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Zuma admits paternity of lovechild

Reacting to criticism over fathering a child out of wedlock, South African President Jacob Zuma said he has performed his obligation by acknowledging the paternity of the baby.

world Updated: Feb 05, 2010 12:47 IST

Reacting to criticism over fathering a child out of wedlock, South African President Jacob Zuma said he has performed his obligation by acknowledging the paternity of the baby.

"I have done the necessary cultural imperatives in a situation of this nature, for example the formal acknowledgement of paternity and responsibility, including the payment of inhlawulo to the family," Zuma said in a statement Thursday.

Zuma, a polygamist with three wives, also said that he has done no harm to his government's anti-AIDS campaign by having an extra-marital relationship.

"I confirm that I have a relationship and a baby with Sonono Khoza. I said during World Aids Day that we must all take personal responsibility for our actions. I have done so," the President said, adding that the matter was now between him and the woman's family.

"It is mischievous to argue that I have changed or undermined the government's stance on the HIV and AIDS campaign," he added.

The baby girl delivered by world cub football's local organising committee chief Irvin Khoza's 39-year-old daughter in October last year became the 20th child fathered by Zuma, 67.

Condemning the media for their way of reporting on the issue, Zuma said that the individuals concerned have been unfairly subjected to harsh media exposure.

He said the naming of the child's parents has essentially exposed her to the public, which has serious implications in the long-term for her, and amounts to exploitation, BuaNews reported.

"It is unfortunate that the matter has been handled in this way. I sincerely hope that the media will protect the rights of children," he said.