Monaco royal couple snub Zuma

29 June 2011 - 00:05 By SNE MASUKU
Jacob Zuma. File picture.
Jacob Zuma. File picture.
Image: Supplied

President Jacob Zuma has not been invited to the lavish party being thrown by Prince Albert II of Monaco and South African swimming champion Charlene Wittstock in Umhlanga, north of Durban, to celebrate their marriage.

The couple is expected to treat about 200 "close friends and South African dignitaries" at the luxurious Oyster Box hotel next week, following their wedding in Monaco at the weekend.

The Presidency yesterday confirmed that Zuma had not received an invitation to the local cocktail party.

Presidency spokesman Zizi Kodwa said the party was "definitely" not on Zuma's diary.

"The president will be in Limpopo on Thursday next week, monitoring hospitals in the area. This is an intense programme that is expected to take up the whole day; he is expected to be in Limpopo until very late," said Kodwa.

Zuma would be too busy to attend. "Even if the president's office does get an invite at a later stage, it does not look like he would attend," he said.

While Swaziland's King Mswati has been invited to the cocktail party, Zulu monarch King Goodwill Zwelithini has not received an invitation. The Zulu king's spokesman, Mbonisi Zulu said the royal household was unaware of the function and that it was not on the king's diary.

The two-day royal wedding is expected to bring Monaco to a standstill. Declared a public holiday in Monaco, citizens around the country are expected to watch the wedding live on television.

Oyster Box general manager Wayne Coetser said the hotel would beef up security for the much-anticipated party to ensure that "only invited guests gain access to the venue".

"We want to make sure that there are no gate-crashers. We will have the assistance of the SA Police Service, plus we have hired two security companies to be on guard," said Coetser.

"This is a private function and we will do all we can to ensure that the couple and their guests are able to enjoy the renowned Oyster Box hospitality to the fullest."