21 July 2024 | 05:52 AM

MaNtuli fined one goat for bad behaviour

Key Takeaways

President Jacob Zuma’s second wife, Nompumelelo Ntuli, was fined a goat in April as punishment for bad behaviour.

The goat was allegedly presented to Zuma as an apology for offending him, following reports that she was unhappy with the president taking another wife.

In a ceremony at Zuma’s Nkandla homestead, MaNtuli, accompanied by her family, presented Zuma with a white goat, which was slaughtered later in the day.

A source close to the family told the Mail & Guardian that MaNtuli “went beserk” in December last year when Zuma invited her to Mahlamba-Ndlopfu, the presidential guesthouse in Pretoria, to announce that he was tying the knot again.

MaNtuli allegedly “broke the security gates and demanded a taxi. When the security guards came after her, she allegedly went to another gate, gate four. The house manager had given instructions to the gatekeeper not to open [it], but she fought him,” the source said.

“After hitting the police [who guard Zuma], MaNtuli’s personal bodyguard was called. He later managed to get her into the car and drove her to the airport to catch a plane to Durban and her Morningside home.”

In her rage MaNtuli allegedly swore to Zuma’s third wife, Thobeka Madiba, that she would not attend the wedding. But she apparently changed her mind and arrived at Zuma’s Nkandla homestead in good spirits a day before the event. But later that day Zuma allegedly asked her to leave.

The M&G has also established that in the past year MaNtuli has fired six domestic workers, one of whom has taken her to the Labour Court in Durban to recover four months’ worth of allegedly unpaid wages.

The workers, who include MaNtuli’s half-sister, have also laid a complaint about non-payment of wages with the spousal support office in the presidency.

A source close to the family alleged that MaNtuli left for a two-month visit to New York last October without paying the four domestics and that they were later paid after Zuma’s intervention.

The news comes after reports that MaNtuli has vacated her posh Durban residence in a sign that her relationship with the president is strained. The house belonged to a Zuma backer, Abdul Malek, and MaNtuli’s stay was allegedly funded by a businessman and Zuma intimate, Erwin Ullbricht. MaNtuli has since moved to a house in La Lucia.

A domestic worker, who asked not to be named, confirmed that she had approached the Labour Court for redress. “I am the only breadwinner in my family and I’m suffering. She doesn’t answer any of my calls and messages. She has acted very badly towards me,” she said.

She said that she had gone to Ma­Ntuli’s home in Innes Road, Morningside, and rang the doorbell for two hours.

Another source close to MaNtuli said that the president’s wife had a reputation for not paying her creditors or people who worked for her.

According to the source, MaNtuli bought clothes at Paloma Boutique in Rosebank, Johannesburg, before her trip to the G8 summit in Italy last year and did not pay for them for at least three months.

Paloma confirmed that MaNtuli occasionally bought clothes from the shop but denied having payment problems with her.

On Tuesday the M&G received an anonymous fax signed “concerned family members” alleging that MaNtuli’s behaviour was tarnishing Zuma’s image and that of the ANC.

The two-page fax included details of MaNtuli’s alleged misconduct, which the M&G could not substantiate.

According to the source close to the family, it was these negative reports that eventually led to Zuma taking action against his second wife.

The presidency told the M&G it does not have information about Mrs Zuma’s private household arrangements. “It’s a private matter between Mrs Zuma and the said workers,” said presidential spokesperson Vincent Magwenya.

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Before joining the amaBhungane team in 2017, Micah was the national coordinator for media freedom and diversity at the Right2Know Campaign. He holds a Masters in African Studies from Oxford University and a BA Honours in History from Wits University.

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