Minister: Don’t criticise Thuli Madonsela’s looks

2014-03-24 12:01

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Defence minister and former ANC Women’s League president Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has berated Cosas members for making fun of Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s looks.

“The ANC has fought against gender discrimination, and describing an individual like that is sexist and it is wrong,” she told journalists at the ANC’s breakfast briefing at Emoyeni Conference Centre in Joburg this morning.

Mapisa-Nqakula said if Madonsela were a man, people would have remarked about her work and not her looks, which is immaterial to her work.

She said the media didn’t remark on whether a man was fat or ugly.

“I may be big and I may be uncomfortable, but do not judge me on my weight,” she said.

“I have seen some of the men at the opening of Parliament. They are as big as myself, but you don’t pick on them,” she said.

Mapisa-Nqakula said the media’s preoccupation with women’s looks is what made ANC MP Thandile Sunduza end up in hospital after a barrage of negative comments about the yellow dress she wore to the opening of Parliament last month.

Read: ‘Wardrobe disaster’ MP lies in hospital

ANC national task team convenor Mzwandile Masina as well as Cosas last week called on Madonsela to resign.

Yesterday, Cosas secretary-general Tshiamo Tsotetsi referred to one of Madonsela’s body parts as being big and ugly at a gathering near Brits.

The ANC this morning issued a statement saying the league and Cosas would be summoned to explain their remarks to ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe.

Mapisa-Nqakula explained this didn’t automatically mean a disciplinary hearing would take place, but they’re likely to be given a warning.

“Once you are summoned by the secretary-general, you shiver,” she said.

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