Zuma's love child with friend's daughter
South African President Jacob Zuma shares a joke with a family member during his traditional wedding to Tobeka Madiba, his fifth wife
By Prega Govende
President Jacob Zuma is reported to have fathered a child with the daughter of a long-time friend, Irvin Khoza, according to the Sunday Times of South Africa.
This brings to 20 the number of children known to have been fathered by President Zuma - along with the 19 he is officially said to have had, with his ex-wife, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Kate Zuma, who has since died, and his current wives and girlfriends.
The birth of Baby Thandekile Matina Zuma, now nearly four months old, on October 8 last year, came barely three months before the country's most famous polygamist tied the knot for the fifth time.
Baby Thandekile's mother, Ms Sonono Khoza, who is a 39-year-old divorcée, was pregnant when her father, who is the Orlando Pirates boss and chairman of the soccer World Cup local organising committee, was invited to share the stage with the newly-elected president during a post-election bash at Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal, in June last year.
It is unclear whether the "Iron Duke", as he is known, knew then who was the father of his unborn grandchild.
Ms Sonono, who has two other children from a previous marriage, is an events manager of a Johannesburg bank.
A close family friend told the Sunday Times that a delegation from KwaZulu-Natal, acting on Mr Zuma's behalf, visited the Khoza family in December last year to discuss the Zulu customary damages, inhlawulo, that are due when a child is born out of wedlock.
On January 17, Mr Zuma visited the Khoza family, and spent almost an hour with Ms Sonono and her mother, Ms Matina.
When the Sunday Times contacted Ms Sonono for comment on Friday, she said: "I don't know what you are talking about," before terminating the call. She did not respond to an SMS asking for comment.
Asked how she felt about her new grandchild and the fact that Mr Zuma was the father, Ms Matina responded: "No, we are not excited."
Mr Khoza, whose youngest daughter, Zodwa, died of Aids-related complications in 2006, was not home for either of the two meetings.
Several family friends told the Sunday Times that Mr Khoza felt betrayed and humiliated by the president's relationship with his daughter, particularly as he considered Mr Zuma - who is six years older than him - a friend.
Mr Khoza was awarded an honorary doctorate in philosophy from the University of Zululand for his role in the development of sport while Mr Zuma was chancellor of the institution in 2004.