Presidency responds to Xingwana comments

2013-02-28 08:31

Johannesburg - No single cultural group should be blamed for the scourge of violence against women and children, the presidency said on Tuesday.

"We wish to assure the Afrikaner community and all South Africans that government's commitment to non-racialism and diversity as enshrined in the Constitution of the republic, remains unwavering," spokesperson Mac Maharaj said.

It was issued following an apology from Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities Lulu Xingwana for her comments about Afrikaner men.

Said Maharaj: "The contribution of Afrikaner males in the fight against gender-based violence and also generally to the building of a united, caring and prosperous South Africa, is as valuable as that of all South Africans."


Xingwana told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Monday that young Afrikaner men were raised to believe they owned women and children.

She was being interviewed following the arrest of paralympian Oscar Pistorius after his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp was shot dead at his Pretoria home two weeks ago.

"Young Afrikaner men are brought up in the Calvinist religion believing that they own a woman, they own a child, they own everything and therefore they can take that life because they own it," Xingwana said.

"We also have cultural differences as well in our own communities where we have women who are forced into marriage and we are dealing with all those issues."

Xingwana said in her apology: "It has become clear to me that my comments may have offended some members of our community. I would, accordingly, like to retract these remarks and apologise unconditionally [for] them."

Earlier, the Afrikanerbond said Xingwana had proven beyond doubt she was not fit to hold office in a constitutional democracy.

The Christian Democratic Party called for President Jacob Zuma to fire her.

"Many non-Afrikaners, black and white, are members of Calvinist churches and her latest statement could be considered as religious intolerance," party spokesman Rev Theunis Botha said.

  • david.khasebe - 2013-02-28 08:46

    It is incredible the calibre of "leader-sheep" today

      Paul De la Rey - 2013-02-28 09:34

      yep, we do poly - working hard and doing manual labor gives one bleeding blisters. That's the blood you see. You, on the other hand, have calloused at trolling btw.

      squeegee.pilot - 2013-02-28 09:35

      What is scary is that this is obviously what the minister and others think. The apology was demanded and to save her job she gave it, but that does not change her perceptions. The ideas about this "Calvinist religion" and about Afrikaner men is ludicrous. Where did she learn this - at Communist School? What sort of future can we build when the leaders are disconnected from reality. Where do see a nation of men owning their wives and children and taking their lives if they please? Over the last year several women have killed their children and themselves...

      Jared Van Niekerk - 2013-02-28 09:35

      Polio-donkey: How many innocent blacks were murdered by Shaka's Mfecane? Pity they didn't zap your loathsome ancestors, as you are clearly too racist and too stupid to live, kont.

      Xavier7034 - 2013-02-28 09:37

      Troll Alert

      johan.mostert.967 - 2013-02-28 12:05

      "We wish to assure the Afrikaner community and all South Africans that government's commitment to non-racialism and diversity as enshrined in the Constitution of the republic, remains unwavering," Yet there are racist policies like AA and BEE and racist Black Only bodies like the Black Business Forum etc.

  • RabbleRouser - 2013-02-28 08:47

    Typical foot in mouth utternaces from a very stupid ANC minister. Do they breed them like that?

      Patrick B. Fisher - 2013-02-28 09:05

      hahahahahah.... very well put

      daan.vandenberg.773 - 2013-02-28 11:28

      How the hell did she get a visa to go to Australia? Should they not know better and not allow criminals into their country. What was she doing there in the first place?

  • Jacques - 2013-02-28 08:49

    '...goverment's commitment to non-racialism...' #stopsreading

      jackal666.daniel - 2013-02-28 09:16

      I stopped at Mac Maharaj...

      George Frangs - 2013-02-28 10:20

      Good 'ol Raj. I really loathe that miserable rat.

      Jacques - 2013-02-28 11:40

      One really can't trust a syllable that's uttered by these twits. They are so out of touch with reality you might as well watch 7de Laan if you want accurate political reaction.

  • Sheilan Clarke - 2013-02-28 08:50

    "...apologise unconditionally [for] them." Not [for] but [to]. And what is this woman talking about? She should not be allowed to make comments ever again. Yorh! Eish...

      rudi.willemse.39 - 2013-02-28 09:46

      We were pretty damn quiet until she had a brain fart on international television. And please, it's "Afrikaners"

  • Mufamadi Zwivhuya - 2013-02-28 09:00

    Instead of promoting SA overseas she is destroying SA. Bt what do u expect frm incompetent minister.

      George Frangs - 2013-02-28 10:32

      You've nailed it bro.

  • lyndol.lyons - 2013-02-28 09:05

    Minister Lulu is incompetent. When you place an incompetent person in a position of power, this kind of thing is bound to happen.

  • Iyanla Jakavula-Jordan - 2013-02-28 09:06

    guys, i really dont understand you, why bite each others head off? like really now... all the racists comments you are posing here. im really not apologising for Lulu, i wont be even be responsible for the things she says. but its said how y'all behave. @Tony did you really have to say that? @Andile order baba...

      jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2013-02-28 09:43

      Lyandla Jakavula Jordan. Who is biting whom?.

  • Jaco JP Venter - 2013-02-28 09:09

    Please can somebody gives Andile Khumalo a napkin!

      tersia.louw.12 - 2013-02-28 10:16

      ... and a dummy.

      Obed Majoko - 2013-02-28 11:55


  • Lucky Luke - 2013-02-28 09:11

    "COMMITMENT TO NON-RACIALISM" - WHAT TRIPE!!this govt is as racist as the nats but they justify it as "previously disadvantaged", it's the same agenda, discrimination based on race!

      ClassWarTrotsky - 2013-02-28 09:21

      Are you required to carry a pass book?

      rudi.willemse.39 - 2013-02-28 09:55

      Oh snap!

  • Cassie Lourens Barns - 2013-02-28 09:11

    Now if it was a WHITE woman - saying that about a BLACK man - OH MY WORD! They would be fired, jailed and fined!!! TYPICAL - BLACKS stick together! Shove your NON-Racial comments Fart Face!!!

  • Richard - 2013-02-28 09:12

    Again an empty apology. I think she should not go into which race tries to own woman as it has nothing to do with the violence towards woman which is a crime and not race based.

  • Sivuyile Switch Kana - 2013-02-28 09:13

    lets all smoke a blunt and be "happy"

      Iyanla Jakavula-Jordan - 2013-02-28 09:16

      @Sivuyile dude... lol! uza nenye nawe ngoku!

  • lunghile.ndleve - 2013-02-28 09:14

    1. Zulu TAXI drivers are to be aggressive to all their customers, male or female. And they use abusive language and tone. 2. Nigerians in SA are hear to sell drugs and are gang lords 3. Us Tsonga (Mashangaan) people are foreigners and Limpopo is a foreign country. 4. I am sure the list goes on and on and on... Was Manana Lulu basing her comments on some of these common stereotypes that are everyday language for all South African, one can never be certain. But the fact is we are all guilty of some kind of racial or cultural prejudice and throwing all the blame on one person coz of something she definitely shouldn't have said, is not the way to fix things.. Manana Lulu thanks for apologizing and I hope your mistake will get people thinking of what they say about other people from a race/culture different from them.

  • Busisani Mhlambi - 2013-02-28 09:17

    Busisani Mhlambi

      tersia.louw.12 - 2013-02-28 10:17


  • Morne Nagel - 2013-02-28 09:17

    Typical from the cANCer. All talk, no action. Blah blah blah.

  • Cina - 2013-02-28 09:17

    It is to late to retract her comment now, it is said and done.

  • Busisani Mhlambi - 2013-02-28 09:19

    The statement by Lulu is wrong at every level, senseless and unfounded. She has apologised, lets us forgive her, as i hope this is a sign she realised she was wrong. There are more rape and women murder cases in Soweto than Krugersdorp, for e.g. how would she explain that?

      Paul De la Rey - 2013-02-28 09:28

      Agree with you wholeheartedly. If we use her logic, all muslims strap explosives to themselves, all blacks use muthi and all australians shag sheep...although the australian one is perhaps true... :-)

  • Iyanla Jakavula-Jordan - 2013-02-28 09:21

    i wish eveyone can be like me and my boyfriend, he's white, Im black... Colour Does not define who were are as a people. Cant we deal with Lulu here and not each other? she is the problem!!... she must take responsibility of her actions. Leave that ministry!

      tersia.louw.12 - 2013-02-28 10:22

      You're asking her to disembark from the gravy train; that's never going to happen, but it would be good if the president showed some real leadership and fired her for hate speech (this time) and gross incompetence in every ministry she's ever been in.

  • David Harrington - 2013-02-28 09:22

    We can't those who were offended be gratious and accept the apology. Let's be honest... she was not wrong in pointing out that there is a problem. She was no doubt out of line in restricting her comments to one group; however, South African society definitely manifests paternalistic tendencies. And, to add to this, she might be closer to the truth than many of us would like to admit... the academics amongst us might be able to confirm this, but I somehow recall having previously read stats that indicate that the family suicide rate amongst the Afrikaner fraternity is higher than the norm. Maybe, in this instance, we should not be "shooting the messenger" as much as acknowledging that there might be a problem and seeing what can be done to aleviate it.

      Iyanla Jakavula-Jordan - 2013-02-28 09:27

      @ David... wow thats such a brave statement you just said there! #Saluting to Bravery!!!

      Barry Bentley - 2013-02-28 10:13

      Hi David, while i mostly agree with yr comment... there is a fundamental difference between suicide and saying men treat and kill there woman at will...!!! I do agree i would luv to see a stat like that, maybe its time we as south africans start to really appreciate who the real killers are in this country...!!!

      tersia.louw.12 - 2013-02-28 10:25

      I'm sure that apologies can generally be accepted graciously if they are sincere. Ms Xingwana should never have said what she did on an international platform (she shouldn't have said it at all); she then apologised and recanted when she realised that SAHRC were going over the footage with a fine toothcomb. Her apology was too little, too late and indicative of how she sees race, culture and religion which are not hers. Not very constitutional, was she?

      Mannie777 - 2013-02-28 12:11

      and if a white made the comment towards blacks - what would you have said then?

  • raimund.langhans - 2013-02-28 09:22

    You can take her apology shove up your bigoted @r$e.You are nothing more than a racist in a position of "power" with an ax to grind. If that comes across as a racial offensive statement,good, because that is the intention!

  • Thuto Shomolekae - 2013-02-28 09:25

    south african ministers are not well educated , all of them you should listen to them more carefully , thy never ever answer questions . thy just comment for the sake of commenting

      tersia.louw.12 - 2013-02-28 10:26

      And how sad is that?

  • brendon.jewaskiewitz - 2013-02-28 09:25

    And in the 'retraction' of her statements, she says that she 'was not talking about Afrikaner men'.. Well, what was she talking about then? In this country it seems OK to say something and then deny it.. and then all will be OK.. Well, look around, everything is patently NOT OK, and its getting worse!

  • Arno Lotz - 2013-02-28 09:26

    she worries about calvanists and white men,perhaps she must tell the public about the corruption and nepotism racism in het depatment before she throughs accusations about something she didnt have a clue about,tipical ,

  • Theuns G Strydom - 2013-02-28 09:29

    Except for it being a racist comment,does this excuse for a minister realize that comments like this damage the whole country's image abroad.How this person got into this position,boggles the mind

  • Akha Nofemela - 2013-02-28 09:30

    This Minister must go.

  • JanGrimbeek - 2013-02-28 09:31

    Now that the "race card" are starting to fail response to suit themselves they are changing tactics and start to use a very dangerous thing... as the CDP rightly state "religious intolerance" Very very dangerous to play along the religion line !!!

  • richardnealejohn.underwood - 2013-02-28 09:31

    ANDILE ask someone who knows whats going on to show you which button to press

  • David - 2013-02-28 09:34

    She should step down or be fired

  • Arno Lotz - 2013-02-28 09:34

    on the other hand,give the poor woman a break,hulle het bietjie vinnig op haar afgekom met n vraag,kannie so vinnig respond nie jy weet,toe moes sy ma eerste ding se wat in haar klein gedagtewereld opgekom het,dis amper soos selfverdediging shame!

  • Fdee Psy Dalana - 2013-02-28 09:36

    ignorance is commonplace in S.A politics. we expect such people to come up with solutions to social problems,not this sick,uncivilized and bigoted opinions.

  • Lynn Hattingh - 2013-02-28 09:38

    Arno dis nie selfverdediging nie dis selfmoord elke keer as sy haar bek oop maak

  • clifford.muller.90 - 2013-02-28 09:38

    Lulu Xingwana, Should be removed from her position... her interests are clearly not with woman,Children and Disabilities. #racism!!

  • rob.martin.94402343 - 2013-02-28 09:46

    Her class and upbringing are coming to the fore.

      tersia.louw.12 - 2013-02-28 10:29

      Her lack of class, rob.martin.

  • Wabsie Nomawabo Sitela - 2013-02-28 09:47

    I would assume the most fundamental goal for any Nation would be living in a society that is equal, the anc government is creating divisions and a large gap, with careless comments like that I say she needs to GO apologizing now is too late the damage is already done, in fact starting from our shower head president this is not the rainbow nation mandela had in mind

  • edwardsch - 2013-02-28 09:52

    And we are asked to take this woman seriously. With this kind of outlook, we are all doomed.

  • Sam Hearn - 2013-02-28 09:52

    Come on guys! Give this woman a break. It is obvious she was telling the truth, but was misquoted. Her statement actually was: "young African men were raised to believe they owned women and children." Come on, we all know that to be true, specially in the rural areas of the Limpopo and Eastern Cape.

  • Michael Hawthorne - 2013-02-28 09:53

    Xingwana you racist scum bag!

  • Hudayfah Newman - 2013-02-28 09:53

    When reading through the comments on this issue,its easy to see what the problem is in this country. It is indeed true that the minister had offended afrikaner men and women. It is also true that she clumsily made a ridiculously false statement. So how does she rectify the mistake she has made? Go back to the past and undo it? The most rational thing would obviously be to apologise. Which she did. Its not as if none of us make mistakes in our lives. Its not as if we have never offended anyone. Heck many of us don't even find it in ourselves to apologise. She has, and now we should try and move past it.

      tersia.louw.12 - 2013-02-28 10:33

      Unfortunately, Hudayfah, what spilled out of her mouth come from her thoughts. Do we really want a minister who thinks (I use the term loosely) that way responsible for women, children and people with disabilities of all races? And please ask yourself WHY she apologised; could it have something to do with political parties across the board called for her resignation, or the SAHRC studying her interview? I think so.

  • 5ihl3 - 2013-02-28 09:54

    The minister' s comments were uncalled for indeed and everybody is justifiable blaming the ANC But as citizens are we doing enough to build bridge these racial divisions? ? The comments from most members of this News24 forum make me doubt we are.

  • Stephen van Eyssen - 2013-02-28 09:54

    I respect the honesty of the apology offered. Sometimes we are all guilty of racial prejudice and our arrogance to persist with our views are really harmful towards the goal we all have: a united South Africa. Finger pointing does not solve problems. Remember there are three fingers pointing back at you. If every individual really apply their mind and heart to be more respectful to one another we will succeed in more constructive and meaningful coexistence. It is all about our attitude towards one another. History is history. What we think and do today will determine our future.

      rudi.willemse.39 - 2013-02-28 10:00

      With respect sir, I don't believe that this was a sincere apology. I agree that we all slip up as far as racism goes, but to do so in her capacity as minister on the international scene is irresponsible and inexcusable.

  • HennsTooth - 2013-02-28 09:58

    Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities Lulu Xingwana, together with her entire delegation, was shown the door in parliament on Wednesday, Beeld reported. Xingwana's department was given a postponement in December to report on its turnaround strategy, but the documents MPs were supposed to receive to allow them to ask informed questions were only delivered on Tuesday night. Furthermore, many of the MPs agreed, the report was a mess. According to parliamentary rules, MPs are supposed to receive documents at least 48 hours before a meeting. The Democratic Alliance on Wednesday also requested the suspension of Xingwana's department, and called for her to be axed. Exasperated MPs, among them ANC members, sent her and her delegation back to the drawing board. Xingwana apologised on behalf of her department and asked whether she could submit a preliminary report. "This is unacceptable, but the department has worked so hard." However, the DA, after quibbling for an hour, walked out of the meeting. DA MP Helen Lamoela said the department was allocated R198.3 million in the 2013/14 financial year, but "there is nothing to show for it except lavish parties, trips abroad and designer furniture". According to her, the money could have trained 16,000 specialist detectives or built 20 police stations.

      tersia.louw.12 - 2013-02-28 10:35

      Definitely time for Lulu to go!

  • konanani.rachicoper - 2013-02-28 09:59

    Eish,There is something wrong with our government.

  • Baron Du Toit - 2013-02-28 09:59

    We must stand together , it does not matter the color of our skin . There will always be somebody trying to break up what we have been building for last 20years . rainbow nation .

  • winifred.watson.9 - 2013-02-28 10:01

    This minister made a right LULU of herself and no apologising will help. Only reason she is apologising is because she does not want to lose her seat on the gravy train. Remember she has just spend millions on furniture for her office, so she wants to enjoy that. I am sick and tired of all the racism that spews from the presidency, even our own president is guilty of it. They have destroyed all the colours in the rainbow nation, there is only one colour left and they are making certain of that. The pot of gold is not be shared....its finders keepers.

      Eric Ehlers - 2013-02-28 10:08

      I agree instead of bringing all the races together it seems their focus has shifted to pull it apart and cause hate amongst the people of South Africa

  • Jack Sithole - 2013-02-28 10:02

    Xingwana is a racist, she is a person that discriminates against the disabled and discriminates against people on grounds of their gender. I think Zuma should create a ministry that looks at these kinds of issues ...

  • Baron Du Toit - 2013-02-28 10:02

    there will always be some one to break up what we been building for the last 20 yaers . forget color . stand together . rainbow nation .I still think we are a great country

  • Eric Ehlers - 2013-02-28 10:04

    I am so sick and tired of this whole racial thing really, I am 21yo and a white Afrikaans male. I've been raised in a Christian community with allot of love for my neighbors and family. I’ve been brought up to RESPECT women and look out for them and so did many of my peers. I was outraged by Xingwana’s statement because it’s false. It seems to me that everyone wants to get sensation after Oscar’s ordeal. If u want to play the race card then u should look at all the races and compare, that poor girl in Bredasdorp she’s been raped and disemboweled by her own race, that black elderly lady in the Kwazulu Natal region that has been robbed and raped by her own race. Isn’t that violence towards women as well? Yeah I believe there is a problem but blaming one race for the problem is really screwed up its not contributing to solving the problem but just causes unnecessary debates and anger amongst people. Also causes more unnecessary hates amongst different race group.

  • veldt66 - 2013-02-28 10:06

    Very refreshing sir!

  • Johnny Potatoes - 2013-02-28 10:06

    So is she not getting the sack?

  • veldt66 - 2013-02-28 10:07

    Well said!