The media must stay away from President Jacob Zuma’s wedding to his fifth wife, Thobeka Madiba, on Monday, the Presidency said on Sunday.
The Presidency said in a statement that the wedding was “a private family ceremony”.
Zuma will tie the knot with Madiba, 37, who also uses the name Mabhija, at his homestead in eNkandla in the rural KwaZulu-Natal on Monday.
He paid ilobolo (bride price) to Madiba’s family in 2007. The couple are already married under South African law and have three children together.
Madiba has also been appearing with the president at official events.
The Sunday Times newspaper reported on Sunday that VIPs expected at the ceremony included Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande, Cosatu secretary-general Zwelinzima Vavi, Kwa-Zulu Natal Premier Zweli Mkhize and Durban businessman Vivian Reddy.
Large marquee for guests
The newspaper also reported a “hive of activity” at Zuma’s homestead as preparations for the ceremony continued.
A large marquee was erected to accommodate guests, while several goats and sheep were slaughtered for the feast.
Busloads of villagers from the community were also expected to participate in the celebrations.
Zuma’s wedding to Madiba was surrounded by some controversy when spokesperson Zizi Kodwa denied any knowledge of the ceremony when approached for comment recently.
The president’s other wives are Sizakele Khumalo, who he married in 1973, and Nompumelelo MaNtuli-Zuma, who he married in 2007.
Set to marry again
He was previously married to current Minister of Home Affairs, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who he divorced in 1998, and Kate Mantsho Zuma, who committed suicide in 2000.
Zuma is the father of 18 children.
He is also engaged to Gloria Bongi Ngema from Durban. Her family presented umbondo (gifts) to the Zuma family at the end December 2009.
Umbondo is the last Zulu traditional ceremony before the wedding. It is done after ilobolo has been paid.
It was not known when Zuma would tie the knot with Ngema.