70-year-old South African president Jacob Zuma is to marry his long-time fiancée, Bongi Ngema, next weekend, the Sunday Times reported in its early edition on Saturday evening.
The president’s spokesperson, Mac Maharaj, confirmed to the newspaper that the president would formalise his relationship with Ngema at a private traditional ceremony in Nkandla in KwaZulu-Natal.
“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.