From the archives | Family of Bishop Nala's new wife speak out – 'He didn't pay lobola'

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Bishop Nala has boasted that he paid a large lobolo for his new bride, Cindy Dlamini,
but her father’s family tell a different story.
Bishop Nala has boasted that he paid a large lobolo for his new bride, Cindy Dlamini, but her father’s family tell a different story.

This article was previously published in the DRUM print edition in 2016.

Lies, deceit and family  disputes are dogging Bishop  Hamilton Nala and his new  wife less than a month after  they got married.

At the  heart of the issue lies the  lobolo, which may not have  been paid.  Bishop Nala of Nala Mandate ministries  recently told DRUM he paid 11 cows for  his fourth wife, 25-year-old Sindisiwe “Cindy” Dlamini’s lobolo (The Bishop’s  new bride, 14 April).  At the time, Cindy, who met the bishop  at his church but romanced him on  Facebook, confirmed to DRUM that  lobolo was paid to the Dlaminis in  Estcourt and said that “my uncle was very  excited about my marriage to ubaba”.

 But her uncle, Skhumbuzo Dlamini, is  far from happy. He claims there was no  lobolo and no wedding celebration. “Nala  never paid lobolo. I don’t know what he is  talking about,” he says angrily.

“She never  informed me about her marriage to Nala.  “I never received the cows that they are  talking about. Also, no wedding took  place here.  The whole story is nothing but  fabricated lies by Nala and Sindisiwe.” 

Skhumbuzo says he’s speaking out  because he has become a laughing stock  in his neighbourhood. “I want the public to know the truth.  I am the uncle on her father’s side and I  never received her lobolo. I saw reports in  the news where she was claiming that  lobolo was paid to us, but this is not true. “It is also not true that she was so broke she needed Nala’s help,” he continues.

“It  is not true that she had no money to pay rent. Her late father, Themba Dlamini, did  everything in his power to make sure she  was well taken care of. “Her father raised and financially  supported her until she started working. He took her to multiracial schools, paid  her university fees, rented a flat for her and bought food for her.”

Skhumbuzo says he called Cindy to find  out what was going on.

Read more | From the archives: ‘I pimped young women for him’ – North West Pastor’s former assistant speaks out

“I’ve never been  insulted like that in my entire life,” he says. “That girl is so disrespectful. She called  me an Inyumba (someone who is barren  or sterile) and told me to mind my own  business. That hurt me because I regarded her as my own flesh and blood. We raised  her until she found this Nala.”

Cindy’s aunt, Hlumisile  Khuzwayo, says she only  learned about the wedding  about 10 days beforehand. “I was shocked but at the  same time I was angry because she had not followed the right  process,” she says.

“I asked who was going  to hand her over to Nala. She said  this was just a  church wedding  and that a proper wedding was still  coming.  “I was surprised  to discover that  the wedding was  actually in December  [2015].” 

Hlumisile says that Cindy has brought  shame to the Dlamini clan. “I have no problem  with who she  marries, but she must do things the right  way. Nala is almost my age, he should  have done the right thing.”  Hlumisile says she has only met Nala –  whose third wife, Nobuhle is heavily  pregnant – twice.

“I first saw Nala briefly  at the mortuary when we were preparing  to bury Cindy’s father and then at the  funeral in 2015. It never crossed our  minds that they were dating: Cindy is a  child and Nala is in his 50s.” Hlumisile calls Cindy in DRUM’s  presence to ask about the lobolo.

“Don’t blame me but blame my mother,”  Cindy responds. “She is the one who can  explain all of this. What I know is that  lobolo was paid to the Hadebes because  you, the Dlaminis, never paid damages  (acknowledging that she was her father’s  child when she was born out of wedlock).” Cindy also admitted that she had  insulted her uncle.

 “I told him where to get off, that he  must get his own children and start  minding his own business. Where does he  get the audacity to say I am dating old  sugar daddies? I was wrong, but I was angry. If he has a problem, he must come  to me and stop running to the media.”   

Bishop  Nala’s spokesman,  Pastor Xolani Mabaso,  confirms that lobolo was paid  to the Hadebe clan. “Lobolo  was paid to the Hadebes  because Cindy’s parents were  not married,” he tells us.

“This is because  her father never paid damages.”  He gives us a number to call Cindy’s  supposed uncle, Zebulon Hadebe.  “The wedding has not happened; it is  still coming,” he tells us. “The lobolo was  paid to me, but I can’t disclose the  amount. We did not tell the Dlaminis  because her father never contributed to  her upbringing and we did not see the  need to do so.”  But we become suspicious when he  can’t tell us Cindy’s age.The story becomes  even stranger when we call Cindy. 

“I don’t know who Zebulon is,” she  finally admits. “But I can confirm that my  father financially contributed to my  studies until I was able to sustain myself.”  

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
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