Storm in a tea cup? ANC slams Holomisa for Duarte 'tea girl' jibe

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Jessie Duarte. (Palesa Dlamini, City Press)
Jessie Duarte. (Palesa Dlamini, City Press)

The ANC has condemned comments made by UDM leader Bantu Holomisa in which he claimed the governing party's deputy secretary-general, Jessie Duarte, was called a "tea girl".

On Tuesday, in replying to a tweet in which Twitter user @Vuyisa77840764 claimed Duarte had referred to Holomisa as a "dictator" on TV, the UDM chief wrote: "Jesse [sic] used to serve us tea at Shell House."

Holomisa corrected the user, saying Duarte had not served as former president Nelson Mandela's personal assistant.

He ended his tweet with the words "Makathi ndiyaxoka", daring her to challenge his claim.

A number of users called out Holomisa for his comment on the thread, but he seemed unfazed.

In a statement issued on Wednesday afternoon, the ANC described Holomisa's comments as a "blatant contempt for, and belittling of women".

"We must isolate and reject all those who derive pleasure from abusing and undermining women," the statement read.

The party urged "all progressive men in the UDM to distance themselves from Mr Holomisa's misogynistic tendencies".

"This is a huge insult to comrade Jessie, the women of the congress movement and South African women in general."

The spat between Holomisa and the ANC comes in the same week that EFF leaders moved to defend the party's Mbuyiseni Ndlozi who was called an "ice boy" after several videos showing Julius Malema seemingly instructing him to run errands were shared on Twitter.

"Ice boy" is loosely defined as someone who fetches ice for someone else's drinks, similar to how a "tea girl" would be considered someone who serves guests or superiors.

Both terms are considered derogatory or demeaning.

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