'My house was broken into twice and wife raped-Zuma!'


Critics seized on the remarks, describing them as inappropriate in a country where millions of women have no protection from sexual violence.

Zuma gave a long, testy and unapologetic speech defending the 246m rand of state funds spent on his homestead in Nkandla in the impoverished KwaZulu-Natal province – a political scandal that has done little to dent his confidence of victory in elections on Wednesday.

Responding to questions during a media briefing in Johannesburg, he said the African National Congress had provided him with security throughout his career as a provincial official, deputy president and president so there was nothing out of the ordinary.

“There were issues that had called for security, particularly in my homestead,” he elaborated. “My homestead was burned twice during violence. And secondly my wife, criminals came, raped my wife during the time I was still the MEC [member of the executive council]… [or] probably I had become deputy president.

“So the issue of security at Nkandla has not been a theoretical issue. Further, there was a court case about it. So those who say you need security, it’s not because it’s just a normal thing. Two serious incidents had happened to my home. One, burning it, not once, twice.

“Second, break in by criminals, raping my wife, they were arrested, charged, convicted. And people who are in government, once Zuma became the president, they had to raise the level of security to that one of a president. I don’t think there’s anything abnormal about it.”

The rape incident was known to many South African journalists but not made public because of laws protecting the identity of rape victims. But in 1998, the national broadcaster SABC did report that Zuma’s wife was sexually assaulted when a group of men broke into their home before stealing with some of the family’s belongings.

Meanwhile, the national elections take place on May Wednesday 7.

Those who pre-registered are welcome to cast their vote from as early as 7am until 9pm at their respective voting places.

Elders, police, army and other civils servants made their mark on Monday and Tuesday. Then on Wednesday, it will be the general public countrywide. 



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