Commission for Gender Equality slams Xhosa King’s disapproval of a woman president

By Drum Digital
10 February 2017

The Commission for Gender Equality has condemned Xhosa King for saying South Africa is not ready for a woman president.

By Aphiwe Boyce

The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) has condemned Xhosa King Zwelonke Sigcawu for saying South Africa is not ready for a woman president.

This follows the Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and ANC Women’s League visit at Sigcawu’s Nqadu Great Place in Willowvale, Eastern Cape last week.  Dlamini-Zuma claimed she was there purely to pay respects to the amaXhosa king. However, in many circles, it has been suggested she was there to look for the support of the king ahead of the ANC’s national elective conference in December this year.

The Sowetan newspaper quoted the king saying, “South Africa is not yet ready to be led by a woman president. Women are sensitive by nature. The country’s problems have overwhelmed leaders who are men, how much more for a woman.”

The Commission’s spokesperson Javu Baloyi said they had noted with dismay the recent utterances attributed to the King.

“The King is also alleged to have stated that “South Africa is not yet ready for a woman president and that women are too sensitive to lead.  King Sigcawu’s utterances clearly constitute a violation of some of the basic human rights principles contained in our Constitution, including the right to gender equality, the right to dignity and the constitutional prohibition against discrimination on the basis of gender,” Baloyi said.

He added that Section 9 (3) (b) of the Constitution provides that every adult citizen has the right to stand for public office and, if elected, to hold office.

“The Commission therefore finds it disappointing and unfortunate that a leader in King Sigcawu’s position has to be reminded of his duties and obligations to observe the fundamental freedoms afforded to South Africans as outlined not only in the country’s Constitution, but also in numerous domestic laws and policy frameworks, as well as in international treaties and conventions that our country’s leaders have ratified,” he said.

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