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President Jacob Zuma’s brother is so worried about growing public anger against the president that he believes the ANC leader should quit politics – or risk being killed.

Michael Zuma and his wife Thembekile MaXulu Zuma spoke at their home in Nkandla, where they expressed their fears for the president’s life amid growing calls for him to step down.

“My brother is having a very difficult time and I have never seen such difficulty. My brother has such difficulty in such a way that you fear that they are going to kill him,” said Michael.

His wife added that some members of the family thought that if Zuma resigned and returned home to Nkandla he would “be safe from these enemies”.

She said: “We fear for his life. As a family we sometimes think that they are going to kill him. And in our humble view we tell ourselves that maybe if he comes back home he will be away from them.

“We’re scared because he is among them.”

Michael Zuma and his wife said the family were concerned about the way Zuma was being treated.

“We’re very concerned about the way they have mistreated him about his home and we feel like he has been robbed by being made to pay some money,” said MaXulu.

MaXulu questioned why Zuma was still being criticised after he had paid back the money.

She said the public had no right to know where he had got the money and how he repaid it.

“If you had borrowed R100 from someone, why would they ask you where you got it from? Even this money that he has paid … maybe he paid it because he was avoiding the noise,” she said.

But she stressed that Zuma was being unfairly targeted.

“Ubaba is being mistreated – and that we can say without any hesitation,” she said.