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ANCWL President Bathabile Dlamini Chooses Zuma Over the Women of South Africa

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Thursday, March 24th, 2016
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ANC Women’s League President, Bathabile Dlamini, has once again chosen to abandon her mandate to “improving the lot of women nationally”, opting instead to protect and salvage President Zuma’s deteriorating reputation amidst the Guptagate saga.

This follows Dlamini’s decision to side with President Zuma over Vytjie Mentor regarding the allegations of unwelcomed sexual advances he made against her.

Everyday thousands of women in South Africa suffer in silence from domestic abuse and sexual harassment. By arguing that every member of the ANC’s National Executive Committee (NEC) has “skeletons which should not be brought into the public domain,” Dlamini is implicitly endorsing the view that allegations such as those made by Vytjie are best left unaired.

It is unfortunate that Dlamini and the ANCWL, in blind service to President Zuma and his acolytes, has chosen to abandon its commitment to the rights of women and instead undercut advances made over the years for women to speak out against abuses and violations in their personal and professional spaces.

Dlamini has shown no intention in seeking restitution for the women violated by senior members, and has ensured that violators such as Marius Fransman and President Jacob Zuma are left to perpetuate their patriarchal attitudes unchecked.

In failing to condemn these attitudes, Dlamini is making herself complicit in the continued subjugation and oppression of women by refusing to challenge senior ANC members who continue to disregard the constitutional rights of women and render the cries of women like Mentor unheeded.

The DA maintains that none of us can experience true freedom whilst others endure ongoing oppression. A free, fair and open opportunity society is paramount in a democratic society to which all political parties should strive to achieve. We will continue to hold leaders accountable and ensure they take responsibility for these violations.

Nomsa Marchesi, Shadow Deputy Minister of Women, Youth, Children and People with Disabilities

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