The 25-year-old son of former president Jacob Zuma died from lupus‚ a statement released by the Zuma family on Wednesday revealed.
“Nhlakanipho Vusi Zuma departed on the 1st July 2018 from complications of systematic lupus erythematosus‚ simply known as lupus‚” the family said.
He is to be buried in Johannesburg this weekend. The service will be held at the Rhema Recreational Centre in Randburg on Saturday morning. He will then be laid to rest at the Westpark Cemetery.
Meanwhile‚ prayers continue at the Zuma family home in Johannesburg.
“We continue to gather together for support and prayers between 18h00-19h00 at home in Forest Town‚” the family said.
A memorial service reserved for only close friends and family of Zuma will be held on Thursday. The family thanked the community for the support they had received.
“The Zuma family would like to express its heartfelt gratitude for the warm messages of support extended to it by the nation both in private and public. Your messages have brought us much needed comfort during this difficult time of grief‚” they said.
According to medical websites‚ lupus is an auto-immune disease. Normally‚ the immune system protects the body from infection. With lupus‚ however‚ the immune system inappropriately attacks tissues in various parts of the body. This abnormal activity leads to tissue damage and illness.
The family said it would gather at home in Forest Town on Wednesday night for prayers to remember Vusi Zuma – who was the youngest son of Zuma and his late wife Kate Mantsho.
A memorial service would be held on Thursday. This will only be open to close friends and family.
The funeral service would then take place on Saturday at 09:00 at the Rhema Recreational Centre in Randburg. Vusi Zuma will be buried at West Park Cemetery.
Vusi was only 8 years old when his mother died‚ the South African Press Assocation said‚ when it reported on her funeral in December 2000.
Kate Zuma, the 44-year-old wife of then Deputy President Jacob Zuma died after taking an overdose of sleeping pills and malaria drugs. In her suicide note, which was attached to the docket, Kate Zuma, 44, described her marriage to Zuma as “24 years of hell”.
Kate Zuma was buried at Johannesburg’s West Park Cemetery after a state funeral at the Standard Bank Arena‚ where Thabo Mbeki and Nelson Mandela were among the mourners who paid tribute to the 44-year-old. Born in Alexandra‚ north of Johannesburg‚ she died in Pretoria but had spent many years in Mozambique where she worked for an airline.
Duduzile Zuma‚ in an archival interview posted by the South African Depression and Anxiety Group‚ said: “I didn’t resent my mother for taking her own life because I was old enough to understand that maybe there were issues in her life that we‚ as children‚ didn’t understand. We also didn’t blame ourselves‚ because it was not about us.”
She said she and her siblings became closer and helped each other through the tough times after their mother’s death.