Polygamy row clouds British welcome for Zuma
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Last Updated: Wednesday, March 03, 2010, 22:19
London: South African President Jacob Zuma received a royal welcome on Wednesday as he began a state visit to Britain with colour and pomp, although a row over his polygamy threatened to cloud the trip from the start.

Queen Elizabeth II greeted Zuma on London's Horse Guards parade ground before accompanying him in a black-and-gold horse-drawn carriage to Buckingham Palace, where he is staying for the three-day trip.

In an indication of the importance attached to the visit, Prime Minister Gordon Brown skipped his weekly grilling in parliament to attend the ceremony, which launched a packed agenda including a state banquet this evening.

Tomorrow, Zuma will hold talks with Brown in Downing Street, expected to focus on Zimbabwe. His trip also includes sporting events, ahead of the football World Cup in South Africa, which starts in June.

Zuma, 67, left South Africa embroiled in a major scandal over an out-of-wedlock daughter born in October to the daughter of a top World Cup organiser.

She is the 20th child for the polygamist leader, whose latest wife, Thobeka Madiba Zuma, is accompanying him on the trip. In all, the president has had five wives, although one died and he divorced another.


First Published: Wednesday, March 03, 2010, 22:19

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