DEMOCRATIC Alliance leader Helen Zille has challenged President Jacob Zuma to follow up his apology with action - after the president apologised for yet another sexual indiscretion.
After standing his ground for a week Zuma broke down under pressure from all sides to apologise for fathering a child out of wedlock."
"I deeply regret the pain I have caused to my family, the ANC, the (tripartite) alliance and South Africans in general," Zuma had said.
"Over the past week (I have) taken time to consider and reflect on the issues relating to a relationship I had out of wedlock."
Despite the ANC and his personal aides saying he had done nothing wrong - and had not broken any of the country's laws - Zuma said he could understand the outcry caused by his relationship with Orlando Pirates boss Irvin Khoza's daughter Sonono.
"The matter, though private, has been a subject of much public discussion and debate. It has put a lot of pressure on my family and my organisation, the African National Congress. I also acknowledge and understand the reaction of many South Africans."
Cope spokesman Phillip Dexter said the party did not accept the president's apology.
"This is a man whose whole history is littered with extra-marital affairs, rape charges and various sexual indiscretions. It's not like a man who has genuinely made a mistake."
Zille said the DA welcomed the apology but challenged the Zuma administration to repair the damage - caused by his indiscretion - to the government programme to curb the spread of Aids.
"It is worth recalling that Zuma has apologised in exactly these terms before," Zille said. "He must show that his deeds match his words. Leadership is as leadership does. The South African public will not be so forgiving next time around."
It is the third time Zuma has apologised to the nation, the first being for knowingly having sex with an HIV-positive woman without a condom.
He also apologised for fuelling hatred against the gay community when he said same-sex marriages were a "a disgrace to the nation and to God".
Cosatu denied reports that Zuma had been pushed by members of the ruling tripartite alliance to apologise.
"This is the president's own initiative, and it demonstrates his humility and integrity."