Though many South Africans are of the view that polygamy is a lifestyle choice that is best left to those who decide to adopt it, the news that South African President Jacob Zuma has also fathered a child with Orlando Pirates owner Irvin Khoza’s daughter, may not sit quite as well.
The president is now starting to appear in the media far too often on matters related to his sexual prowess than can be considered comfortable.
On the one hand we have the polygamous lifestyle which saw him wed his fifth wife recently, on the other the rape trial where he was completely exonerated. Now for good measure, barely months after his marriage, the birth of what we believe is his 20th child with the daughter of a friend outside wedlock.
That’s an enormous amount of ground to cover for just one man, never mind one charged with running a country.
Khoza, known as the “Iron Duke”, is himself a controversial character having been arrested for tax evasion and fined for insurance fraud but also respected as someone who came from nowhere to become one of the country’s most powerful figures. As chairman of the PSL he forged one of the most lucrative sponsorships in the local games history with Absa bank and was chairman of South Africa’s successful World Cup bid.
As such he is nobody’s mug.
It will certainly be of interest to many to know when he first came to know that Zuma had slept with his daughter and fathered a child and his reaction when he found out?
It may have come as a mixed blessing in that it would link him to currently the most powerful family in the country but accompanied by feelings of betrayal if it went on behind his back.
The Sunday Times in a massive scoop says that Sonono Khoza, 39, and divorced, gave birth to the little girl on October 8 2009 barely three months before the country’s most famous polygamist tied the knot for the fifth time.
During June of 2009 Zuma had invited Khoza to share the stage with him during a post-election bash at Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal. It is unclear whether the “Iron Duke” knew at that stage who the father of his unborn grandchild was.
The baby, Thandekile Matina Zuma, now nearly four months old, has been registered in her father’s name, and brings to 20 the number of children known to have been fathered by him — along with the 19 Zuma is officially said to have had, with his ex-wife, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, his late wife, Kate Zuma, and his current wives and girlfriends.
Several family friends told the Sunday Times that Khoza felt betrayed and humiliated by the president’s relationship with his daughter, particularly as he considered Zuma — who is six years older than him — a friend.
In May 2006, following his acquittal on a charge of rape, Zuma made a speech in which he said: “As I testified in court, under oath, I am HIV-negative, having undergone an HIV test in March this year. I wish to state categorically and place on record that I erred in having unprotected sex. I should have known better and I should have acted with greater caution and responsibility.”
The birth of Thandekile is going to bring that statement into question.
Not only because the president was involved again in unprotected sex but it also begs the question of whether he intended to make Sonono pregnant from the outset. How this will sit with the “Iron Duke” is another matter altogether.
Zuma’s polygamy also came under the spotlight in Davos, Switzerland, where his answers to questions from Newsweek drew howls of laughter.
If we factor in the speculation that Sonono might be wife number six then the president’s private life is fast becoming a matter of national concern.