The woman accusing former deputy president Jacob Zuma of rape has said that she is lesbian, but does sleep with men. The woman, who may not be named, but who has been nicknamed ‘Khwezi’ by some, spent yesterday under fierce interrogation in a Johannesburg court over her accusations.

The HIV positive woman has been questioned in detail about her sexual history by the defence, which although not normally allowed in rape cases, was permitted by Judge Willem van der Merwe. On cross-examination the woman said she identified herself as lesbian, but had had about five male lovers in the past. She said her first sexual experience was being raped at the age of five, and that this was one of three rape experiences when she was a child.

The defence appears to be painting the woman as having a chequered sexual history, with a tendency to make rape accusations. The sensational trial and lurid details have gripped South Africans and made daily news headlines.

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