South Africa: The Merry Wives of Nkandla – We Know What They Did This Summer


In this Trumpian, boundary-free age of social media oversharing, ordinary citizens are able to follow elected officials as they party, attend fashion shows and record their culinary adventures in some of the country’s top restaurants. We are even able to virtually enter the intimacy of the homes of those we have elected to govern. And while President Jacob Zuma suffered several crippling setbacks in December, including watching his former wife Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma lose the race to the presidency of the ANC to Cyril Ramaphosa, over at Chez Zuma, a parallel universe throbbed in the summer heat. Meanwhile, outside the circle of sunshine, second First Lady Nompumelelo Ntuli threatened to sue SAPS for accusing her of trying to poison her husband. By MARIANNE THAMM.

It is fourth First Lady, Madam Thobeka Madiba-Zuma, viewed as the most glamorous and outgoing of President’s Zuma’s wives, who is most comfortable sharing (and at times oversharing, as we shall see) intimate details of her relationship with No 1, their and his other children as well as the goings-on at the First Home, paid for by taxpayers, Nxamalala in the Nkandla foothills.

Madiba-Zuma, who employs hashtags as emotional punctuation marks, doesn’t miss an opportunity to…