(CNN) -- South African President Jacob Zuma married third wife Tobeka Madiba on Monday in a traditional Zulu ceremony at his rural homestead of Nkandla.
Polygamy is legal in South Africa but remains a subject of contentious national debate. Zuma has married five times in total but has faced criticism from opponents who say the practice is out of step with modern times.
Reverend Theunis Botha, the leader of the opposition Christian Democratic Party, called Monday's ceremony a "giant step back into the dark ages."
Zuma's first wife, Sizakele Khumalo, was among those in attendance Monday to see her husband, 68 this year, marry 37-year-old Madiba.
Photos showed Zuma and his bride, both dressed in traditional Zulu leopardskin, dancing energetically in front of hundreds of guests during the celebrations.
Zuma wed his current second wife Nompumelelo Ntuli two years ago. He divorced home affairs minister Nkosazana Dlamini in 1998 while another wife, Kate Mantsho, committed suicide in 2000.
Zuma has 19 children, according to the Web site of the South African presidency.