Edward Zuma accused of rape in 2000

The young man at the centre of the drama surrounding the Jacob Zuma trial once faced a similar charge to the one now levelled at his father, the Mercury reported on Friday.

Five years ago, Mziwoxolo Edward Zuma, now 29, was arrested for allegedly raping a 17-year-old woman, a fellow student at the University of Zululand.

But Edward Zuma, son of Jacob Zuma and of Minah Shongwe, sister of Transvaal Deputy Judge President Jeremiah Shongwe, was never prosecuted.

Having been released on bail and with the case set for trial two months later, the woman’s attorney wrote to the prosecuting authority that the woman wished to withdraw the charges.

The former deputy president was in Cuba at the time of the alleged incident.

In late October 2000, his office issued a statement saying that his son and the girl had discussed the matter and had resolved it amicably.

Zuma’s spokesperson Mathula Magubane said the complainant had willingly withdrawn the charges because she had acted emotionally rather than rationally in “a lovers’ tiff”.

A few days before Christmas, when Edward Zuma appeared in the Mtunzini Magistrate’s Court, the prosecutor announced that he was withdrawing the charge on instructions from the regional prosecuting authority.

Edward Zuma stepped into the media spotlight this week after it was revealed that his mother was the sister of the junior deputy judge president of the Transvaal.

The biological connection between Zuma and Judge Shongwe reportedly scuppered the possibility of Shongwe presiding in Zuma’s rape trial. - Sapa

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