Zuma's big, fat swazi wedding

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President Jacob Zuma’s family has successfully negotiated lobola for his son Mxolisi’s second wife – Swazi princess Ziyanda Dlamini.

The Zumas settled for 120 cattle at the Ludzidzini Royal Residence in Lobamba, south of Mbabane, Swaziland.

The president led the family delegation during the lobola ceremony, which lasted all of last weekend.

After the proceedings, Princess Ziyanda, who is the daughter of Prince Fanyana Dlamini, was given cash as a traditional gesture of gratitude after being officially wed to Mxolisi.

Zuma’s family presented her with 250 000 emalangeni (R250 000), while Mxolisi gave her 50 000 emalangeni in cash – traditionally bestowed to enable her to buy “insipho” (soap) so she can continue to glow.

This is the second marriage for Mxolisi (37), who is the eldest of five children born to Zuma and his late second wife, Kate Mantsho.

Mxolisi, the elder brother of twins Duduzane and Duduzile Zuma, married Phindile Luthuli in Durban in 2008.

At last weekend’s ceremony, Princess Ziyanda also received plenty of cash from her family – bringing the total to nearly 1 000 000 emalangeni.

She received 140 000 emalangeni from her uncle, King Mswati III and Queen Mother Ntombi Thwala, 93 000 emalangeni from her aunts and 10 000 emalangeni from her father.

It took 30 minutes to give her all the cash, which came in wooden bowls. They had to be emptied out four times.

King Mswati and his mother said they were delighted that their daughter would start a family in a “comfortable environment”, thanks to all the cash she had received.

The Swazi monarch welcomed the herd of 120 cattle they received in lobola from the Zumas. The herd increased after a cow gave birth in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Addressing delegates on Saturday, the president said his family had picked a royal beauty to lighten up “Nkandla royal house” in KwaZulu-Natal.

“Your majesty, it looks like the game is one-sided. It is our belief that the Zumas will be marrying three times and that will mean a 3-0 if I were to talk about a soccer game,” he said, in reference to the three Zuma family members who had married Swazi princesses.

“We also have beautiful women, so you need to do something about that because very soon we will be coming back for a third one,” Zuma senior said, to the delight of the guests.

The president could possibly have been hinting at the finalisation of his marriage to Princess Sebentile Dlamini, for whom he began lobola negotiations in 2002, with 50 cattle. The negotiations were not concluded after then president Thabo Mbeki fired Zuma as deputy president in June 2005 – after his financial adviser, Schabir Shaik, was found guilty of fraud.

The president departed on Sunday morning, leaving his nephew, Khulubuse Zuma, to head the family entourage. Khulubuse then challenged Swazi men to up their game before they concede a 3-0 defeat.

The Zuma delegation left with Princess Ziyanda just after 5pm on Sunday afternoon.

Swazi traditional legal experts said the kingdom’s royal house was entitled to receive the lobola cattle for all the first-born women of the king’s blood relatives. Their parents would then be allowed to receive lobola payments for their other daughters.

The presidency said it does not comment on the president’s private family matters.

Questions sent to Khulubuse went unanswered.

Mxolisi was embroiled in scandal in August after it was reported that he was accused of trying to broker a R54m bribe to use his father’s influence to swing a government contract for the manufacture of TV set-top boxes.

The Sunday Times reported that he allegedly tried to broker a bribe with Altech UEC, a subsidiary of technology company Altron, to help it secure the multibillion-rand contract.

And although it is believed the money was never paid, Mxolisi allegedly negotiated with top executives for a “consultancy fee”.

Hot demand for Swazi princesses
  • King Goodwill Zwelithini married Mantfombi Dlamini, daughter of King Sobhuza II of Swaziland and sister of King Mswati III, in 1973.
  • President Jacob Zuma paid 50 cows for his fiancée, Princess Sebentile Dlamini, in 2002.
  • In 2011, former president Nelson Mandela’s grandson, Mandla Mandela, paid lobola for Swazi princess Siphiwayena Dlamini.
  • Khulubuse Zuma married Swazi princess Fikisiwe Dlamini in 2014.
  • In 2014, Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini married his sixth bride, Swazi princess Zola Mafu.
  • Inkosi Sandile Ngomane (42), who presides over the Hhoyi Traditional Council in Mpumalanga’s Nkomazi area, is now courting King Mswati III’s eldest daughter, Princess Sikhanyiso.

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