The ANC leadership is reported to be keen to have Jacob Zuma’s rape accuser brought back from the Netherlands to apologise for making the accusation.
The woman, known publicly only as Khwezi, accused Zuma of raping her in 2005 and fled to the Netherlands on a five-year asylum visa, a year after he was acquitted and she began to receive death threats.
Today, reports from South Africa say Zuma’s former wife, foreign minister Nkosazana Dlamini- Zuma, contacted Khwezi’s mother, who fled to the Netherlands with her daughter, in March to talk about bringing them home.
The South African embassy in the Netherlands is reported to have also made contact with the two, asking them to meet the minister of transport, Jeff Radebe, while he was there in March. But she declined.
Khwezi and her mother were to be offered safe passage and security at home. In return, she was to apologise publicly for accusing him of rape.
ANC badly wants Khwezi back in South Africa, where it could monitor her, before next year’s election.
Dlamini-Zuma’s spokesman, Ronnie Mamoepa, said the minister “never spoke to those people”, reports say.
During Zuma’s rape trial, Khwezi told the court she had been raised partly in his home after her father died and she regarded him as a father figure.
A year ago, she told a Dutch newspaper that she wished Zuma were dead. “I would like him to no longer exist, to be spared seeing his face popping up in the newspapers,” she said.
However, the shock move by ANC has angered women’s rights groups in South Africa.
Lisa Vetten, of the Tshwaranang legal advocacy centre has called the alleged offer “unacceptable”. Vetten said that the call for Khwezi to come back home should have no conditions attached and that her safety should be guaranteed in any case.
“The ANC’s conduct before and during the trial and outside the court was outrageous The ANC should look at themselves and they should apologise.”
Synnov Skorge, director of the National Network on Violence Against Women, said the reports made her “angry at the injustice, especially considering the prevalence of violence against women”.