I am Khanga: Khwezi’s words live on

In 2008 Jacob Zuma’s rape accuser wrote the poem ‘I am Khanga’.

FILE: One of the four demonstrators who staged a silent anti-rape protest during President Jacob Zuma's address at the IEC briefing on 6 August 2016. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - In December 2005 a young woman who became known as Khwezi laid a charge of rape against Jacob Zuma, alleging that he had raped her in the November of that year.

Zuma denied the claims, saying he had consensual sex with the HIV-positive woman at his home in Johannesburg.

During the trial, she testified she went to bed wearing a kanga (a wraparound cloth) and Zuma later came in and raped her.

Zuma was found not guilty in 2006 and Khwezi relocated to the Netherlands.

In April 2008 she wrote the poem I am Khanga that was published under her own name of Fezeka Khuzwayo.

This week Khuzwayo's family announced that she had passed away.

Read the full text of 'I am Khanga' below:

I am Khanga

I wrap myself around the curvaceous bodies of women all over Africa

I am the perfect nightdress on those hot African nights

The ideal attire for household chores

I secure babies happily on their mother's backs

Am the perfect gift for new bride and new mother alike

Armed with proverbs, I am vehicle for communication between women

I exist for the comfort and convenience of a woman

But no no no make no mistake …

I am not here to please a man

And I certainly am not a seductress

Please don't use me as an excuse to rape

Don't hide behind me when you choose to abuse

You see

That's what he said my Malume

The man who called himself my daddy's best friend

Shared a cell with him on [Robben] Island for ten whole years

He said I wanted it

That my khanga said it

That with it I lured him to my bed

That with it I want you is what I said

But what about the NO I uttered with my mouth

Not once but twice

And the please no I said with my body

What about the tear that ran down my face as I lay stiff with shock

In what sick world is that sex

In what sick world is that consent

The same world where the rapist becomes the victim

The same world where I become the bitch that must burn

The same world where I am forced into exile because I spoke out?

This is NOT my world

I reject that world

My world is a world where fathers protect and don't rape

My world is a world where a woman can speak out

Without fear for her safety

My world is a world where no one, but no one is above the law

My world is a world where sex is pleasurable not painful

'This is also my home'