South African President Zuma's rape accuser dies: family

October 9, 2016 1:04 PM EDT

South Africa's President Jacob Zuma arrives for the official announcement of the munincipal election results at the result centre in Pretoria, South Africa, August 6, 2016. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko


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JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Fezekile Kuzwayo, who accused South Africa's President Jacob Zuma of rape 10 years ago in a high-profile case in the country, died on Saturday, her family said.

Fezekile, known to South Africans as "Khwezi" to protect her identity after multiple threats and insults, accused Zuma of rape in 2006 before he became president.

The HIV-positive activist grew up around Zuma, who had spent about 10 years in Robben Island prison with her father, a member of the African National Congress (ANC).

"It is with our deepest sorrow that the Kuzwayo family announces the passing of our daughter Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo," Fezekile's mother Beauty Sibongile Kuzwayo said in a statement on Sunday without giving details on the cause of her death.

Zuma was acquitted in the case, keeping alive his hopes of becoming president, which he did in 2009.

Zuma pleaded not guilty to raping "Khwezi" at his Johannesburg home, but his lawyers said he did have consensual sex with the then 31-year-old woman.

(Reporting by Nqobile Dludla; Editing by Hugh Lawson)



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