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Narian Chengiah Naidoo
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All the President’s Wives

26 March 2014, 21:45

As a South African who is proud of our new constitution post 1994. I have to ask where we draw the line between “customs” and the constitution.

He is not exactly a hero unless you want to view his polygamy as heroic but you got to envy our all in one, President Jacob Zuma. He's a widower, divorcee, husband and a fiancé. How did this guy get to be become the President of a wonderful country like South Africa? No education and a polygamist. This country is going nowhere unless the current political leadership is replaced in Mangaung.
President Jacob Zuma celebrated his 70th birthday where his three wives and Gloria Bongekile Ngema his long-time fiancée helped him cut his birthday cake which alone cost a whopping R12 500. Maybe it was his birthday present from some corrupt businessmen, who knows? President Jacob Zuma is very good at spending other people’s money. He has been doing that his whole life. 

Well his birthday wish was for more wives and may his libido last long and continue to prosper. The response was an order from his ancestors, be fruitful and multiply and put the rabbits to shame.

President Jacob Zuma at the ripe age of 70 years celebrated an antiquated cultural belief against the harsh realities of modern life sending a conflicting messages to a society already in a moral decay when he married Gloria Bongekile Ngema to formalise his relationship with her at a private traditional ceremony in Nkandla in KwaZulu-Natal with whom he has a seven year-old son.

President Jacob Zuma and others who continue to practice polygamy and other arcane practices make a mockery of our constitution and the very notion that we are all equal.

Polygamy either is or is not an acceptable practice. If it is not acceptable then it is absurd for the law to recognise it for anyone. If it is acceptable then it is absurd for the law to delineate it as a choice available to some citizen but not to others.

Polygamous marriages make up a small percentage of family forms in South Africa, but polygamy has received renewed media attention with the inauguration of President Jacob Zuma, the country’s most celebrated polygamist. The case of the Civil Union Act and the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act (RCMA) are really quite different.

Men trump women

While the Civil Union Act extends its legal protection to all South Africans, the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act is discriminatory on the grounds both of culture and sex. While it affords men the legal right to an unlimited number of spouses, women are not afforded the same right.

Polygamy can never equal equality while it only goes one way.  

Secondly not even all men have the right, but only those who can demonstrate that they are members of an indigenous culture or people. 

Imagine the consternation and furore should someone from another culture tell his parents that he wants to emulate his president and take on, say seven wives. It cannot be defended as “wrong”, if the first citizen is doing it, why not his lesser subjects?

During the lavish wedding celebration, President Jacob Zuma thanked his wives for warmly welcoming his new bride. President Jacob Zuma repeated to Gloria Bongekile Ngema, his new bride the exact words he spoke to his other wives. “Don’t close the door that you have found open.

Those who came before you didn’t close the door on you and no one closed the door on them. So I expect you to do the same” he said. Zodwa Khoza, does he also intending to marry her? Everyone is supposedly equal in South Africa and yet our president can take more than one wife? How many husbands can one wife have?

Elizabeth Taylor of presidents

Gloria Bongekile Ngema hails from Umlazi township, south of Durban and has numerous qualifications including a business degree and she is Jacob Zuma’s sixth wife. His other wives are Sizakele Khumalo, Nompumelelo Zuma and Thobeka Stacey Mabhija. He divorced the most famous one of the lot, the Home Affairs Minister, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in 1998 while another wife, Kate Zuma, committed suicide in 2000.

The wedding is his third in just over four years and the second since coming to power in 2009 as the country's first president with multiple wives. Now we have to use a second hand to count the number of marriages he has had.

He is certainly becoming the Elizabeth Taylor of presidents. Although he beats Ms Elizabeth Taylor by the mere fact that he keeps his wives. What he is trying to do, break some kind of a record to be entered into the Guinness Book of Records. The legendary King Solomon had 700 wives and three hundred concubines. Jacob Zuma has a long way to go.

President Jacob Zuma will claim that he is not breaking any laws, polygamy is legally recognised and the constitution gives him the right to marry as many women he wants and he may want to demonstrate the diversity of our nation by marrying a white, coloured and Indian woman.

The polygamous King Goodwill Zwelithini’s queen, MaMchiza Zulu advised Gloria Bongekile Ngema to constantly pray for her husband’s finances, health, wives and sexuality. 

President Jacob Zuma’s wives have no specific roles or responsibilities but their benefits include travel and secretaries and are expected to support the president at state and official functions.

Imagine what it must be like around the dinner table with four wives and twenty one kids, some babies and some older than Julius Malema.

Forecasting a dark economic storm, Pravin Gordhan, the Finance Minister appealed to the South Africans across the board to tighten their belts and then President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla homestead had been given a over two hundred and sic million upgrade that included six new double-storey thatch rondavels for his wives and family. This is an abuse of power and a misuse of tax payer's money.

Corruption at it's sneakiest. The poor getting poorer, rich get richer, fools changing to be idiots.

The over burdened taxpayers are taking the responsibility of maintaining the lavish lifestyle of the President Jacob Zuma and his four wives including the hordes of children.  The government had to nearly double the spousal budget to more than twenty million rand after he took office with his large family.

President Jacob Zuma can have as many wives, mistress and children as he like, but we the taxpayers shouldn’t have to support them and pay for all their homes and lavish functions. 

In a few years time there will be no more money available to go around and South Africans will be forced to become immigrants in other countries as they flee poverty.

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