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Dowry Controversy: Jacob Zuma’s Father-in-law Up in Arms Over Unpaid Lobolo

A war of words has erupted over whether former president Jacob Zuma paid lobolo for his latest fiancé, Nonkanyiso Conco.

Nonkanyiso’s father, Fartescue Conco, said Zuma had not paid a dowry for his 24-year-old daughter, but her brother Shayimamba Conco denied this.

Conco told Durban-based Zulu newspaper Isolezwe langeSonto that the former president had reneged on a promise made to him telephonically that he would pay lobolo for his young bride-to-be.

But, Shayimamba yesterday disputed his father’s statement, saying that the lobolo was paid “timeously and in accordance with our practices”.

Shayimamba, who referred to himself as the “only appointed spokesperson” of the family, told Sowetan that everyone in the family was happy and there were no issues.

This was despite the article reporting how the angry Conco had accused Zuma of disrespecting him after never returning to pay lobolo as he had promised.

Conco told the paper he last spoke to Zuma before his daughter gave birth in April.

“During that time, Nonka had not given birth – even that she delivered I read it in newspapers. At the time, they [Nonkanyiso and her mother] told me Zuma had paid out R184 000 which was used to buy cars,” Conco was quoted saying.


Conco said he felt disrespected by Zuma for not fulfilling his promise as he expected the compensation for the child he raised and sent to the best schools. “She has never attended black schools, she only went to multiracial schools,” he said.

Shayimamba, however, sang a different tune, claiming everyone was now focusing on the new addition in the family.

Asked why his father would be unhappy when everything had been done accordingly, Shayimamba said: “I’m still trying to get to the bottom of this, I haven’t been able to get hold of ubaba [dad].

“The R184 000 is not part of the lobolo and no cars were ever bought, I cannot say what he was referring to there.”

However, the article also quoted Conco claiming that Shayimamba had also distanced himself from the lobolo matter and that Nonkanyiso was apparently no longer taking his calls.

He also said he was shocked when he heard his daughter was dating an old man who was in a polygamous marriage. “But it was too late as it had already happened.”

Zuma’s spokesman Vukile Mathabela referred Sowetan to Ray Zuma, the former president’s brother and family spokesman on such matters.

Efforts to get hold of him were unsuccessful.


Written by MT

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