|From right to
left: First wife Sizakele Khumalo - married, 1973; President Zuma; Thobeka
Mabhija - married, January 2010: Nompumelelo Ntuli - married, January
Confused about exactly how many wives
[our] President Zuma has? We round up the facts on the women in President Jacob
Zuma married his fifth wife, Thobeka Stacey Madiba, formerly called Mabhija in
the press, at a traditional ceremony at his KwaZulu-Natal homestead of Nkandla.
She is his third current wife. Zuma is said to have about 18 children with
Zuma once told a television interviewer: "There are plenty
of politicians who have mistresses and children that they hide so as to pretend
they're monogamous. I prefer to be open. I love my wives and I'm proud of my
Gertrude Sizakele Khumalo
Zuma met his first wife and childhood
sweetheart, Gertrude Sizakele Khumalo, in 1959 and married her soon after his
release from prison in 1973. She lives at Nkandla. They have no children but she
looks after many of his other children, according to reports. While she attended
his inauguration MaKhumalo, as she is affectionately known, is notoriously
She is active in the community and Zuma has praised her, calling her
"a wife, a friend, a sister and a mother to me". She is his oldest
Married: January 8,
Zuma's fourth marriage and second
current wife, Nompumelelo Ntuli (MaNtuli) was a mother to two of his children,
before she married him in 2008 at a traditional ceremony that received plenty of
media attention in the run-up to Zuma's bid for the presidency. At 35, she is
Zuma's youngest wife to date, and lives in KwaMaphumulo near Stanger. Her two
children with Zuma are Thandisiwe and Sinqobile, aged seven and
Married: January 4,
The newest wife to date, Madiba, or
Majhiba as she was formerly called in the press (her mother's surname), has
acted in the capacity of wife for some time, appearing with Zuma's two other
wives at his inauguration in May 2009 and at other events. She also has three
young children with Zuma, and grew up in Umlazi where she went to school. She
later studied at the Umlazi Campus of the University of Zululand where she
graduated with a B.Com and worked at several companies in La Lucia.
is seen as the most glamorous of his wives, known for her designer outfits and
is more outgoing than the others, having made public appearances at a few
development projects. They were meant to marry in 2008 but the wedding was
delayed due to Zuma's government responsibilities.
Married: 1972, divorced 1998
Zuma's most famous wife,
Dlamini-Zuma, aged 60, has been a respected Cabinet minister since 1999 and was
unique in her popularity with both ANC factions of former president Thabo Mbeki
and Zuma. She married Zuma in 1972 and divorced in June 1998 due to
The couple had four children: Msholozi (26)
Gugu (24) Thuli (23) and Thuthi (21). Their daughter, Gugu Zuma, is an actress
in the popular soapie Isindingo and made headlines when she married the son of
Welshman Ncube, secretary general for Zimbabwe's opposition party, the Movement
for Democratic Change.
Dlamini-Zuma was health minister from 1994 to
1999, under president Nelson Mandela, then foreign affairs minister from June 17
1999 to May 10 2009, under presidents Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Molanthe. She was
moved to the position of Minister of Home Affairs in the Cabinet of her
ex-husband Zuma on May 10 2009.
Name: Kate Mantsho
Age: Died age 44
Mantsho, from Mozambique, ended her life in 2000 after a
troubled marriage to Zuma. She gave the Reverend Frank Chikane a note which
barred Zuma from her funeral: "Strictly my dear children, my maternal family to
attend. From the Zumas only Bro Mike and all the Mzobe family." In her suicide
letter she also called her marriage "24 years of hell".
She was his third
wife and the couple had five children: Saady (b. 1980), twins Duduzile and
Duduzane (b. 1984), Phumzile (b. 1989) and Vusi. She committed suicide on
December 8, 2000.
In the wings
Married: Not yet
Another bride-in-waiting is Gloria Bongi Ngema. The two have
already had a son.
Ngema visited Nkandla in December 2009, taking with
her a traditional gift to the family — a sign that lobola had been paid in full.
Ngema is also originally from Umlazi in Durban, like Madiba. She works for IBM
in Johannesburg and has a son with Zuma named Sinqumo, IOL reported.
is not known when Zuma will tie the knot with Ngema.
Name: Sebentile Dlamini
In 2002, Zuma paid 10 cows as
part of lobola for Sebentile Dlamini, a Swazi princess and granddaughter of King
Sobhuza III, IOL reported.
Leading his delegation then was Zweli Mkhize,
the KwaZulu-Natal finance and economic development minister.
Swazi royal family asking Zuma to "clarify" his position on Sebentile, the
princess is still waiting.