Protocol: President takes fiancée on trip to U.S.

2010-04-13 00:00

PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma can be accompanied by whoever he prefers on overseas state visits, as long as he fulfills the purpose of his trips.

This is the view of independent political analyst Dr Sphamandla Zondi in an interview with The Witness yesterday after it was revealed that for the first time on a state visit, Zuma is being accompanied to the U.S. by his fiancée Gloria Bongi Ngema.

Zuma is in Washington to attend the nuclear summit hosted by President Barack Obama.

Despite having three wives, Sizakele kaKhumalo, Nompumelelo kaNtuli and Thobile kaMadiba, Zuma chose to be accompanied by Ngema on this important trip.

Zondi said if the handbook for members of the cabinet allows the president and ministers to take a fiancée on such important trips, it is no big deal as MaNgema is officially Zuma’s fiancée.

“There is nothing out of the ordinary if the president goes with MaNgema, it’s not like he is unveiling a new person. The question is whether the president fulfills the purpose of the trip and that the spousal office did prepare MaNgema for spousal protocol,” Zondi said.

Zondi said after Zuma met Obama on Sunday, Obama showered him with praise on South Africa’s role on nuclear issues. “Chances are that the U.S. and South Africa are likely to play an important role in ensuring a nuclear-free world.”

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