Polygamous South African leader Jacob Zuma may have had a test of his own medicine after news of his young wife’s alleged fling with a bodyguard emerges, and it seems all is not well in the president’s compound.
Zuma’s second wife Nompumelelo, 35, allegedly had an extra-marital relationship with one of her bodyguards identified as Soweto-born Phinda Thomo.
Now Nompumelelo is believed to be carrying a child who could have either been fathered Zuma or the deceased Phinda Thomo.
Reports say Thomo recently committed suicide after the affair was revealed.
The claims about Mrs Zuma’s alleged infidelity are emerging two weeks after it was reported she was expecting a baby, believed to be Zuma’s 21st.
But recent media reports say the paternity of the unborn child is being questioned by the “concerned family members”.
But a statement from Zuma’s office last Friday accused the media of “undermining” Zuma and his family’s right to privacy and dignity.
“The presidency has noted with great concern reports that violate the privacy of President Jacob Zuma and his wife Mrs Nompumelelo Zuma, published in the media on June 3-4 2010,” reads the statement.
“The reports appear to be part of an ongoing and malicious campaign to undermine the right of the president and his family to privacy and dignity.
“President Zuma continues to be seized with matters of State and will not be diverted from his duties. He will not dignify such gossip with a response,” the presidency said.
Zuma and his wife currently have two children together and she is one of his three current spouses.
In February, Zuma was forced to apologise after admitting he had fathered a child out of wedlock with the daughter of his friend Irvin Khoza, a senior figure in South Africa’s World Cup organization.
On Monday, the opposition Congress of the People (COPE) women’s wing called for the scrapping of polygamy or allow women to have numerous husbands and boyfriends.
Congress of the People Women’s Movement said in statement, “Cope Women’s Movement believes that polygamy must be abandoned by all progressive and right-thinking men, or alternatively that women should also be allowed to have numerous husbands and boyfriends”.
Cope is a breakaway party from the ruling African National Congress.
In a survey conducted in January, majority of South Africans said they do not believe a man should have more than one wife.
The poll was conducted to ascertain what South Africans expected of their leaders regarding morality and their private lives.
Seventy-four percent of the 2 000 South Africans surveyed felt that polygamy was a problem, with females more opposed to it than men.
Of the blacks surveyed, 68% were against it, while 86% of whites, 85% of coloureds and 78% of the Indians surveyed disagreed with it.
Sixty-four percent of the men disagreed with having more than one wife and 83% of the women surveyed disagreed.
Only 18% of those surveyed agreed that it was not a problem for a man to have more than one wife.