By Carien du Plessis, Xolani Mbanjwa, Siyabonga Mkhwanazi and Sapa
The ANC has distanced itself from what it said was a "deeply embarrassing" attack by the ANC Youth League on DA leader Helen Zille. As the war of words over her description of President Jacob Zuma as an "Aids risk" escalated, the MK Military Veterans' Association (MKMVA) threatened to make the Western Cape, where Zille is premier, ungovernable.
Temperatures rose further yesterday with the MKMVA launching a vituperative attack. Chairman Kebbey Maphatsoe said during a Luthuli House briefing that the real reasons for Zille appointing an all-male cabinet was so that its members were "kept close enough to satisfy her well-evolved wild whore libido".
"They are also kept in her power corridors isolated from other women, so as to satisfy her and her alone; hence the exclusion of other women as they pose undesired sexual competition to her undying lust for sex with her male groupies.
"She is a fascist of the worst kind, who, after evidently sleeping with more than her fair share of white males in her preferred lifestyle of serial monogamy, now turns around and demonises those who are honest to their cultural preferences," said Maphatsoe. He said that if Zille did not "refrain from this anti-African and racist behaviour", the MKMVA would not hesitate to launch a political programme aimed at rendering the Western Cape ungovernable.
SACP general secretary and Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande questioned Zille's sanity and described the province she now governed as a "bantustan of a special order".
"I'm worried if Helen Zille is still together upstairs," Nzimande told a National Union of Metalworkers of SA meeting.
At issue is Zille's response to ANC attacks on the composition of her mostly white, all-male provincial cabinet. She pointed out that the ANC itself had never been led by a woman, while its alliance partners, Cosatu and the SACP, were also led by men. She added that Zuma was a "self-confessed womaniser with deeply sexist views who had put all his wives at risk by having unprotected sex with an HIV-positive woman".
This prompted a furious response from the ANCYL, with its spokesperson Floyd Shivambu retorting: "Zille has appointed an all-male cabinet of useless people, the majority of whom are her boyfriends and concubines, so that she can continue to sleep around with them, yet she claims to have the moral authority to question our president".
It is this statement the ANC has condemned, with its secretary-general Gwede Mantashe saying the league's comments reflected "a marked departure from the ANC's approach to political engagement".
However, Shivambu stuck to his guns yesterday, seemingly undeterred by the ANC's condemnation of his statement or the possible threat of legal action by Zille. He said the league would not be seeking an audience with Mantashe in a bid to seek common ground over Zille.
"We are not changing anything. We are sticking by our statement," said Shivambu, who yesterday had to deal with more than 50 abusive, often racist calls and text messages after the Afrikaans daily Die Burger gave his cellphone number.
But ANC spokesperson Lindiwe Zulu said yesterday: "There has to be a meeting." She said she was "100 percent sure" that Zuma had had a hand in the ANC's statement.
Zille yesterday even received a reprimand of sorts from within her own party, with the DA's youth wing urging her to focus on the job at hand rather than continue trading insults.
DA Youth spokesperson Khume Ramulifho said it was time for an end to the rhetoric in order to focus on delivery.
"When the DA federal council meets at the end of the month we are going to call on the DA leadership to focus on the main goals, because all these rhetorical statements being made are just to distract us."
The youth wing said it supported Zille's cabinet appointments, saying women's representivity would not solve service delivery problems.
The SA Human Rights Commission expressed concern over the tone of the attacks. Published on the Web by IOL on 2009-05-14 06:05:00