8 December 2017

South Africa: Deputy President Ramaphosa 'Would Believe' Zuma's Rape Accuser

Cape Town — During a radio interview with 702's Karima Brown, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said he "would believe" Fezekile Kuzwayo - also known as Khwezi - who accused President Jacob Zuma of raping her. Ramaphosa added that he respected the legal process and the fact that Zuma was acquitted of the charges.

Initially, Ramaphosa cited the outcome of the 2006 case after Brown posed the question on whether he would have believed Khwezi, but elaborated by saying he understood how difficult it is for women to present allegations of sexual violence.

"I have to pay heed to what Khwezi also said in court... I have to be sympathetic... When you're dealing with isses of gender-based violence, when you're dealing with issues of rape, the general tendency is sometimes to dismiss and I know how difficult and painful it is for a woman to garner up the courage to stand up and say 'yes, I was raped'. It must be one of the most diffucult decisions that she has to make so, yes, I would believe her," Ramaphosa said.

Ramaphosa's comments come after an October discussion between 702's Eusebius McKaiser and fellow ANC presidential hopeful Lindiwe Sisulu who said: "I believe she believed she was raped."

Brown also questioned Ramaphosa on the claims of an accounting scandal at Steinhoff Africa Retail which prompted its Chief Executive Officer Markus Jooste to resign. "The Steinhoff issue is catastrophic and destroys trust. It should be investigated and those who have been found to have done wrong must be prosecuted," Ramaphosa said.

When questioned on whether he would become Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma's deputy if he doesn't succeed in gaining the ANC presidency, Ramaphosa said: "We should rally behind whoever is elected as president of the ANC... If I am not successful, I will have to reflect."

Ramaphosa and his fellow presidential hopefuls will contest the leadership of the ANC at the ruling party's looming National Elective Conference.

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