Zuma and the ruling ANC party had come under fire at home and abroad for the visit in April to the former president, who was recuperating at home following a 10-day hospital stay.
"I honestly cannot put in words how hurt the family was. It was one of the most insensitive things for anyone to have done," Winnie Madikizela-Mandela told Britain's ITV News television.
In excerpts published on the ITV website, she added: "It was insensitive, it compromised the family, compromised his dignity and it should have never been done."
Zuma said at the time Mandela was "up and about", a description that was clearly at odds with televised footage that showed the revered ex-leader frail and dazed, sitting frozen in an armchair.
Mandela, 94, is said to remain in a critical but stable condition after more than three weeks in a Pretoria hospital suffering from a recurrent lung infection. – Sapa-AFP