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Jacob Zuma South Africa

Rape acquittal

8 May, 2006

Zuma is acquitted of raping a 31-year-old family friend on 2 November 2005. In a four-hour ruling broadcast live on radio and television, the judge says the state had not proven the case beyond reasonable doubt. He also refers to evidence given by the defence, suggesting that the complainant has a history of making false accusations of rape.

The complainant was inclined to accuse men of raping her or attempting to rape her

Zuma admitted having had sex with the woman, but insisted it was consensual. The judge says Zuma would not have risked forcing himself on the woman when his own daughter was in the house and police were on guard outside, who would have heard the accused if she had cried out. After the judgement, Zuma addresses a crowd in nearby Beyers Naude Square:

A person who is charged remains innocent until proven otherwise – this is one of the golden rules of our constitution but the press broke this rule. Today the bad dreams have evaporated.