Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has hit back at the ANC Women’s League, saying she will lodge a complaint against the ANC’s structure for “harassing and intimidating” her.
This comes after the league issued a scathing attack against Motshekga at the weekend, accusing her of using government platforms and the league’s banners and other paraphernalia, without permission, to campaign for Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to succeed President Jacob Zuma.
“The content of the ANCWL media statement is sadly so cheap, petty and actually silly and regretfully this makes it difficult for one to even engage with it constructively without risk,” said Motshekga.
“It is disappointing that an organisation to which I have dedicated a large portion of my life because it is meant to help women rise up together can release a petty media statement aimed at trying to bring a fellow woman Cde down.”
Motshekga served as the league’s president until 2015 when she lost her re-election bid to the current president, Bathabile Dlamini.
Political pundits believe that Dlamini has been put at the helm of the league merely to defend Zuma and his close allies in the ruling party.
Dlamini has been instrumental in the campaign of former African Union chairperson, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, to succeed her ex-husband during the upcoming elective conference in December.
Dlamini, who is also Social Development Minister, is no stranger to controversy and has been in the news lately for all the wrong reasons.
She was once quoted as saying that nobody in the ANC’s national executive committee can attack Zuma because every member of that ANC’s highest decision-making body had a skeleton of their own.
She was also embroiled in the pension pay-out scandal, which has seen former Social Department director-general, Zane Dangor and the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) CEO Thokozani Magwaza resign from their posts after a bitter fall-out with her.
Zuma has not reshuffled or fired Dlamini, despite a huge outcry against her excesses and foolhardiness.
The league said in its statement last week that Motshekga was no longer in any of its structures and therefore had no business in using its structures to campaign for a presidential nominee of her choice.
It said this amounted in Motshekga wanting to exert her influence and undermining the current leadership of the ANCWL.
Hitting back, Motshekga said she was disappointed by the unwarranted attacks and utterances of the ANCWL.
She said the league had not even tried to get an explanation from her before venting out its anger at her through the media.
She said she will formally lodge a complaint against the league at her branch.
She said she had been invited to speak at various events as a women’s right activist and an ANC member in good standing.
Motshekga said she will not turn down invitations simple because the league was not happy with her political activities.
“I’m very disappointed with what they have said about me. I am a politician and an ANC WL member in good standing. I get invited at events to speak or to listen. I still have many invitations that I will be honouring,” she said.
“These will include forums within women professionals. I will be addressing another such forum of women on 3 September at Freedom Park, I am sure the organisers won’t mind guests if they request invitations should anyone wish to attend.”