Witnesses come out in Zuma's defence

Three more men were brought in on Wednesday to testify about their associations with Jacob Zuma’s rape accuser, but she claims not to know them. One man said she had sex with him, the other said they were a couple at a theological college, and the third said she got into the bath with him.

But after listening to their detailed testimony in the Johannesburg High Court, state prosecutor Herman Broodryk told all three she says she does not know them.

“That would be a blatant lie,” replied Durban estate agent Thulani Mpontshane, who said he had sex with the woman.

He said he was drawn to her while walking in Durban in 1996 or 1997 because she was wearing traditional Swazi attire. He complimented her and while having an ice-cream at a shopping centre, they “reached an agreement with this love relationship”.

She spent a weekend at his flat where they had intercourse, the first time without a condom.

“I looked underneath the bed, the pillow, all over and when I couldn’t find any I started praying.
It was loud enough for [the complainant] to hear me and she even laughed.

“I would under normal circumstances not go to bed with a woman without a condom, but I realised I had no choice, I just had to have sex,” Mpontshane said.

He said the woman had told him she had a boyfriend, a musician called Rasta, and that she had been raped, but did not give details. At a later date he took her home and introduced her to his flat mate, Lungisa Henry Manzi. They watched a soccer game and Mpontshane took her home to her nearby flat.

The next weekend the woman visited Mpontshane, but he hid from her in his bedroom for several hours because he was with another woman and had lost interest in her. Manzi, who now heads the eThekwini metro emergency services, told the court that while Mpontshane was hiding, he watched videos with the complainant.

Manzi walked the woman home, where she told her mother she would spend the night at his flat.

After arriving at the flat the two watched television in Manzi’s bedroom. He then went to have a bath.

He said the woman opened the bathroom door, undressed and climbed into the bath with him. He asked her in a whisper what Mpontshane would say about their being together, and she replied that they did not have a “love relationship”.

After bathing, the two went naked back to Manzi’s room where she explained to him how she and Mpontshane had met. He said she told him she said she had sex with Mpontshane because her boyfriend was frustrating her.

“I need a screw and I need it now,” he said she told Mpontshane. Manzi and the complainant later went to sleep without having sex. He saw her again in 2000 when she told him she had been diagnosed as HIV-positive.

She said she may have contracted the virus from Mpontshane, or her boyfriend, or from a rape five years before. She said she had not told Mpontshane about her status and told her boyfriend by leaving a message on his phone.

When told by Broodryk that he had checked with the complainant and she said she did not know who he was, Manzi replied: “She would drop down and clap if she saw me; she is a friend of mine.”

Pastor Terrence Modise told the court he and the complainant were madly in love and would spend all their time together. They were inseparable and would walk in the rain holding hands for all to see.

“Ja, those were good times,” Modise testified. He considered it an intimate relationship, but they never had intercourse. However, in a “drastic” incident, Modise went to visit her in her dormitory where she was alone as the other women students had gone home.

“We had a lovely time together ... We were chatting, huddling, kissing and all the stuff until she suddenly jumped, becoming angry. She grabbed everything ... blankets, pillowcases and threw them out with the intention of burning them. I mean she was angry ...”

He left to give her time to cool down and spent the night worrying, unable to study. He said he believed the woman may have become angry because during the cuddling he pulled down his trousers with the intention of having sex.

The next day the woman approached Modise. He apologised, and she accepted. They had no more intimate sessions but remained best friends.

Modise said he was “very surprised” that the woman could not remember him.

During the woman’s cross-examination the name Terrence was mentioned to her. She said she could not remember him but he may have been a student she used to “wrestle” with at the college.

The trial was adjourned until Tuesday for the defence’s final witness.

Afterwards Zuma cut a cake outside the court in honour of his 64th birthday.—Sapa

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