An 8-year-old schoolboy recently married a 61-year-old woman in a bizarre ceremony that has shocked the world.
Sanele Masilela and mother of five Helen Shabangu, who already has a husband, were wed before 100 friends and family in Tshwane, South Africa. Masilela reportedly wanted to marry Shabangu to please his ancestors.
"Sanele is named after his grandfather, who never had a white wedding before he died so asked Sanele to get married. He chose Helen because he loves her," the boy's 46-year-old mother, Patience Masilela told The Sun UK.
"By doing this we made the ancestors happy. If we hadn't done what my son had asked then something bad would have happened in the family," the superstitious South African native explained.
The bride and groom wore traditional wedding attire and although rings were exchanged, Patience explained that the marriage is not legally binding. At one point, the couple even shared an intimate kiss and while critics cringed, the boy's mother did not mind.
"I didn't have a problem with it because I know it's what the ancestors wanted and it would make them happy," Patience said.
Masilela's family paid approximately $800 in dowry for the bride and an additional $1,300 for the ceremony.
"I told my mother I wanted to get married as I really did want to," Masilela said. "I'm happy that I married Helen. When I'm older I will marry a lady my own age."
The newlyweds do not live together and the union has been described as being more of a ritual, but various critics recently expressed their outrage on social networking site Twitter.
"Can't believe I'm reading about an 8 year old boy marrying a 61 year old woman! #sickworld," Abby Dangerfield tweeted.
"Disgusting! What is wrong with people? This is troubling 'woman 61 weds boy 8,'" Tamara tweeted.
"Gross, where are this boy's parents? '8 year old boy marries 61 year old woman!' She should be locked up," Kassie Marks tweeted.