South Africa's Jacob Zuma to Marry 3rd Wife

Wedding bells yet again for polygamous president-to-be
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 7, 2009 8:00 AM CST
ANC leader Jacob Zuma inside the Appeal Court in Bloemfontein, South Africa, Friday, Nov. 28, 2008. Zuma will wed for the fifth time in what will be his third concurrent marriage.   (AP Photo/Antoine De Ras, POOL)
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(Newser) – Jacob Zuma, the leader of the African National Congress and presumed next president of South Africa, is preparing to marry for a fifth time, reports the Telegraph. Zuma has never hidden his polygamous status, which is traditional for elite Zulus, and his new bride will be his third simultaneous spouse. The politician, who was acquitted of rape in 2005, is believed to be the father of at least 18 children.

Zuma married his first wife more than 40 years ago. He is divorced from South Africa's foreign minister, and another wife committed suicide in 2000, leaving a note that described their marriage as "24 years of hell." The politician's biographer has speculated that many of the corruption allegations that have dogged Zuma stem from the cost of providing for his sprawling family.