Zuma polygamy cartoon

Zuma polygamy

Zuma and wife number 5, or 6, or 7?

Yesterday, the Sunday Times in South Africa published a scathing Eish! column by Andrew Donaldson titled: “Marrying beneath his nation again”. In this column, Mr Donaldson navel-gazed and bothered himself with some ethical issues. One issue in particular begged him to ask the question whether the South African public should be concerned about Mr Zuma taking on more wives, in accordance with his tribal customs.

To this he commented:

“Yes, we should.

His polygamy – abhorrent, surely, in this day and age – is nothing new but, thanks perhaps to his improved status in recent years, he’s gone about the acquisition of women with the renewed vigour of a drunkard falling of the wagon.”

To be honest, we can’t keep track if Mr Zuma is on wife number 5 or 6 at the moment either but that is not the point of this post. The issue is one of appreciating cultural diversity in South Africa and surely opinions that are blatantly derogatory to other cultures should be kept to oneself out of respect to others if nothing else.

What do you think of Mr Zuma's taking on more wives?

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For those of you lost about Julius Malema’s slow learner reference above, please see the cartoon on Julius Malema matric results.

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  1. Michelle Brown says

    I think Andrew Donaldson’s statement is disgusting and racist. While there are many things I may not agree on about Mr Zuma, this is still the new South Africa and journalism as such should be in that spirit – one of appreciation of cultural diversity. Not a narrow-minded, bigoted view.

    Who is Andrew Donaldson to say another person’s culture is disgusting anyway?!

  2. I think Andrew is out of line to go to the extreem of using such strong and degrading terms in practices he clearly does not understand. Mr Zuma is NOT my favourate person in the country BUT what he does in his personal capacity as long as I don’t have to finace it-I don’t care.So should Andrew. Maybe he (Andrew) should attend a Prof. Tshepo’s class at WITS in African traditions to gain understanding. As a black man I am offended with regards to how he discribed my custom and culture.

  3. Andre Piek says

    So I really can’t believe the votes that are coming through on this poll.. so far 55 people and most seem to be fine with Donaldson’s comment which is clearly not appropriate – it seems lots of people are still stuck in the old South Africa! You don’t have to agree with other people’s customs and traditions but SURELY you should be able to respect them???

  4. From an individual who is of Zulu origin, there is NOTHING sacrosanct about having more than one wife. People determine the terms of their own cultures, and, in this specific case, Zulus choose to practice polygamy.

    On the same note, People shift and change their culture as they see fit. Culture is NOT static.

    Lastly, morality is determined by principles that lie outside BOTH people AND their culture. Whether we want to believe in God or not is immaterial to this point that I am raising, but God prescribes what is moral and we, as people, ought to subscribe to that–including our respective cultures.

    In conclusion, then, here is one Zulu who agrees to Donaldson’s statement BUT on moral terms and the simple fact that there is NOTHING sacrosanct about a cultural practice that allows one man to have a harem of wives. Added to Mr Zuma’s philandering that is SO public, I can just imagine the number of possible AIDS infections in Zuma’s household after his failed AIDS prevention strategy in the shower.

    Let’s get real.

  5. ANONYMOUS says


  6. President Zuma says

    I have been washed clean by the outpouring of desire for a Zulu celebrity to preside over the land and everyone else. If you think having many wives and girlfriends is not healthy, you going to get a big shock. I am not your everyday proven thief, rapist and polygamist. Wash me wash me, clean clean.

  7. i think it is part of Msholozi culture to have many wives AND HE TAKES GOOG CARE OF HIS MANY WIVES AND THEY LACK NOTHING.

  8. oooh.. please, the only persom to jurge polygamt its only GOD himself. instead of supporting our hounerable president you critisis him? NO!

  9. Why worry when the Dog cheer up the moon!!! -i am intitle to my opinion,so take it easy is subject for corrections cheeers!!!!

  10. CultjaVultja says

    Although I value the institution of marriage and family, I am enough of a realist to accept that true fidelity is rarely, if ever achieved. As a result, I accept that children born out of wedlock or as a result of adulterous relationships are a fact of life.

    What I find more difficult to accept is why a man openly engaged in a polygamous lifestyle would still be guilty of “adultery” and fathering children “out of wedlock”. Are his 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7 wives not enough?

    Why doesn’t he simply marry every woman he beds?

    Then again, why marry at all? Surely, marriage becomes a moot point by the time one man has joined himself to yet another woman for the umpteenth time.

    I suggest that Zuma simply beds every woman he finds attractive, whenever he wants…. and then moves onto the next one when he is bored or sees something more appealing on the horizon.

    Each one is then entitled to financial assistance for herself and any children he has fathered at the taxpayers expense, true re-distribution of the country’s wealth?

    An interesting point to consider, if women are constitutionally equal to men, then surely it is reasonable that they should be entitled to the same privileges as their South African brothers.

    Keeping in mind that culture is not a static thing and that it evolves with “the people”, I look forward to the day when my fellow countryWOMEN decide that it is time for them to take 3 or 4 or 5 husbands each.

    Time for a “new culture” to emerge: one woman with several husbands… I am sure that each one of her husbands will be grateful for every moment that “their wife” deigns to spare each of them. I am sure that they would proudly accompany her wherever she chooses, publicly supporting her right to live her life according to her belief system and culture.

    Sorry… what was that?!!! You think she’s sexually promiscuous? You think it is wrong? Or unnatural? Maybe you think it is unfair to her partners? That it degrades them and shows the world that they, collectively, have less value than she does?

    Amazing how unnatural polygamy appears from a slightly different perspective.

    Just because something forms part of a group’s culture, does not mean it should continue ad infinitum. As stated, cultures change and develop with their people.

    It times past, it was common practice in ALL cultures that teenage girls were married as early as possible. Most of these girls would be considered children by modern society’s standards and their husbands would be jailed for pedophilia, but thankfully, even though this was an integral part of our “CULTURE”, we have grown and developed beyond the need to treat our daughters like property and expose them to the dangers of early sex and labour before their bodies and psyches are ready for responsibilities that come with adulthood.

    Well, most of us have… the practice of marrying one’s pre-pubescent and pubescent daughters is still practiced in many less educated, less developed parts of the world!

    And, like polygamy, this practice is still excused and protected by MEN’S RIGHTS TO PRACTISE THEIR CULTURES. Shame!!!

  11. I think that Zuma is trying to nationalise the women of the rsa and to prove that he is not the balless wonder we know him to be


  1. […] seulement c’est la crise pour tout le monde mais de plus les pays où la culture aide encore certains plaisantins à avoir légalement plusieurs femmes ne sont plus […]

  2. […] vu feeling given that it produced a cartoon on the same subject almost exactly a year ago (see the Zuma Polygamy Cartoon). In that article we responded to the Sunday Times’s judgmental Andrew Donaldson column on […]

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