Cosatu: ‘Sushi club’ an insult to ANC
Johannesburg - Reducing women to sex symbols for the pleasure of men is an insult to everything the ANC stands for, the Congress of SA Trade Unions said on Tuesday.
"Stripping women and reducing them to sex symbols for the pleasure of men does nothing but entrench stereotypes and reinforce patriarchal behaviour," Cosatu spokesperson Patrick Craven said in a statement.
The statement followed reports on the pre-opening of a nightclub in Cape Town, ZAR, owned by businessman Kenny Kunene, who hosted a similar party in Johannesburg last year, where sushi was served off the scantily-clad bodies of women.
"It is an insult to everything the ANC stands for and Cosatu fully endorses the ANC's appeal to all those involved in such acts to immediately disengage from them."
The Times reported that the Cape Town bash featured bikini-clad girls with sushi arranged on their bodies, lying on the bonnets of luxury cars.
ANC Youth League president Julius Malema was quoted as saying at the party: "Helen Zille will not close ZAR at 02:00, like she does [to] other night clubs in Cape Town. The ANC owns ZAR and we will party until the morning."
Dignity of women
ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe distanced the ruling party from the comments.
"The ANC is not into nightclubs or partying, but is a revolutionary movement," he said in a statement.
"We furthermore reiterate our condemnation to the act of serving sushi on a woman's body, as this act is anti-ANC and anti-revolutionary.
"The act is defamatory, insensitive and undermining of [a] woman's integrity. We therefore appeal to all those involved in this act to immediately disengage from it."
Craven on Tuesday welcomed the ANC's stance, admitting it had been concerned by earlier reports that its ally was associated with "immorality and the degradation of women".
He said the ANC's national general council, held at the end of 2010, said steps had to be taken to deal with the "negative tendencies" threatening to "erode the character, culture and core values of the ANC as a loyal servant of our people and an agent for progressive change in South Africa".
"That change includes liberating women from the triple oppression they face in their homes, in society and in their workplace. Our country will not be free until women's dignity is protected by all genuine revolutionaries, who recognise the inter-linkages between national, gender and class oppression."
The league responded to Mantashe's statement by saying Malema's comments were meant to show the ANC had made "great strides" in promoting black ownership.
"Contrary to what is reported, the ANCYL president said that the freedom and right for black people to own a club in a predominantly white territory is a freedom and right that came because of the ANC," the league's spokesman Floyd Shivambu said in a statement.