- Emotional Jacob Zuma delivered a heart-wrenching tribute to his late son Vusi Nhlakanipho Zuma during the funeral service
- The former president spoke about the pain of losing a child and said Vusi had been different to all his other children
- Vusi died on 1 July from complications with lupus, Zuma lashed out at the media and said negative reports about him had worsened Vusi’s condition
Emotional and visibly shaken Former president Jacob Zuma delivered a heart-wrenching tribute to his late son Vusi Nhlakanipho Zuma during a private funeral service in Johannesburg on Saturday.
Zuma spoke about the pain of losing a child and noted that he and Vusi had shared a very special and different bond to any of his other children.
Mourners said a visibly grief-stricken and teary-eyed Zuma spoke about his relationship with Vusi for about ten minutes. The former president recounted how he and Vusi had bonded while watching cartoons or swimming.
Briefly.co.za gathered that Vusi was the youngest of Zuma’s five children with the late Kate Zuma. The former president noted that he and Vusi became close after Kate’s death because Vusi had been very young at the time.
Zuma said after Kate’s death, he tried to carry on as normal and wanted to watch his usual TV shows, but his young son would be watching cartoons and loved to watch Popeye. Zuma recounted how he and Vusi eventually bonded over the show and how they had learned about each other.
Zuma said Vusi had been a true gentleman with a gentle heart and a glorious soul. He said despite having a large number of children this was the first time he as a parent had experienced the pain of losing a child.
Zuma said the loss of a child was painful beyond anything he could have imagined and had put an enormous strain on him.
SowetanLive.co.za reported that Vusi was diagnosed with the autoimmune disease Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, commonly known as lupus, at the age of 17 in 2009.
Zuma lashed out at the media and partly blamed Vusi’s lupus flare-ups on the constant negative and cruel media coverage of him in recent years.
The media were banned from the funeral service in part because the family believes that the constant negative reporting about the former president had worsened Vusi’s health.
Lupus is made worse by emotional strain.
Zuma said the cruel reports in the media had caused Vusi to suffer many times. He said this sort of situation had been what he wanted to avoid when he had repeatedly told the media that when they report something they should bear in mind that the person they are reporting about has a family.
For more amazing, funny and informative videos, please visit Briefly South Africa's YouTube Channel.
Do you have a story to share with Briefly? Visit our Facebook page where you can send us a message or leave us a comment. Your story could be shared online.