'Zuma took me to his bedroom'

New book on Khwezi reveals how the president allegedly 'forced himself onto a journalist'

14 September 2017 - 12:29 By Ngwako Modjadji
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President Jacob Zuma.
President Jacob Zuma.

An unnamed journalist has detailed how President Jacob Zuma allegedly forced himself onto her, giving her a long kiss.

This is revealed in a soon-to-be-launched book about the late Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo who, in 2005, accused Zuma of raping her.

He was acquitted of the charge in 2006.

The book Khwezi, written by prominent broadcaster Redi Tlhabi, details how Zuma invited a female journalist to his home in Forest Town.

The Johannesburg house is the same one where Kuzwayo, who became known as Khwezi to protect her identity, accused Zuma of raping her.

"She [the journalist] had been to his home to interview him about sensitive news matters. Nothing unusual there.

"The journalist concerned did not feel uncomfortable at all when, after a meeting with the South African National Editors' Forum, Zuma invited her to his house to discuss a sensitive matter in front of one of his trusted aides."

According to the book, Zuma called his aide aside for a private conversation. "They returned after a few minutes and the aide said his goodbyes."

Tlhabi writes that Zuma then asked the journalist to accompany him to another room as he had something to show her. She did not think much of the invitation.

"She followed him, he opened the door to a room and she stepped inside. It was his bedroom. Before she realised what all this meant, he had his arms around her, pressing himself against her body, and he planted a long, determined kiss on her lips.

Her back to the door, she froze for a moment as his tongue invaded her mouth.

"Her back to the door, she froze for a moment as his tongue invaded her mouth."

Tlhabi writes that the journalist managed to pull away from Zuma and told him that she was on her period.

"He loosened his grip and stopped kissing her. He was smiling, warm and friendly. Bizarrely, he reassured her, telling her not to worry because they could try next time."

The journalist told Tlhabi on that day she realised how it had happened to Khwezi.

"I knew it. I did not believe her before and thought Zuma was a victim. But that day, about three years after the trial, I knew she had been telling the truth."

The journalist concerned revealed all this to Tlhabi about a month after Khwezi's funeral.

"My silence, my guilt, I had to express it. I've been asking myself, why didn't I speak out? So many reasons: my family, Zuma's position... I saw how brutal it was, the total humiliation of Fezeka [Fezekile] and her mom, I did not have the appetite for it. The easiest thing was just to block it off. Who would have believed me?"

Khwezi's skeletons also come out in the book. She is painted as a troubled person who married Zimbabwe national Thandeka Asheley Nyasha Makuku, to help her acquire South African citizenship. This happened a few months before she died in October last year.

Khwezi revealed that she hated how people took advantage of her.

"That their lives went on, you know. That Ma and I are the demons who must live and die in poverty.

"That their power continues. I don't think I would be living like this if my life had not been disrupted. I was starting to feel like I belong with people, that a big family can claim me as one of their own.

"I have not allowed myself to say that he [Zuma] stole from me, because somehow, it [would have] made him win, you know.

"If I blamed him for stealing the life I had before, saying so makes him - I don't know - win somehow."

This was Khwezi's response when asked how her life might have turned out had those events not taken place.

Zuma spokesman Bongani Ngqulunga said: "The Presidency is unable to comment on allegations by a complainant who has not been identified."

- This article originally appeared on SowetanLIVE

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