Sebastien Berger, London Telegraph, January 31, 2010
The South African president, Jacob Zuma, is reported to have has fathered a 20th child with the daughter of a friend.
His latest offspring, a girl, was reported on Sunday to have been born in October to Sonono Khoza, 39, the divorced daughter of Irvin Khoza, according to the country’s Sunday Times newspaper. Mr Khoza is the chairman of the organising committee for the football World Cup finals to be held in South Africa later this year.
Mr Zuma, 67, is a proud Zulu traditionalist, and as well as his polygamy–he married his third current wife and fifth overall, Thobeka Madiba, earlier this month–he has had a number of children out of wedlock.
In all, he has had children by seven women.
The paper said that the Khoza family were not happy about the liaison–Mr Khoza is six years younger than the president–and a delegation from the president had visited them to discusss inhlawulo, the customary Zulu damages payable when a child is born out of wedlock.
Last week Mr Zuma defended himself against accusations that polygamy was “a step backward” or unfair to women in a discussion at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
“People interpret cultures in different ways,” he said. “Some think that their culture is superior to others, that’s a problem we have in the world.”
In South Africa, he went on, “we follow a policy that says you must respect the cultures of others. That’s my culture. It does not take anything from me, from my political beliefs and everything, including the belief on the equality of women”.
Mr Zuma’s personal life is not an issue for most South Africans. But Helen Zille, the leader of the opposition Democratic Alliance, said that it was counterproductive given the country’s fight against HIV-Aids.
“There are some people who may argue that Jacob Zuma’s sex life is a matter of private morality or ‘culture’, but this is not so,” she claimed.
Pointing out that after his rape trial, when he was acquitted, he had apologised for having unprotected sex with the HIV-positive daughter of a family friend, she added: “He has once again succeeded in sending the wrong message to the South African people.”
Mr Zuma’s spokesman, Vincent Magwenya, could not be reached for comment on Sunday.