Zuma’s wives can accompany him on engagements

January 7th, 2010 - 5:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Pretoria, Jan 7 (IANS) South African President Jacob Zuma can choose any or all of his wives to accompany him on public engagements.
It is the prerogative of President Jacob Zuma to choose to be accompanied by any or all of his spouses on official or public engagements, the Presidency said in a statement Wednesday.

“This is his prerogative, and has been the practise since he took office,” it said.

While the country’s constitution has no provision for a First Lady or First Ladies, and there is no such official designation, the presidency provides administrative support to the spouses of the President through its spousal office.

The statement comes after media reports and speculation following Zuma’s wedding to Tobeka Madiba-Zuma Monday.

The Presidency further rejected the reports that the President had five wives. He in fact has three, Sizakele Khumalo (MaKhumalo), Nompumelelo Ntuli (MaNtuli) and Tobeka Madiba (KaMadiba). He has a fiance Bongi Ngema, according to BuaNews.

The spouses may choose to engage in community work or any other activity that supports the work of the President. However, this is not mandatory as they are not part of the Presidency or the public service.

“They undertake this work purely on a voluntary basis,” the presidency said.

MaKhumalo’s area of interest is agriculture and food security and she runs a vegetable garden project in Nkandla. While KaMadiba has a special interest in health matters, MaNtuli’s focus is in social development and work relating to assisting orphans and vulnerable children.

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