Former South African president, Jacob Zuma, has reportedly parted ways with his 25-year-old fiancée, Nonkanyiso Conco. A well known polygamist, Face2Face Africa reported Zuma, 78, was planning to marry Conco, a KwaZulu-Natal native, back in 2018. That was set to be his 7th marriage.
According to News24, Conco, who met Zuma at a Zulu reed dance when she was 19 and share a son together, has moved out of the Ballito residence the ex-President rented for her. The pair reportedly split last year.
Conco’s father revealed he hasn’t been in contact with his daughter for a while and was never in support of their union in the first place, adding that Zuma, who is 53 years her senior, never paid her lobolo (bride price). He also said he had heard about their split and was told his daughter has moved to her mother’s house in Eastern Cape.
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“She blocked me on all her contacts, but I know that she does not stay in Ballito any more. I wish she would come back home if Zuma is no longer able to maintain her,” her father said.
Conco, who was reportedly a former director of a culture and youth development organisation aimed at protecting the cultural practices of young Zulu women, has deleted all photos of her and Zuma on her Instagram.
“The split was put under wraps. Nonkanyiso received a strong warning from the Zumas that she must not reveal the separation, to avoid media attention,” a source said, according to News24.
There were rumors of the pair having issues early this year when Conco reportedly shared a social media post appearing to call out Zuma for being absent in their two-year-old son’s life. Speaking to the Sunday Tribune in February, Conco, however, denied the rumors, saying Zuma missing out on important events in their son’s life was expected because he has a large family and is also a public figure.
“Any person with common sense would understand that a man who was a head of state and has such a large family wouldn’t have time for things like walking a child to a park, attending doctor’s appointments or just to buy ice cream at a mall every day,” she said.
“We all know for a man like Mr Zuma it’s impossible to run family errands every day or to be there for every special day. He missed our son’s first birthday celebration I hosted last year because he was out of the country, but this year could be different. He misses many of our son’s milestones. However, we can’t expect him to be there every day.”
Conco was set to be Zuma’s 4th wife as he is currently married to three women: first wife, Gertrude Khumalo, whom he married in 1973 after he was released from prison; Thobeka Madiba and Gloria Ngema, who he married in 2010 and 2012 respectively.
The polygamous ex-president was married to the former African Union Commission chairperson, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, a marriage that ended in divorce. He lost his second wife, Kate Mansho, to suicide in 2000.
Zuma separated from his youngest wife, Nompumelelo Ntuli, whom he married in 2008. She was removed from his house in Nkandla in 2016 after she was accused of infidelity and planning to poison him.