President Zuma of South Africa has had a really checkered record in the course of his presidency.
Still, most of the scandals he has been through in the presidency, from the Nkandla scandal to allegations of him getting in bed with the Gupta’s, pale in comparison to the rape allegations that he had to face in 2005 when he was still the deputy President.
On May 8, 2006, South Africa had been widely divided between supporters and activists who were either rejoicing or shouting down the high court’s decision to acquit President Zuma on rape charges after he had spent 25 days in court.
President Zuma pleaded not guilty to raping “Khwezi” at his Johannesburg home, but his lawyers said he did have consensual sex with the then 31-year-old woman. Khwezi is actually Fezekile Kuzwayo, but she had been forced to adopt the moniker of Khwezi (star) to protect her identity after multiple threats and insults, following the leveled accusations against the President.
Khwezi was an HIV-positive activist who grew up around Zuma. She had written and performed a poem in the Netherlands in 2008 after President Zuma walked free. The poem has been shared by many people to show their understanding of her ordeal over the years. It reads;
“I am khanga – I wrap myself around the curvaceous bodies of women all over Africa. I am the perfect nightdress on those hot African nights – I exist for the comfort and convenience of a woman – But no no no make no mistake – I am not here to please a man – And I certainly am not a seductress – Please don’t use me as an excuse to rape.”
Fezekile’s mother, Beauty Sibongile Kuzwayo, said in a statement which she gave on Sunday that omitted any details on the cause of Khwezi’s death;
“It is with our deepest sorrow that the Kuzwayo family announces the passing of our daughter Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo.”
The family said that she was a “loving soul”. A private family funeral and a public memorial service will be held in her honor.