Chikane branded a liar by Jacob Zuma's children

Frank Chikane.
Frank Chikane.
Felix Dlangamandla, Netwerk24

A two-part video conversation between former president Jacob Zuma and his son Duduzane has created controversy, culminating in two of his children calling former ANC NEC member Frank Chikane a liar. 

During the first part of the conversation dubbed "Zooming with the Zuma's", Duduzane goes into detail about the events surrounding his mother Kate Mantsho Zuma's suicide. 

He detailed how, after he witnessed his mother's non-responsive body, he found a suicide note which then-director gerenal in the Presidency, Chikane, took from him shortly thereafter. 

"The last time I saw that note was when he took it from my hands," Duduzane tells his father.

Reacting to the broadcast, Chikane cautioned the former president and accused the younger Zuma of creating "falsehoods".

"As a matter of respect for Mama Kate Mantsho Zuma, I have decided not to respond to falsehoods about the suicide note. Jacob Zuma should take responsibility to correct his son because he knows the truth. I hope he has done so, or will still do it," he tweeted. 

Speaking to News24 on Friday morning, Edward Zuma, one of the former presidents more vocal sons, said Chikane was lying. 

"I was there. I saw what happened. I don't know why the reverend is lying, but I saw him with the note. He took it," Edward said. 

Duduzane's twin, Duduzile Zuma, took to social media to relay her own recollection of the day her mother died. 

Reacting to Chikane's tweets, Duduzile said she recalled how her bothers Edward, Duduzane and Mxolisi had carried her mother's body to the ambulance, with the help of Chikane.

"I hear your distinct voice. Moments later, I hear a commotion in the passage, I peek. I see the struggle to carry my mother to the waiting ambulance. I see my brave brothers, Edward, Saady and Duduzani carrying my mother. I see you too," she said. 

The 44-year-old wife of Zuma died after taking an overdose of sleeping pills and malaria drugs in December 2000, Sunday Times reported.

In her suicide note, which was attached to the docket, Kate Zuma described her marriage to Zuma as "24 years of hell". The couple had four children.

She was given a state funeral that was addressed by then-president Thabo Mbeki and Nelson Mandela.

When asked for comment, Chikane said the the facts around that period had been presented in an inquest and, out of respect for his relationship with the late Kate Zuma, he did not want to comment further.

"I don't want to engage in the matter. What happened during that period was archived. What I said, even at the inquest, should be easily available and the facts should speak for themselves."

One of Zuma's ardent defenders, Ekurhuleni Mayor Mzwandile Masina, however spoke out against the Zuma family, saying the videos were in bad taste. Masina was referring to Duduzane's reference to events surrounding Deputy President David Mabuza's alleged poisoning.

In part one of the video, Duduzane tells his father how he arranged transport for Mabuza to Russia to receive treatment. 

Calling Duduzane's story insensitive, Masina said focus must be on the coronavirus pandemic. 

- Additional reporting by Tshidi Madia

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