I would believe her - Ramaphosa shocks on Khwezi's rape allegation against Zuma

2017-12-07 22:32
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. (File, Netwerk24)

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. (File, Netwerk24)

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WATCH: Power relations and sexual violence tackled in ‘Khwezi’

2017-09-28 12:54

Author Redi Tlhabi launched her long-awaited book 'Khwezi - The Remarkable Story Of Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo' on Wednesday evening. The book tells the story of the late Fezekile Kuzwayo, who accused president Jacob Zuma of rape 10 years ago. Watch.WATCH

Cape Town – Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has said that, while he accepts that President Jacob Zuma was acquitted of raping Fezekile Kuzwayo - also known as Khwezi - he would believe her allegation. 

Ramaphosa was on Thursday evening interviewed by 702's Karima Brown, who pressed him on whether he believed Khwezi.

At first, Ramaphosa said he had to go with the outcome of the court case in 2006, in which Zuma was acquitted, but he also had to take heed of what Khwezi said and he had sympathy for her.

After Brown put the question to him pointedly, Ramaphosa said he understands how difficult it is for women to come forward with allegations of sexual violence.

"Yes, I would believe her," Ramaphosa added.

In October, fellow presidential hopeful Lindiwe Sisulu was asked a similar question by 702's Eusebius McKaiser. 

Sisulu responded: "I believe she believed she was raped."

Asked what she believes, Sisulu said: "No, I don't know if I have enough evidence to be able to make a decision on that.

"I know both parties firmly believed what they said."

Sisulu's comment caused quite a stir at the time. 

Khwezi died in October 2016. 

Corruption

Much of the conversation between Ramaphosa and Brown on Thursday evening centred on corruption and state capture.

Ramaphosa said to address corruption, two things must happen.

"The first thing is to realise things are really bad," he said.

Then action must be taken against those involved.

"We now know what the rot is," he said, and Brown asked if people should go to jail.

"People who have done wrong must go to jail."

Ramaphosa mentioned the social grants bungle, which led to Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) being reappointed to deliver the grants, as one of government's "missteps" that needs to be corrected.

Asked about the MultiChoice ordeal, where former communications minister Faith Muthambi allegedly diverted from ANC policy regarding set-top boxes to fit in with MultiChoice's plans, Ramaphosa said: "ANC policy should never be up for sale," and added: "ANC policies should be implemented without fear or favour."

He said businesses will always want their own interests served.

"But the ANC must refuse."

'Afrikaner robber barons'

He said radical economic transformation was not equal to doing things for your friends and family.

Asked about the recent accounting scandal at Steinhoff – which involved what Brown described as "Afrikaner robber barons" – Ramaphosa said the "fiddling" with their financials was "some of the most unacceptable things [he] encountered in the corporate sector".

Ramaphosa was asked if he would serve as deputy president of the ANC if his strongest opponent, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, was elected president.

"No!" a member of the audience yelled.

Ramaphosa laughed and said it was something he would reflect upon.

"In the end, it is the ANC that should deploy us."

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