Poet Ntsiki Mazwai said it was insensitive of the ANC to “to make a man who triggers rape trauma to address the women on Women’s Day”.
This she said after President Jacob Zuma addressed a crowd of people at the Union Buildings for Women’s Day commemorations. Mazwai said the president had a “dark cloud over him” with regards to issues related to women.
On Saturday, a group of women staged a silent protest against the president “being a rapist” while he spoke at the announcement of the election results of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) in Pretoria.
When Zuma took the stage to speak as the guest of honour at the national results centre, the women stood in front of him with their posters carrying the words and one symbol, from left to right: “I am 1 in 3”, “#”, “10 years later”, “Khanga” and “Remember Khwezi”.
This was in relation to the much talked about rape case between the president and a woman known only by the name of Khwezi. Zuma was acquitted of the rape charge against Khwezi in 2006. He infamously told the court that he had unprotected sex with the woman, then took a shower afterwards, hence earning the oft-used moniker “shower head”.
The four women were forcefully marched out of the IEC results centre after staging the silent protest.
Khwezi later said through a spokesperson that she had truly appreciated the silent protest.
However, some accused the four women, who are believed to the aligned with the EFF, of double standards. This for not staging a protest against Malema who in 2009 said Khwezi had “enjoyed it” with the president.
ANA reported that Zuma marked the annual Women’s Day at the Union Buildings in Pretoria by pledging that his government would do everything to improve the lives of women in South Africa, many of whom were living in squalor and abuse.
“The struggles of women enabled the ushering in of freedom and democracy, so that these services can be extended to all. Many women still live in difficult conditions. Some communities are still waiting for water, electricity, sanitation and housing,” Zuma said.
“Women are still struggling as they travel long distances to fetch water. It is for this reason that work is continuing to improve the lives of our people each day,” Zuma said.
“Government will not rest until decent basic services reach all our people. We know too, that women are troubled by unemployment. Work continues to improve the economic situation in the country through working together by business, government and labour.”
Zuma however said the situation in South Africa is exacerbated by tough global economic conditions.