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Posted Monday, January 7, 2007
S. Africa's possible next president, Zuma, 65, takes fourth co-wife of 33
By Reuters

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Jacob Zuma, the newly elected leader of South Africa's ANC, took a fourth wife on Saturday in a low-key ceremony in his KwaZulu-Natal homeland.

Zuma, who is well placed to become his country's next president in 2009, married 33-year-old Nompumelelo Ntuli, the mother of two of his children, his personal assistant said.

The 65-year-old Zuma has previously married five times and is believed to have 14 children. Traditional Zulu culture allows him to take more than one wife.

Zuma and South African Foreign Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma divorced in 1998 and another wife committed suicide in 2000. His other three wives live in KwaZulu Natal.

Journalists were initially barred from attending the wedding but were later allowed to cover a traditional Zulu dance that was part of the ceremony, the SAPA news agency said.

Zuma, who was elected president of the ruling ANC last month, beating President Thabo Mbeki, is facing charges of corruption, fraud, money laundering and racketeering, and will stand trial in August.

Prosecuting Zuma could derail his hopes of succeeding Mbeki, who must step down as national president in 2009.

Zuma was acquitted in a rape trial in 2006, when he justified having unprotected sex with an HIV-positive woman by saying he had taken a shower afterwards.

(Reporting by Serena Chaudhry; Editing by Giles Elgood)

Copyright 2008 Reuters Ltd.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Long before a verdict of non-culpable was returned in favor of Mr. Zuma last year, after he was accused of raping an HIV suffering woman, his long questionable intelligence was invited to say he did not contract the virus that causes AIDS because he took a shower in the immediate aftermath of beding her.   

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