Boy, 9, renews vows with wife, 62 - report

2014-07-21 13:00

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Johannesburg - A 9-year-old boy recently renewed his wedding vows with his 62-year-old wife, a year after they married in order to appease his ancestors.

The Daily Mail reported that Saneie Masilela remarried his much-older bride Helen Shabangu in the presence of both of their families in Ximhungwe in Mpumalanga.

He claimed last year that he had been told by his ancestors to wed and the families organised the traditional wedding, even paying lobola for the bride. The second ceremony was held to introduce the groom to the bride's family in Mpumalanga, The Times reported last week.

A cow was slaughtered and traditional beer and food, as well as a three-tier wedding cake, were served to guests.

Shabangu is married and has five children, but her husband apparently approved of the event. It is not legally binding, and their lives went back to normal after the initial ceremony last year. They live separately - he goes to school in Venda and she works at a waste recycling plant and lives in Mamelodi.

Masilela said he hopes to have a proper wedding to a woman his own age when he is older, according to the Daily Mail.

His mother told The Times that the initial wedding attracted the attention of social workers and the international media, and that people who were not familiar with the ritual mistakenly thought that they lived together as man and wife. Social workers found that the boy was stable and was simply practising his culture.

Read more on:    mbombela  |  culture
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