In an announcement on Friday, the opposition said President Cyril Ramaphosa had given a “stunning radio interview last night” in which he made “puzzling claims concerning the pastor of ladies, Bathabile Dlamini, expressing that she had set the bar with respect to her work in her portfolio”.
Ramaphosa said: “Bathabile Dlamini is [the] Minister of Women, and she is doing a good job in advancing the cause of women in our country. She has really raised the bar and is raising issues of how the country should start dealing with gender-based violence; she is doing a fantastic job, particularly now during these 16 days of [activism] against violence against women and children.”
The DA said the ANC must be setting the bar extravagantly low if Dlamini’s work for women was being termed as fantastic.
“Dlamini has, in actual fact, done a terrible job for women in South Africa,” said DA spokesperson Refiloe Nt’sekhe.
Nt’sekhe said Dlamini’s inability to lead or represent women was indicated by a number of her actions, which they listed as follows:
. Dlamini came to the defence of the ANC’s Mduduzi Manana following his assault of three women;
. She also came to the defence of former ANC president, Jacob Zuma, during his rape trial calling it “political grandstanding” and launching attacks on his accuser;
. Her delegation to the ANC’s policy conference consisted of six men, representing the ANC Women’s League (ANCWL), reportedly stating that “women were too emotional”;
. She is known for attending the funerals of women who are brutally raped and murdered, without having any regard to create support systems or programmes for victims; and
. Dlamini is notoriously loath to appear before Parliament, whether it be oral question sessions or committee meetings, with the Portfolio Committee on Social Development having to consider issuing a summons to have her appear
. “Her failure to serve our women is equally reflected by her disastrous tenure as minister of social development. The near-collapse of the social grants payment system and the continuing crisis at the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) caused extreme suffering for South Africa’s most vulnerable.
“Indeed, the Constitutional Court’s investigation into the 2017/2018 SASSA debacle and its findings on Dlamini’s involvement was damning and would have cost anyone else their job. Not only did it find the Minister misled the Court, it determined that her actions had endangered the wellbeing of the most needy in our society.”
The court had described Dlamini’s conduct as “reckless and grossly negligent”‚ saying she failed to disclose information before the inquiry into her role in the social grants disaster. It ordered a copy of its judgment to be forwarded to the National Director of Public Prosecutions to consider whether she lied under oath and should be charged for perjury.
“Given Dlamini’s previous and current record as minister, it would seem entirely irrational for President Ramaphosa to retain her in Cabinet, and even less rational for him to state that she is doing a fantastic job. This delusion and lack of executive accountability is precisely why the DA is seeking an order declaring Ramaphosa’s decision to retain Dlamini as part of his executive unlawful, unconstitutional and invalid. Our legal team approached the North Gauteng High Court on 23 October and the matter has been set down for 11 March 2019.”
She concluded: “Dlamini must indeed know about a great many skeletons in a great many closets, as she once famously said, for her to be retained in Cabinet.”