"That was not me. No, I was not there, I was preparing for today."
That is what Minister of Women in the Presidency, Susan Shabangu, said on Wednesday during a press briefing on gender-based violence when questioned about comments she made in relation to Karabo Mokoena, a woman who was killed, allegedly by her partner.
"She was weak and hence she became a victim of abuse. As she tried to deal with her situation in sharing it with other abused women, she ended up being a victim of abuse," said Shabangu during eNCA's weekly investigative current affairs programme, Checkpoint, on Tuesday.
A reporter sitting in the room during the briefing read Shabangu's quote back to her, but the minister denied being interviewed by eNCA or Checkpoint.
But earlier during the briefing, Shabangu said she used the wrong word in reference to Mokoena not leaving her partner, noting that this was what eNCA was reporting.
"I just a wanted to say Karabo was vulnerable," she said.
The Checkpoint episode focused on the late 22-year-old's family, who are grieving her death allegedly at the hands of her boyfriend, Sandile Mantsoe.
Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance (DA) called on Shabangu to retract the remarks she made.
"It is a sad day when the Minister responsible for women, Susan Shabangu, states on Checkpoint that, 'Whilst Karabo came across as very strong, she was weak and hence became a victim of abuse'," DA MP Zak Mbhele said during the police ministry's budget debate in Parliament on Tuesday.
"The DA calls on her to immediately retract these careless and callous remarks and that she apologises to Karabo's family."
After that briefing, a retraction doesn't seem to be coming.