King Zwelithini to finally wed Zola Mafu
MANZINI – The uNdlunkulu of King Zwelithini of KwaZulu Natal, Zola Mafu, is expected to officially marry the King in a ceremony to be held before the end of the month.
Zola is expected to be the 6th wife of the King who has been on the Zulu throne for decades.
The Zulu King has reportedly paid lobola to the Mafu family, at a cost to the South African taxpayer of E264 000.
The ceremony was reportedly delayed by disagreements between Zola’s parents, over who should receive the lobola.
A South African Zulu newspaper, Ilanga, has reported that King Zwelithini wants to marry Mafu and make her his formal wife following her years of being an uNdlunkulu within the royal household.
The newspaper claims that when the King wanted to pay lobola for Mafu, he encountered a problem as her parents, who had separated at the time the king wanted to pay the lobola, both demanded that the lobola be paid to them.
While Zola’s father held the traditional claim, her mother argued that she had raised Zola and so deserves the lobola.
The situation was so serious that the Swazi royal household was said to have intervened and helped calm the feud, according to Ilanga.
Princess Mantfombi, sister to King Mswati III, is Zwelithini’s first wife.
Mafu already has a daughter with the King Zwelithini, Nhlendlayenkosi, and lives at KaMankengane in Nongoma.
Quoting anonymous sources, the newspaper reports that a few weeks back a small ceremony was held, attended only by the royal household, in which preparations for the big traditional wedding were made.
During the ceremony, Zola is reported to have danced inside the royal cattle byre and a beast was slaughtered on her behalf.
The wedding has been confirmed by a spokesperson for the Zulu royal family, Mbonisi, who told the newspaper that they had indeed done an in-house ceremony in preparation for the wedding.
Sources at the royal family say Zola was seen wearing the inyongo while attending the wedding of another royal family member.
The money spent on Mafu’s lobola was revealed last year during a budget speech by the KwaZulu-Natal Finance and Economic Development MEC, Zweli Mkhize.
During his speech, Mkhize announced that King Zwelithini’s annual budget for 2009 had been increased by E3 million to E42.4 million.