SACC urges Gender Equality commission to probe ANC chaplain-general's 'derogatory' comments about women

Tokyo Sexwale chats to ANC chaplain-general Vukile Mehana. (File)
Tokyo Sexwale chats to ANC chaplain-general Vukile Mehana. (File)
Felix Dlangamandla

The South African Council of Churches (SACC) is disgusted by the "shocking and unbelievable utterances" made by Reverend Vukile Mehana, the organisation said in a statement late on Wednesday.

An audio recording of a conversation between Mehana – a minister of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa and the ANC's chaplain-general – and Raymond Sibanga has been shared on social media. In the audio clip, the two speak about women pastors in the church in a derogatory manner.

SACC general secretary Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana said that Mehana's views on women in the church were "misplaced".

"For him to disparage women ministers to the extent of referencing women’s breasts, is absolutely disgusting and must be condemned unequivocally," said Mpumlwana.

READ: ANC dumps Methodist minister from January 8 celebrations after 'degrading' comments about women

Mpumlwana added that Mehana’s comments were in conflict with the human rights prescripts of the Constitution, that should be binding on all citizens.

"His views on women deserve the urgent attention of the Commission for Gender Equality".

The ANC on Wednesday announced that Mehana would no longer officiate at the party's January 8 celebrations, taking place in Durban next week.

The party said it had noted with disappointment the comments attributed to Mehana.

On Monday, the Methodist Church said it was conducting an internal investigation into the matter.

In a statement, the church called the recording distressing and said that it "noted with dismay the blatant disrespect and portrayal of women who are characterised in a dismissive, humiliating and degrading caricature".

"The objectifying of the anatomy of women and its link to culture and religion is not only unacceptable, but also equally distasteful".

Mehana has since apologised for the comments.

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