Good for the goose

2010-06-05 11:12

About seven years ago King Mswati III

reportedly ­ordered hordes of police officers to rid the streets of Mbabane of a

certain South African Sunday paper.

Contained within the folds of the newspaper

was a salacious scandal about one of the king’s wives: a ­23-year-old Soweto man

was boasting about his affair with the queen; how they spent a week-and-a-half

locked in a hotel room naked, eating strawberries and ­yoghurt off each other’s

bodies and ­making love up to six times a day.

When the cops hit the streets they were out of luck – the newspaper

had sold out by midday.

The king is said to have been so enraged that he stormed

out of his own birthday party, which coincided with the country’s independence


The news made for delicious gossip at dinner parties and office

water coolers alike.

The queen is rumoured to have been banished to some

godforsaken place to live out the rest of her life in shame.

I think the place

is called Sandton.

If the disgraced Swazi queen is in South Africa, perhaps our first

­lady Nompumelelo Ntuli Zuma needs to pay her a visit for some much-needed


The past three days could not have been easy for ­President Jacob Zuma’s

second wife.

The flood ­unleashed by a mystery letter to the media about her

alleged affair with bodyguard Phinda Thomo (now ­deceased) and the questionable

paternity of her unborn baby is enough to make even the most hardcore sista run

for the hills.

She’ll be glad, then, to know that she’s not alone in the epic

battle that is sure to follow.

When City Press online broke the story nationally

after a ­report appeared in the regional isiZulu-language newspaper Ilanga, the

response from the public was interesting, to say the least.

The first person I spoke to was my ­sister, who gave MaNtuli a

thumbs-up for “sticking it to the man”.

The next one quoted the Whitney Houston

song, I Learned From the Best.

Within half an hour a lot more women were

cheering and hailing the first lady, though the jury is still out on the

veracity of the claims of infidelity.

If the allegations are true, I certainly understand it.

Many people

think this is just another Zuma sex scandal – one which seems to permanently

hang over the president and which is now spreading its shadow over his


But as Dr Velaphi Mkhize of the Umsamo African Institute put it:

“Men today do not value what they have at home, and if you do not give your wife

the respect she deserves, she is going to look for it ­elsewhere.”

According to Mkhize, modern man has repackaged and twisted the

practice of polygamy to suit his own selfish needs.

He flies the culture flag

when he has to defend cheating on his spouse(s) and having children out of


This is probably why so many women – and some men – have come out in

defence of the first lady. What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the


The anonymous family members who sent the letter to the press claim

that ­Zuma cannot possibly be the father of MaNtuli’s baby because “he has not

been visiting her” for a while.

I say MaNtuli is pregnant because of this factor, not despite it.

There is a saying in isiXhosa: “Umfundisi ulindwa ngeculo.”

Roughly translated,

it means the congregation awaits the pastor with a hymn.

The first lady may just

have been excercising her right to her hymn book.

Still, as much as I feel for this woman who has to be pencilled

into her husband’s busy schedule, I think her alleged rebellion was a tad


She went ­into this matrimonial nightmare with her eyes wide open and

should have known the gold rings would not stop with her.

Zuma is a polygamist

and is going to use that to acquire as many wives as a sheik’s harem.


can’t go into fits of rage when her playa wants to play.

The person I really feel sorry for is the yet-to-be-born 21st first


To have the baby as a pawn in this sex chess game is sad, and MaNtuli

should have been less selfish in her desperate need for her husband’s


As a colleague rightly points out, this latest scandal has ripped

the veil off the Zulu Brady Bunch bull.

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