Now 20 Children
I gasped when I saw the headline of The Sunday Times yesterday, announcing that President Jacob Zuma has fathered his 20th (as far as we know) child. The mother, Sonora Khoza, is the daughter Irvin Khoza, the chair of the 2010 World Cup organizing committee. The baby, a girl, was born in October, just a few months before Zuma married for the 5th time. Her birth was registered in Zuma’s name.
Last week at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Zuma defended his polygamous life-style as part of his culture. While it is true that his culture affirms polygamy, the question today is whether it is in harmony with women’s rights and human dignity. I wonder what his wives think about this newest liaison and child.
In May 2007 Zuma was made an honorary pastor of the Ntuzuma Full Gospel Community Church and invested with a clerical collar and shirt. Was this a sign of his sincerity as a Christian or a political ploy?
His newest child raises the question of the relationship between culture and religion, culture and Christianity. Christianity enjoins faithfulness in marriage, but does Zulu culture affirm sexual unfaithfulness as part of culture? And if so, is this both for men and women? In our continuing HIV/AIDS pandemic, having multiple current partners (MCP) has been identified as a major factor driving the pandemic. Zuma is certainly sending a counter-message to the nation.
And please remember that we South African taxpayers are paying for all those wives and children.