Watch the Sitholes every Thursday at 17h30 on e.tv
Johannesburg - Women Minister Lulu Xingwana's apology over her comments about young Afrikaner men and Calvinism appeared contrived, the United Democratic Movement Women's Organisation said on Thursday.
“Although the minister has now apologised, she sounds contrived and the only reason she has apologised is that she was forced to, and not because she was genuinely remorseful,” secretary general Thandi Nontenja said in a statement.
This was after Xingwana told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that young Afrikaner men were raised to believe they owned women and children.
“Young Afrikaner men are brought up in the Calvinist religion believing that they own a woman, they own a child, they own everything and therefore they can take that life because they own it,” she said during the interview aired on Monday.
The segment followed athlete Oscar Pistorius being charged for murder after his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp was shot dead in his house.
On Wednesday, Xingwana apologised: “It has become clear to me that my comments may have offended some members of our community. I would, accordingly, like to retract these remarks and apologise unconditionally to them.”
Nontenja said it seemed as though Xingwana had “difficulty controlling what comes out of her mouth”.
The ministry of women, children and people with disabilities was necessary to promote equality and give expression to the Constitution.
“… but we want Mrs Xingwana to pack her bags of her own volition, or President [Jacob] Zuma must show her the door, so that someone capable can properly take the reins of this department,” Nontenja said.
Xingwana's comments were widely criticised this week.
The Afrikanerbond said Xingwana had proven beyond doubt she was not fit to hold office in a constitutional democracy.
The Christian Democratic Party called for Zuma to fire her.
“Many non-Afrikaners, black and white, are members of Calvinist churches and her latest statement could be considered as religious intolerance,” party spokesman Rev Theunis Botha said.