A Lupane woman has left her community shocked after it emerged she was married to two men and had children with both of them.
Ms Siphathisiwe Mkandla (48) of Manansa village in Malunku ward cohabited with Mr John Mpala (55) and Mr Dolete Mlotshwa for the past three years.
Mr Mpala collapsed and died at their matrimonial home last month after complaining of chest pains and was buried at his uncle’s homestead in Sindombe area in the same ward. Mr Mlotshwa is a gold panner in Inyathi.
The Chronicle was told that the three lovebirds lived together at Ms Mkandla’s homestead in Manansa village.
Mr Mlotshwa was reportedly once a domestic worker at Ms Mkandla’s homestead before they got married. Messrs Mpala and Mlotshwa would take turns to visit Ms Mkandla in her bedroom hut for conjugal rights, which community leaders described as taboo.
Ms Mkandla confirmed that she was married to the two men and said she loved them both.
“I was pained by my husband’s death. He arrived home at around 6PM coming from a piece job and complained of a painful heart. He collapsed and died immediately after taking a bath. We had separated and he came back home on the insistence of our children who said he was leading a lonely life,” she said.
“At that time I was staying with Mlotshwa who was working in Inyathi and would be away for some time. They were both my husbands and I loved both of them. They never fought and they would buy each other gifts.”
Mr Mpala’s family is reportedly locked in a wrangle with Ms Mkandla over his belongings including cattle, which the woman claims was left for the couple’s children.
Malunku Ward 17 councillor Siduduzile Nkala said the whole community was still in shock.
Headman Ngubo, in whose area of jurisdiction the issue occurred said it was unheard of for two men to marry the same woman and live harmoniously together.
“This is taboo and is unheard of. She was married to two men who stayed together sharing food and they took turns to sleep with her. The woman built her homestead where she lived with both men,” said Headman Ngubo.
“What’s shocking is that the three ate from the same plate as a happy family. The two men had their separate bedrooms and took turns to sleep with the woman in her own bedroom. I told all my village heads that such things should not be allowed because it’s taboo.”
Messrs Mpala and Mlotshwa were literally submissive to Ms Mkandla in whose name the homestead was registered while they were not formally in the village records. Ms Mkandla was initially married to Mr Mpala and separated after bearing three children who are all adults.
Mr Mpala went to stay with his relatives in Sindombe area on the boundary with Nkayi. During their separation, sources said, Ms Mkandla married Mr Mlotshwa with whom she has five children. About three years ago, she reportedly reconciled with Mr Mpala who moved in with her in Manansa and the three started staying together. Before he moved in, Mr Mpala had dragged Mr Mlotshwa to Chief Mabhikwa’s court where he (Mr Mlotshwa) was fined a cow for having an affair with a married woman, The Chronicle understands.