Wedding plans in disarray, bride’s dad ordered to pay
Plans for a wedding are in disarray after the bride’s father was asked to pay a fee for her having a child out of wedlock.
The woman’s father Sbangani Mthethwa (50), refuses to pay saying he was told about the khonza fee when he went to KwaNondayana’s traditional court this week to report his daughter’s wedding.
He claims he was told to pay R250 or cancel the wedding, as his daughter had a child before marriage.
Zenzi Mthethwa (29) and Sihlesenkosi Ndwandwe (32) have a seven-year-old son.
The village chief’s rules say parents of a woman who has a baby before marriage must pay a khonza fee to the local traditional council.
But defiant Sbangani (50) refused. He also said council members assaulted him when he challenged the fee this week.
Meanwhile, Zenzi of Sizilo Village in KwaCeza, and Sihlesenkosi of Hlokolo Village in KwaNongoma, KZN north coast, are sick with worry.
They fear all the preparations will go to waste. The Mthethwa family sent out invitations, bought groceries, hired a tent and booked Hlokolo Primary School.
Zenzi said: “I paid for my wedding gown. The mqombothi is brewing. The food was bought. Guests are arriving.
“I wish my dad would co-operate, but I doubt he will as he’s stubborn.”
Sihlesenkosi said he expected his in-laws to sort out the problem before it disrupted the big day.
“As the Ndwandwe family we are going to slaughter two cows. In KwaNongoma, we have a different way of doing things.”
But Sbangani said: “I went to the KwaCeza Police Station to report that council members ill-treated and humiliated me. The cops refused to open a case.
“They said I must pay the money. But we live in a democracy. I won’t let people exploit me and my family.”
Angry acting chief Muntukayise Buthelezi said: “Villagers no longer pay R250. It is only R100.
“We were trying to fight a high pregnancy rate in our village. We are concerned about women getting pregnant outside marriage.”
Buthelezi said the village was ruled the traditional way.
“A khonza fee is compulsory. That money goes into a trust fund and it pays for council duties.”
Department of Traditional Affairs spokesman Lennox Mabaso said MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube was reviewing traditional customs.
“We urge all people in the village to calm down and let the wedding continue. After that we will tackle the issue.”