ANCWL wants more female leaders

Johannesburg - The national executive committee of the ANC Women's League will re-double its efforts to ensure that women emerge as leaders within the ruling party, ANCWL said on Tuesday.

"Such a bold and decisive step is intended to ensure that open and hidden forms of exclusion of women from positions of authority and power are eliminated," it said in a statement on the outcome of its NEC meeting.

"Despite these challenges, the ANC Women’s League remains convinced that no other political party in South Africa pays greater attention to the empowerment and emancipation of women than the African National Congress."

The NEC met on Monday.

The ANCWL said there was a setback in the advancement of women's agenda with only one woman appointed as premier out of a possible eight.

It welcomed the appointment of women as speakers and chairwomen of committees and to senior political positions.

The NEC welcomed the cabinet move of the women's ministry into the presidency.

The ANCWL said it would be more vocal on women and child abuse and was studying a judgment whereby the life sentence of a convicted rapist was reduced because the 11-year-old seemed willing.

"Such a ruling defies basic principles of our law such as that a minor cannot give consent and that statutory rape can never be considered consensual," ANCWL said.

It would study the judgment and campaign for the state to apply for a review of the case.

Last week, the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria reportedly reduced the life sentence of a man who repeatedly raped an 11-year-old girl he regarded as "a daughter".

Molefe Joseph Mphanama's life sentence was replaced with an effective sentence of 20 years imprisonment for his conviction on four rape charges.

Two judges said the girl had visited Mphanama out of her own free will after the first rape and her unwillingness to have sex was only shown when she closed her thighs, according to a weekend report.