The former president turned 77 while his youngest son, Sakhaumuzi Zuma, turned one.
Zuma started the day with a flurry of wishes on social media, while his wife, Tobeka Madiba Zuma, and partner, Nonkanyiso Conco, also posted messages.
Conco, the mother of Sakhaumuzi, nicknamed “Sakha” by his proud parents, posted a photo of the two special men in her life on Instagram.
“Our memories together are engraved in my mind and heart for a lifetime.
“I do have my days to pour out my heart to you, on our long pillow chats and essay texts, expressing how much I appreciate you,” said Conco.
Zuma and Madiba Zuma started their Friday in Joburg at the funeral service of Serge Mokonyane, the husband of Environmental Affairs Minister Nomvula Mokonyane.
They then boarded a flight to Durban, where they were seated next to TV star Somizi Mhlongo and Bongekile Simelane (Babes Wodumo), who sang “happy birthday” to him.
Also posting on Instagram Madiba Zuma said: “ My Love. I am proud to have such a caring husband. I love you! Darling, today is your day; I hope this, your special day, is full of fun and happiness.
“You are the most kind-hearted and thoughtful husband alive. Loving you is always easy.”
She added: “Cheers honey, I hope I managed to rise to the occasion and made you feel super special because you are indeed a very special part of me.”
A picture of Zuma, Madiba Zuma, his children and a birthday cake accompanied the various posts.
ANC spokesperson Dakota Lekgoete said many ANC members learnt a lot from Zuma.
“Although you have retired, we acknowledge the role you continue to play in the movement.
“On behalf of the membership of the ANC, we extend our best wishes to you on this special day,” he said.
Even the party’s beleaguered secretary-general, Ace Magashule, tweeted a birthday message, and referred to Zuma as ‘president’. Zuma, a well-known ally of Magashule, replied with an encouraging tweet: “Stay resolute during these times.”
Speaking to the Sunday Tribune, Zuma’s oldest son, Edward, said the family planned festivities for the weekend, but the former president would take time to campaign ahead of the elections.
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan also shared a birthday with Zuma.
Zuma sacked Gordhan when he was finance minister. Gordhan was subpoenaed by the public protector, Busisiwe Mkhwebane, on this birthday.
Earlier this week, Zuma’s neighbours in Nkandla complained about the media’s depiction of him. They were angry that he was accused of hiding $30million said to have belonged to Libyan dictator, Muammar Gaddafi.
“Back when everyone was investigating Zuma, why did they not find the money?” said Bongumusa Gcaba.
Zuma denied the reports of the Gaddafi millions.