Pa­had skirts fe­male pres­i­dent bid

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS -

ANC vet­eran and former min­is­ter in the Pres­i­dency Es­sop Pa­had has de­scribed the ques­tion of whether South Africa is ready for a fe­male pres­i­dent as non­sen­si­cal and sex­ist.

“The only ones who put forth this ques­tion are peo­ple who are sex­ist. No one who is not a sex­ist will ask this ques­tion. It’s non­sen­si­cal. I get an­gry that peo­ple want to even sug­gest such de­bates.

“Of course a woman is ready to lead. Do we ques­tion the mother’s lead­er­ship role in the house­hold and whether she is ready to lead her chil­dren? Do we ever ques­tion if a man is ready to be a pres­i­dent? Of course not,” Pa­had said.

He was speak­ing hours after he had spent the day with his fel­low com­rade Ahmed Kathrada at the con­sulate-gen­eral of In­dia in Park­town, Joburg.

Kathrada’s foun­da­tion was awarded R2 mil­lion by the gov­ern­ment of In­dia to con­tinue its work geared to­wards a non-racial South Africa.

As the race for the po­si­tion of the rul­ing party’s top po­si­tion heats up, Pa­had re­fused to be drawn on dis­cussing names, but said level-headed lead­ers were im­per­a­tive in car­ry­ing for­wards the torch of democ­racy.

“I have been a mem­ber of the ANC for don­key’s years, there­fore I am dis­ci­plined… And I will not com­ment on any par­tic­u­lar in­di­vid­ual.

“But I will, how­ever, point out that in terms of ANC pol­icy, it is per­fectly fine to ar­gue on the eman­ci­pa­tion of women and how far we as a party have come, rather than be fix­ated on names.

“No­body can deny that the is­sue of a fe­male pres­i­dent is a crit­i­cal one, but th­ese are mat­ters that we should tackle at the pol­icy con­fer­ence lead­ing up to our elec­tive con­fer­ence in De­cem­ber,” he said.

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