Xingwana apologises for TV remarks

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Pretoria – The Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities, Lulu Xingwana, has apologised unconditionally to the public for the comments she made to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

Xingwana acknowledged that her comments may have offended some members of the South African community.

During an interview with ABC on violence in South Africa, stemming from the Oscar Pistorius case, the minister reportedly said “young Afrikaner men are brought up in the Calvinist religion believing they own a woman”.

“Through my comments, I sought to convey the message that, as a country we have emerged from a very violent past and that some tend to use cultural and religious beliefs to justify gender inequality and abuse.

“I would, accordingly, like to retract these remarks and apologise unconditionally to them. I value national unity and social cohesion, and will continue to work tirelessly towards nation-building,” Xingwana said on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the Presidency said it had noted comments attributed to Xingwana.

“We wish to assure the Afrikaner community and all South Africans that government’s commitment to non-racialism and diversity, as enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic, remains unwavering.

“The campaign to fight violence against women and children must be waged by all South Africans, black and white.  In addition, no single cultural group can or should be blamed for this serious scourge which affects all sectors of society.

“The contribution of Afrikaner males in the fight against gender-based violence and also generally to the building of a united, caring and prosperous South Africa, is as valuable as that of all South Africans. The nation should focus energies on finding solutions,” the Presidency said. –