COSATU disgusted by Zille's slur

Union federation calls on DA leader to retract defamatory comments about Zuma's womanising

The Congress of South African Trade Unions is utterly disgusted with the response by DA leader Helen Zille to charges made by COSATU Western Cape Provincial Secretary, Tony Ehrenreich, about the all-male, mostly white group of MECs she has appointed to the Western Cape Provincial cabinet.

Rather than try to enter into a genuine debate on the representivity of her cabinet, she has tried to deflect attention from these serious allegations with a disgraceful, and totally irrelevant, slur against President Jacob Zuma, whom she accuses of being "a self-confessed womaniser with deeply sexist views, who put all his wives at risk by having unprotected sex with an HIV-positive woman"!

Jacob Zuma has apologised over and over again for his conduct in the case she is referring to. Yet Zille continues to play politics by dredging the issue up again, to avoid answering Tony Ehrenreich's serious allegations about the gender and racial make-up of her Western Cape cabinet.

Throughout the election campaign Zille claimed, over and over again, that the DA is the most representative and non-racial of all political parties that exist. COSATU in the Western Cape is merely asking a fundamental question: where is this professed representation in her executive?

Her appointments fly in the face of her supposed commitment to non-racialism and gender representivity. As Tony Ehrenreich has said, they are an "insult to women and blacks". They are based rather on cronyism in favour of people, who, in the words of ANC provincial spokesperson Garth Strachan, "have a long history of being empowered in a very unequal society".

COSATU demands that Zille retracts her defamatory comments about President Zuma and instead answers our serious charges.

Statement issued by Patrick Craven, Congress of South African Trade Unions national spokesperson, May 12 2009

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