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South Africa Opposition Leader Under Fire Over Zuma Remarks


A South African opposition leader is coming under intense criticism after saying President Jacob Zuma is putting his three wives at risk of contracting HIV. Helen Zille, leader of the opposition Democratic Alliance accused the new South African president of being a womanizer with deeply held sexist views who is putting his three wives at risk by having unprotected sex with a lady who was HIV positive. The ruling African National Congress (ANC) Condemned the accusation describing it as shocking.

Floyd Shivambu is the spokesman for the ANC youth league. He told VOA that the opposition leader is showing her true racist colors.

"The ANC Youth League is disgusted by the manner in which the racist premier of the Western Cape speaks about the president of the Republic of South Africa. She shows no respect for the African tradition and culture that says that at least you must respect the reality that we've got a system where people are allowed to have more than one wife," Shivambu said.

He said the opposition leader's remarks are distasteful.

"Because Helen Zille is wrapped into a racist white cocoon somewhere in the Western Cape thinking that her white minority values must define the whole of South Africa, that can never be the case," he said.

Shivambu described as disgusting Zille's attacks on President Zuma.

"We are highly disgusted by the manner in which she speaks about the president of the republic of South Africa. She represents all the values of the past oppressive white minority regime." Shivambu said.

He said there are indications that the Western Cape premier is not happy with South Africa's new president,

"So we are not shocked whatever black leaders stand for she is always up to oppose it in an unnecessary and uncultured session," he said.

Shivambu said the opposition leader filled her cabinet with all males contrary to what the constitutions stipulates.

"She is failing to justify that she has appointed a hundred percent male cabinet in the province that she won against the value system which the ANC has been in pursuit of which says that we must have equitable gender representation in all cabinet," Shivambu said.

He said the ANC youth wing has threatened to take what he described as militant action against Helen Zille.

"Look the ANC youth league is for nation building in South Africa. We are pro nation building; we are a pro society that respects certain value systems and values. And if anyone is against that whether they are elected representative or not we are going to take a serious issue with them," he said.

Shivambu said the youth league is interested in a nation that has an equal playing field for all of its citizens.

"We are building a nation that is non-racial, non-sexist and that appreciates the capabilities of both black and white people. But Helen Zille is defying that agenda and that is why we are saying we are going to take a militant action," Shivambu said.

He said the youth league is yet to determine the scope of the action it intends taking against the opposition leader.

"We are going to define that if Helen Zille continues to speak in the manner that she is doing now. But that militant action will ultimately result in her not being premier of Western Cape because she represents a totally wrong ideological approach to what we aim to do," he said.

Zille told the South African newspaper the Sowetan that President Zuma is a self-confessed womanizer with deeply sexist views, who put all his wives at risk by having unprotected sex with an HIV-positive woman".

She said that the ruling party's professions of support for women's rights ring hollow against what the president espouses.

Zuma conceded during his rape trial in 2006 that he had had unprotected sex with his accuser, an HIV positive family friend, but said he had showered afterwards to minimize the risk of infection.

Zille was reportedly responding to accusations from the Western Cape general secretary of the Congress of South African Trade Union (COSATU), Tony Ehrenreich that she appointed all males into her cabinet to govern the Western Cape. She is the only woman on the team

Zille said Zuma was only able to appoint so many women cabinet ministers because he had extended the Cabinet to what she described as ludicrous 62 members.

COSATU said it would challenge the Western Cape premier's all male-cabinet in the Equality Court, contending that the executive authorities have a legal duty to implement the Employment Equity Act.

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