MANY thought Jacob Zuma was treating his wives equally when he refused to name the first lady among them.
The nation was deceived. Zuma knew that if he names the first lady the others would not enjoy state benefits.
It was expected that the traditionalists, illiterate and rural masses would view his polygamy as manhood, but urban masses, professionals, Christians and modernists will scorn his multiple relationships. His private matter divides the nation and the ANC - a modern political party.
Women are an important sector who must be vocal against polygamy, but due to patronage they dare not criticise "ubaba".
The ANC's first conference after its unbanning held in Durban in 1991 adopted 30percent gender representation. In the 2006 January 8 Statement, Thabo Mbeki announced 50/50 gender parity.
Zuma's views at his rape trial exposed him as a true traditionalist. He also spoke negatively against gays and lesbians at a King Shaka celebration. He is more traditional and conservative than Chief Gatsha Buthelezi and King Goodwill Zwelithini.
He will be marrying Bongi Ngema very soon. What implication does this have for the state fiscal and role of feminists to challenge women oppression and exploitation in society?
He is sending the wrong message to the youth in the era of HIV-Aids. The rape case and his 18 children exposed him as a nonuser of condoms. Is this the leader we need in shaping youth sexual behaviour in a country devastated by Aids?
Molly Chetty, Chatsworth