Tags: Zuma | polygamy | debate | africa

Zuma Lovechild Stirs Polygamy Debate

Thursday, 04 February 2010 10:22 AM

The news that President Jacob Zuma, 67, has fathered his 20th child out of wedlock with the daughter of a World Cup organiser has provoked furious debate about the place of polygamy in modern South Africa.

"I couldn't believe it when I heard it," said Rose Masetla, 37, a domestic worker in Johannesburg's upmarket Rosebank neighourhood. "I am disappointed and hurt. I mean, he is the president."

On Wednesday Zuma said that he had taken responsibility for his actions, formally acknowledging his paternity of the child born in October to the 39-year-old daughter of his long-time friend Irvin Khoza, one of the senior organisers of the World Cup.

Last month Zuma married his third current wife under customary law, which allows men to have more than one spouse, and has defended his polygamy as part of his Zulu culture.

He insisted his newest daughter was also a private issue that would be settled in line with Zulu culture, and accused the media of seeking to make money by printing stories about his child.

"The matter is now between the two of us, and culturally, between the Zuma and Khoza families," he said.

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Thursday, 04 February 2010 10:22 AM
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