08 February 2010
By Taban Matibe
The hot issue in the streets of South Africa amongst the rich and poor is President Jacob Zuma’s extramarital affair with his friend (Irvin Khoza) ‘s daughter, Sonono Khoza. The news was triggered by a child that Zuma recently fathered out of wedlock with Sonono.
After the call by the ANC Youth League, to ceasefire, one would have expected the dust to have settled in the case of President Jacob Zuma and his ‘private life’. But as soon as one steps into public places one does not miss heated debates around the issue.
In a taxi from Alexandra to Rosebank, filled with elderly people as well as young people, the conversations were not different. At first it was a discussion of polygamy and whether or not it’s acceptable.”If you have money there is no problem” a passenger only identified as Jabu reiterated what seemed to be the opinion of most elderly people. Most of them said even their fathers “had many wives”.
But it was Mpho Ramaphosa, a wits student, who then put it into perspective. That even if polygamy is acceptable in our cultures “what Jacob Zuma is doing is no longer polygamy it is infidelity and it is not acceptable in our culture!” A fellow passenger also indicated that of the recent marriages, Zuma first had kids out of wedlock with these women before marrying them, “which is unacceptable”.
Meanwhile Zuma had issued a statement admitting that he has fathered a child out of wedlock but he dare not call it infidelity. In the statement he blames everyone but himself, including the media for blowing the storm out of nothing. And as has been the pattern, Zuma is reported to have already sent family representatives to the Khoza family. Many South Africans are now asking if this is the end of it or if there are still more kids out of wedlock to come. The ANCYL has called on the people to close this chapter since Zuma has come out, but this doesn’t seem to be the case.
In social network groups like Facebook, angry young people have vented their anger on the ‘walls’, some even calling for the resignation of President Jacob Zuma. The Citizen Newspaper even went as far as comparing him with his political nemesis, Thabo Mbeki, claiming that “Zuma is worse than Thabo Mbeki”. A claim which will undoubtedly anger many in the Zuma-camp of the ANC and please those who have always questioned his morals; after Zuma had unprotected sex with an HIV positive daughter of his old ‘friend’. It seems Zuma has a strong weakness of desiring his friends’s daughters, which behaviour is unbecoming. Who amongst Zuma’s frinends is next in line to convert into a grandfather?
But as for Thembi, a young woman from Mpumalanga, it’s a different case altogether “This is just too much; I think Zuma must just resign and first learn how to handle his own private life. He is a sex addict and morally loose”.