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Helen Zille, Premier of the Western Cape Province of the Republic of South Africa, and leader of the official opposition: the Democratic Alliance. Yes, that Helen Zille: has some advice for the Republic of South Africa about preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS. If you're having sex with a person a generation ahead of you: you're an evil person who is immoral and spreads HIV/AIDS, to paraphrase this powerful leader. That is quite the message for Mrs Helen Zille to put out. Some of us were under the impression that for instance marrying a person older or younger than you was perfectly fine. Apparently this very act spreads one of the most deadly viruses of all time.
This is the same Helen Zille: who stated in no uncertain terms: 'But people who do not share these values do not belong in the DA. The DA is NOT a party for racists. It is NOT a party for sexists, xenophobes or homophobes.' Ageism however, seems quite acceptable in the Democratic Alliance.
To put it in context, Helen Zille was responding to a Twitter user who had asked why she was so 'obsessed' with President Jacob Zuma of the Republic of South Africa, the user of Twitter was slightly rude: saying that Jacob Zuma preferred much younger women, as though the opposition leader had a slight crush on the president. It isn't the sort of tweet one expects a massive, and urgent response to from a public figure. Reading it: it was possibly even made tongue in cheek. The tweet to Helen Zille however is not made by any one notable, the response is much more concerning. Whether the Twitter user was insulting Jacob Zuma or Helen Zille is uncertain.
Helen Zille, the seemingly self proclaimed 'vanguard' of liberalism in South Africa: responded with great clarity as to her moral standing on men dating younger women, and women dating younger men: 'A woman in her 60s would be just right for him if he stuck to his generation! Inter-generational sex is wrong and drives AIDS.'
@ndabezitha31 A woman in her 60s would be just right for him if he stuck to his generation! Inter-generational sex is wrong and drives AIDS.
— Helen Zille (@helenzille) February 3, 2013
A follower of Helen Zille on Twitter asked her to clarify her statement, state her basis for it, and clarify her view on HIV/AIDS.
@helenzille please clarify this statement. What is the response based on? Please clarify your understanding of AIDS as well.— Practica Excogitator (@Tacere_Vulcanus) February 3, 2013
The opposition leader gave less than no response to such a valid questioning.
While some behaviours do make one more susceptible to HIV/AIDS: researchers have linked both polygamy and male homosexual sex lifestyles to an exponentially higher rate of transfer of HIV/AIDS: there does not appear to be any research linking sex between an older and younger person to a higher rate of transfer than sex between two young people or two older people. When President Jacob Zuma claimed that taking a shower after sex would reduce the chance of gaining HIV AIDS: there was uproar in the media. I hope that these irresponsible statements by Helen Zille are not overlooked.