I will never forget Khwezi's phone call - Kasrils

2016-08-22 17:03
Ronnie Kasrils at the High Court in Pretoria. (Ahmed Areff, News24)

Ronnie Kasrils at the High Court in Pretoria. (Ahmed Areff, News24)

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WATCH: #RememberKhwezi protesters violently removed

2016-08-06 20:31

A group of women protesters have been removed from the IEC results centre after holding up placards in front of President Jacob Zuma referencing his rape charge from 2006.WATCH

Pretoria - Former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils will never forget the moment the woman known as Khwezi called him and said Jacob Zuma had raped her, he said on Monday. 

“Jacob Zuma and I knew Khwezi and her parents very well. They looked after us when we were in danger, underground in Swaziland, and Khwezi was this lovely seven-year-old niece of ours. We were her uncles,” Kasrils told reporters at the High Court in Pretoria. 

“She phoned me on the 4th of November 2005, and I will never forget it in my life, the words ring in my ear, it was on my mobile. I heard a voice say, 'Uncle Ronnie, Jacob Zuma has raped me'.”

He said she was already on her way to lay charges against Zuma with the help of an NGO when they spoke about it. 

“I never had any part in manipulating her allegation.”

Kasrils is suing Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) head Kebby Maphatsoe for R1m for defamation. Central to the case is Zuma's rape trial.

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.

Zuma was acquitted. He maintained afterwards that he was the victim of a plot. 

In 2014, before the national elections, Kasrils and former deputy health minister Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge spearheaded a campaign called “Sidikiwe! Vukani Vote No!”, in which they urged South Africans to vote for a minority party, or spoil their ballots. 

'I won't keep the money'

Maphatsoe spoke out against the campaign and reportedly said the plot against Zuma had come from the intelligence ministry. He said Kasrils, who was intelligence minister at that time, had “handpicked the woman who alleged Zuma had raped her”.

He reportedly claimed that Kasrils had “sold out to foreign agencies” and was hostile to Umkhonto we Sizwe operatives who had been dismissed from service.

The trial was adjourned to Tuesday to allow the MKMVA to join the matter as the second respondent. 

The MKMVA's attorney Mfana Gwala told reporters after proceedings on Monday that they wanted to join the matter because any comments Maphatsoe might have made were in his capacity as head of the organisation. 

Kasrils told reporters he was bringing the case because he had his reputation to protect. 

“But actually, in this country of ours, a democracy, we need to put a stop to people who, at the drop of a hat, point fingers at those who criticise government or the ruling party and call us agents. 

“[The damages]... could have been R10m. I don't want to be avaricious, in fact I won't keep the money to myself. I will give it to a worthy cause. 

He left the ANC because he became disillusioned with the way its members were behaving.

“It's a sad day, what has happened in terms of South Africa, the arrogance, the smear campaigning, the calling of people spies. What is so sad is that this has really come from the party of liberation, that one which I have served... and one of the reasons I left it is because it fell into the hands of people who behave this way."

'Arrogant and self-serving'

He said he was happy with the ANC losing major metros after the August 3 local government elections. 

“We need to teach these people a lesson. They have become too arrogant and too self-serving.”

When asked about his relationship with Maphatsoe, Kasrils said: “I have never had a relationship with Mr Maphatsoe at all. I might have met him in one or two meetings. I don't believe I've ever exchanged two words with him.

“I knew something about this man that made me absolutely have no care to meet or to know him, and that was the circumstance in which he had deserted an MK training camp in Uganda.”

In September 2014, the Sunday Times reported that Maphatsoe admitted to running away from an ANC military camp in Uganda during the anti-apartheid struggle. He reportedly lost his arm during that escape when Ugandan police shot him. 

He reportedly said his escape was for good intentions and that he was not a sell-out. He said conditions in the camp were unbearable. There was excessive punishment and inadequate food, and he wanted to report this to senior ANC leaders in South Africa. 


Read more on:    umkhonto we sizwe  |  anc  |  jacob zuma  |  kebby maphatsoe  |  ronnie kasrils  |  pretoria

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