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Kimberley - The ANC has expressed disgust at how Northern Cape Premier Sylvia Lucas was being ridiculed by cartoonists for allegedly abusing her government credit card on chicken buckets, fast food and groceries.
ANC provincial spokeswoman Keitumetsi Mathiba said that the caricatures that were published of the premier in the media insulted her body type and state of health.
Mathiba added that the suggestions that Lucas was indulging her greed and appetite by spending R50 000 on fast food were “reckless, selfish, incompetent and fraudulent”.
“Unflattering cartoon-like pictures made undignified references to the premier’s body.
“One particular cartoon showed a chef’s hat added to a picture of Premier Lucas holding a cellphone.”
She added that the emphasis on fried chicken that were consumed at outlets such as Nando’s and KFC created a racist stereotype that implied that the leadership was “fat, lazy, and incompetent”.
“Premier Lucas, as the mother of the province, deserves respect and recognition. Her race, gender and overall African identity have been disfigured.
“Lucas is well within her rights to petition to the South African Human Rights Commission to weigh in on the flagrant disfigurement of her humanity as a black person and a woman. Premier Lucas is anything but the stereotypical caricature that is being used to besmirch her personal integrity and her leadership of the Northern Cape government.”
She added that the unfounded allegations created unnecessary sensationalism.
“Notwithstanding assurances from the premier’s office and ANC leadership, that Lucas had not contravened any regulations, the less than newsworthy story took on a life of its own.”
She added that the premier was subject to demeaning “sexist and racist” remarks.
“A male reporter in an opinion piece went so far as to demean the premier as a ‘clueless Aunty unleashed on an unsuspecting populace’.
“Online comments posted below the coverage took the cue and added more debasing racist and sexist commentaries aimed at humiliating the premier and all black South Africans in general.”
Other online comments included encouragements for Lucas to “keep scoffing” as well as questioning if she was “buying KFC Streetwise 2 for the whole neighbourhood”.
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