The real Fezekile 'Khwezi' Kuzwayo as her family knew her

Durban – Many have in the past tried to piece together the life of President Jacob Zuma's rape accuser, Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo, but it was at her funeral service on Saturday that her family would reveal the real woman they knew.

Kuzwayo, 42, who went by the pseudonym "Khwezi", was remembered by about 200 close family and friends who paid tribute to her during an intimate private funeral service held at the Central Methodist Church in Durban.

Kuzwayo died after a long illness on October 8.

According to Kuzwayo's obituary, she was born on September 17, 1974 at the Poly Clinic in KwaMashu to Judson Diza Kuzwayo and Beauty Sibongile Kuzwayo and spent most of her childhood in the north Durban township before her family went into exile in Swaziland.

There she attended Malkerns Valley Primary School until her family relocated to Zimbabwe.

As the family continued to navigate other African countries, she would attend various other schools.
Like many families in the liberation struggle, the family lived an uncertain life.

Working in SA, then overseas

Towards the end of apartheid and at the dawn of democracy Kuzwayo and her mother, together with other families, returned to South Africa and she got a job at the Department of Home Affairs.

It was then that she got involved in HIV/Aids work and would later, in 1999, become active in the International Aids Conference in Durban.

Her work and contribution became noticed and between July 2002 and August 2003 she worked in the United Kingdom before returning home.

In 2005, Kuzwayo accused President Jacob Zuma of rape but he was later acquitted.

After the rape trial, that same year, it was decided for security reasons that it would be better for her and her mother to spend time out of the country.

With assistance, the two settled in Amsterdam.

In the Netherlands Kuzwayo worked as a consultant for Aidsfonds, KIT and Sharenet and did a course at the Vrije Universiteit of Amsterdam.

Working with children

In 2010 Kuzwayo and her mother moved to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania where she worked as a librarian and a support teacher doing arts and drama activities with children at the Genesis School.

She then worked as a Grade Two teacher at Dar es Salaam International Academy for almost two years where she taught children gum-boot dancing.

She also sang in the Dar es Salaam Choral Society and volunteered at Nafasi Art Space.

The following year, while in Dar es Salaam, she joined the board of the One in Nine Campaign and remained a member.

When she returned to South Africa, she worked for the Tree Tops School and continued her studies in teaching and early childhood development.

’10 years later’

In August, a group of women interrupted President Jacob Zuma during his speech at the elections result centre in Pretoria. They held up placards that read "10 years later", "Remember Khwezi", "I am one in 3" and "Khanga".

It had been 10 years since the rape trial that took place when Kuzwayo was 31 years-old.

WATCH: Emotional send off for Fezekile Kuzwayo

According to the family Kuzwayo touched the lives of many in different parts of the world.
She always made friends and inspired others with her loving and energetic spirit.

She was known for her laughter, singing, dancing and her love of children.

Kuzwayo is survived by her mother and sisters Beauty and Zinhle Kuzwayo, Nondwe Phosa, aunt Cordelia Khumalo and niece Nokuzola Kuzwayo.

She was expected to be buried privately at the Stellawood Cemetery in Durban.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
The ANC's leadership race is heating up. Who do you think will be elected party president at Nasrec in December?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has got it in the bag
7% - 598 votes
I foresee a second term for Cyril Ramaphosa
83% - 7256 votes
Don’t discount a Zweli Mkhize win
10% - 908 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
17.67
+0.9%
Rand - Pound
20.15
+0.3%
Rand - Euro
17.58
-0.2%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.48
+1.3%
Rand - Yen
0.12
+0.9%
Gold
1,713.38
+0.8%
Silver
20.97
+1.3%
Palladium
2,338.50
+5.1%
Platinum
926.00
+2.4%
Brent Crude
88.86
+4.2%
Top 40
59,679
+3.2%
All Share
66,115
+2.9%
Resource 10
64,190
+4.1%
Industrial 25
79,776
+2.9%
Financial 15
14,077
+1.9%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE