ANC’s acting deputy chief whip defends sexist remarks by MPs

2013-06-18 00:00

CAPE TOWN — The ANC’s acting deputy chief whip in Parliament — a woman — yesterday defended sexist remarks by two ANC MPs.

In a statement issued yesterday, Mmamoloko Kubayi said one set of remarks would be withdrawn by the offending member, but defended the other remark as being accidental.

She then listed deliberate slurs by the DA in the Western Cape Parliament by way of explaining why she did not understand how a furore had followed sexist statements by two ANC MPs about the dress and figure of Lindiwe Mazibuko, the DA leader in Parliament.

John Jeffery had said while “Mazibuko may be a person of substantial weight, her stature is questionable”.

Buti Manamela said, “If the rand is weak, blame Zuma. If there’s cloud on Table Mountain, blame Zuma. If honourable Lindiwe Mazibuko is arrested by fashion police, blame Zuma”. He was speaking during the debate on the presidency budget vote.

Kubayi said Jeffery would withdraw his pun regarding Mazibuko’s weight, but she dismissed Manamela’s remarks remarks as hypothetical and accidental. Kubayi said she did not understand what the fuss was about.

“As the deputy chief whip and a woman, I would have preferred to raise the matter of Mazibuko’s attire confidentially in the closed meeting of the Multiparty Chief Whips Forum rather than subject it to a public debate.

“However, we were unfortunately forced to make these reflections publicly by the DA’s statement — which mischievously accused us of ‘sexism’ and ‘chauvinism’,” she said.

Kubayi said ANC members in the provincial legislature had been called baboons, elephants and hippos by the DA. “The fact that the weekend papers, from Friday to Sunday, castigated us on these matters and yet omitted Thursday’s ‘bobbejaan’ racist remarks by DA’s Theuns Botha makes a complete mockery of the so-called fairness and balance in the media,” she said.

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