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Christian Parties Call On South African President Jacob Zuma to Quit Over 'Love-Child'

Published on Wednesday 3rd February 2010

Two Christian political parties have urged South African President Jacob Zuma to resign for fathering a child out-of-wedlock, saying he is undermining government efforts to fight HIV and AIDSs.

"The African Christian Democratic Party is shocked by the report that President Zuma has fathered a love-child with the daughter of his close friend, Irvin Khoza. The birth of this child is a clear indication that Zuma is not using condoms and is undermining the safe sex message of his own government," said the Rev. Kenneth Meshoe, the party president, on 1 February.

Meshoe, a legislator in the country's parliament, said Zuma's behaviour sets a bad moral example, particularly for young men, and is unacceptable in a country that needs moral leaders.

South African newspapers reported the news that Zuma had fathered a child with a 39-year-old daughter of Khoza, the head of the country's top professional football league.

"We believe President Zuma needs counselling and sex addiction therapy, as was recommended for Tiger Woods, who has a similar problem of sleeping around," said Meshoe.

In an editorial headlined, "Shame of the nation", the mass-circulation Sowetan newspaper that has a mainly urban black readership said on 1 February, "In a different democracy, the latest scandal to hit President Jacob Zuma would have been enough for him to stand down as head of State."

The Rev. Theunis Botha, head of the Christian Democratic Party, said the country needs a leader acting as a moral compass. Botha urged: "Mr President, please resign for the good of the country." He added that, as South Africa gears up to host the 2010 World Cup football tournament, mockery of the presidency is the last thing it needs.

Zuma is a polygamist, who defended his lifestyle during the World Economic Summit in Davos, Switzerland, on 28 January, saying his multiple marriages are part of his Zulu culture and do not detract from his belief in the equality of women.

The 67 year-old Zuma wedded his fifth wife in a traditional ceremony on 4 January and also announced an impending union with another fiancée, raising criticism from those who support monogamy.

The president is married to Sizakele Khumalo, whom he married in 1973, and to Nompumelelo MaNtuli-Zuma, after a 2007 wedding. He had been married to home affairs minister, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, whom he divorced in 1998, and to the Kate Mantsho Zuma, who committed suicide in 2000. Zuma is said to have about 20 children.

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