This has sparked major reactions on South African social media, with some people calling for the president’s resignation.
The high-profile case rocked the country about a year before Zuma became president. Named ‘Khwezi’ by South Africans to protect her image, the victim reportedly was the daughter of Zuma’s friend, Judson Diza Khuzwayo, a member of the African National Congress (ANC). The two men had spent 10 years in Robben Island Prison.
In 2005, 31-year-old Khwezi accused Zuma of raping her at his Johannesburg home. He pleaded not guilty and his attorneys reduced her claims to a consensual sex.
A year later, Jacob Zuma was acquitted, and in 2009, he became the president of South Africa.
Khwezi, later diagnosed with HIV, fiercely advocated for women’s right and fought against rape, until yesterday, when her family released a statement, confirming her death.
“It is with our deepest sorrow that the Kuzwayo family announces the passing of our daughter Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo,” her mother, Beauty Sibongile Kuzwayo said.
The cause of her death has not been made public.
Her death has sparked major reactions on social media. While many people are calling for the president’s resignation, other have noted how politician Julius Malema vilified the alleged rape victim during the court proceedings.