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At the launch of her new novel, Jackie Phamotse has spoken out about being gang-raped by five men when she was 17, one a powerful politician.

Popular author Jackie Phamotse dropped the bombshell during the launch of her second novel in Johannesburg yesterday.

When she was 17 years old, and at a club called Whispers in Bloemfontein, she was gang-raped by five men who had hired the club for a party while they were attending a conference. The man leading the pack then a powerful local government official “is now a deputy minister in [President Jacob] Zuma’s Cabinet”, she told City Press at the event.

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And her rapist, she claims, has actively tried to block the launch of Bare, a work of fiction based on Phamotse’s own life as a model before she became the businesswoman she is today.