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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.
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.
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.