‘No war’ of Zuma wives

2014-09-17 00:00

PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma’s third wife Tobeka Madiba-Zuma yesterday criticised the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) after reports of a row between her and another Zuma wife at the national broadcaster.

In an interview with T he Witness, she spoke for the first time about claims of a feud between her and Bongi Ngema-Zuma.

Madiba-Zuma said she was “unmoved” by media reports of an alleged raging war between the two women.

However, she said she was concerned an impression had been created in the media that the president’s wives did not see eye to eye.

Madiba-Zuma questioned the SABC’s motives after last week’s Mail & Guardian report said “tempers flared” at the SABC’s Auckland Park, Johannesburg, studios when the two showed up for the same interview.

The newspaper alleged the two wives were invited for an interview for a Women’s Day television show, but Mail & Guardian alleged the two first ladies were unaware they would be sharing a platform.

The report claimed the situation sparked a row that saw the first ladies allegedly accusing the SABC “of setting them up”.

The report claimed one of the wives went as far as threatening to call SABC’s chief operating officer Haludi Motsoeneng.

“What [the SABC] did undermines [the Bongi Ngema-Zuma Foundation and the Tobeka Madiba-Zuma Foundation] offices and the office of the president,” Madiba-Zuma said yesterday.

She said she was surprised at reports of a row because the two women had shared a stage before.

“We didn’t have a problem sharing a platform. Why would we? We come from the same family and we have shared a stage before.

“How can you invite sisters from the same family to the same event and not tell them that?

“They should have been more upfront and honest about that day. We also question the manner in which it has been leaked to the media. It leaves much to be desired and I think it is rather unfortunate,” she said.

Madiba-Zuma said this had created an impression in the media that they did not get along.

She claims to have laughed when she read the story, saying she did not give her attention to anything that did not deserve it.

• Amanda.khoza@witness.co.za

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