Following the fallout from remarks made by Cell C CEO Jose Dos Santos on a local radio station about women having a “bitch-switch”, the company’s top female executives have leapt to his defence.

In a statement released today “on behalf of top female management at Cell C” they say the outcry in the media, and particularly on social media, has prompted their response.

“There have been moments in all our lives when we have said or done something we regret.” The statement reads. “For some the consequences were difficult to swallow while others escaped with a mere reminder to do better tomorrow.

“Yesterday’s media and social media outcry at what our CEO Jose Dos Santos said during an interview, prompted our response to this matter.

“As the top female management team of Cell C, we agree that his choice of words on a specific matter was not appropriate. However, what we know is that the public outrage he is facing for that regrettable choice of words has far outweighed what he has done for every employee in this company, particularly women.

“We believe in ourselves collectively as a team of highly-skilled and highly-capable women and we are rightly recognised as such in this company,” the management team continue. ”What we know is that we have all had far more opportunities to shine and be our best under his leadership. If this was not the case, we would not be here.

“Too often people stand by and allow things to happen to good people; and while we know we might face some criticism for our decision to stand beside our CEO; we as women in leadership positions at Cell C cannot allow someone to be solely judged for one unfortunate comment, while what he has done to empower women, both within and outside the company, goes unnoticed.

“This statement is issued by our top female management of Cell C who are empowered and stand fully in support of our CEO,” the women say.