KHU­LUBUSE’S BIG FAT ROYAL WED­DING

Sunday World - - Front Page -

NKU­L­ULEKO NCANA and MZWANDILE kaBI­ZOK­WAKHE NKANDLA res­i­dents are in for a treat.

Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma’s nephew Khu­lubuse is to tie the knot with a Swazi princess in what is likely to be the mother of royal wed­dings.

Swazi King Mswati III – Africa’s last ab­so­lute monarch – will bring his half-sis­ter Princess Fik­siwe to marry her long-time fi­ancé in Oc­to­ber.

Sun­day World has learnt that two cer­e­monies will take place – one at the Swazi royal house on Oc­to­ber 6, the sec­ond at Khu­lubuse’s Nkandla home two weeks later.

An in­sider close to the Zuma fam­ily said Khu­lubuse’s bach­e­lor party, at which a se­lect group of the groom’s friends will party up a storm, will be held in Cape Town late next month.

The in­sider said he didn’t know how much had been bud­geted for the wed­ding, but added: “Khula doesn’t do ‘ small’. We ex­pect a few African heads of state.”

Khu­lubuse is said to own a pala­tial home in Nkandla that is “fit for a king”.

Fik­siwe is one of Mswati’s many half­broth­ers and half-sis­ters.

Their fa­ther, King Sob­huza, had more than 120 wives and count­less chil­dren. He died in 1982. Four years later, Prince Makhose­tive Dlamini was crowned Mswati III.

Zuma paid lobola for an­other of Mswati’s half-sis­ters, Princess Seben­tile, which, ac­cord­ing to Nguni cus­tom, en­ti­tles her to the ti­tle umakoti (bride) in Zuma’s fam­ily.

Iron­i­cally, also ac­cord­ing to Nguni cus­tom, Fik­siwe will be both daugh­ter and

umakot­shana to Pres­i­dent Zuma. In Nguni cul­ture, umakot­shana can as­sume a sis­ter’s role in the event of a prob­lem such as child­less­ness or if she dies with­out giv­ing birth to an heir.

The Swazi royal fam­ily’s spokesman, Prince Qethuka, con­firmed that the wed­ding would be in Oc­to­ber, but said the ex­act date had not been de­ter­mined.

He would not con­firm which princess was mar­ry­ing.

But three in­de­pen­dent sources close to the royal fam­ily con­firmed that it was Fik­siwe who would marry Khu­lubuse.

That Zuma paid lobola but did not go through with a mar­riage cer­e­mony has al­ways been a sore point with the Swazi royal fam­ily.

When asked whether the Zuma fam­ily had started a new lobola cy­cle or com­pleted what had al­ready been be­gun, Qethuka said: “Now you are ask­ing about mat­ters be­tween the adults [Mswati ’ s ad­vi­sory coun­cil of el­ders]. You must come here if you want to talk about that.”

Pres­i­den­tial spokesman Mac Ma­haraj said he was un­aware of the pend­ing nup­tials. “Send me an e-mail, I will have to find out for you, ” he said.

Khu­lubuse is the larger-than-life co-owner of Aurora Sys­tems, which bought two of Pamodzi Gold’s mines but failed to op­er­ate them. Aurora min­ers went with­out pay for more than a year.

He was re­cently awarded two oil ex­plo­ration con­tracts in the Demo­cratic Repub­lic of Congo.

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