Fartescue Conco is hopping mad and says he feels disrespected by the former statesman who – during a telephone conversation that took place before his 24-year-old daughter Nonkanyiso gave birth to Zuma’s child –had promised to pay for his daughter’s hand in marriage.
But, he claims he has yet to receive a cent.
Conco is seemingly estranged from his daughter and reportedly found out that she had given birth via media reports.
“During that time, Nonka had not given birth – even that she delivered I read in the newspapers,” he was quoted saying in an interview with Durban-based Zulu newspaper Isolezwe langeSonto at the weekend.
“At the time, they [Nonkanyiso and her mother] told me Zuma had paid out R184 000 which was used to buy cars.”
Nonkanyiso’s family, however, are refuting the allegations and maintain that Zuma had paid the lobolo “timorously and in accordance with our practices”, Conco family spokesman Shayimamba told Sowetan.
He claims that all is well and that everyone in the family was happy with how the process had been handled.
Nonkanyiso was thrust into the spotlight in April this year when news broke that Zuma intended on taking on a seventh wife.
Days later she was forced to resign from her job at women’s rights advocacy NGO She Conquers because she failed to disclose her relationship with the Zuma and because their partnership is “contrary to the principles and goals of the campaign”, which among others, works to decrease new HIV infection and teenage pregnancy rates among young girls.
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She Conquers Chairperson Legato Morulane said that while the organisation respected Conco’s traditions and her right to love and marry whomever she wishes, it’s aware of its responsibility within the community at large and wouldn’t want to send out contradictory messages to the country’s youth.
“We are fully cognisant and respectful of Ms Conco’s cultural beliefs and practices. However, our primary focus is putting the needs of the young people of this country in the forefront and ensuring we are not sending out contradictory messages,” she said.
“This affiliation is contrary to the principles that the SC campaign stands for.”
Additional reporting by Sowetan