... for the sexist things he said during his rape trial

Ido Lekota

Ido Lekota

ANC Youth League President Fikile Mbalula says the country must forgive Jacob Zuma for what he said during his rape trial.

Speaking on 702 Talk Radio yesterday Mbalula said Zuma had apologised and the country must forgive him in the same way it forgave the late cricket captain Hansie Cronje - who was found guilty of accepting bribes for game fixing.

Zuma was strongly criticised for the sexist things he said about women during his rape trial last year.

He told the court that his accuser was wearing a revealing kanga which he saw as an invitation for sex. He also said that once he realised that the woman was aroused, he could not leave her unsatisfied because he was taught that such a move could lead him into trouble.

Mbalula said Zuma had admitted that he was wrong and people should forgive him like the Americans forgave former president Bill Clinton.

Mbalula spoke a day before today's planned march to the Union Buildings by women groups who are protesting against the ANC Women's League's (ANCWL) decision to back Zuma in the presi- dential race.

Yesterday Mbalula accused the protesters of undermining the ANCWL members' democratic right to nominate their preferred candidate.

He described the march as "a masquerade by people who did not forgive Zuma despite the fact that he had apologised for his sexist utterances".

The ANCYL president suggested that those who took part in the march were mobilised by supporters of President Thabo Mbeki. Another avowed Zuma supporter, Cosatu, said yesterday it would organise a counter march if the march to the Union Buildings took place. See Page 17