Bathabile Dlamini lashes out at Ramaphosa over his support for Khwezi

09 December 2017 - 16:35
By Matthew Savides
Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini. File photo.
Image: Ruvan Boshoff Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini. File photo.

ANC Women’s League president Bathabile Dlamini has made a veiled accusation that deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa has "the experience" of woman abuse.

In an apparent dig aimed at the presidential hopeful‚ Dlamini lashed out at Ramaphosa for his support of President Jacob Zuma's rape accuser‚ Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo‚ also known as Khwezi. Ramaphosa was speaking during a radio interview earlier in the week.

"We want to say‚ comrade Cyril‚ comrade deputy president‚ if you want to speak out about violence against women and children‚ talk about yourself. You must open up… because you said [that] you know how difficult it is for a woman to take a stand on this issue. And you do have the experience‚" she said.

Dlamini - who was speaking at an KZN joint 16 Days of Activism and elective conference send-off rally in Durban on Saturday - said that violence against woman and children was an issue "where we should take a stand and must not be pushed into a corner to support some and not others".

"But comrade deputy president decide to speak…but he spoke about comrade President Jacob Zuma‚" said Dlamini.

According to an Eyewitness News reporter at the rally‚ Dlamini said after her address that Ramaphosa had to respond to claims of abuse.

"We’re going to call people who are prepared to speak about his history‚" she said in what was an apparent veiled threat.

Speaking as a guest on Karima Brown's Radio 702 show on Thursday night‚ Ramaphosa was asked whether he believed Khwezi's claims that she was raped by Zuma in 2005.

“I know how difficult and painful it is for a woman to garner up the courage to stand up and say: ‘Yes‚ I was raped.’ It must be one of the most difficult decisions that she had to make. So‚ yes‚ I would believe her‚" he said.