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Manzini - Khulubuse Zuma, nephew of President Jacob Zuma, presented Swaziland’s King Mswati with 100 head of cattle on Sunday as lobolo for his fiancée, Princess Fikisiwe Dlamini, the king’s niece.
Mswati was delighted by the herd, which conforms to the number of cattle now needed to acquire a woman from the Swazi royal household. In June, Mswati raised the price to take possession of a princess from 60 to 100 cattle.
“They do not appear to be sickly and one can tell that you chose the best,” Mswati told Zuma at a ceremony at Ludzidzini Royal Residence. The two men, both wearing traditional attire of animal pelts, danced some traditional celebration steps together.
Fikisiwe, 31, is Mswati’s niece. The cows paid to acquire her are valued in excess of R400 000.
Ten cows are earmarked for slaughter as part of the impending wedding celebrations. Ten cows were given as “compensation” for the removal of the bride from her homestead and are by custom given to the bride’s mother.
Both the princess’s parents are deceased, but the royal family insisted on the tradition being followed.
The Zuma family delegation was headed by Ray Zuma, chief of KaMpendle in South Africa. His resemblance to his brother Jacob Zuma confused many.
Adding to the confusion was the presence of President Zuma’s wife Nompumelelo Ntuli Zuma.
The bridegroom also presented Mswati and his mother with furniture and blankets.
The ceremony, held in the Grand Room of the palace due to inclement weather, concluded with Zuma and his fiancée performing a traditional dance with Mswati.
The weekend rain, the first of the season, was welcomed by the country, where 70 percent of the population are peasant farmers who rely on rainfall for their crops.
Independent Foreign Service