South African President Zuma marries for sixth time

Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:12pm EDT
 
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article
[-] Text [+]

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's polygamous President Jacob Zuma married for the sixth time on Friday, taking his long-time girlfriend Bongi Ngema as his newest bride and fourth current wife in a private ceremony at his rural home.

Ngema, an activist and former information technology worker, is well known in South Africa and has already accompanied the president on foreign visits.

The ceremony raised few eyebrows in a country where polygamy is legal and an integral part of Zuma's Zulu culture.

The two had a traditional Zulu wedding and "the bride and groom later participated in the traditional competitive celebratory dance," the presidency said in a statement.

Zuma has 21 children, including a seven-year-old son with Ngema.

The president is also married to Sizakele Zuma, Nompumelelo Ntuli-Zuma and Tobeka Madiba-Zuma. They all attended the ceremony.

His marriage to Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma ended in divorce. Another wife Kate Mantsho-Zuma committed suicide in 2000.

There is no official position of First Lady in South Africa. The presidency said none of the wives had a constitutional role or received any state funds.

(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

 
South African President Jacob Zuma dances as he marries his fiancee Bongi Ngema at a traditional ceremony known as "Umgcagco" at his home in Nkandla, in South Africa's KwaZulu Natal province, in this handout picture supplied by the Government Communication and Information Service, April 20, 2012. REUTERS/Elmond Jiyane/GCIS/Handout