South African President Jacob Zuma has fathered a child with a daughter of a long-time friend who is one of the main organizers of this year’s football World Cup, a newspaper reported on Sunday.
The Sunday Times said that 39-year-old divorcee Sonono Khoza, daughter of football magnate Irvin Khoza, gave birth to a daughter in October.
The child, who has been registered in the name of Thandekile Matina Zuma, is the 20th to be fathered by 67-year-old Zuma, who is a practicing polygamist.
The newspaper quoted a family friend as saying a delegation visited the Khoza family in Soweto township in December on Zuma’s behalf to discuss the customary Zulu payment (inhlawulo) due when a child is born out of wedlock.
Zuma himself then spent an hour discussing the issue with Sonono and her mother Matina in Soweto last month.
Khoza, who is chairman of the World Cup Local Organising Committee (LOC) and owner of the Orlando Pirates team, is said to have told family friends that he felt betrayed by Zuma’s relationship with Sonono as he considered him a friend.
When telephoned for comment, Sonono Khoza told the paper: “I definitely do not know what you are talking about.”
Asked how she felt about her new granddaughter and the fact that Zuma was the father, Matina Khoza said: “No, we are not excited.”
A spokesman for the presidency was not available for comment.
Zuma’s private life was in the headlines last week when he defended polygamy before a panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Zuma, who currently has three wives and has been married a total of five times, dismissed the argument that polygamy was inherently unfair to women and said that those who think their culture is “superior” have a problem.