We've got news for you.

Register on TimesLIVE at no cost to receive newsletters, read exclusive articles & more.
Register now

Two ANC women politicians who have betrayed the cause of women in SA

28 January 2018 - 00:00 By ranjeni munusamy

Last Saturday, women around the world participated in co-ordinated mass rallies, the largest of which were in cities across the US.
The marches took place on the anniversary of the 2017 women's march against the global poster boy for misogyny, racial and religious intolerance, and overall buffoonery, Donald Trump.
This year, new themes emerged in light of the #MeToo movement that galvanised solidarity in exposing sexual assault and harassment. In addition to messages against Trump's policies on immigration and healthcare, as well as his blatant sexism and racism, the marchers campaigned for more women to participate in the polls through voting and running for office.The women's movement did not register on the radar in South Africa. Perhaps too many of us were basking in the "Ramaphosa rapture" to care.
It is possible that the most high-profile women's organisation in the country, the ANC Women's League, is still sulking after losing the ANC presidential race, or thinks #MeToo is the hashtag for the selfie pout.
With all the political change in the air, perhaps it is time to confront the hypocrisy of the ANCWL, as well as false assumptions about women political leaders.
The ANCWL waged what purported to be a life-and-death campaign for Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to be elected ANC leader at the party's elective conference last month.
League members clubbed us with statements about how Dlamini-Zuma would advance radical economic transformation and improve the lives of the working class.Neither Dlamini-Zuma nor her support squad bothered to explain what exactly she would do to address gender inequality, sexual violence or discrimination to earn the title of champion of women's rights in South Africa.
The faction that rallied behind NDZ did not for a second believe the ANCWL's hogwash about empowering women. They wanted to keep President Jacob Zuma's network in power and allow the plunder of the state to proceed undisturbed.
It was almost comical to watch NDZ's faux feminist troupe react to the election of Cyril Ramaphosa at Nasrec. Women's league president Bathabile Dlamini stormed off stage in a huff, with Lindiwe Zulu rushing to console her.
A while later, the ANCWL posse marched into the media centre looking for a place to discuss their flopped campaign. Zulu was in tears and some of them lamented how the women of South Africa had been betrayed by the outcome of the elections.
The next day, the league held a media briefing to rage against ANC patriarchy, lashing out at those who had promised to vote for Dlamini-Zuma but switched to Ramaphosa at the last minute.
It was difficult not to laugh when their hypocrisy and vacuity were exposed when Dlamini refused to say whether she voted for Lindiwe Sisulu for the position of deputy president.
The X chromosome can apparently be used as a campaign tool only when it is located in the right faction.
The conduct this week of two prominent political leaders exposed how nonsensical the argument is that women are inherently more sympathetic to vulnerable people in our society and more dedicated to their jobs.Dlamini, who almost caused a human catastrophe in our country last year by endangering the lives of 17 million grant recipients, remains unrepentant and belligerent about failing in her responsibilities as minister of social development.
Her performance at an inquiry into the social grants crisis showed that she has no appreciation of her responsibilities and is a continuing hazard to those who depend on the state for their meagre incomes.
When asked why she had failed to inform the Constitutional Court that the South African Social Security Agency would not meet the deadlines it set, thus endangering the payment of grants, Dlamini responded: "There was a lot going on at the time."
She was not alone in transgressing basic human decency. Former Gauteng health MEC Qedani Mahlangu finally faced South Africa to explain her role in the deaths of 143 mentally ill patients who were moved from the Life Esidimeni centres.
In the presence of the mourning families, Mahlangu refused to take responsibility and tried to shift the blame to her officials.
Despite being alerted by some of the families and NGOs about the suffering of the patients, Mahlangu claimed she could not have anticipated the deaths...

This article is reserved for Sunday Times subscribers.

A subscription gives you full digital access to all Sunday Times content.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Registered on the BusinessLIVE, Business Day or Financial Mail websites? Sign in with the same details.

Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@timeslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00.