Insurrection: KZN WhatsApp ‘instigator’ linked to Zuma’s daughter, Brumelda 

Former president Jacob Zuma makes a brief appearance outside his Nkandla homestead on Saturday 3 July 2021 in KwaZulu-Natal flanked by his bodyguards, AmaButho and supporters and MKVA members. The WhatsApp ‘instigator’ has been linked to the Zuma family. (Photo: Leila Dougan)

Following Daily Maverick's article on the young KZN provocateur who called for shutting down the highways, we reveal his links to the Zuma family.


An ANC Youth League member who posted a video of trucks blocking a highway and a voice note calling on comrades to shut down other arterial routes was a business partner of one of Zuma’s daughters.

The video and voice note were posted by Sanele Zakhele Masuku and were first exposed on social media on July 18 by a Twitter account called @CRSupporter, which was first reported on July 30 in the Daily Maverick.

Now amaBhungane can reveal that Masuku is linked to the heart of the Zuma family, via a business, Thokozilethula, registered in 2017 with Zuma’s daughter, Brumelda.

Masuku  said he met Brumelda at the University of Zululand, where she graduated in 2019. She was recently filmed offering support to her father at Nkandla ahead of his incarceration.

Brumelda could not be reached for comment.

In the video, a voice that appears to match Masuku’s says, “I’m very busy… get Nxamalala [Zuma] out.”

The images show trucks blocking all lanes at what appears to be an intersection along the John Ross highway, between Empangeni and Richards Bay. Masuku’s Twitter handle says he is based in Richards Bay.  

Then, a minute later, he posts a recording calling for other routes to be shut down. 

In isiZulu, the voice says, “So, we ask you comrades, that you must get up in your areas, even if it is just ten of you, and stop four trucks in the road and then you’ll be done, and you can leave. Take the keys of those trucks; we thank you.” 

The recordings were posted to a WhatsApp group called “Free Zuma Information”, which includes Carl Niehaus and other prominent Zuma supporters.

Daily Maverick reported that the group was first called “Free Zuma Coordinators” and later changed its name.

Masuku confirmed to both Daily Maverick and amaBhungane that he had posted the video, but said he had not been involved and denied the voice was his.

He told amaBhungane he had merely posted the recordings as received.

“I forwarded the videos because I was also in the group. I don’t remember how I got the link. I think I was in four other groups that were saying Free Jacob Zuma. I think I got that video from someone’s status. If you look correctly in that video, you can see that it is screen recorded. I was sharing because videos were being shared by many people so I was also sharing what was happening on my side.”

Regarding the voice note, Masuku said, “That was not me. I got it from the other group and posted it on the other side.”

However, a technical expert consulted by amaBhungane said that if the voice note was forwarded or shared from somewhere else, it would not show Masuku’s profile picture – as this one does.

Masuku claims to have no relationship with former president Zuma.

He said he and Brumelda Zuma “used to go to the same school a long time ago”. 

He said they were both at the University of Zululand where he did a Bachelor of Administration degree and the company they registered “did not go anywhere and we didn’t do anything with it”.

The recordings and Masuku’s link with Brumelda will increase the scrutiny of the role of members of the Zuma family in inciting the violence that cost some 337 lives, including numerous calls for Zuma’s daughter Duduzile to be charged.

A Twitter account linked to Duduzile posted numerous approving takes on incidents of shut-down and burning at the height of what President Cyril Ramaphosa has characterised as an attempted insurrection against the state. DM



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All Comments 16

  • It appears that the ANC is heavily implicated in the insurrection. Don’t expect much urgency in these investigations. Ironically, this is probably the best opportunity we have to bring the ANC into the 21st century world, by purging the “revolutionaries”.

    • KZN (Zulu and nationalistic to the core) is the biggest voting block in the ANC, which makes for a high hurdle for the party.

    • Of course the ANC is implicated. The only thing is, it was an insurrection by the ANC against the ANC. That’s why they are so confused in what to call it

  • The ANC in KZN is heavily compromised, factionalised, and ill-disciplined, it’s the perfect environment for opportunists and the like to pursue any number of agendas, in the name of the ANC …

  • Surely the Police have the power to make arrests? Quick enough to lock people away for speeding (don’t have a problem with this) but why on earth are they dragging their feet arresting the instigators.

  • How does amaB get into these groups? WhatsApp is closed and encrypted, must have a person reporting it. Surely there’s way more info than just these scraps.