Aids attack sparks fury from ANC

Cosatu secretary-generalZwelinzima Vavi said: "We are 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 representation 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'.

"She further said Zuma 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.

"Cosatu demands that Zille retract her defamatory comments about President Zuma and instead answer our serious charges."

ANC spokesperson Jessie Duarte said: "The ANC is astounded by the extraordinary attack by DA leader Helen Zille on the person of President Jacob Zuma reported in today's [yesterday] Sowetan.

"Even by Zille's standards of personal invective, this latest attack is an unprecedented example of Zuma-hate.

"Zille's outburst is deeply offensive and should be roundly condemned.

"It is unfortunate that Zille has not moved beyond the spiteful rhetoric of her election campaign.

"Despite her concerted attempts to vilify President Zuma, the vast majority of South Africans have chosen him to lead the country.

"Instead of focusing on the real issues that face South Africans, Zille is obsessed with her personal campaign against Zuma.

"The ANC calls on the DA to distance itself from Zille's comments."

Commission for Gender Equality also jumped into the fray with a threat to subpoena Zille to appear before it to explain why she appointed only men in her Western Cape cabinet.