ANCWL: Polygamy oppressive but...

2012-06-29 14:38

Johannesburg - Polygamy oppresses women, but the ANC must accept those people who practise it, gender commission member Patricia Cheu said on Friday.

"Polygamy in its practice oppresses women; if you are a women activist you will not agree with polygamy," she told media on the sidelines of the ANC policy conference in Midrand.

However, society should accept those who do agree with it.

"The ANC, it is a broad organisation, it accepts all ideas, we can't expel them out of the ANC because they support certain issues."

Not isolated to South Africa

She said South Africans must live side-by-side with those choosing polygamy.
"We need to accommodate people with diverse ideas."

But she emphasised polygamy is not isolated to South Africa.

"People must stop raising this issue as a South African issue... it's a worldwide issue, even white women stay in polygamous marriages."

She said polygamy was part of the evolution of society.

"Polygamy is not a South African issue, it is an evolution of society... we should not isolate it as an issue that comes for nowhere; even in Germany it is there, in America it is there, so don't treat is as a South African issue."

President Jacob Zuma practises polygamy, and currently has four wives.

The gender commission recommended the establishment of an academy to train prostitutes in life skills so they can gain independence.

Gender summit

It called for gender equality in the top six positions on the ANC's national executive committee, and in all structures of the ANC and the private sector.

The commission wanted a gender summit to examine women's rights.

"We had planned with women from the alliance... to unpack this [gender] issue, but... in the commission they said no," ANC Women's League treasurer general Hlengiwe Mkhize said.

"What we need... is a gender summit, which will look at power relations in all respects, so that it is not only women who are talking about these issues..."

Friday was the last day of the four-day summit to discuss policies to be adopted at the ANC's national conference in Mangaung in December.

  • moi.carla.1980 - 2012-06-29 14:49

    "She said polygamy was part of the evolution of society." I definitely wouldn't refer to polygamy as evolution.

      gieljam.gomtor - 2012-06-29 15:52

      Issue ?give me a tissue .Seems all is now looking to score points of some sort. What we need is some one that says we don't need this primitive type of behaviour

      patrick.buckley.712 - 2012-06-29 16:01

      The most disgusting practise in the history of mankind. It should be criminalised and totally abolished. Nothing is more demeaning to women than this abomination!

      elewies - 2012-06-29 16:35

      If its consensual then why not? I don't think we should put laws in place to extend legal benefits to all the wives, but if adults want to enter a plural marriage then they should. Does nothing to me or my relationship. Where are the people always biatching about civil liberties and the right to make your own decisions without any government interference?

      stirer.kathray - 2012-06-30 09:24

      In South Africa, polygamy *IS* a South African issue.

      Hermann - 2012-06-30 10:43

      They want their cake and eat it.

      gieljam.gomtor - 2012-06-30 11:33

      Hermannh , how many cookies is in your cake?

  • tuco.angeleyes - 2012-06-29 14:52

    Polygamy oppresses women, but the ANC must accept those people who practise it, gender commission member Patricia Cheu said on Friday. clearly the most idiotic statement I've heard this week. so by the same breath.... .. Child labor oppresses little children, but we must accept the people who practice it. Human trafficking oppresses people, but we must accept those who accept it. That does it. our so called leaders are so retarded

      Kala - 2012-06-29 15:33

      Some of the speeches coming from this conference have been the funniest things I have read in a long time. Thank you anc for cheering me up this week with you wit. I really look forward to Managaung at the end of the year for more political satire.

      Bryan - 2012-06-29 15:53

      This just goes to show how pathetically backward our so-called leaders are..!! Sitting in quiet disbelief at the arrogance of this statement, I mean really WTF???

      michael.lockett.102 - 2012-06-29 16:07

      In short: Polygamy is wrong but if you are the president, it's okay.

      tuco.angeleyes - 2012-06-29 16:19

      I might be wrong but aren't this the same clowns who supported Zuma during his rape trial. no sympathy at all for the victim of rape. So basically as long as its Zuma screwing you, its ok you must accept it. wow. * *

  • Squeegee - 2012-06-29 14:52

    Would she have said the same thing if the President were not a polygamist? No. She would have condemned it outright.

      iceberg.standard - 2012-06-29 15:20

      Yes, like a section of them have now decided that the rights of gays and lesbians should be declared unconstitutional because the population of SA did not vote for homosexuals to have rights. Perfectly ok to NOT be accepting of the rights of homosexuals but PERFECT to accept the right of a polygamist.

      silindile.mabaso.9 - 2012-06-29 15:33

      Its in our constitution. Which the ANC helped write. Equality first, and respect for other cultures and beliefs. Just as when that rogue group came out condemning equal rights for the gay and lesbian community, the ANC was very quick to respond in saying that there will be no vote to decide who gets what rights and who doesn't. Its not the South African way.

  • Tsotsi-Baby - 2012-06-29 14:53

    I agree, Zuema must stop whoring around. #Power to the people

      themba.thwala.98 - 2012-06-29 16:01

      Yeah, that guy is a real dick-tator! I hope ANC sheep send him packing from Mangaung to his harem in Nkandla

  • yusufchinyengetere - 2012-06-29 14:56

    l0l polygamy is opression? I certainly do nt agree wth dat bcoz both parties, wives nd hubby have acceptd to be in such a situation. It only bcumz opression if sm1 is forcd into the marriage nd nt wen she agrees.

      Leroy - 2012-06-29 15:05

      looks like you got some keys missing on your keyboard, must be terrible!

      yusufchinyengetere - 2012-06-29 15:08

      nd is that suppsd 2 b funny l0l sme mense ey, i aint got msng keys on my keyboard....

      jacovniek - 2012-06-29 15:30

      Keep on working hard at school! You'll pass grade 1 next time! Keep it up! Keep it up!

      Kala - 2012-06-29 15:30


      rob.bayliss.94 - 2012-06-29 15:48

      So many missing sylabols, it must be Hebrew! No offence meant to the Hebrews.

      Bryan - 2012-06-29 15:55

      No keys missing from the keyboard but definitely a sandwich missing from the picnic basket....Eish!!

      maseratifittipaldi - 2012-06-29 17:56

      hw mny of thm wves of Zma wud hve mried hm if thr ws nt so mch mney 2 stl frm de fscs? Plgmy is oprsve 2 de txpr.

      Johan De Beer - 2012-06-29 18:42

      ...and the children from such a orgy?

  • steveroodt - 2012-06-29 14:59

    So let's get this right then. I can have ten wives have 5 kids per wive and claim state welfare for 50 kids @R1000.00 per kid. Cool R50000.00 per month

      SarcasticAgnostic - 2012-06-30 07:52

      Stop giving them ideas.

  • sethu.nguna - 2012-06-29 15:14


  • Repline - 2012-06-29 15:33

    Talk about wanting your bread buttered on both sides...

  • silindile.mabaso.9 - 2012-06-29 15:41

    Its very easy to judge from the outside looking in. Who gives anybody the right to judge how people choose to live or whom they choose to love. Just because its differs from your way of life, it does not make it wrong/oppressive. Especially if ALL involved have entered the relationship willingly. If a man is oppressive by nature, then his wives will be oppressed in the marriage. If a man believes in equal partnerships, than his wives will be treated fairly and lovingly... Zuma's wives look happy, the women on Sister Wives look happy, the women who wrote Big Love look happy... So bugger off with your nonsense theories ANCWL

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-06-29 15:54

      I agree , if you fully understand the situation and agree ,i see nothing wrong with it . The same thing with same sex marrige , two (or more:polygamy) consenting adults entering a marital contract.

      gaby.hide.3 - 2012-06-29 16:04

      My human rights are being violated because I cannot have four husbands.

      themba.thwala.98 - 2012-06-29 16:35

      Slindile, I don't pay tax in order to fund a horny old man's poygamous lifestyle. The fact that he uses my tax gives me a right to moan. I wish I had a choice, in which case I`d rather donate the portion that goes to JZ to orphans or any other worthy cause

      SarcasticAgnostic - 2012-06-29 17:18

      @gaby. Unfortunately, these day the man *sigh* has to pick between "normal" and traditional marriage. Since there aren't indigenous tribes who practice mmf-poligamy, it isn't seen as traditional, therefore no provision for it. SA really needs to fix its marriage laws. I say make polygamy (mmf + ffm) normally allowable, without the need of there being a tradition with it in. Insert all the legal stuff that is in a "normal" marriage. We have one of the best constitutions in the world (only lacking in implementation), let's make it better.

      themba.thwala.98 - 2012-06-29 21:14

      Slindile, the ANC Women's League is raising the issue because their head-honcho is the one that's leading the pacl of polygamist. So the subject here is playboy, fiance, husband, grandfather Zuma who uses my tax to satisfy his viagra-driven libido. Who else did you those gigantic anc women`s league are trying to defend?

      themba.thwala.98 - 2012-06-29 21:29

      Did you even speak to ALL women in polygamous marriages before you confidently came to the conclusion that they are happy? If so, can you explain why Zuma's wife Mantsho killed herself? What about Nkosazana Zuma? Why did she divorce Zuma? What about those wives of Mswati who have since left him? Zuma's wife who reportedly shagged his bodyguard? Leleti Khumalo? Why did she leave Mbongeni? If polygamous marriages are “happy” as you claim, can you explain all the other cases that your one-sided story has conveniently left them out to balance things?

  • Adrian - 2012-06-29 15:58

    Evolution?? Modern society has tended more towards monogamy than polygamy. Polygamy dates back to ancient times so where have we "evolved" to polygamy? Surely on this overcrowded planet of ours, we should be evolving the other way? Clearly this is a kiss the presidents ass statement.

  • themba.thwala.98 - 2012-06-29 15:58

    Chue, except none of those countries have a President who funds his polygamous lifestyle with the taxpayers' money. So shut it Madam

  • lynn.syme.1 - 2012-06-29 15:59

    You can have as many partners as you want - but it's not for the taxpayer to keep them in the lifestyle they demand!

  • gregory.jurgens - 2012-06-29 16:10

    It's deviant sexual behaviour, a perversion, being funded by the taxpayer is ludicrous. It's enough to make a pig vomit.

  • aderitotmn - 2012-06-29 16:14

    Polygamous societies practice dowry so that's why it's acceptable: to keep the business running. Cents over sense.

  • lerato.kay.3 - 2012-06-29 16:18

    Women's rights my foot, its not like these women are forced into such relationships they walk on their free will so let them deal with it!. Maybe they r enjoying their fivesome

  • binarycape - 2012-06-29 16:38

    Fine, I have no problem with us accepting it. What I have a problem with is in respect of Zuma, as an example, who then expects SA to support ALL his wives and children in a manner to which they then become accustomed - AT THE EXPENSE OF THE TAXPAYER WHO EMPLOYS HIM AT A SET SALARY. He has a job, is a civil servant who is employed by the country. I do not recall anywhere where it says that his family also get perks?

  • James - 2012-06-29 16:41

    She says polygamy is part of the evolutionary process of society and has to be tolerated. It is indeed present in the primitive stages of a society. It is not usually found in an advanced society. It does not seem to be an appropriate role model in a society that has moved beyond its primitive stage. That is why in most advanced societies monogamy is the law.

  • manu.dibango.96 - 2012-06-29 17:05

    People act like polygamy is a terrible thing. The reason polygamy seems so outdate is not because it's one man marrying multiple women. The reason polygamy seems outdate is because marriage is no longer valued. You disagree? Then tell me what is difference between a polygamist and a man who keeps a harem of mistresses or sleeps around? What is the difference other than the fact that one is married and the other is not. I am willing to bet here that many of the people who are condeming polygamy have themselves had multiple partners, presently have multiple partners or dream of having multiple partners. And then of course we have swingers. But of course no one will accuse such people of being polygamists even though they freely sample each other as if they are candy in a candy shop.

      Johan De Beer - 2012-06-29 18:37

      All those practices that you listed are wrong. By now using those practices as an excuse for poligamy you have lost me...

      themba.thwala.98 - 2012-06-29 22:18

      We have AIDS today to “cure” the practices that you seem to be condoning. Zuma knowingly shagged a woman who was positive and took a shower in the stupid belief that he wouldnbe cured. Had he not been accused and hauled before the court, and had he contracted the disease, can you imagine how many women (wives, girlfriends, fiancees, etc) he would have infected?

  • ThinkingChick - 2012-06-29 17:08

    What rubbish. Polygamy is part of a very early evolutionary process. It, like Zoooma, has no place in modern society. And it is very un-African.

  • Skia - 2012-06-29 17:11

    i don't have an issue with polygamy. what i have an issue with is the tax payer needs to pay for his harem and why can't any one do it, 1 man many wives, 1 woman many husbands or multiple husbands and wives?

  • osama.pascal - 2012-06-29 17:12

    I do not see the reason and the need why the subject matter is on the table. The main problem is when a person wants to be in this type of relationship at the expense of tax payers.

  • patrick.saunders123 - 2012-06-29 17:28

    so ancwl allows certain forms of oppression against women but not others? Who gets to decide? Is there a list of acceptable and unacceptable oppression? Does anc hypocrisy get any worse?

  • Johan De Beer - 2012-06-29 18:49

    Just think about the screwed up children born from such an abomination! (none of the 2 puns intended)

  • mark.haupt.31 - 2012-06-29 19:52

    I think you're confusing polygamy with stupidity - both end with a "Y". How about incestuous, similar to polygamous, or doff, very similar to stupid? How about Neanderthal, as in prehistoric - before civilization or walking upright? You - the ANC - don't scare me, you make me wonder about what happened and how I missed it.

      SarcasticAgnostic - 2012-06-30 07:57

      Really? Comparing polygamy to incest? Sure, having two mothers-in-law might cause some problems, but comparing it to the genetically insane practice of incest is taking it a bit far.

      gaby.hide.3 - 2012-06-30 10:02

      @Sarcastic, I find that taking a position to the extreme is often a good way to test if it holds up. In the example of incest above, this is not valid because incest is not regarded as being part of a "culture". However, a good example of a "culture" would be cannibalism. So should we accept this because it was "culture"?

      SarcasticAgnostic - 2012-06-30 14:46

      "I find that taking a position to the extreme is often a good way to test if it holds up." I don't really think that's a good idea Gaby. Lets take the position "Atheism is the only logical conclusion" to the extreme. Eugenics? Imprisoning any person publicly representing a certain faith? Removing(violently if necessary) any opposing ideology from society? Any (sane)atheist would tell me that argument doesn't work. And I would agree.

  • frikdt - 2012-06-29 20:09

    Wow! Without even going into the rights or wrongs of polygamy, it is so heart-warming and reassuring to notice how the ruling party (or at least a part thereof) openly classifies a custom as oppressive but defends it in the same breath because it suits them. Can't help but wonder if they would still have been this tolerant had it been a custom not practiced by their own members.

  • julika.brand - 2012-06-29 20:17

    Polygamy is a privilege of wealthy blokes, who can afford several women/wives. And there will probably always be women - enticed by money and power - who will consent to polygamy. It's an issue of demand and supply.

      SarcasticAgnostic - 2012-06-30 07:59

      Amen. (the wealthy man part, at least. Comparing women to commodities is abhorrent.)

      balan.morgen - 2012-06-30 12:03

      Zuma is not fit to be a leader, he has no morals no ethics, poor education, cannot make decissions by himself, cannot write his own speeches, how can he read and understand someone else's writing of speeches. He is a polygamist and a complete Idiot.

      SarcasticAgnostic - 2012-06-30 14:49

      Sure he's a polygamist. He may be an idiot as well. But don't put those two completely different things in the same sentence. They don't really have anything to do with each other.

  • ferero.roche.96 - 2012-06-29 20:41

    and I don't want to hear another word about gay rights, they are also over the world, down with Holomisa and the ANC. anyone BUT them

      Tommo - 2012-06-30 04:53

      I'm gay ferero. What the f... has gay rights got to do with this?

  • Amanda - 2012-06-29 23:22

    @ adit yeah you are so right - polygamy is such a convenient thing- it works well with lobola and then the money just rolls right back again. Kind of mutual funding, so the sense does equal the cents.

  • kgothatso.freddy.9 - 2012-06-30 15:45

    An academy 2 teach prostitudes lyf skills!!????..first lesson xld be;STOP SELLING SEX ND FIND a real job..unless u want 2 b worthless nd unappriciated..mxm

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