Durban – It is really unfortunate that ANC presidential hopeful Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa felt the need to use rape as a "political toy", the ANC Youth League in the eThekwini region said on Friday.
On Thursday evening, Ramaphosa said that, while he accepts that President Jacob Zuma was acquitted of raping Fezekile Kuzwayo – also known as Khwezi – he would believe her allegations.
Ramaphosa was being interviewed by 702's Karima Brown, who pressed him on whether he believed Khwezi.
At first, Ramaphosa said he had to go along with the outcome of the court case in 2006, in which Zuma was acquitted, but he also had to take heed of what Khwezi had said, and that he had sympathy for her.
After Brown again put the question to him pointedly, Ramaphosa said he understood how difficult it is for women to come forward with allegations of sexual violence.
Regional spokesperson Thulisa Ndlela said the Youth League condemned the use of this rape case as "a political toy in some grandstanding scheme to gain credibility by Mr Ramaphosa".
"Rape is a serious matter in this country and to use it to score cheap political points is an insult to the many victims who have gone through this traumatic ordeal.
"We call upon Mr Ramaphosa to respect the law and as one of those involved in the drafting of the constitution, to remember what it is all about," Ndlela said in a statement.
He said the ANCYL, although disappointed by the statement, "is sadly not surprised".
"The matter relating to this case was long decided in a court of law, whose decision was never appealed, and for Mr Ramaphosa to arrogate himself the standing of an appellant (sic) judge in a kangaroo court, is most unfortunate.
"We therefore condemn these utterances with the contempt they deserve," he said.