Zuma marries fourth wife in low-key wedding

2008-01-07 00:00

ANC president Jacob Zuma tied the knot in a rather low-key traditional affair at his Nkandla homestead on Saturday. High-profile guests included Msunduzi Mayor Zanele Hlatshwayo, businesspeople — including close Zuma associate Erwin Ulbricht — and a handful of amakhosi.

Zuma’s wedding to Nompumelelo Ntuli (33) had been kept under wraps by the family and Zuma associates, who sought to deny any knowledge of the event last week.

“This was meant to be a private affair because uBaba [Zuma] wanted to protect his bride from you [the media],” said a family member.

Zuma, sporting a traditional ibheshu and takkies, emerged from the house after midday.

Carrying a spear and shield and accompanied by an ibutho (regiment), he proceeded amid traditional song and dance to an open field outside the house where the main ceremony was to take place.

Here they were joined by the bride, accompanied by umthimba (bridesmaids and members of the bride’s family).

The bride and groom did not disappoint, with Zuma in usual style displaying his vocal and dance skills.

Zuma’s family received gifts that included blankets from the bride’s family.

Some guests also dug deep into their pockets to shower the new bride with presents, mainly in the form of banknotes pinned to her traditional hat.

MaNtuli, as she is affectionately known, is already being touted as the next first lady should Zuma ascend to the country’s top job.

Family insiders who spoke to The Witness at the wedding believe that Zuma’s eldest wife, MaKhumalo, is “too reserved and too shy” to be first lady, thus making it “a logical decision” that MaNtuli would occupy the position.


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