17 September 2017

South Africa: 'Nothing New to Add' Over Mkhize's Khwezi Comments - Presidency

Photo: Zweli Mkhize/Twitter
Zweli Mkhize, ANC Treasurer-General

President Jacob Zuma's office on Sunday said that there was "nothing new to add" to comments made by ANC treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize, that Zuma had described his relationship with Khwezi as having a degree of intimacy built over some time.

"In the year 2005, I was called by President Zuma who advised me that he had made a terrible mistake of having sexual relations with Fezeka [Kuzwayo]," said Mkhize in a statement issued over the weekend.

Mkhize said he had been shocked because he had always been under the impression that Kuzwayo was like a daughter to both him and Zuma.

"When I listened to what President Zuma was saying to me, his version appeared to show that there was a degree of an intimate relationship that had built up over a period between them. In fact, he indicated that they had been conversing for a while."

Criminal charge

Mkhize said that Zuma also informed him of criminal charges which Kuzwayo, at that time, was in the process of laying.

"When I asked why she would do that if they were now in a relationship, he said he himself wasn't sure what could have upset her as he was under the impression that all was well between them.

"He said Fezeka had not raised any issues or complaints with him. He appeared to be puzzled about what had gone wrong between them."

Mkhize concludes this part of his statement by declaring: "I must immediately clarify this was purely President Zuma's version to me at the time when we had the conversation."

Asked for comment about this section of Mkhize's statement, Presidency spokesman Bongani Ngqulunga replied, stating: "The matter was dealt with in court in an open trial. There is therefore nothing new to add".

Mkhize issued his statement in response to a City Press article which alleged that he tried to manipulate Kuzwayo into dropping charges against Zuma.

The article reports on various details apparently contained in a book about Kuzwayo, which was written by journalist Redi Tlhabi.

"As a husband and a father to my own daughters, I could never advocate for the dropping of charges against anyone accused of rape," Mhkize says in his statement.

Kuzwayo was given the pseudonym 'Khwezi' by the media during the trial.

She died after a long illness on October 8, 2016.

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