Johannesburg - ANC Women's League president Bathabile Dlamini says South Africans must practise forgiveness when it comes to state capture, in the same way they forgave apartheid.
Dlamini sat down with News24 Politiki on Sunday at the ANC's national conference in Nasrec, to discuss among other things, the role of the league in the battle over final delegate credentials.
When asked about the lack of consequences for people who have been implicated in the #GuptaEmails, such as Carl Niehaus and Free State chairperson Ace Magashule, Dlamini said citizens were being hypocritical.
"South Africans, why are they not forgiving? They always want to label people. Why are they not saying, 'let's listen to Carl for a change and give him an opportunity to change'."
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South Africans were not consistent in their outrage, she claimed.
"There are people who have licence to do as they please in the country, and we keep quiet about that, and there are people that we follow very closely and do not give them a chance to recover.
"If we were able to forgive apartheid, why is it difficult to forgive someone else, and ensure there is remedial action on some of the issues?"
'People want to judge'
Dlamini also said citizens and the media had not given those mentioned in the emails sufficient right of reply.
"But also, with Ace, he is a long-standing member of the ANC. I think we want to judge people. No one has ever called Ace and asked him to clarify that thing.
"But someone very clever leaked those emails, and are we going to live that life as South Africans?"
The Women's League formally supported Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma's to be the party's first woman president.
She talked up Dlamini-Zuma's track record as a leader, and was confident that their preferred candidate would clamp down on state capture.
"South Africans have confidence in comrade Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, for the work she has done, but also, when you have worked closer to her, you actually find out she works everything up to finer details, so we don't make mistakes."
Guptas 'not the only ones'
"Where does state capture start? Are they [the Guptas] the only ones that are involved in state capture? They are not the only ones," she said.
The Steinhoff case was a case in point, she said, labelling the way the case was being handled as "shocking".
"Why? Because of our mentality, something that was instilled in our minds, that a black person is always wrong. So even if they do something wrong, we don't see it.
"We just know that they are correct and we leave them just like that."
South Africans have already made their minds up, she said.
"If they say: 'Bathabile, you are corrupt, you are Gupta-linked', they just say so. They don't wait for you to explain.
"South Africans need change, and if we don't change now, our children are going to ask why did we not do anything."
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