Lulu Xingwana: Minister sorry for Afrikaner slur

South African women's minister Lulu Xingwana (file photo)
Image caption Lulu Xingwana said she withdrew the comments

South African Women's Minister Lulu Xingwana has apologised for saying that Afrikaner men were raised to believe that women and children were their property.

She was speaking to an Australian broadcaster about the Oscar Pistorius murder case.

The comments have been condemned by Afrikaner groups, who want her fired.

The presidency said no individual group should be blamed for violence against women, which affects all communities.

Mr Pistorius denies deliberately shooting dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp earlier this month, saying he thought she was an intruder.

Ms Xingwana told ABC television: "Young Afrikaner men are brought up in the Calvinist religion believing that they own a woman, they own a child, they own everything and therefore they can take that life because they own it."

After her comments were widely condemned, she said she withdrew them.

"It has become clear to me that my comments may have offended some members of our community. I would, accordingly, like to retract these remarks and apologise unconditionally [for] them," she said.

Both the Afrikanerbond and the Christian Democratic Party called for Ms Xingwana to be sacked.

Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Mulder said: "If the same generalisations had been made about young black men, who per capita commit the most murders in South Africa, the minister would have been the first to have screamed racism and unfair generalisations."

South Africa has one of the world's most violent societies, with an average of 50 murders and 175 incidents of sexual violence committed each day.

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