South Africa Prez Marries 3rd Wife Today

Zuma's multiple spouses divide nation

By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 4, 2010 2:00 AM CST

(Newser) – South African President Jacob Zuma, 66, is marrying his third wife today in a celebration that will be attended by leading members of his ruling ANC party, union bosses and representatives from the Communist Party. The president's polygamous marriages have divided his nation, with young people generally believing the practice has no place in a modern country, say observers.

Zuma, a Zulu, married his first wife in 1973 and his second two years ago. He's also divorced from another one-time wife, who serves as the nation's foreign minister. His latest bride-to-be is 36. Zuma has attended various official events with both of his wives and his fiancée, reports the BBC.

South African president Jacob Zuma poses with wives Sizakele Khumalo, right, Nompumelo Ntuli, left, and bride-to-be Thobeka Mabhija, second left.
South African president Jacob Zuma poses with wives Sizakele Khumalo, right, Nompumelo Ntuli, left, and bride-to-be Thobeka Mabhija, second left.   (AP Photo/Mike Hutchings, Pool, File)
The man with many wives.
The man with many wives.   (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)
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