April 15, 2012 / 11:03 AM / 6 years ago

South African President Zuma to marry for sixth time

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South African President Jacob Zuma, who turned 70 last week, will marry for the sixth time next weekend when he takes his long-time fiancée, Bongi Ngema, as his fourth current wife, his spokesman said on Sunday.

South African President Jacob Zuma delivers his State of the Nation address at Parliament in Cape Town February 9, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings/Files

Polygamy forms part of Zulu culture and is legal in South Africa, and Zuma, a Zulu traditionalist, has 21 children, according to the presidency website.

“President Jacob Zuma will be formalising his relationship with his fiancée by having a private traditional ceremony this coming weekend,” said Zuma’s spokesman, Mac Maharaj.

The ceremony will take place in Nkandla in KwaZulu Natal province, Maharaj said.

Zuma is also married to Sizakele Zuma, Nompumelelo Ntuli-Zuma and Tobeka Madiba-Zuma. He was previously married to Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, and to Kate Mantsho-Zuma who committed suicide in 2000.

For official events, Zuma usually takes one wife on a rotating basis to serve as first lady.

Reporting by Olivia Kumwenda; Editing by Tim Pearce

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