According to Khanya, Mike moved to Nkandla at age 12, from KwaMaphumulo near Greytown, where he had been living with his uncles.
He immediately took to the area and loved being around his many siblings in the Zuma clan.
Over the years, his illness deteriorated before his family and neighbours, who will remember him for his well-distinguished clan praises in cultural events.
“He knew our uncles’ names and our forefathers. He would call and praise them in such a way that one wouldn’t believe that he was the youngest of the boys. That is a true gift in our culture,” he said.
Khanya added that it would bring peace to the family if their brother, Jacob, was granted permission to attend the funeral.
He said their big brother had been troubled by Mike’s illness for years, having taken him to numerous hospitals and doctors in efforts to improve his health.
‘We have all been saddened by his illness. Jacob was always particularly concerned by his condition. He always spoke with me about being worried at Mike’s health. He made it a point to accompany him to see doctors in hope that his situation would improve,” he said.
The former president has been behind bars since July 8 this year when he started serving his 15-month sentence at Estcourt prison in the Midlands for contempt of court .