Push for Zuma s Swazi wed­ding

Sunday World - - News - MZWANDILE kaBI­ZOK­WAKHE

THE royal fam­ily in Swazi­land are grow­ing im­pa­tient with Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma for not mar­ry­ing Princess Seben­tile Dlamini, who would be his fifth wife.

That is ac­cord­ing to four mem­bers of the Swazi Royal House, who say King Mswati III has upped the pres­sure on Zuma to com­plete the process of mar­ry­ing his half-sis­ter.

All the rel­a­tives Sun­day World spoke to de­clined to speak on the record for fear of reprisals.

Zuma paid lobola for Seben­tile in 2002, but has not made any at­tempt to move for­ward with the mar­riage.

The fam­ily mem­bers say that when Prince Ma­sit­sela was in South Africa in June to con­vey the king s best wishes to the Man­dela fam­ily af­ter the for­mer pres­i­dent was ad­mit­ted to hos­pi­tal, he also had a spe­cial mes­sage for Zuma.

Ma­sit­sela is the most se­nior prince and was the ad­min­is­tra­tor of Swazi­land for a time.

Ma­sit­sela did not wish to talk about the mes­sage Mswati had asked him to de­liver to Zuma.

Yes, I met Pres­i­dent Zuma in Pre­to­ria and I vis­ited the for­mer pres­i­dent in hos­pi­tal,” he said. We were well looked af­ter in South Africa.”

Prince Qethuka, the head of royal af­fairs, also con­firmed that the del­e­ga­tion vis­ited Zuma and in­di­cated that he had been sup­posed to be part of it, but Mswati had re­as­signed him to other du­ties.

He con­firmed that since lobola was paid 11 years ago, the princess could now not marry any­one else but Zuma.

Last year, Seben­tile was moved into a state prop­erty that had been used by Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Themba Ma­suku.

Yes, that s cor­rect,” Ma­suku said when asked whether he had lived in the house in Water­ford.

Yes, that s also cor­rect,” he re­sponded when asked whether it was Seben­tile who had moved into the house af­ter him.

The home is old-fash­ioned but pala­tial by any stan­dard, par­tic­u­larly in the poverty-stricken king­dom of Swazi­land.

I don t know what the value of the house is,” said Ma­suku. It would be dif­fi­cult to know that be­cause it be­longs to the state.” He said it has eight bed­rooms. Four are in the main house, plus three liv­ing ar­eas. There s a guest cot­tage with two bed­rooms and an­other build­ing with two more.” Ma­suku said.

The prop­erty has ex­tra se­cu­rity fea­tures, in­clud­ing a mo­torised gate, a guard­house and two CCTV cam­eras.

The princess, who runs a hair salon among other busi­ness in­ter­ests, brushed off ques­tions when con­tacted.

I am go­ing into a meet­ing shortly, she said. Please send me your ques­tions by e-mail.”

She failed to re­spond to ques­tions sent to her.

Two years ago, The Times of Swazi­land re­ported that the princess was be­ing paid a salary while sit­ting at home.

She was em­ployed as a po­lice­woman, but had last been to work in 2004, oc­cu­py­ing the rank of con­sta­ble.

Zuma s spokesman, Mac Ma­haraj, said: I can t an­swer when I don t have the an­swers to your ques­tions. I for­warded your ques­tions [to the pres­i­dent] but he hasn t pro­vided me with the an­swers, so I can t comment.”

Sun­day World has over the past two weeks made re­peated at­tempts to so­licit comment from the pres­i­dency about Zuma s en­gage­ment to the princess.

Zuma cur­rently has four wives, but has been mar­ried six times. One of his spouses died and he di­vorced Nkosozana Dlamini-Zuma.

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