Time to end a tawdry catfight

2012-08-11 12:03

They’re two quite exciting young political voices.

Deputy Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni and ANC Youth League spokesperson Magdalene Moonsamy both show that the league is still able to grow leaders, despite its recent drama.

But if you read the tabloids, as I religiously do, you will know that the two women are engaged in an unseemly dispute.

It ­started in defence of a woman who is still South Africa’s most popular leader, Winnie Madiki­zela-Mandela.

Madikizela-Mandela is doing what she does best – aligning herself with the marginalised and the radical in the governing party.

In this instance, it means being aligned with the party’s erstwhile leader Julius Malema.

Ndabeni was appointed at ­30-something to high office by President Jacob Zuma and she has not allied with the rebels in the league’s ranks.

However, she made a mildly critical statement about Madikizela-Mandela on ­Facebook that invited a tirade from Moonsamy, a woman you don’t really want to mess with, her penchant for Tinkerbell pink frou frous notwithstanding.

Moonsamy on a warpath is not a pretty sight and she penned a vitriolic letter to Ndabeni.

Ndabeni’s people struck back and now the catfight has got the gawkers rubbernecking as the two women and their ­suppor­ters dig into the sexual histories of each in a tawdry act of political point-scoring.

Now, lawyers and courts are involved. It is sad. Whatever has happened to solidarity and ­sisterhood?

Both women are adults and should know better, but because they don’t, the ­incident points to a failing in the women’s movement.

Before, the women’s league was a vibrant teaching school for young women.

You learnt solidarity, peace-building, consensus-seeking and you certainly knew that your priority was not to keep a man in office (which Ndabeni was engaged in when she dissed Madikizela-Mandela) or to take him out (Moonsamy’s league is on a campaign to get Zuma toppled at the Mangaung conference).

I wish they would stop and use their power more effectively.

Ndabeni has her hands on ­important levers at communications and can help clear paths for young entrepreneurs in a ­viable part of the economy which is being hamstrung because of poor policy-making.

Moonsamy, when she’s not fighting, is the chief operating officer of the National Youth Development Agency which was started to inspire young people into business or work.


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