Sudanese goat marriage incident
The Sudanese goat marriage incident was a 2006 event and publicity surrounding the 2006 event in which a South Sudanese man named Charles Tombe was forced to "marry" a goat with which he was caught engaging in sexual activity (bestiality) in the Hai Malakal suburb of Juba, South Sudan. The owner of the goat subdued the perpetrator and asked village elders to consider the matter. One elder noted that he and the other elders found the perpetrator, tied up by the owner, at the door of the goat shed. The goat's owner reported that, "They said I should not take him to the police, but rather let him pay a dowry for my goat because he used it as his wife." The perpetrator was thus ordered to "marry" the goat, pay the cost of the goat and pay a dowry of 15,000 dinar (equating to US$50 in 2006, the GDP per capita was US$1,522 for 2008), with half of the dowry up front. The goat apparently acquired the name "Rose" during the elders' deliberations as part of a joke.
The story, first published on 24 February 2006 on the BBC website, attracted massive attention and was republished on numerous newspapers, blogs and other websites. Even a year after publication, the story was consistently among the BBC's 10 most emailed articles, with many visitors to the BBC news site passing the tale on to friends. The story received over 100,000 hits on five successive days long after its original publication, and was read by millions of people. The BBC, astonished at this popularity, wondered if there was a campaign to keep the tale at the top of its rankings; however, an investigation by its senior software engineer, Gareth Owen, determined that the demand was genuine.
On 3 May 2007, it was reported that the goat had died, having choked on a plastic bag. The goat was survived by a four-month-old male kid. The BBC honoured the animal with a mock obituary. The death was also reported in many other news outlets, including The Times, the Daily Mail, and Fox News. In November 2013, the South Sudan Law Society called for a review of all South Sudan's laws to abolish bizarre or cruel practices under customary law, such as "a man being forced to marry a goat called "Rose" after deflowering her."
- Foreign, Our (04/05/2007). "'Man marries goat' captivates millions". London: Daily Telegraph. Check date values in:
- "Goat, married to man, dies after having first kid in South Sudan" by Mogga Mark, Juba Post, 5 May 2007 (hosted by Sudan Tribune), accessed 2008-06-01
- "Sudanese man forced to marry goat", BBC News, 24 February 2006, accessed 2008-06-01
- "Man forced to marry goat in southern Sudan", Juba Post, 25 February 2006 (hosted by Sudan Tribune), accessed 2008-06-01
- Just Kidding, by Adam Curtis, BBC News, 18 September 2006, accessed 2008-06-01
- The goat news story that just won't die by James Silver, The Guardian, 24 April 2007, accessed 2008-06-01
- Sudan's famous goat 'wife' dies, BBC News, 3 May 2007, accessed 2008-06-01
- R.I.P Sudan's married goat, BBC News, 4 May 2007, accessed 2008-06-01
- Rose the goat ‘wife’ chokes to death on a plastic bag, Times Online, 4 May 2007, accessed 2008-06-01 (subscription required)
- Man widowed after his goat 'wife' chokes to death, Fred Attewill, Daily Mail, 4 May 2007, accessed 2008-06-01
- 'Goat Man' of Sudan Becomes a 'Widower', Fox News, 3 May 2007, accessed 2008-06-01
- Hannah Mcneish. (November 2, 2013) South Sudan Fights to Implement Rule of Law AllAfrica.com.