South Africa's president formalized his marriage to his third wife during a traditional ceremony Monday amid media reports he plans to take a fourth bride later this year.
Some 2,000 guests thronged a homestead in rural KwaZulu-Natal province to watch the ceremony in which 67-year-old President Jacob Zuma and 38-year-old Tobeka Madiba took part.
The couple are already married under South African law and have three children. Madiba attended Zuma's inauguration ceremony in May. He paid a dowry to her family in 2007 as is tradition.
Meanwhile, a family member told The Associated Press on Monday that Zuma is also planning to marry again later this year. Other relatives have told South African media that the president plans to wed Durban native Gloria Bongi Ngema. The president's office has not commented on the reports.
. . . Zuma, 67, a Zulu traditionalist and an unabashed polygamist, has now married at least five women over the years and has 19 children. He currently has three wives including Madiba: Sizakele Khumalo, whom he married in 1973, and Nompumelelo Ntuli, whom he wed in 2008.
. . . Zuma is not alone among world leaders when it comes to polygamy. In the Gulf, the number of a ruler's wives and who among them is paramount are a constant source of rumors.
At some point, we're going to have to abandon the notion that we can deal with all the leaders of Africa, the Middle East and Asia as sane and rational modern men and women.
Some of them are not. Some of them are backwards and ignorant and living in the Middle Ages.