National 8.8.2016 09:32 am

IEC ‘compromised’ by anti-rape protest

Zuma speaking at the IEC results centre on August 6 where a silent protest was held to #RememberKhwezi. Picture: Jacques Nelles

Zuma speaking at the IEC results centre on August 6 where a silent protest was held to #RememberKhwezi. Picture: Jacques Nelles

IEC deputy chairperson Terry Tselane on Monday said on Twitter the commission was ‘greatly compromised’ by the protest.

The Independent Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) said it has apologised to President Jacob Zuma for the anti-rape protest by four women during his speech, which was broadcast live on television.

IEC deputy chairman Terry Tselane on Monday said on Twitter the commission was “greatly compromised” by the protest.

In a another tweet, Tselane said: “The protest on Saturday took the IEC by surprise and if we knew we would have handled it differently. We apologised to the President [Jacob Zuma]”.

Four young women, who were manning the EFF desk at the IEC results centre throughout the week, went to the front of the audience and held up placards that referred to Zuma’s rape trial in 2006.

The placards read “10 years later”, “Remember Khwezi”, “I am one in 3,” and “Khanga” while the president delivered his speech. The placards were in apparent reference to Zuma’s rape trial a decade ago.

Zuma was acquitted of raping a then 31-year-old HIV-positive family friend at his home in Johannesburg in 2005.

Facing the audience with their backs to the president, the women continued their silent protest for the duration of his short speech. He seemed oblivious to the protest as he spoke.

The women were bundled away by the presidential protection services after Zuma left the podium.

The protest angered the ANC Women’s League (ANCWL), whose president Bathabile Dlamini blamed the IEC and demanded answers about the protest.

One of the women, Simamkele Dlakavu, an EFF member and an anti-rape activist, later tweeted: “We are all okay. Thank you #RememberKhwezi”.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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