Congratulations may be in order for Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema.
City Press noticed a tell-tale baby bump sported by his wife, Mantwa (26), who accompanied her 35-year-old husband and his grandmother Sarah to cast their votes in their home town of Seshego, outside Polokwane, during last week’s local government elections.
In the picture, Mantwa is dressed in a maroon poncho that didn’t hide what many have been speculating about.
A source close to Malema told City Press this week that friends in his and Mantwa’s inner circle have been speculating that Malema is going to be a father again, but because the couple is so private, no one has been brazen enough to ask either of them about the baby possibly on the way.
Contacted for comment on Friday, Malema neither confirmed nor denied the news.
“Ke mehlolo. My sister, I’m not a celebrity. In Sepedi culture, we are not allowed to discuss such,” he said.
Malema has a 12-year-old son, Ratanang, from a previous relationship.
Malema and the EFF’s first lady have always kept mum about their private affairs – evident at their wedding two years ago in Seshego, where only family members and the couple’s closest friends witnessed the ceremony.
Their traditional ceremony was policed by more than 20 heavily armed security guards in black suits and red ties who ensured that only invited guests entered the marquee.
Despite the tight security – which included a ban on guests taking pictures with their cellphones – some guests simply couldn’t help sneakily taking photos and sending them to friends on the couple’s big day.
A few days before their wedding, Malema told Eyewitness News: “It’s a small ceremony. I’m marrying into a very private family. And I wish that all of us will respect their wishes of remaining a family that conducts their business in a private manner.”
Mantwa, who has kept a low public profile, is an accountant based in Johannesburg.
The couple reportedly began dating when she was a pupil at Capricorn High School in Polokwane.
Capricorn’s principal, Lukas Chuene, once described Mantwa as a “well-behaved and intelligent student”.
“I knew her as a student. She was a well-behaved girl. Very well behaved and, academically, she was also very good. She was performing well,” he said.
Last August, when his fraud and corruption case was thrown out in the high court in Polokwane, Malema paid tribute to his wife.
“I said to my wife, you do not need to accompany me to court; we are not celebrities,” Malema said.
“You will continue with your job. I will handle this one.”
Although Mantwa has not taken to social media, unlike other political partners, her husband shares many happy photographs of them both on Instagram, sometimes accompanied by a romantic message.
“My permanent Valentine,” reads one caption.
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