Zuma Apologises to Nation for Having Unprotected Sex
Jacob Zuma, South Africa's former deputy president, yesterday apologised to the nation for not wearing a condom while having sex with a woman he knew was HIV-positive.
Following his acquittal on a charge of raping the 31-year-old family friend, he said: "I should have been more cautious and more responsible. On this I apologise."
Judge Willem van der Merwe reprimanded him for having unprotected sex while finding him not guilty of rape. The judge accepted Mr Zuma's submission that the sex had been consensual.
Anti-Aids campaigners in South Africa, which has one of the highest HIV-Aids levels in the world, were furious when Mr Zuma testified that he had taken a shower after having intercourse with the woman as a precaution against contracting the disease. They were inundated with calls from sufferers asking whether a shower was adequate protection.
Mr Zuma, a member of the country's Aids Council, said he was being tested regularly to confirm his HIV negative status and said he would resume his duties as the deputy leader of the ruling ANC movement, a post from which he had withdrawn when the rape charge was laid.
He is due to go on trial in July on charges of corruption arising from his dealing with a French arms company.