JOHANNESBURG (AFP) – South African President Jacob Zuma will marry his fourth wife next weekend, his spokesman confirmed Sunday.
Zuma will tie the knot at his family homestead in Nkandla in KwaZulu-Natal province, said presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj.
“I can confirm that President Zuma will formalise his relationship with his fiancee, Ms Bongi Ngema, in a private traditional ceremony at Nkandla this weekend,” Maharaj told AFP.
Zuma, a known polygamist, will be married the sixth time. He divorced Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, South Africa’s candidate for the African Union top post, in 1998. Another wife, Kate, committed suicide in 2000.
“The president currently has three wives. This will be his fourth wife,” Maharaj said.
The president, who turned 70 last Thursday, is believed to have fathered around 20 children.
Ngema, who accompanied Zuma on a state visit to the G20 summit in South Korea last year, has a three-year-old son with him. She has a business degree among other academic qualifications.
Nkandla was recently renovated for 64 million rands ($8 million, 6 million euros), the Sunday Times reported.
Zuma’s adventures with women have often sparked controversy. In 2006 he was acquitted of rape charges after having consensual sex with an HIV-positive activist and family friend. He famously told the court he had taken a shower to protect himself against infection.
In 2009 he fathered a child with the daughter of 2010 World Cup local chief Irvin Khoza on the eve of the global event.
Asked at his birthday party Friday whether he was done with marriage, Zuma replied, “I think so.”