ANC Khayelitsha councillor in dock over alleged HIV jibe
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Cape Town - An ANC Councillor in Khayelitsha is facing crimen injuria charges after publicly shouting at another party member that she had HIV during a heated altercation.
Ward 92 Councillor Xolisa Peter made her first appearance at the Khayelitsha Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday for the incident which was captured on video.
The case was postponed to September 6 for further investigation.
According to Ntombi Dywili, they were coming out of a meeting on August 7 when an argument erupted with Peter.
“We were waiting for our transportations when Peter and her people wanted to hit another woman within the party. They roughly chased her away. I tried to intervene because a fight was about to erupt and people were taking sides. Doing what she does in most meetings when people are not agreeing with her, she swore at me. When I was walking away Peter continued to insult me and claimed my buttocks were flat as an ironing board because I have HIV/Aids.”
Dywili said she was advised to lodge a complaint with police and a crimen injuria case was registered against Peter.
“The incident has opened old wounds for me because in 2009 I lost my daughter who had HIV/AIDs, I’m really hurt . Now people are looking at me differently. Even if we could be called to court everyday I would go because she has humiliated me,” said Dywili.
In her defense, Peter claims Dywili insulted her first.
“She said the F word in Xhosa and I responded out of anger. Remember it's the highly contested time of local government elections so people are using everything to get their threats out of the way to get positions. Dywili is in support of the person I was up against for elections. Now they have started a smear campaign for me to be eliminated. They only took the video when I was responding back to her but truth be told she first said I’m HIV positive. I never took it seriously like she did,” said Peter.
ANC Women’s League Dullah Omar Region spokesperson Zoleka Moon expressed shock at the incident.
“We received a letter of complaint from Dywili at the end of last week and forwarded it to the provincial structure of the Women's League. We are now waiting for a response to hear how far is the process for them to act on the matter. Peter also serves in the provincial task team so the province also needs advice on steps to take from the national.
“While the court will play its part due to evidence provided the ANC also has to follow its own process. We are gravely concerned with such conduct especially during Womes’ Month where we should be embracing each other as women,” said Moon.
Khayelitsha Development Forum chairperson Ndithini Tyhido said the stigmatization of people living with HIV/Aids is still active in communities.
“It is even worse now when leaders who are supposed to educate people are the one being insensitive and irresponsible. We expect to see a battle of ideas in the process of elections not these threats, insults, and malicious campaigns we are seeing.”