‘I’m happy he’s no longer a president’

Jacob Zuma is undeniably still bitter at those who orchestrated his spectacular demise as president on Valentine’s Day in 2018.

But, in a candid interview with The South African, his younger brother Khanya, 75, said he was happy Jacob Zuma left the Union Buildings because he would have been heavily blamed for COVID-19.

“You see now that this COVID-19 pandemic is spiralling out of control, if he was still president my brother would have faced heavy criticism for something that is beyond his control. Am I lying?”

he asked, whimsically.


Zuma was forced to resign by his own party in 2018, 16 months before his term expired, citing a litany of controversies that shadowed him in the latter part of his presidency.

He fought brutally to remain the president but his party stood its ground: Resign or face parliamentary impeachment.  

Cornered, he relented and exited the Union Building a bruised and battered man, hungry for revenge.

Khanya, who likened his brother to a soldier who hoisted South Africans into the promise land, concedes that his removal from office irked him.

“I was angry then, I don’t want to lie. I was bitter at comrades who treated him like trash when he had done wonderful things for this country. But now, I’m ecstatic because he doesn’t have to be blamed for coronavirus. He doesn’t have to be blamed for people’s deaths. But I think he would have done,”

said Khanya.


As if they were both reading from the same scripts, Zuma, like his brother, once said he was being blamed for everything wrong that happened in the country.

Khanya lived on the perimeters of Zuma’s homestead in Nkandla and said he spent time with his brother when he is at  home.

“We sit and reminisce about the good old days we shared growing in the rural village of Nkandla,”

he said.

In his jovial mood, Zuma once said, South Africans would even blame him for forgetting to tie their own shoelaces.

Turning back to that odd statement, Khanya said:

“That was true. As I’m saying that man was blamed for everything that was wrong but no one gave him a pat on the back when he did things correctly.”

Like his brother, Khanya believed the charges that Zuma faced were “cooked” by his detractors.


Zuma was expected to return at the Pietermaritzburg High Court later in 2020 where he faced charges of corruption, money laundering and racketeering stemming from the multi-billion rand arms deals in the 1990s.

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