'Remember Khwezi' protesters praised in Parliament

2016-08-25 19:02

Cape Town – Opposition parties on Thursday paid tribute to the four women who staged a silent protest against President Jacob Zuma at the election results announcement.

The DA, EFF, and IFP saluted the women for their bravery, while condemning the ANC’s reaction to the protest, during a Women’s Day event in the National Assembly. It was held under the theme "Women united in moving SA forward".

MPs flung insults and shouted down other speakers in a relatively empty House. Only a couple of ministers were in attendance. There were more people in the public gallery than MPs in the benches below. 

Party after party flayed ANC Women’s League president Bathabile Dlamini, accusing her of leading the defence of Zuma against the silent protesters.

The women disrupted Zuma’s speech at the IEC’s results centre in Pretoria on Saturday, August 6. They held up placards that read "10 years later", "Remember Khwezi", "I am one in 3", and "Khanga". They were referring to a Zuma’s rape trial in 2006. He was acquitted of raping a then 31-year-old HIV-positive family friend, known only as Khwezi.

Zuma’s bodyguards shoved them out of the hall.

'Not in our name'

EFF MP Phumza Ntobongwana said some female leaders of society had gone to great lengths to demonise women who stood up and challenged men.

"These women leaders had nothing to say, nothing to contribute when four brave women stood up in silent protest against rape culture at the IEC. This speaks volumes about the direction we are taking as South Africa," she said.

No South African female leader protected Khwezi when Zuma was accused of raping her, she said.

"We must stand up and say, 'not in our name'. We must stand up against men like Mr Zuma and women like Bathabile Dlamini and Nomvula Mokonyane."

DA MP Denise Robinson called for women to unite against rape culture. She said the ANC Women’s League did not support Khwezi at all, and instead helped her leave the country.

"The ANC Women’s League is clearly not an advocate for justice for women, and instead reduced itself to placing women issues on the altar of patriarchal sacrifice. Why was this silent reminder hysterically denounced by the president of the ANCWL, along with two other ministers?" Robinson asked.

She berated the ANC’s women leaders for standing by while the protesters were brusquely removed from the venue.

'Four brave women'

IFP MP Liezl van der Merwe said neither government nor Parliament, but the four women, had given the fight against gender violence a dramatic boost this year.

"But it came from a silent protest of four brave women at the IEC centre. Without uttering a word, their message was clear. We can no longer afford to ignore the rape culture in our country. We honour those women today, and each and every victim of rape and violence."

The beauty of their bravery stood in sharp contrast to the behaviour of some of the country’s female leaders, who almost came to blows over the protest, she said.

Minister of Women in the Presidency Susan Shabangu praised women for becoming "forces to be reckoned with in the country". South Africa was a better place to live than it had been in 1994, she said.

 

Read more on:    iec  |  jacob zuma  |  parliament 2016  |  gender rights

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.