Who will be Zuma's first lady?
While it is customary before an election to wonder who will emerge as first lady, it’s unusual to ask the question when only one man can possibly be president.
Jacob Zuma is about to take power in South Africa but the identity of his official consort is an open field. The gregarious president-in-waiting has married five times, although one wife has divorced him and another committed suicide.
The favourite is Nompumelelo Ntuli, a 34-year-old from the same rural area of KwaZulu-Natal, whom he married a little over a year ago. But she is not the newest wife as Thobeka Mabhija, a Durban socialite with whom Mr Zuma is said to have two children, was wedded to him this January.
MaNtuli, as last year’s wife is known, also faces a challenge from Mr Zuma’s first wife, Sizakele Khumalo. They have been together for 50 years and married in 1973, but MaKhumalo is rarely at official engagements and never speaks in public.
The 67-year-old has not hidden his polygamy which is allowed under a 1998 law recognising customary marriage practices. It is traditional for a Zulu elder to have several wives. Mr Zuma often sounds bemused at the attention his marriages attract, pointing out that his approach is preferable to the hypocrisy of leaders in other countries who have kept mistresses. “I love my wives and I’m proud of my children,” is his stock response. Those children are reported to number at least 13, although many more women have claimed to have had children by the politician.
Mr Zuma’s camp has refused to comment on who is ahead in the race to be first lady, and told people to wait until after his inauguration. There can be only one name admitted to the spousal office of the presidency at Pretoria.
MaNtuli is the pundits’ favourite after a speaking appearance last month and could well be in the photograph with Carla Bruni or Michelle Obama when the new president goes on tour.
- 1 British tourists 'murdered' in Thailand: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 2 Vivienne Westwood says 'Yes' to Scottish Independence by declaring: 'I hate England'
- 3 Welcome to Cameroon, where drinking Baileys can lead to imprisonment
- 4 Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
- 5 Vogue under fire for 'Big Booty' article
British tourists 'murdered' in Thailand: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
Jihadi John': MI5 may have identified Isis militant who killed David Haines but options limited
Vivienne Westwood says 'Yes' to Scottish Independence by declaring: 'I hate England'
David Haines beheading: David Cameron says Britain will hunt down Isis 'monsters' shown in video murdering aid worker
Piers Morgan attempts to save the Union by promising to go back to the US if Scotland votes 'No' to independence
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
Salmond accused of laughing off national debt with ‘what are they going to do: invade?’ joke
£400000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Energy Markets An...
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...
£22000 - £23000 per annum: Randstad Education Bristol: We are currently recrui...
£35000 - £40000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...