Zuma 'took shower' to reduce HIV risk

2006-04-05 12:19

Johannesburg - Jacob Zuma took a shower straight after sex with his HIV-positive rape accuser as a way of reducing his chances of contracting the virus, the Johannesburg High Court heard on Wednesday.

"It... would minimise the risk of contracting the disease," he told the court.

On Zuma's third day of testimony his own sexual history was briefly touched on by State prosecutor Charin de Beer.

"When did you use your last condom?" she asked Zuma, who turns 64 next Wednesday.

"A couple of days before," replied Zuma.

He is alleged to have raped the woman who regards him as a close family friend in his Johannesburg home on November 2 last year.

He denies the charge, saying she had been sending him sexual signals the whole night. These included wearing a short skirt and no underwear under the wrap she wore to bed.

Zuma laughed, smiled

He believed she initiated sex by following him to his bedroom and getting under his covers.

Zuma has drawn on Zulu cultural norms to explain certain behaviour and words. This included the appropriateness of conversations of a sexual nature between men and women in certain circumstances.

De Beer, standing directly opposite him, with an orange lever-arch file of questions in front of her, didn't blanche when asking him deeply intimate questions about what happened on the night in question.

She said that at his age he probably had a lot of sexual experience, which he agreed with.

At times Zuma laughed and smiled at her questions, with the public gallery trying to stifle its mirth after a warning from Judge Willem van der Merwe.

De Beer rejected Zuma's contention that he would have been accused of rape if he had refused to have sex with the complainant when they discovered they had no condom.

"I can't imagine that in any culture that that's a rule," she said.

She continued: "in no culture is it a reason for condomless sex".

The complainant has said that because she is HIV-positive she would never have sex without a condom.

Zuma says he is HIV-negative.