Four young women dressed in black, stood in front the podium while President Jacob Zuma addressed the country from IEC Results headquarters, holding up signs, one reading “Remember Khwezi”.
— eNCA (@eNCA) August 6, 2016
While many were at first confused about what this was about, many who have followed Zuma’s political career immediately gathered that this was an anti-rape demonstration, aimed directly at the president.
“Khwezi”, is the woman who accused President Zuma of rape in 2006. The name was given to her by the media, although her real name is Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo.
In defending himself, Zuma had said the sex was consensual and was acquitted of the charges. //Update// The Daily Vox has posted an in-depth article explaining the background to the case here.
A sign reading, “Khanga” was also held up by one protestor.
“Khanga” refers to a sarong or wrap-around garment worn by women. In the rape case’s context, the president had said that because the accuser was wearing a Khanga when he “had sex” with her, she had asked for it.
A poem titled “Khanga”, about Zuma and the rape case was written back in 2009.
Protestors kicked out
Zuma didn’t even flinch during his speech, completely ignoring the silent protestors.
Shortly after he stepped down, the women could be heard shouting as they were kicked out of the venue.
It’s not clear what happened to them thereafter. The IEC’s Terry Tselane took to the stage after the president’s speech and apologised to him for what it called a “disruption”.
— Yadhana Jadoo ♥ (@Yadhana) August 6, 2016
Situation extremely tense. ANC leaders in the room look very upset.
— Ranjeni Munusamy (@RanjeniM) August 6, 2016
Just minutes after the protest, the hashtag #RememberKhwezi was trending across South Africa.[UPDATE What we do know is that one of the protestors is Simamkele Dlakavu, an EFF member and one of the leaders of the #FeesMustFall movement.]
She tweeted this after they were booted out.
— Simamkele Dlakavu (@simamkeleD) August 6, 2016