Polygamy in South Africa
While polygamy and civil recognition of polygamous marriages are illegal, South African customary law affords a generous amount of benefits to polygamous unions, ranging from inheritance rights to child custody, thanks to a 1998 law that allowed for such.[not in citation given] South African traditionalists have been well known to practice polygamy and the topic has been a serious political issue in the past several years, especially in the 2009 elections. Many of the indigenous Bantu peoples, both Christians and Indigenous, are polygamous and Islamic South Africans such as the Cape Malays, Cape Coloureds and Indian South Africans who are Muslim also allow for polygamy.
Jacob Zuma, the current president of South Africa, is a self-proclaimed polygamist. He has been married five times, and is currently married to four different women. He has reportedly fathered 20 children among his wives and mistresses.[not in citation given]