Khwezi- A star bruised by the universe…
It is Tuesday, three days after Khwezi’s death – It took me some time to collect my thoughts and reflect on how I really felt about her passing. On Sunday evening, I was just catching up on social media and what I had missed. To my shock, I came across #RIPKhwezi on twitter. My first instinct was to ask myself, who Khwezi was. As I went through my timeline I quickly came to realise who she was.
— Zakes Mda (@ZakesMda) October 10, 2016
— Zwelinzima Vavi (@Zwelinzima1) October 10, 2016
Very sad by the death of Fezekile. She endured publicly so much abuse, may she now rest in peace. We will pick up the baton. #RIPKhwezi
— JosinaZMachel (@JosinaZM) October 9, 2016
— Justice Malala (@justicemalala) October 9, 2016
In a matter of seconds, I was overcome with a deep sense of sadness, wondered what happened. I soon came across a statement that was released by her family on her passing.
I read: “It is with our deepest sorrow that the Kuzwayo family announces the passing of our daughter Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo. In our family, she was lovingly known as Fezeka, and in the public domain, her supporters called her Khwezi.
Fezeka who passed on yesterday, 08 October 2016, was a loving soul. A daughter, a sister and an aunt we will forever hold dear in our hearts. We loved her in life; let us never forget her after death.
We ask that we been given the space to mourn privately as we prepare to lay her to rest. A private funeral service will be held for close family and friends. Information about her public memorial service will be announced in due course.”
Then I remembered her rape trial all those years ago. I remember how I felt that case went; it took me as a young woman on a roller coaster ride. Understand that I didn’t know her, Fezeka , but I could feel her pain. I remember asking myself whether she will get a fair trial. When she took the stand and relayed her ordeal I watched the gallery and especially President Jacob Zuma’s supporters, their disapproval of the details coming out.
How the corridor conversations during tea and lunch breaks went. How murmurs followed her in and out the court. How she had to cover her face in the morning rush to enter the court. What really hurt for me was the reaction of the ANC woman’s league then. The league and many other party supporters could not sympathise with Khwezi, let alone give her the time of day. These are women she looked up to growing up, people she thought would stand by her, support her – when a man, she considered a father violated her in the worst possible way.
When the court found that the sex was consensual, well I don’t know how I felt, I still don’t know how I feel about that decision 10 years down the line.
Today even though I know and understand that the law works under certain prescripts and that decisions are made based on evidence , facts, and other aspects, I think Fezeka Khuzwayo was hard-done by, that is just my view.
Fezeka’s death has got me thinking about the power play where rape is concerned. For me, in her case, it can be power, from a man who you trust, judicial power and let’s not forget political power. I ask myself how much these powers had to play in the case even with the law as clear as we say it is.
Well, I guess I may not get the answers, but in her death, I hope that Fezeka finds eternal peace. She will in death lose all the tags that she was now living with. She is no longer President Zuma’s rape accuser or anything else , she is just Fezeka Khuzwayo #RIPKhwezi
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