It appears that President Jacob Zuma has entered into a customary marriage with Sonono Khoza, after fathering her child.
The Times said on Wednesday that it was in possession of a document purporting to be an application for a birth certificate for Thandekile Matina Zuma.
The document apparently has the answer “yes” in reply to the question, “Are the parents of the child married to each other,” and appears to have been signed by Zuma and Khoza, who is the daughter of soccer official Irvin Khoza.
Under “Nature of Marriage”, the box “customary” had also been ticked, according to the Times.
Khoza apparently gave birth to Thandekile in October 2009. The president, who recently married for the fifth time, already has an estimated 19 children.
The Times said cellphone numbers, addresses and ID numbers on the document matched those of Zuma and Khoza.
‘Apologise, act better’
Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille said on Tuesday that Zuma must apologise for fathering a child out of wedlock and that his behaviour was at odds with the African National Congress’s policies on HIV prevention.
The ruling party was wrong to say his reported extramarital relationship was purely a private matter, she said.
“For this reason, the president ought to apologise and act to better embody the values he advocates for other South Africans.”
The ANC on Monday rushed to Zuma’s defence amid outrage over the affair, saying it did not see a correlation between Zuma’s personal relationships and the ANC’s policies on HIV/Aids.
“There is nothing wrong that the president has done,” said party spokesperson Brian Mthembu. “As the ANC, we have always made a distinction between people’s personal affairs and their public responsibilities.”
Zille countered that elected public officials had to embody the principles and values for which they stand.
“They embody a series of principles and should be able to explain their actions in terms of those principles. Jacob Zuma cannot do this,” she said.
“If Jacob Zuma says unprotected sex with multiple partners is bad in public, he is expected to uphold these values in private, otherwise there is little or no reason to take seriously anything he or his government says.”
The Sunday Times reported that two men from KwaZulu-Natal, acting on Zuma’s behalf, visited the Khoza family in December to discuss the Zulu customary damages, inhlawulo, due when a child is born out of wedlock.
Zuma’s spokesperson, Vincent Magwenya, refused to comment on Zuma’s children when contacted by the Mail & Guardian on Tuesday.