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[BREAKING NEWS] Zuma's terse response to Ramaphosa's Khwezi comments

President Jacob Zuma has responded to comments by his deputy, Cyril Ramaphosa, that he would have believed Zuma's rape accuser Khwezi

President Zuma and Deputy President Ramaphosa talking at the OR Tambo centenary in Kantolo. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - President Jacob Zuma has hit back at his deputy, Cyril Ramaphosa, reaffirming the rule of law after Ramaphosa said he believed Zuma's accuser Fezekile Khuzwayo - also known as Khwezi - was indeed raped.

Speaking on Radio 702 on Thursday night, Ramaphosa, one of the leading candidates in the African National Congress's presidential race, said he "would believe" that Khuzwayo, who was the daughter of one of Zuma's friends, was raped.

“I know how difficult and painful it is for a woman to garner up the courage to stand up and say 'yes, I was raped'. It must be one of the most difficult decisions that she has to make.”

Khuzwayo accused Zuma of rape more than a decade ago and the then deputy president was later acquitted.

Khuzwayo and her family later went into exile after they were allegedly subjected to threats and intimidation.

The Presidency has released a statement in which it notes Ramaphosa's comments.

The statement reads:

"The Presidency has noted the media reports attributed to the Deputy President of the Republic who is quoted as having stated that he believed the version presented by Khwezi in the criminal proceedings between State v JG Zuma when he was interviewed in one of the radio stations.The rape allegations against President Zuma were properly considered by a Judge of the High Court. Having evaluated the totality of the evidence, the court acquitted the President of the rape charges. The Presidency affirms the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary and the primacy of the courts as the final arbiters in disputes in society."

LISTEN: Ramaphosa says he believes Khwezi was raped