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Posted: July 21, 2014

Boy, 9, marries 62-year-old mother of five for second time

Sunday Times
Sanele Masilela, a nine year-old married Helen Shabangu, 62, July 12, 2014 in Bushbuckridge, South Africa. Sanele who married Helen last year in a bid to appease his deceased ancestors, repeated the ceremony this year. The wedding is ceremonial and not legally binding, according to family members.

Cox Media Group National Content Desk

MPUMAALANGA, South Africa —

At an age when most boys would be the ring bearer at a wedding, South African 9-year-old Sanele Masilela was the one walking down the aisle … to marry a 62-year-old woman for the second time.

A video from the U.K.-based Barcroft Media shows Masilela, dressed in a silver tuxedo, going through the wedding ceremony with mother-of-five Helen Shabangu in Bushbuckridge, South Africa.

>>Photos: See pictures from the wedding ceremony

According to the South African Sunday Times, both families claim the wedding is simply a "ritual" after Sanele said he was told by his dead ancestors to wed last year.

Masilela and Shabangu originally wed in a similar 2013 ceremony, but South African tradition calls for a second ceremony in order to make the union official.

The Mirror reports villagers described the ceremony as "sickening," but Sanele's family says the union is just a ritual and not legally binding. Masilela and Shabangu do not live together.

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Shabangu is already married. Abel Shabangu, 66, attended both ceremonies.

"My kids and I are happy because we don’t have a problem with her marrying the boy," the Mirror was quoted Alfred as saying. "I don’t care what other people say."

According to the Mirror, Masilela says he wants to marry a bride his own age when he grows up.

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