'Khwezi' hailed as inspirational leader by anti-rape group

"Khwezi" hailed as inspirational leader by anti-rape group

The One in Nine Campaign said that Fezeka “Khwezi” Kuzwayo, the woman who accused President Jacob Zuma of rape in 2005, was an inspirational leader.

Remember Khwezi

In a statement released on their Facebook page, the anti-rape civic organisation said that they were devastated.

Kuzwayo’s family announced her death yesterday in a terse statement.

One in Nine said that Khwezi had refused to be silenced.

“Just over 10 years ago Fezeka, known to the media as Khwezi, was raped by Jacob Zuma. She refused to be silent.

“She opened a rape case against him, which, eventually, was more about putting her on trial than him. He was acquitted on 8 May 2006 and Fezeka and her mother lost their home and were forced into exile.”

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“Despite the characterisation in the mainstream corporate media and in court, Fezeka to us was a feminist, an activist, a teacher, a sister, a friend, a colleague who inspired people close to her and women who only knew her Khwezi. She reminded us and will continue to remind us to always speak truth to power,” the statement read.

“To Fezeka’s mom and those that have continued to support her over the years, we extend our love and deepest sympathies. We continue to believe her and we will continue to fight for justice for Fezeka and all survivors.”

In August Zuma was delivering a speech at an IEC event when his message was disrupted by three women who held pieces of cardboard with the words “Khanga”, “Remember Khwezi”, “10 yrs later” and “I am 1 in 3”.

Meanwhile, the director of a KZN women's rights organisation -KZN Network on Violence Against Women, Cookie Edwards, says Khwezi was not afraid to break the silence.

"The one thing that I would say is her name would be carried forward. We will never forget that she stood out alone at that time and was accused of many many things but she stood on her word of what had taken place and never ever diverted from it. We salute her memory, she will be the icon to the word rape," she said. 

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