Chief turns away MP over no skirt

2011-12-03 14:26

Johannesburg - The local traditional leader in Daantjie, Mpumalanga, banned a Democratic Alliance MP from the home affairs office because she was not wearing a skirt, according to a news report on Saturday.

The Saturday Star reported that during a visit to the office by the parliamentary oversight committee for home affairs, Annette Lovemore was turned away because she was not wearing a skirt.

Lovemore and committee chairwoman Maggie Maunye said they would abide by the chief's rule that no woman could enter offices in the complex unless they were wearing a skirt.

"He has a constitutional right to practise his culture," Lovemore said.

"His right does not demean my rights in anyway."

She described the visit as a humbling reminder of South Africa's multi-cultural society.

Home Affairs spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa was not in agreement, saying the incident undermined constitutional provisions and service delivery.

"Nobody can be prevented from accessing government services because of dress," he said.

  • SeeVeeDeeEl - 2011-12-03 14:38

    Was she bare assed?

      mariuskowie - 2011-12-03 14:49

      Don't you mean em bare assed?

  • Chum Scrubber - 2011-12-03 14:44

    Lovemore burst the petty chiefs bubble with the way she handled this. How can anyone have any respect for a man like this "chief", pathetic little man.

  • Erich - 2011-12-03 14:44

    Is the traditional healer also an official of the Department of Homes Affairs or on what authority did he refused entry to Ms Lovemore. Virually all police women wear pants. Is he also refusing them access?

      Erich - 2011-12-03 14:55

      Refused should read refuse - sorry.

      PyroSA - 2011-12-03 14:56

      Leader, not healer. I'm with Ronnie on this one, but if the ladies don't want to press the matter further, that's their choice.

  • HendrikAfrika - 2011-12-03 15:05

    Who are these chiefs anyway? They should shut up and let the new SA progress. The goverment should let this chief appologise to this MP in front of of the people of the area. The sooner the people are told that the days of chiefs are gone with apartheid the better. I wonder how much these 'hiefs' cost our tax payers and if they are acessed by SARS. Time to sort out this crowd.

      Chum Scrubber - 2011-12-03 15:15

      These "chiefs" are responsible for a lot of failings in this country. Most of them are self serving, whenever a cake is offered to their "people" these okes take most and give their people the left overs. They are an arrogant law unto themselves. (Most, anyway)

  • Pennie - 2011-12-03 15:12


  • Mary - 2011-12-03 15:12

    Can somebody please explain to me what exactly it means that 'he has a constitutional right to practise his culture'? What do women in his culture wear?

      Shirley - 2011-12-03 15:29

      As little as possible!

  • Shirley - 2011-12-03 15:28

    Its a public building but give someone the tile "chief" and he thinks he is God!! His tile should be "Big chief fullof cr@p"

      comurray - 2012-01-29 08:13

      What about "Big Chief Shi**ing Bull"?

  • Hermann - 2011-12-03 15:53

    To put it bluntly this is 2011 and not the stone age so up the male chauvinist pig.

  • Shirley - 2011-12-03 16:11

    Rossallenronnie: The lady was being politically correct and showing respect for his culture! If she arrived bare breasted with a string of beads around her neck and a loin cloth would that have been acceptable? After all that is "traditional" and NOT very lady like!

  • david.lebethe - 2011-12-03 16:12

    Served her right. Ronnie Mamoepa is assimilated black and the less said about him the better.

  • Elsie - 2011-12-03 16:24

    dun get it at all, is the traditional leader "chief of staff" in the dept of home affairs, wish he can get throw his bones to cure corruption in there, not concentrate on woman wearing trousers please

  • TheWatcher - 2011-12-03 16:51

    Weren't the police saying recently that you shouldn't wear skirts or you'll get raped... such conflicting messages from government... * the above is an observation not a personal opinion. Women should be free to wear whatever they want without fear of assault, victimization, persecution or judgement.

  • cameronjohnprice - 2011-12-03 16:56

    So she was not allowed to enter a government building because she was not wearing a skirt? That is BS! If the chief refused her access to the kraal for not wearing a skirt I would understand, but not an office.

  • Kevin - 2011-12-03 17:53

    He may have cultural rights but so does the other party, given that it is a Government Office the Chief should be prosecuted. If he is Government Employee he shouild be fired.

      emile.eley - 2011-12-03 18:50

      Makes one think how not so long ago (and in some quarters even today) people were barred from entering very many places, public and private, because of appearance. As clothes do not make the woman, surely colour maketh not the man.

  • lesleyb.smit - 2011-12-03 20:17

    I'm sure it is deemed FAR more appropriate for women to appear nearly naked, as the at the reed dance! (No pants there either!!) Perhaps someone like Ronnie Mamoepa should advise the 'chief' that the workplace is not his personal fiefdom and that slax are more than acceptable dress in (most) work places. Annette Lovemore and Maggie Maunye handled the situation with dignity but the 'chief' is out of order!!

  • marina.poniatowska - 2011-12-04 07:42

    This whole freaking country is a huge joke. From the rapist ANC to DA. Laughable. Rather focus on fixing SA than dress code.

  • Kevin - 2011-12-04 08:37

    Traditional leaders want to enforce there nonsense on other people. They should not receive money from the government. The people who claim he is there leader should fit the bill. They are not real leaders. Lovemore has a constitutional right to wear pants . Tell the traditional leader to get money from his people and to go suck eggs.

  • Missionman - 2011-12-04 08:54

    PATHETIC - just abuse of power and stupidity.....

  • Freddie - 2012-01-29 00:04

    I did my military service in the early 1990's as a veterinary officer in the then Bophutatswana homeland. I was told that I was the the very first vet ever to work in that particular area. I was there solely to render a free service to the people of the area, BUT still had to go into a tribal meeting in the middle of summer with a jacket over my uniform, asking the chief (who was 2 hours late!) permission to help his people. Up to today I consider this part of their culture rediculous. having to ASK permission to help the people, and that in a JACKET to cover my uniform (which I proudly worn in those days). The ladies present also had to wear dresses or skirts out of respect for the authority of the chief. I think the old dood hoped they didn't wear panties, because according to their culture, panties are not compulsory for the ladies...

  • RudeBong - 2012-01-29 00:29

    This is just stupid, I can understand cultural differences and such practices within such communities but our Govt. is here to serve everyone. That local traditional leader is an idiot and our politics are fast becoming more a farce, as we proceed, sorry to say.

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