Zille shifts blame

Anna Majavu

Anna Majavu

DA leader Helen Zille has lashed out at Sowetan, saying the newspaper deliberately created a scandal around her statement that President Jacob Zuma was a womaniser who put all his wives at risk of contracting HIV.

Zille said the DA would "not buy into the silence around all the taboos on HIV and Aids".

"The truth is that we will talk about what really is the cause of HIV and Aids because that is one of the things that oppresses women," she said.

Speaking at a press conference to announce the DA's shadow cabinet in Parliament yesterday, Zille said her spokesperson, Robert Macdonald, should never have sent her comments to Sowetan.

Zille said she had written a letter for a local (Cape Town) newspaper and that Macdonald had sent it to Sowetan without consulting her.

"I said to him, how did Sowetan get the letter I sent to the Argus?" she told journalists.

"One sentence was pulled completely out of context and out of the logic of the argument by Sowetan and turned into a scandal," Zille said.

Zille said if she could do it over again, she would "definitely not" have sent her comments to the newspaper.

She said she did not blame Macdonald, "an excellent spokesperson", for taking a "well-intentioned initiative".

Meanwhile, the ANC Youth League said again yesterday that they would not retract the statements they made earlier in the week about Zille.

"We understand the concerns and disappointment of the ANC leadership and will soon meet with them to discuss and defend our position on all the statements and remarks we made about Helen Zille" said ANCYL spokesman Floyd Shivambu.

"But Helen is a racist girl who does not respect women, African people, cultures and traditions. Her 100percent male and predominantly white cabinet is never justifiable. We further believe that her behaviour and sentiments are symptomatic of someone who was dropped on her head when she was a child," Shivambu maintained.