9 December 2012

Swaziland: 'Times' Says Battered Women to Blame

The Times Sunday newspaper in Swaziland is at the centre of another row after its columnist Qalakaliboli Dlamini wrote that battered women in the kingdom were to blame when men were violent against them.

He also said that the serial killer David Simelane, recently sentenced to hang for the murder of 32 women, might have been driven to the crimes because he was once falsely accused of rape by a woman.

Dlamini, who earlier this year was suspended from writing his column for the newspaper after readers were outraged by homophobic comments he wrote, was criticising the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence campaign.

He wrote that 'most' women who were victims of violence brought it upon themselves. He also said women were to blame for turning men violent.

He wrote, 'In fact, when a woman is battered, she may have caused more internal damage to the male who will have caused her external harm. Let us be honest with each other, women are the biggest abusers in the world.'

He said women were 'culprits' not 'victims'. He said, 'Women have carved themselves as the victims of this world and they are demanding even more than they deserve.'

He added, 'Women find comfort in portraying themselves as victims.'

In a confused piece of writing, he also seemed to say that it was understandable why serial killer David Simelane murdered 32 women ... it was because he had once been falsely accused by a woman of raping her.

He wrote, 'Simelane once said he had served a prison term of seven years for a rape he never committed, which was the reason he had so much resentment towards women.'

Commentators on social networks, including Facebook, were quick to condemn Dlamini. Some are suggesting an advertising boycott against the Times of Swaziland, the group that owns the Times Sunday.

Dlamini is no stranger to controversy. In May 2012 he was suspended after he wrote that he was a proud homophobe and he hated homosexuals. Times Sunday editor Innocent Maphalala 'unreservedly' apologised after an 'unprecedented' number of readers complained.

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