Senior Zuma family members have stated that outgoing African Union (AU) chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has a house allocated to her at Nkandla and has been visiting the homestead quite often in the past two years.
The home is a thatched dwelling at the southernmost part of the complex. President Jacob Zuma and Dlamini-Zuma share four daughters together and were married for 16 years before divorcing in 1998. They have had a cordial relationship since, working as part of the same administration in government under Thabo Mbeki.
Zuma has now endorsed Dlamini-Zuma as a candidate to run against Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa after he said the ANC was ready for a woman leader.
Zuma relatives said Dlamini-Zuma had spent more time in Nkandla, and family members were getting used to seeing her at family events and functions, according to the Sunday Times.
“There is no divorce in our culture. She [Dlamini-Zuma] comes here often. This is her home and nothing happens here without her.”
“Yes, she has a house that she uses in the complex, and it’s used by her and her children whenever they are around,” said another close Zuma relative.
When questioned about these claims, Vukani Lumumba Mthintso, Dlamini-Zuma’s spokesperson, said it was not true, and rather she was based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where the AU headquarter are situated.
“You understand that she is divorced from the president, right? How can she also live in his Nkandla home? Even the other wives will never allow that,” Mthintso said.
“You should be writing about the legacy she is leaving for Africa. Before her, there was no vision for Africa, but today there is 50% women representation at the AU. Let’s write about what Africa has achieved. This is not going to help us. Think of it: Nkandla and Africa.”