Context of 'sexist' comment was ideological - ANCWL

Cosatu said the comment about stripping Helen Zille naked was meant in a political, ideological context.

ANCWL president Angie Motshekga. Picture:Taurai Maduna/Eyewitness News

JOHANNEBURG - The African National Congress Women's League (ANCWL) on Saturday said it was satisfied with the explanations given by the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), after it hurled "sexist and racist" insults at Democratic Alliance (DA) leaders.

This week, the Beeld newspaper reported that the league's president, Angie Motshekga, slammed Cosatu members for saying they would strip DA leader Helen Zille naked during the party's march.

The party planned to march to Cosatu House on Tuesday, to hand over a memorandum in support of Government's proposed Youth Wage Subsidy.

During the march, violent clashes broke out between the two organisations, and the march was abandoned.

Members of the trade union federation also called parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko "the madam's sidekick".

Motshekga said the comments were "sexist and racist", quoted the newspaper.

However, league spokesperson Troy Martens said according to Cosatu, "The stripping of Helen Zille was meant in a political, ideological context - not the literal stripping of women in the streets.

She said the ANCWL was "satisfied" with the explanations Cosatu members gave for their comments.