An eight-year-old schoolboy has married a 61-year-old woman because the ghost of his dead ancestor told him to.
Eight-Year Old Sanele Masilela walks down the aisle with his 61-year-old bride Helen Shabangu at their wedding ceremony in Tshwane, South Africa
With this ring: The boy's family say the wedding was simply a ritual and not recognised in law
The widow, who works at a recycling centre, added: 'I would say that this is not wrong.
'Sanele was fine and he was happy about the ceremony and it was what he wanted. He was happy to get married and very excited.'
Sanele and his bride did not sign a marriage certificate and do not have to live together. Both have gone back to their normal lives.
Sanele today said he hoped he would have a proper wedding to a woman his own age when he was older.
He added: 'I told my mother that I wanted to get married because I really did want to.
The big day: Mrs Shabangu is already married and has five children with Alfred, a builder
'I'm happy that I married Helen - but I will go to school and study hard.
'When I'm older I will marry a lady my own age.'
Despite being old enough to be his grandmother, bride Helen, whose children are aged between 37 and 27, was happy with the arrangement.
Helen, who also works at a recycling centre, said: 'I'm married and have five kids of my own, but I know that this is what the ancestors wanted - and now they are happy.
'It is a ritual. We are just playing now, but it is a sign that he will get married one day.'
Her husband of 30 years, Alfred, 65, said: 'My kids and I are happy.
'We don't have problems with it but some of the community members were shocked.'
The couple pose in traditional costume. The £1,500 cost of the wedding included £500 for the bride
Given away: Sanele walks to his wedding with his mother as people look on. The ceremony shocked some people in the community