Khwezi was ‘getting her life together after 10 difficult years’

2016-10-09 20:15
Ronnie Kasrils (Ahmed Areff, News24)

Ronnie Kasrils (Ahmed Areff, News24)

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Durban - Former intelligence minister and apartheid stalwart Ronnie Kasrils lamented the hardship and torment Jacob Zuma’s rape accuser Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo had endured over the last ten years.

Kuzwayo, also known as Khwezi, died on Saturday.

Her death was announced by her family on Sunday in a terse statement.

The family said: “It is with our deepest sorrow that the Kuzwayo family announces the passing of our daughter Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo.”

The family said she was a “loving soul”.

Khwezi accused Zuma of rape in 2005.

Blood clot resulted in death

During the trial, Zuma admitted to having unprotected sex with her, whom he knew to be HIV positive.

He said that he’d taken a shower afterward to mitigate the risk of contracting the virus.

His claim was widely condemned by the judge, health experts, Aids activists and the public in general.

Zuma was acquitted, with the court finding that the sexual engagement was consensual.  

Kasrils described her death as an “extremely sad and tragic occurrence”.

He said that he understood she had died as a result of a blood clot and had not been well of late.

“She was getting her life together after 10 very difficult years. She had a close knit group of friends who rallied by her and helped support her over the years as she tried her best to support her ailing mother,” he said, speaking to News24.

Kasrils said that he and others who were in opposition to the apartheid regime, including Zuma, had found a refuge at Khwezi’s family home in Swaziland.

Honey trap claim ‘disgraceful’

“My knowledge of her goes back to days in Swaziland when Jacob Zuma and I, and others, worked with her father Judson Kuzwayo. Their house was a refuge for us and it is there that I got to know this bright, sunny, lovely school girl who was absolutely adorable,” he said.

“Much later in 2005 she came to visit me and we know what then occurred in the absolutely disgraceful allegations which were made and how that sullied her name. The idea that she would engage in some kind of honey trap as described by her detractors to cast aspersions against her is disgraceful,” Kasrils added.

“Those who castigated and hounded her need to hang their heads in shame,” he said.  

“That was a dreadful period of her life. I met her recently when I went to meet her and her mother about the case. I will see that the funds that would have gone to her will go to her mother,” Kasrils said.

“I feel this tragedy very, very deeply and it is very sad indeed. This country needs to know and understand the life of this young woman and the tragedy that affected her,” he said.  

In August, Kasrils instituted a R1m defamation claim against Deputy Defence Minister Kebby Maphatsoe and the MK Veterans Association (MKMVA).

The claim was later settled for R500 000.

At the time that the charges were laid against Zuma, Maphatsoe and other ANC officials maintained Zuma was the victim of a “honey trap” - and that the woman was sent to seduce Zuma.

Read more on:    ronnie kasrils  |  jacob zuma

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