Saneie Masilela and Helen Shabangu renew vows
Saneie Masilela and Helen Shabangu, nine and 62 years old respectively, renewed their vows in front of other villagers last week in Kildare Village, MpumalangaBarcroft TV screenshot

A nine-year-old has remarried his 62-year-old wife in South Africa as part of a ritual to appease his dead ancestors.

Saneie Masilela and Helen Shabangu renewed their vows in front of villagers in Kildare Village, in the eastern province of Mpumalanga.

The boy became one of the world's youngest grooms last year after he felt called by his deceased ancestors to form a union with Shabangu, which caused an international outcry.

It is tradition for a couple to declare their vows in both their homes, which is why Saneie and Helen held another ceremony this year at the bride's house in Ximhungwe, in Mpumalanga.

Saneie's s family paid £500 to Shabangu, who is already married with five children by her 67-year-old husband Alfred, and forked out a further £1,000 for the wedding day.

"People keep asking will they live together, sleep together, have babies, but I keep telling them that after the wedding everything went back to normal – nothing changed," Saneie's mother, Patience, said.

"All this ceremony is for making ancestors happy. We are playing. If we hadn't done what my son had asked then something bad would have happened in the family."

Saneie recognises that it is a ceremonial marriage and looks forward to his first real marriage.

"I told my mother that I wanted to get married because I really did want to," he said. "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."

Alfred said he would support his wife despite facing criticism from villagers.

"My kids and I are happy because we don't have a problem with her marrying the boy – and I don't care what other people say," he said.