Khulubuse’s wedding fizzles out

2013-09-22 14:00

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Khulubuse Zuma’s royal wedding is off – for now.

The highly publicised nuptials of ­President Jacob Zuma’s large-living ­nephew and Swazi princess Fikisiwe Dlamini were set to take place on October 5 in Swaziland and October 12 at the groom’s Nxamalala village home.

But this week, the hopes of excited locals at Nxamalala of an October fest of their own were dashed when word spread that there is still no wedding planned.

Instead, Zuma will, according to a close friend, only complete lobola negotiations with the bride’s family towards the end of October.

A family committee on the Zuma end had already started sending out invitations and sorting out accommodation for VIP guests following the delivery of umbondo (traditional family acceptance gifts) to ­Zuma’s 50-room Nxamalala mansion last month.

“There was confusion as to the lobola process,” said a close friend of Zuma’s who asked not to be named.

“The dates were speculative. Khulubuse will now be going to complete the lobola process by the end of October. There will only be a date set by the family after that.

“Given that the Swazi monarch goes ­into seclusion in January and the unavailability of Khulubuse’s uncle because of the elections, a date before the South African elections is not likely,” the friend said.

Sources close to the bride’s family ­offered a different version.

They said Dlamini’s parents had insisted on a civil wedding to prevent Zuma – who wants a traditional marriage only – from taking a second wife because they do not want their daughter in a polygamous ­relationship.?Zuma and Dlamini have been an item for nearly eight years.

By yesterday, news of the delayed ­nuptials had reached Zuma’s Nxamalala village. Zuma’s conspicuous complex is a stone’s throw from his uncle’s equally opulent Nkandla residence.

“This is a shock," said a resident who asked not to be named. “We heard this morning. It’s hard to believe. Last month, the bride’s family came here to bring ­umbondo. The lobola has been agreed and everything.”

A member of Zuma’s extended family also confirmed the delay.

“I can’t understand this. We hear that on the bride’s end there is now a problem. They have an issue about Khulu wanting a traditional wedding only. I don’t know what’s going to happen now. They accepted lobola already. Mike (Zuma, the president’s brother) and Ray (Zuma, a cousin) went to Swaziland to do the negotiations. Everything was settled. There’s a committee that has been doing invites and preparations for the VIPs. Wow. This is a big problem. They have been together forever, for something like eight years. Wow,” he said.

“She was there for him when he was battling. It’s really strange that she would do this now that he is doing so well.”

Mswati’s father, King Sobhuza, who died in 1982, had countless children by more than 120 wives.

The current monarch is himself a serial polygamist.

Zuma did not answer calls from City Press at the time of writing.

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