Politicians debate weighty issues

2013-06-14 08:38

Cape Town - Parliament is known for debating weighty issues.

But the DA feels the ANC has taken this too far in literally commenting on the size of its parliamentary leader, Lindiwe Mazibuko.

On Thursday, the ANC indicated that MP John Jeffrey would apologise for comments he made about Mazibuko.

DA chief whip Sandy Kalyan on Thursday wrote to her ANC counterpart, Mathole Motshekga, to request that Jeffrey and fellow ANC MP Buti Manamela be disciplined for sexist and chauvinist comments directed at Mazibuko.

During a parliamentary budget vote on Wednesday, Jeffrey said: “While the honourable Mazibuko may be a person of substantial weight, her stature is questionable”.


Manamela’s comment was a reference to Mazibuko’s dress sense, saying that if she was arrested by the fashion police, the DA would blame President Jacob Zuma.

The DA was livid at Jeffrey and Manamela’s comments, saying they were “unparliamentary” and “a direct attack on the integrity of a fellow member”.

“Dr Motshekga, who has rightfully called for more decorum in the house, should hang his head in shame at this disgraceful display by his colleagues. He must now do everything possible to bring these two MPs to book,” said Kalyan.

In a statement, Motshekga claimed Jeffrey’s comment was meant as a pun and “had more to do with her influence and power associated with the position she holds than her physical weight”.

“Jeffery has carefully reflected on the ambiguity of the statement and accepts that they may have been understood to refer to Mazibuko’s physical outlook.

“In this regard, he will unconditionally withdraw the statement when the presiding officer gives him an opportunity to do so in the House and apologise to Mazibuko,” said Motshekga.

He rejected the claim that Manamela’s reference to Mazibuko’s dress style was sexist or chauvinistic, saying that she was dressed inappropriately, showing a lack of respect to the debate and the decorum of the House.

'DA did it first'

However, while the ANC Women’s League said Parliament was no place for tit-for-tat games, it said the DA had done it first and had not yet apologised.

“We commend Jeffrey for acknowledging that his comments may have been misunderstood and for apologising,” said ANCWL spokesperson Troy Martens.

She said that DA leader and Western Cape Premier Helen Zille was yet to apologise for reportedly calling ANC MPL Zodwa Magwaza an elephant, neither had Theuns Botha, who likened Lynne Brown to a hippopotamus.


  • Democrazy - 2013-06-14 08:47

    They're all bloated from the fat of the land...

  • Gift Mogiftana - 2013-06-14 08:52

    arrogant and childish display by the ANC towards Lindiwe, if all falls pull out the insults that have nothing to do with the topic at hand...

  • Petro Jahnel - 2013-06-14 08:52

    Immature, unprofessional, rude and degrading, but what more can you expect from these morons!? Lindiwe - you are a star, keep shining girl!

  • Helen Shevchuk - 2013-06-14 09:01

    That was cheap and ditasteful... and we are surprised we have bullies at schools? I hope this man has no kids to teach at home, he is a pathetic example. How does he think they'd behave after reading his comments about someone else...especially a woman??

      KaGamanga KaSiyo - 2013-06-14 09:40

      at least he did not call her an elephant or hippo.

  • Tebogo Dipico - 2013-06-14 09:12

    Manamela is suffering from serious inferiority complex. He must remeber that Mrs Mazubuko is an African woman.

  • vernon - 2013-06-14 09:12

    Pound for pound our goverment must be world leaders.

      Mc Apple - 2013-06-14 10:57

      It’s something that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

  • Nellie Mashaba - 2013-06-14 09:14

    but she's big

      kardollie - 2013-06-14 09:19

      Nellie,you look on the heavy side yourself hey?not to shabby.

      Nellie Mashaba - 2013-06-14 09:25

      yes, im big, but not as big as her. I'm proud of her and she shouldnt be ashamed of that. Black women are big from the world over.

      Siyabonga Biyela - 2013-06-14 09:31

      And from where I stand, thats not a bad thing. As long as she's healthy

      Nellie Mashaba - 2013-06-14 11:14

      Don Peter, there's no comparison between the Nubians and Sub-Saharans.

      Tersia Louw - 2013-06-14 11:48

      Nellie, do you think her weight should be discussed in parliament?

  • Karabo Ntisa Matsabisa - 2013-06-14 09:16

    I'm not a DA supporter,but to Lindiwe,once people start getting personal,with issues that are totally irrelevent with the actual debate,then you must know that you've got them,this is a free country Lindiwe you must stand for what you believe in just like our leaders stood firm against apartheid,don't worry about bo Manamela,their voices can't be heard,stand firm and fearless against corrupt leaders.

      Siyabonga Biyela - 2013-06-14 09:33

      It happens all the time. The media is just selective when it comes to reporting

      Siyabonga Biyela - 2013-06-14 09:44

      guys, when you get bored, do watch parliamentary sessions. And have a good lough

  • Erich Goosen - 2013-06-14 09:18

    I was waiting for this one. The ANC also has a few heavy weight contenders (some even Ministers) and most of them are not nearly so well dressed and neat looking as the DA's No. 1 parliamentarian.

  • Musa KamaShobane - 2013-06-14 09:18

    I think it's naive, silly, disrespectful and illiterate for calling another adult unsavory names. I would sanction Jeffrey's immediately

  • Mike Swart - 2013-06-14 09:27

    They should rather just have let it slide. Now they are focussing attention on a target which is - one has to be honest - quite difficult to miss. A weighty issue.

      Mike Swart - 2013-06-14 10:46

      It is appropriate that Parliament wrestle with really big issues.

  • Robert Cerff - 2013-06-14 09:29

    Seriously... is this something our politicians should be arguing? I'm very sure that both parties have more serious issues to debate? Or am I missing something?

      Aqeelah Khan - 2013-06-14 10:07

      I think we're missing something, who does one vote for now? *shaking my head

      Tersia Louw - 2013-06-14 11:51

      Aqeelah Khan - think it's time to check out the various manifestos out there. Stop shaking your head; find a party that cracks the nod.

  • Siyabonga Biyela - 2013-06-14 09:30

    She's an African woman damn it. We like them like this, lol

  • Thabo Tebele - 2013-06-14 09:44

    But most of the MP's and ministers are fat,especially from the ANC camp.i.e minister of defence

  • Mfumbayelangabi Silwane - 2013-06-14 09:46

    She is setting a fatty example,she must lose weight.I think all weighty people like her must be fined......

      Mike Swart - 2013-06-14 10:10

      Fat chance.

      Lanfear Mierin - 2013-06-14 10:18

      Well, such "weighty people" will include half the ANC MPs too...

  • Sadrick Lottering - 2013-06-14 09:55

    The way they went about it is wrong, appauling, for grown ass adults at that. Shame on them! But we all see the seem thing, I too have been concerned for quite sometime now. I fear a heart attack whenever I see her on TV, I am not critizing, I'd loved to get it with her - is just, she or her doctor needs to reassure us, those who loves her, that all is okay. Love you, Lindiwe!!!!!!

  • Solo Mathe - 2013-06-14 09:58


  • Aqeelah Khan - 2013-06-14 10:06

    Instead of discussing real issues they choose to discuss the oppositions dress code!! Who cares? How is the Fashion Police connected to the countless issues in this country? Fashion is not one of those issues OMG

      Tersia Louw - 2013-06-14 11:53

      I stongly suspect that Fashion Police would do a better job than SAPS can do.

  • Stephen Mulomba - 2013-06-14 10:12

    They were out of line but hey, she is quite a big girl for her age. Shouldnt leadership also fight the fight aganist obesity??

      Mc Apple - 2013-06-14 10:35

      That depends. Ever thought that she might have won the fight against anorexia?

  • Sbo Kubeka - 2013-06-14 10:13

    Lindiwe must lose weight, what's her problem? this can't be healthy. She must also dress properly.

      Jacqui Daane Van Rensburg - 2013-06-14 11:11

      Sbongile. Who are you to dictate to another?.

      Shirley Stee - 2013-06-14 12:42

      And you must lose your dictator attitude!

      Sbo Kubeka - 2013-06-14 13:36

      You ladies are really something else...dictator attitude? really? The fact remains, she is obese and must do something about it. We want to listen to her without being distracted by her weight or her dress code.

  • Vivian Harris - 2013-06-14 10:39

    Wow....the country is in a state and this is what politicians think is important to discuss....

  • abzisto - 2013-06-14 10:42


  • Malefetsane Macdee Ntja - 2013-06-14 10:48


  • Paul Mark Maarman - 2013-06-14 10:52

    when you are not able to win the debate, play the man/woman...nothing new about this tactic, sounds like most of the crap that comes from parliament...

      Mc Apple - 2013-06-14 10:54

      Now that s heavy...

  • Jacqui Daane Van Rensburg - 2013-06-14 10:57

    Trashy remarks by trashy people. What was it Max Sisulu said during the week about the behaviour of members of parliament?.

  • Cliff Slabbert - 2013-06-14 11:08

    The ANC will hit below the belt as they nothing of substance to use to their credit any longer. LOSERS !

  • Sadrick Lottering - 2013-06-14 11:16

    Lindiwe, irrespective of her association, represents the spirit that reigned in 1956, of 20 000 women, who were of leadership, and not of playing second fiddle and appeal to Barbie enthusiast. And the ruling party is aware of this shift... Mothers in Parliament.

  • Mandy Pepler - 2013-06-14 11:43

    Lindiwe, take no notice of these fools. You are well presented and a lovely looking lady and unlike the people who criticize you, you are intellegent and an asset to the DA.

      Tersia Louw - 2013-06-14 11:58

      She's an asset to the country.

  • Dubula Dubula - 2013-06-14 12:16

    Kindergarten, DA is so sensitive when it comes to them and they are daily insulting others. The writing is on the wall right here on the DA24. Professionals don't bother themselves about petty comments if that was the case Madiba, Mbeki and Zuma would have never survived the insults splashed upon them. It is a fact the woman carries a lot of weight.

      Shirley Stee - 2013-06-14 12:44

      You are right!!! ANC is void of emotion or thought!

  • Rob Martin - 2013-06-14 13:12

    In all instances ... The Pot calling the kettle Black

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