Old rape case haunts deputy president of MK Party

The case of rape opened against uMkhonto we Sizwe Party founder and deputy president Jabulani Khumalo is being used by his detractors within the party to question his eligibility for nomination as a candidate to parliament.

Khumalo, who is second on the leaked party election list behind party president, Jacob Zuma, escaped going to jail after a KwaZulu-Natal woman got him arrested for rape.

However, the case, which the woman opened at the Greenwood Park police station, Durban, on January 17, 2019, was not brought to trial after the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) determined that there was insufficient evidence to secure a conviction.

According to a truncated police statement, which Sunday World has seen, the woman, who was 20 years old at the time of the alleged sexual assault, says Khumalo raped her on January 14, 2019.

Although details of how the two met were sketchy, the victim’s statement said Khumalo had contacted her via WhatsApp on January 14, 2019 and offered her a lift home in KwaMashu.

The woman said she was surprised when Khumalo took a different direction away from her school, Howard College, she asked where he was taking her, he replied they were “going to spend a little time at his house” in Avoca Hills, a -suburb in northern Durban.

The woman said she saw some blood in front of Khumalo’s house when they arrived, and he explained that the “cat had bitten the chicken”.

She further says that while she was sitting on a couch watching TV, the man disrobed and sat next to her.

“He started touching me and my private part.

“I told him that I do not like what he was doing,” she said.

She added that Khumalo forced her to his bedroom, where he asked her to undress. She refused but he forcefully removed them. She said she wrestled to keep her -panties on.

“He put me on his bed and made me face the roof, lying on my back. He said …I must open my legs a little bit. I refused. He forced himself onto me…”

She added that Khumalo wasn’t wearing a condom. She said after he penetrated her, she went to the bathroom and vomited. She said after dressing up and being ready to leave, “he said I must cook for him before I leave. I then cooked”, and thereafter he took her home. She told her friend, whose name is known to this newspaper, about the incident.

She went to the Greenwood Park Police Station three days later and filed a case of rape against Khumalo.

“I am not in a relationship with Jabulani and never give (sic) consent to what he has done to me. I request police investigation towards (sic) him.”

Khumalo was then arrested.

KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Colonel Robert Netshiu-nda confirmed that a case of rape was registered against Khumalo.

The provincial NPA also confirmed that a family violence, child protection and sexual offences unit “arrested the 49-year-old man for the rape case. The rape incident was that of a 20-year-old woman on 14 January 2019. The case was withdrawn in court.”

The prosecutor who handled the case decided not to enrol it on the court roll, saying he wanted to interview the victim before he could do so.

After interviewing the complainant, the prosecutor declined to prosecute Khumalo, saying there were no prospects of secure a conviction.

Khumalo, who was then 49 years old, did not respond to questions Sunday World sent him last week.

Khumalo is the party official who registered MK with the Electoral Commission of SA and serves as its interim national chairperson.

Although the state declined to prosecute him, Khumalo’s rivals within MK still seemed hellbent to use the rape accusation as a weapon to block him from
going to parliament.

“The man still has a dark cloud hanging over his head because he has not been cleared by a court of law,” said an MK member who did not want to be named.

“We also have a problem with the inclusion of Bishop Bafana Zondo on the list because the man has been charged with multiple cases of rape.

“This does not do any good to the reputation of the organisation. “We are alienating our female support base.”

MK Party spokesperson, Nhlamulo Ndhlela, yesterday said they “were not aware of the allegations of a rape case brought against Khumalo.”

“MK Party takes these allegations very seriously and therefore the leadership will have to discuss this as a matter of urgency, and take it up with comrade Khumalo,” he said.

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