Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
6 Apr 2017
2:06 pm

The ‘Nathi Mthethwa is Zuma’s son’ rumours that just won’t go away

Citizen Reporter

There is an apparent resemblance between Mthethwa and the president, according to those who refuse to believe they are not related.

President Jacob Zuma shares a toast with then Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, as Zuma celebrated his 70th birthday at Luthuli House on April 12, 2012. Picture: Gallo Images

There is a persistent rumour that has been circulating on Twitter so often that it’s almost gained the veneer of being an accepted fact – and that is that Minister of Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa is President Jacob Zuma’s son.

The rumour, which dates from at least 2011 on Twitter, appears to be based primarily on claims that the president and Mthethwa have strikingly similar features, while Zuma allegedly dated Mthethwa’s mother in the 1960s.

However, the rumour cannot possibly be true since the president was, from 1963 to 1973, imprisoned on Robben Island. For the 10 years that he was on Robben Island, Zuma never received a single visitor. His mother, a domestic worker, was unable to afford the fare, according to SA History Online.

Mthethwa was born in 1967.

Have a look at the remarkable resemblance for yourself though:



The rumour has again resurfaced following the president’s Cabinet reshuffle last week, with people wading in with their theories to explain how and why Zuma appointed, shuffled and fired ministers.

Mthethwa, who remained the arts and culture minister despite last week’s purge, is married to businesswoman Philisiwe Buthelezi Mthethwa, who, according to the rumours, is the sister of the new deputy minister of finance, Sifiso Buthelezi.

Yoh! As if Zuma doesn’t have enough children already, Twitter is determined to make the family tree even bigger.

This is what people have been saying on the social media network through the years:

Other people who are related to the president, according to the rumours, are Eskom chairperson Dr Ben Ngubane, and former police minister Nathi Nhleko (now the minister of public works), whose father is apparently Zuma’s brother from KwaMaphumulo in KwaZulu-Natal.

A list of new ministers has been circulating on Facebook showing how most of them are from KwaZulu-Natal, leaving those who shared it alleging that tribalism is alive and well in government.

Find the list below:

SA President – KZN

Minister of Justice – KZN

Minister of Police – KZN

Minister of State Security – KZN

Minister of Communications – KZN

Minister of Public Enterprises – KZN

Minister of Social Development – KZN

Minister of Correctional Services – KZN

Minister of Finance – KZN

Minister of Higher Education Minister – KZN

Minister of Labour – KZN

Minister of Home Affairs – KZN

National Director of Public Prosecutions – KZN

Head of the Special Investigative Unit – KZN

Cosatu President – KZN


What do you think?

Also read:

Is Hlaudi’s mom Zuma’s sangoma?