It was a wonderful occasion in 2002 when President Jacob Zuma paid ‘lobola’ for his Swati sweetheart, Princess Sebentile Dlamini. The Swati royal family expected that shortly thereafter, there would be a wedding and the princess would be welcomed into the Zuma home. That has not happened and the royal family is not impressed with the president of South Africa.
Sources within the family told Sunday World that King Mswati III is piling the pressure on Zuma to finish what he started. King Mswati is the half-brother of Princess Sebentile Dlamini. Going through the entire marriage process will see the princess becoming South Africa’s fifth first lady.
It is said that when Prince Masitela visited South Africa in June to send well-wishes from the Swati Royal House to the Mandela family, the subject of the wedding was also on his agenda with President Zuma. The prince declined to give specifics of his visit but did say: “Yes, I met President Zuma in Pretoria and I visited the former president in hospital.”
This delay in making the princess the next Mrs. Zuma is not ideal. Seeing as the president has announced his intention to marry her by paying ‘lobola’ 11 years ago, she is not eligible to anyone else. The princess has not been available for comment. It seems the lovebirds are determined not to let their relationship play out in the tabloids. President Zuma is also keeping quiet.
Princess Sebentile Dlamini is an entrepreneur. She owns a number of businesses including a hair salon. The princess is a regular in the news headlines in Swaziland. She was once employed as a policewoman. A scandal broke out when it was revealed that she had continued to receive a salary even after she had left the force.
It can’t help the situation that after paying ‘lobola’ for the Swati princess, Zuma paid ‘lobola’ and without much delay, married the mother of his two children, Nompumelelo Ntuli. The princess was severely depressed and ended up in hospital when she found out about her fiancé’s wedding. A source close to the family said that the princess was hurt that the wedding was covered quite extensively by the media and she could not escape that the president continued to make her wait while he took another wife. The princess felt humiliated.
President Zuma has a lot on his plate with the elections next year, the much-awaited ‘Nkandlagate’ report and the outcome of the arms deal inquiry. It is not clear if he will have even have the time to make plans for another wedding any time soon.