For years, Mzansi didn’t know her face, but her name is etched in our conscience.
The people of Mzansi will remember the short, sad life of Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo – and everything she stood for. She was brought up as a daughter of the struggle, who lived and died a fighter. She passed away in Jozi on 8 October at the age of 41, of Aids-related causes.
Khwezi, which means “star”, was the name used to protect her identity during the Zuma rape trial of 2006. Accusing her father’s struggle friend brought her nothing but humiliation and exile.
But the accused got off and went on to rule the land – even though he never shook off the cartoon “shawara” on his head.
He was ridiculed after telling the court he took a shower after intercourse with Khwezi, to protect himself from the HI virus.
Fezekile had no protection from Zuma’s defence lawyers, who tried every dirty trick in the book.
They portrayed her as a woman of low morals, while a mob outside the court burned mphepho and sang Zuma’s theme song Awulethu Mshini Wami.
Later, arsonists burned down her mum’s house.
Fezekile and her mum, Beauty Kuzwayo, were forced out of SA and granted asylum by the Netherlands.
She lived on for 10 more years as a fighter for women’s rights and an HIV activist, and eventually returned to KwaMashu, where she lived a low-profile life in a rented room as a student teacher.
Her family said she had been suffering from an undisclosed complaint.
A public memorial service is planned for this week.
A family member said she would be laid to rest yesterday in a private service for family only.
Former intelligence minister, Ronnie Kasrils, was on Robben Island with Judson Kuzwayo, Fezekile’s late dad.
And Kasrils took MKMVA Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association chairman, Kebby Maphatsoe, to court for defamation.
This after Maphatsoe had said Kasrils had arranged the rape charges against Zuma. Kasrils won the case and got R500 000.
He donated the money to Fezekile for her education, and also to help her mum, who is sick. – News24/IOL