Masimanyane Women’s Rights International joins millions of people around the world who are mourning the untimely death of a courageous woman who dared speak truth to power.
Fezeka “Khwezi” Kuzwayo, who accused President Jacob Zuma of rape in 2005, endured extreme vilification, verbal abuse and even physical threat, but never wavered in her determination to be heard, and to be a voice for millions of marginalised women who have experienced violence and sexual assault.
She was uncommonly, inspirationally brave in a country, and an era, where women are routinely punished and marginalised for speaking out against abuse and for challenging patriarchy. And while she died not ever being fully vindicated, she was a hero, a role model and an inspiration who will continue serving as a beacon of truth and power for women and girls, not only in South Africa, but around the world.
As the recent #RememberKhwezi protests demonstrated, Fezeka’s legacy of standing tall in the face of intimidation and disparagement is stronger than ever, and will live on.
We salute her courage, her dignity and her strength, even in the most difficult times.
May her soul rest in peace.