News24

Security tight ahead of Zuma wedding

2010-01-04 11:23

Durban - Politicians, businesspeople and celebrities were among those who descended on President Jacob Zuma's home in Nkandla on Monday to see the president tie the knot with his fifth wife.

Zuma will marry Thobeka Madiba at his homestead on Monday afternoon. Security was tight ahead of the ceremony and journalists were barred from getting closer to Zuma's home.

In a statement on Sunday the presidency urged the media to stay away, as it was a "a private family ceremony".

Journalists who had been camping near Zuma's home since the early morning were however expected to be allowed to attend the ceremony.

Feast

Zuma married Nompumelelo MaNtuli-Zuma at the same place in 2007. A large marquee was erected to accommodate guests, while several goats and sheep were slaughtered for the feast.

The president's other wives are Sizakele Khumalo, whom he married in 1973, and Nompumelelo MaNtuli-Zuma, whom he married in 2007.

He was previously married to current Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, whom he divorced in 1998, and Kate Mantsho Zuma, who committed suicide in 2000.

Zuma is the father of 18 children.

Engaged

He is also engaged to Gloria Bongi Ngema from Durban. Her family presented umbondo (gifts) to the Zuma family at the end December 2009.

Umbondo is the last Zulu traditional ceremony before the wedding. It was done after ilobolo had been paid.

It was not known when Zuma would tie the knot with Ngema.