulu foods during the ceremony, including several cows, sheep, and goats slaughtered for the occasion.

Zuma is currently married to two other women, Sizakele Khumalo and Nompumelelo Ntuli, and is said to be planning to wed a fourth (and sixth overall) - Gloria Bongi Ngema - later this year. He has attended official engagements with all of his wives, making them collective First Ladies. Under Zulu law, his two current wives had to approve the union - for which Zuma paid a dowry to Mabhija's family in 2007 - and attend the ceremony, the last step in the Zulu tradition of marriage.

In 1998, Zuma was divorced from his second wife, South African Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini, and in 2000 Kate Mantsho, his third wife, died. He has a total of 19 children with various wives and previous girlfriends.

Source: BBC

PHOTO CREDIT: Rajesh Jantilal/AFP/Getty Images

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