Pietermaritzburg - The traditional wedding of Dr Zweli Mkhize’s son, Dedanimabhunu Mkhize, in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday attracted the who’s who of South African politics, business and traditional leadership.
Although Mkhize junior is already officially married to his wife, Sithokozile Mthembu, he decided to host a traditional Zulu ceremony known as uMgcagco.
The ceremony became the talk of the capital city of KwaZulu-Natal and attracted locals and people from afar in equal numbers.
By Saturday morning, there were scores of expensive SUVs lining up to go to the home of the Mkhizes in the township of Willowfountain, just outside Pietermaritzburg.
The high-profile status of the ceremony was confirmed when among those spotted at it were ANC NEC member Dakota Lekgoete, businesswoman owner of Royal AM Shauwn Mkhize, and Inkosi Mabhudu Tembe of the Tembe clan of Mhlabuyalinga.
To signify that it was a Zulu ceremony, most guests were in Zulu, Xhosa and Ndebele traditional attire. So was Mkhize, his wife, Dr May Mashego Mkhize (she donned Ndebele dress), and his son.
WATCH: Zulu maidens takes the centre stage at Umgcagco of Dedani Mkhize and Sithokozile Mthembu in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday. To support the couple is Dr Zweli Mkhize and his wife, Dr May Mashego-Mkhize. @DailyNewsSA pic.twitter.com/Mm0ZdsUFyX— Sihle Mavuso (@ZANewsFlash) May 21, 2022
Within the gigantic Mkhize home, several marquees were set up for various guests according to their status in society.
Although the event was officially billed to start at 11am, it was delayed until at least 2pm.
In cold and rainy weather, Mkhize senior, joined by Zulu regiments, left one of the rondavels in the compound to pick up his son from another house.
They manoeuvred among well-wishers ululating in joy and went to another marquee outside the home where the main dancing for the day took place. Among those who led the dancing were Zulu regiments and maidens.
WATCH: Dedani Mkhize's wife, Sithokozile Mthembu, in a red traditional hat, joins maidens in singing at home of the Mkhizes at Willowfontein township in Pietermaritzburg. Mthembu and Dedani Mkhize, the son of Dr Zweli Mkhize is having Umgcagco ceremony with Mthembu. @DailyNewsSA pic.twitter.com/AefEIVvhaL— Sihle Mavuso (@ZANewsFlash) May 21, 2022
Occasionally, Mkhize junior danced to coded traditional Zulu songs, among them one about a stray bullet that landed in a house through a window. Another song concerned people “who are panicking”.
Zulu traditional songs are usually randomly composed based on someone at the time, and they sometimes take a swipe at enemies perceived or real.
Mkhize senior is one of those believed to be running for the presidency of the ANC, which is up for grabs in December when the party convenes its elective conference.
If he accepts the nomination, Mkhize will be up against the incumbent, Cyril Ramaphosa, whose supporters have already endorsed him for a second term.