The woman who accused South Africa’s president of rape a decade ago, sparking a national debate about rape culture, has died aged 41, her family confirmed on Sunday.
Fezeka Kuzwayo (1974) is a South African AIDS activist. She was granted political asylum in the Netherlands in 2007.
Fezeka Kuzwayo has imprisoned the daughter of Judson Kuzwayo, an ANC member from 1963 to 1973 on Robben Island. She grew up in exile, including in Zambia. Her father died in 1985, killed in a car accident. From this time stems its first contacts with Jacob Zuma, who later became vice president of South Africa. She considered Jacob Zuma as her second father. After the end of apartheid in 1990, she went to South Africa.
In 1999 Fezeka Kuzwayo found out that she was HIV-infected. Then she was active as AIDS activist. In November 2005 Fezeka Kuzwayo was raped in their own words by Jacob Zuma. On December 6, 2005 she complained to Zuma.
During the trial Zuma said he had had sex with Kuzwayo, but that the community had been consensual. To reduce the risk of aidsbesmettng he had taken a shower afterwards according to his statement. This statement was not taken seriously by some of the South African press: as cartoonist portrays Zapiro since Zuma with a shower head above his head. On May 8, 2006 Zuma was acquitted for lack of evidence.
The judge’s allegations Kuzwayo did not consider it beyond doubt, moreover, the judge found that sexual intercourse had taken place with consent. Fezeka Kuzwayo after her indictment was so severely threatened by Zuma supporters that they fled South Africa and asked for political asylum in the Netherlands in August 2006. In July 2007 she received this shelter.
Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo, known to the South African public only as Khwezi to protect her identity, made headlines when she alleged that Jacob Zuma had raped her in 2005 while he was the ANC deputy president.
Kuzwayo, an Aids activist who was HIV-positive, was the daughter of an ANC member who had spent 10 years on Robben Island with Zuma, who had become a close family friend.
Zuma was acquitted on the rape charge in 2006, after claiming the sex had been consensual. In the aftermath, Kuzwayo and her mother were offered asylum in Holland after their home was burnt down and Kuzwayo received threats to “burn the bitch”.
Zuma, having been found not guilty of rape and corruption charges, became the president of South Africa in 2007.
“The news is absolutely devastating. It is a terrible tragedy. I spoke to her and her mother recently and she was just getting her life together again,” said former minister of intelligence services, Ronnie Kasrils, who knew Kuzwayo when she was a child in exile.
Kasrils and Zuma were often cared for by Kuzwayo’s parents when the two men were in the ANC underground movement during apartheid.
Kuzwayo was only 10 when her father, Judson Kuzwayo, an ANC stalwart who had spent 10 years as a Robben Island prisoner alongside his friend and comrade Zuma, died in 1985 in a car crash.
It was Kasrils whom Fezekile, also known as Fezeka, first called after the alleged rape by Zuma in the spare bedroom of his Johannesburg home on the night of Wednesday 2 November 2005.
“We should never forget her name. Fezeka Kuzwayo. Her life was completely smashed in 2005 and 2006. She was abused, hounded and castigated. It broke her. Her house was burnt down. But she was rebuilding her life again with a small group of friends who supported her and her ailing mother,” Kasrils said.
CREDIT : WIKIIPEDIA