Businessman Sazi Fakude, a close companion of Small Business Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu, has been accused of raping a young woman he allegedly abducted from a Sandton nightclub.
The 25-year-old student alleged she was raped by Fakude in the early hours of Monday morning.
Police confirmed a rape complaint was opened.
Fakude said yesterday: “I am aware of the allegations. The case was opened. What do you guys want from me?”
He asked for questions to be sent by SMS. His lawyer, Graeme Krawitz, says his client hasn’t been charged yet and he has no comment at this stage.
In a lengthy police statement, the woman said she was partying at the Hydro Lounge in Sandton, and “when the club was about to close, a guy known to me as Sazi walked in and greeted us”.
In her statement, the woman says she knew Fakude because he once dated a friend of hers. She left him with her friends and went to the bathroom, but returned to find them arguing.
“I tried to calm him down to make peace and he asked me to go with him to his car so that he can calm down.
“I agreed to accompany him to his car, because I thought he was my best friend’s ex-boyfriend and he wasn’t going to do anything to me,” she said.
“We went to his car and while I was telling him to behave well in public because he’s a respected person, he drove off [with me] without my permission.”
The woman alleges that what followed was a night of hell during which she feared for her life.
She sent her friends a series of terrified WhatsApp messages between 04:45 and 05:48, including “He’s gonna kill me” and “Bring police. I’m begging you”.
The mother of one alleges that Fakude drove her to his home in Kempton Park and became violent when she called her friends to fetch her.
“I sent my friends a location so that whatever happened to me on that morning, they knew where I was,” she says.
One of the woman’s friends, who asked not to be named, confirmed receiving the messages.
The woman claimed Fakude had looked her in the eyes and told her she “wasn’t going anywhere” and that no girl says no to him.
“He told me he wanted to have sex with me. I told him that’s not going to happen,” the young woman said.
“He then slapped me several times and strangled me for a while. He smashed my phone on the floor and threatened to kill me if I made a noise. I was hopeless, lying down… he undressed me and forced himself on me.”
Her friends arrived at the house with police at 08:00 that morning. They were late because they had no money for a taxi to take them there.
“Sazi begged me not to open the case and he said I must just name a price, he’ll give me whatever I want. I refused and left his place and I told him we’ll meet in court,” she alleged.
Gauteng spokesperson captain Mavela Masondo confirmed a case of rape had been opened. “We are investigating.”
Asked about the nature of her relationship with Fakude on Friday, all that Zulu would say was, “Yes, I know him”.
Asked about pictures of them together on his Instagram account in which they appear to shop and dine together, Zulu said:
“There’s absolutely no shopping. I don’t shop with any other people. I work, shop alone with my own money. If it happens, we have a lunch in any place, it’s just a lunch and we come out for fun; we just take fun pictures.
“There’s absolutely nothing to it.”
Fakude handed himself in at the Sandton police station on Sunday afternoon. He’ll appear at Alexandra Magistrate Court on Monday morning.