Former South African deputy president 'raped HIV woman'

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The Independent Online

An HIV-positive Aids activist has testified in court that South Africa's former deputy president Jacob Zuma raped her without a condom.

As more than 2,000 Zuma supporters demonstrated outside the courthouse in Johannesburg, the 31-year-old woman, a longtime Zuma family friend, told how the man once seen as South Africa's next president offered to "tuck her in" and then had sex with her against her will.

"I thought, 'Oh no, uncle [Mr Zuma] cannot be naked, he is on top of me and I am in his house,' " the woman said between sobs. "I thought this can't be happening. And at that point I faced reality that I was just about to be raped."

Mr Zuma, who pleaded not guilty, sat stony-faced during the woman's testimony. His attorney read a statement in which Mr Zuma said he had had consensual sex with the woman. "At no stage did the complainant say no to any of the actions we performed. At no stage did I believe that the sexual intercourse was against the will of the complainant. She was at all times at liberty to say so and to voice her disapproval," he said.

Mr Zuma was fired as President Thabo Mbeki's deputy last year amid a corruption scandal. Mr Zuma denies rape and, in a separate case, involvement in corruption. The case continues.

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