I will never recognise Zuma – activist at Khwezi’s funeral

2016-10-15 23:52
Fezekile 'Khwezi' Kuzwayo (Picture supplied)

Fezekile 'Khwezi' Kuzwayo (Picture supplied)

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Durban – Honouring Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo, Positive Women’s Network’s Prudence Mabele on Saturday said she would never recognise President Jacob Zuma as the president of South Africa.
“As far as I am concerned he does not exist,” said Mabele, who was speaking at Kuzwayo’s intimate funeral service held at the Central Methodist Church in Durban.

Kuzwayo died from a long illness on October 8.

In 2005 she accused Zuma of rape but he was later acquitted.

Mabele said she was hurt by what had happened and had been said about Kuzwayo.

“So many things were said, so many things happened and so many lies have been told, One in Nine became a platform that was inclusive… and supported her and her courses, every day at the court… A lot happened there, we are damaged. My soul has never recovered. I will never recognise president of South Africa [Jacob Zuma], I will never. He does not exist.”

Mabele said Kuzwayo challenged everything.

‘Remember her as Fezeka’

She said she still could not believe that Kuzwayo had died.

“I want us to take home one message. Khwezi was a pseudonym for what happened. Can we now remember her as Fezeka. Yes we remember Khwezi but we need to remember her now, as Fezeka Kuzwayo,” said Mabele.

Family friend, Nonhlanhla Mkhize, said she shared memories of intense conversations, laughter, song, chanting of struggle slogans, sleepless nights and talks about women and men, with Kuzwayo.

“We cannot forget the second exile that she suffered pursuing justice in a supposedly democratic and free South Africa that we all fought for. As women activists, we constantly talk about caring and supporting for each other.

“This is our moment to revisit whether when we say that we are there for each other, we really mean it when one of us falls others step back.”

‘She brought out the best in us’

Shawn Mellors, who spoke about Kuzwayo’s life in exile in the Netherlands, said Kuzwayo had a warm personality, an infectious laugh, lived a joyful life and was committed to friendship.

A tearful Mellor said while Kuzwayo saw him as a mentor, he respected the mentor that Kuzwayo was to him.

“Everyone who has worked with Fezeka has been touched by her… She brought out the best in us and made us believe that the world was a better place. It is a very different world without Fezeka.”

Mellors said Kuzwayo demonstrated what being alive meant.

He said he was amused by the hypocrisy of the media.

“As well as the organisations that defied your agenda, the politicians who expressed solidarity and the personalities who cry you public, where are they? Where were they when you were shunned or had to go by the name of Khwezi, or struggled to find voice, or felt isolated and alone, financially and emotionally broke in a foreign country?

“Where were they when you were put on trial… and when you received death threats? Where were they when you and ma were forced into exile again from Amsterdam to Dar es Salaam. Then you died, where were they?”

‘Fezeka wasn’t raped by an individual’

He thanked Kuzwayo for teaching him how to be an incredible human being.

Dawn Cavanagh said, “It is amazing how the last ten years of Fezeka’s life have been defined by the fact that she was raped on November 2.

“Fezeka honoured that it is not an individual who raped her… Something supported the ability of one man to be completely free of anything, the instruments of patriarchy and oppression, and that is the ANC, let us not blame one person. Fezeka suffered 10 years, not because of one person because he could not have done what he did without the ANC.

“We want to warn that our rage has been unleashed. If you think that we have struggled in the last ten years then you have seen nothing because we had to protect Fezeka and our activism was constrained and now we don’t have to protect her anymore.

“If you have not said anything in the last ten years, do not speak now. Do not speak, do not speak justice because you should have spoken in the last ten years. You should have spoken, don’t apologise now, she cannot hear you. Do not apologise and do not speak.

“We are going to rise, you have not seen anything yet.”
Cavanagh said Kuzwayo has an innocent truth to her.

‘Down with Zuma. Down with patriarchy’

“She was able to live in the moment with deep honesty… She was not just the accused of Jacob Zuma, she was our Fezeka, she was our friend and a person who was filled with love. You have unleashed the feminists, you will see our rage,” she said.

Speaking on behalf of ANC Masupatsela, Nomonde Rusike, recalled her time in exile with Kuzwayo.

“We used to call her a free spirit and a lot of other things because she was one of those people you could not contain, box or label. She never wore dresses or skirts. She was always in pants and tights. When she was forced to wear a shirt or a dress, she would wear tights underneath and pull the attire up so that it did not look like a dress.”

Rusike said Kuzwayo loved singing and poetry and added that she would remember Kuzwayo for her smile and infectious laugh.

During the service women sang “Down with Jacob Zuma, down. Down with patriarchy.”

Speaking about Kuzwayo’s last months, Bunie Mathanyane Sexwale said Kuzwayo chose who she wanted to be around.

Sexwale said, “On her last week she decided to go to a place of spiritual healing. On the last day, while we were on our way there she expired, by the time we went to the hospital, she had already died, in the hands of loved ones,” said Sexwale adding that everything that had happened was the way that Kuzwayo had wanted.

Before Kuzwayo’s obituary was read, Kwezilomso Mbandazayo, read out Kuzwayo’s I am Khanga poem.

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

Read more on:    khwezi  |  durban

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