DA tune will change if Max lied

2010-02-19 20:39

Cape Town - Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille on Friday said her measured stance towards allegations of philandering against Western Cape Community MEC Lennit Max would change dramatically if these turned out to be true.

Zille again rejected criticism by constitutional law expert Pierre de Vos that was hypocritical of her to call a reported torrid affair on Max's part a "private matter" but lambasted Zuma for fathering a child with the daughter of soccer tycoon Irvin Khoza.

In her weekly newsletter, she conceded many people had asked why she had been more critical of the President than the provincial police minister.

"The first reason that the Zuma and Max cases are entirely different is because there is a difference between a fact and an allegation... No-one is disputing the facts in the Jacob Zuma matter."

In contrast, Max was strenuously denying Belinda Petersen's claim that they had an affair.

Zille also pointed out in 2007, when the affair was said to have taken place, Max was not a member of the police force.

She added that the "context" in which infidelity is committed by a politician was part of the reason why "some scandals are more scandalous than others".


The Ppresident's affair registered "higher on the scandal scale" because it involved hypocrisy, lies and broken promises as Zuma had gone back on a public undertaking not to have unprotected sex.

"He addressed the nation on World Aids Day on December 1 2009, stressing that personal responsibility and change in sexual behaviour were the only viable ways of stopping the HIV pandemic.

"It later emerged that the daughter from his extra-marital relationship was born shortly before he made that speech," Zille said.

"Contextual factors either aggravate or mitigate any kind of scandal. Without in any way condoning marital infidelity, it is clear that contextual factors are the reason why some 'affairs' make waves and other remain below the surface.

"And if it turns out that Lennit Max has been lying to me, his context will change dramatically."

Max has voluntarily taken leave from his duties.