'Everything at a standstill' for couple who got married during lockdown
Jabulani Zulu, 48, and his wife, Nomthandazo, 38, were not deterred by the 21-day lockdown and got married last week Saturday.
But just after they had said their “I do’s”, and their hundreds of guests were about to enjoy the feast laid out, police ended the celebrations, arrested the couple, and dispersed the crowd.
The couple appeared at the Nkandla Magistrate’s Court and were granted R1 000 bail each.
When approached for comment by the Sunday Tribune, Zulu, a school principal, “thanked God he was officially married”, but would not give further details about the dramatic wedding day.
“Everything is at a standstill for now, but we are officially married. The matter has been handed over to my lawyers so I cannot say much,” said Zulu.
Zulu’s brother, Fana, was more forthcoming. He said the police arrived while the proceedings were under way. He said the guests - hundreds of people had been invited, and attended the wedding - were ordered to disperse before they could enjoy the food provided.
Zulu said it was the most humiliating moment ever experienced in his village, as many people had arrived in a jovial mood and were dressed for the occasion.
He admitted that the entire village had been warned by the local chief not to hold any gathering, except for a funeral, as per the government directive for the national lockdown.
But his brother could not wait any longer, he said.
“Although they got married there were other important rituals that were still outstanding. The bride had not given umabo (a process where the bride presents her gifts to her in-laws) when the wedding was interrupted.
“Customarily, there was a cow that had to be slaughtered for the bride’s family, which also did not happen. All the guests were ordered to disperse by police while the groom and bride were apprehended,” he said.
Zulu said the family would have to make other arrangements to perform the rest of the ceremony.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo said Nkandla police officers had received information that the couple was to marry at Matshenezimpisi Village.
“They went to the scene and found the suspects, who admitted to having a wedding ceremony. They are due to reappear in the Nkandla Magistrates’ Court in August,” said Naidoo.