South Africa’s polygamist president Jacob Zuma is preparing to add to his trio of wives by marrying a fourth, his spokesman said today.
The statesman, who turned 70 last week, will wed fiancee Gloria Bongekile Ngema next weekend during a traditional ceremony at his rural home.
Mr Zuma’s spokesman Mac Maharaj today confirmed the president was looking forward to formalising his relationship with the university graduate, with whom he has a three year old son.
Mr Maharaj said: ‘The president is to formalise his relationship with his fiancee Gloria Ngema.
‘They have been engaged for a number of years and will now make their relationship official at a traditional and private ceremony next weekend.’
South Africa’s Sunday Times reported that Mr Zuma’s forthcoming nuptials followed a lengthy relationship and prolonged engagement with Ms Ngema.
The devoutly religious business graduate has recently been seen at the side of the Zulu former goatherd, who is permitted to take multiple wives under South African law.
It was reported that last year Ms Ngema even joined her fiance on a diplomatic trip to France, an honour usually reserved for the First Lady.
The couple are believed to now be preparing to wed next weekend at the president’s homestead in Nkandla in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province.
The nuptials will take place under Zulu customary law and will leave Mr Zuma four current spouses.
The polygamist statesman, who is believed to have fathered more than 20 children, wed his long-standing first wife Sizakele Khumalo, 69, in 1973.
He married Nompumelelo Ntuli, 37, in 2008 and wed third current wife Thobeka Madiba, 39, in 2010.
The five-times married statesman has previously wed two other women.
He divorced from South African cabinet minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in 1999 and another wife, Kate Mantsho-Zuma, committed suicide in 2000.
Mr Zuma, who leads South Africa’s ruling African National Congress, lives with his three current wives at his rural homestead.