Johannesburg - Women Minister Lulu Xingwana should still be fired over her comments on young Afrikaner men and Calvinism despite her apology, the Christian Democratic Party (CDP) said on Thursday.
“The CDP welcomes Minister Lulu Xingwana’s unconditional apology to the Afrikaner[s], as well as the presidency’s repudiation.
As a Christian Party we also forgive her,” said CDP leader Rev Theunis Botha in a statement.
“Our previous call that she should be fired was, however, based on other factors as well, and these have not changed.”
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.”
Botha said Xingwana had a record of failure even as a deputy minister.
“The latest reports regarding her department as well as her own conduct all indicate that she does not have what it takes to hold such a high office.”
He said the comments she made about farmers raping and assaulting their workers in Church Square in 2007 had not been retracted nor apologised for.
“We can thus at this time not come to any other conclusion but that she is unfit to be a minister. This is especially true in a country with such a diverse population as in South Africa.
“Forgiving her does not make her a suitable candidate for a ministerial post,” Botha said.
Earlier on Thursday the United Democratic Movement Women's Organisation said Xingwana's apology appeared contrived.
“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.
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.