The leader of the Christian Democratic Party has described President Jacob Zuma’s traditional wedding on Monday as a “giant step back into the dark ages”.
Zuma’s wedding “to a woman he is reported to have already fathered three children with, and the alarming return to ancestral worship is a giant step back into the dark ages,” said CDP leader Reverend Theunis Botha.
Zuma married his fifth wife, Thobeka Madiba, outside his homestead on Monday afternoon in a colourful traditional wedding which attracted scores of guests and media.
It was the same ancestral traditions that had plagued Africa in the past and that had kept it the continent in superstition and poverty, and not colonialism as some people believed, claimed Botha.
Botha is also acting chairperson of the Christian Democratic Alliance.
“Very little has been done since ‘independence’ in the way of development, with few that do not rely on handouts, especially from the West,” he said.
It was up to the churches to speak out about ancestral worship practices.
“Political parties doing so, when the churches are silent, are exposing themselves to undue criticism of being anti-black or racist,” said Botha.
The president’s other wives are Sizakele Khumalo, whom he married in 1973, and Nompumelelo Ntuli-Zuma, whom he married in 2007.
He was previously married to current Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, whom he divorced in 1998, and Kate Mantsho Zuma, who committed suicide in 2000.
Zuma is said to have fathered 18 children.
He is also engaged to Gloria Bongi Ngema from Durban. Her family presented umbondo (gifts) to the Zuma family at the end of December. Umbondo is the last traditional ceremony before the wedding. It was done after ilobolo had been paid.
It was not known when Zuma would tie the knot with Ngema. – Sapa