Jacob Zuma’s brother, Khanya Zuma, at his home in Nkandla. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo / ANA
Jacob Zuma’s brother, Khanya Zuma, at his home in Nkandla. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo / ANA

Jacob Zuma's brother: We've been sharing some priceless moments

By LUNGANI ZUNGU Time of article published Mar 25, 2018

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DURBAN - THERE are similarities in the dramatic demise of former presidents of South Africa and Zimbabwe, Jacob Zuma and Robert Mugabe, but the difference is that Zuma is not bitter.

This is the view of Zuma’s brother, Khanya, who has been spending a lot of time with him at his Nkandla home since he resigned as president last month, after mounting pressure for him to leave.

And if you have been wondering what Zuma has been up to since, Khanya has the answer. “We sit under the tree and watch livestock grazing in the fields in our beautiful village of KwaNxamalala with my brother. Those are priceless moments we share lately. He is a happy man.”

Like Zuma’s eldest son, Edward, Khanya lashed out after an animal anti-cruelty organisation released a statement this week, saying it had received complaints of animals being abandoned at Zuma’s homestead.

The National Council of SPCAs was denied access to the property this week after it had allegedly received complaints of animal neglect. The SPCA was eventually allowed in after obtaining a court order.

“That’s utter nonsense. Animals are always well looked after here,” said Khanya.

When Zuma resigned, his then deputy, Cyril Ramaphosa, took over the highest seat.

Likewise, when Mugabe was forced out of Munhumutapa Building in Harare during a soft coup in November, his ally-turned-foe, former deputy president Emmerson Mnangagwa, succeeded him.

Both were forced by their own parties, the ANC and Zanu-PF, to resign.

Zuma was still seen campaigning for his party ahead of next year’s general elections.

But the same cannot be said of Mugabe, who was believed to be campaigning for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). The elections are expected to take place before July.

And while Khanya and neighbours were delighted at seeing Zuma at home more often, many are still livid following his fall from grace.

The former president is catching up with relatives since leaving office.

Busisiwe Hadebe, 68, who lives a stone’s throw away, said: “I’m happy that he is back here. I recently saw him at his home but I couldn’t get a chance to go and greet him. He seemed busy. We want to give him space to settle and then we will officially welcome him back.”

The Msholozi branch in Nkandla, which Zuma’s eldest son, Edward, contested to be chairperson but lost to Doctor Bhengu last year, was planning a welcoming ceremony.

“We spend a lot of time with my brother reflecting on our childhood days. We didn’t have time when he was president to talk because he was always busy,” said Khanya.

Khanya said Zuma has lived according to the tradition they were taught by their elders while growing up, which was to wake early in the morning and start their daily chores.

“He’s up at 4am every day, no matter how late he slept.”

Khanya, also a card-carrying member of the ANC, said Zuma has not uttered a word about leaving the ANC.

“The ANC is his home. He grew up in the ANC, that’s why you see him campaigning for the ANC when he is deployed by the current leadership to do so.”

Khanya, 72, said he cherished every moment with the former president.

On the reinstatement of the 16 charges against Zuma by the National Prosecuting Authority, Khanya said: “I’m angry that he is being treated like this. He did not fight against the evil apartheid system to be treated like this. I will support him all the way and I’m sure the community in Nkandla will do the same.”

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