Minister lashed over ‘slut’ tweet storm


Copy of slutwalk

INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

About 2 000 men and women marched down Somerset Road in Green Point as part of the Cape Town leg of the international "Slutwalk". Photo: Matthew Jordaan

Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba may want to tweet more carefully following a firestorm of condemnation after he said he “might get lucky” at Saturday’s “SlutWalk”.

Responding to fellow ANC national executive member and Science and Technology Deputy Minister Derek Hanekom’s suggestion that they could tweet about “rugby, Bells and slut walks”, Gigaba insisted they stick to the latter.

“@Derek_Hanekom No, let’s talk about the slut walk. Now, I wanna attend as an observer. Might get lucky,” Gigaba tweeted.

The comment was “retweeted” several times and soon some members of the social network took issue with Gigaba, describing his tweet as “unforgivable” and “stupid”.

Gigaba apologised two hours later after having “found out” what the walk was about. On Saturday women and men donned skimpy outfits to march through Cape Town as part of the international SlutWalk phenomenon, a campaign to fight the idea that what a woman is wearing is to blame for her being sexually assaulted.

On Sunday, Gigaba’s spokesman, Makhosini Nkhosi, said the comment came about “as a result of a misunderstanding”, adding that it was “in jest”.

“Once he had been apprised of the campaign the tweet was removed. He has subsequently not only supported the campaign but also called on all men to do the same,” said Nkhosi.

Gigaba was known for his strong views against, and moves to outlaw, internet and cellphone pornography.

Organisers estimate that over 2 000 protesters attended, marching from the Prestwich Memorial, along Somerset Road to the Cape Town Stadium. They carried banners declaring “Rapists rape people, not outfits” and “Weak men rape”. Men also joined the protest, some even wearing miniskirts to show their support.

Asked whether Gigaba would attend the next “SlutWalk”, which organisers are thinking of making an annual event, Nkhosi said: “He may not be able to attend as he is scheduled to be abroad on government business at the time.”

But gender activist Melanie Judge said Gigaba’s comments were filled with sexual innuendo – and were one of the main reasons women had to reclaim the streets. “Women should feel free to express themselves, claim public space and dress how they want.”

Author and Cape Times columnist Margie Orford, a patron of Rape Crisis, said the “slut” was in the eye of the beholder and that Gigaba’s comments were depressing.

“Jokes like that are not funny. Many women are undefended in the public and private space. The minister can apologise but he should put his slut where his mouth is and attend the next march,” said Orford. One of the organisers, Umeshree Govender, said Gigaba was “obviously not aware” of the campaign.

- Cape Times


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Naked Eyes, wrote

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03:30pm on 22 August 2011
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Now we know how our ax money is being squandered. Shame all the macho but without political muscle bisexual(he has to buy his sex)

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Peter, wrote

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02:49pm on 22 August 2011
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What a stupid idea. Canvassing for women's right to act like sluts. Doesn't really bring the message, does it. Stupid, stupid capetonians

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Logs, wrote

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02:43pm on 22 August 2011
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These people want to be called sluts, but get upset when someone responds in like fashion?

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Anonymous, wrote

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02:32pm on 22 August 2011
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Joke like that are unfunny but the minister should put his slut where his mouth is?

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Anonymous, wrote

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02:25pm on 22 August 2011
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Most of the guys I know only attended in the hope of getting lucky. And failing that, to see as much sluttiness as they could for ... er... future reference. But the organisers asked for it would a really stupid name. To any sane thinking person, a slut is a promiscuous male or female, making it the best place ever for a potential hook-up.

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Anonymous, wrote

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02:24pm on 22 August 2011
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This isn't news. Yes they are ministers... but more than that they are just 2 guys having a light hearted conversation. All those that take offence... your husbandboyfriendsonetc... does exactly the same thing... if not worse. This is not malicious or news worthy. Thoughtless... yes... but the apology should have been enough to sort it out.

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Conalde, wrote

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02:22pm on 22 August 2011
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Why are people surprised, they are masters at approaching all sorts of girls and females and having sex even babies with them anytime anywhere. Is this not what they excel at? That is what I have been told - they can breed like there is no tomorrow and the women do not seem to mind at all or so it seems. What gives here? Am I wrong? Of course what they do or better still what they do not do for their 20 odd babies is another story. Poor African babies - most of them guaranteed a life of hunger famine thirst no job no house no education no medical service no justice. Right or Wrong?

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Mrs R U Kidding, wrote

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02:20pm on 22 August 2011
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For the love of God can people just relax a little, am I right in thinking that not one of the 2,000 people in the march, including the men, made any kind of inappropriate comment the entire day. Come on people really, you can't take life that seriously all the time

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Mrs R U Kidding, wrote

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02:20pm on 22 August 2011
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For the love of God can people just relax a little, am I right in thinking that not one of the 2,000 people in the march, including the men, made any kind of inappropriate comment the entire day. Come on people really, you can't take life that seriously all the time

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Andrew, wrote

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02:18pm on 22 August 2011
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That's just typical of our government to have to "find out" what the walk stands for. This statement rates similarly in ignorance to Zuma's statement about having a shower to prevent HIV infection

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Anonymous, wrote

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02:17pm on 22 August 2011
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TJEEERRR, SOUTH AFRICANS ARE SLOWLY BECOMING A BORING SOCIETY THAT LACKS SENSE OF HUMOUR

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Neilen Marais, wrote

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02:13pm on 22 August 2011
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What Non-Slut said!

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Anonymous, wrote

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02:03pm on 22 August 2011
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The first thing on my mind when i see a hot girl is how can i get me some of that, or some very lucky guy somewhere is indeed super lucky. it is a natural thought process. i am human

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Ntshako, wrote

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02:03pm on 22 August 2011
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I must go, sure I will get luky. Just need to watch out for the ladymen.Why the ladymen want to march I dont no, who rapes them accept in jail hahaha, the ladymen mus march ther.

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Whitey, wrote

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01:57pm on 22 August 2011
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Get over it, he made a joke! Good to see he has a sense of humour, good on one, did not harm anyone.

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Slut......., wrote

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01:53pm on 22 August 2011
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Its MEN like Gigaba who give women a bad name. What hipocrisy!!!! He is the same as all the men out there who ASSUME that they will get LUCKY if a women has her hemline above the knee. Just shows what kind of mentality the ANC employs.....people with an IQ of a 13 year old....

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badballie, wrote

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01:52pm on 22 August 2011
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any woman who lowers herself to dress in this manner has no self respect. and damn right "slut" is in the eye of the beholder so dressing and walking around dressed like that will get you into trouble. don't do it.

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Marc, wrote

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01:46pm on 22 August 2011
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Oversensitive much? The reality is that if a woman dresses as a slut, she is easy to get your paws on - not all the time, but most of the time. Goes without saying that they shouldn't be raped because of dressing that way, of course. Hell, I even thought of going down there to get some action. Also, in some reports it says there were 100 people, this one says 2000 odd - which is it? Such a stupid idea to begin with anyway...

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Anonymous, wrote

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01:43pm on 22 August 2011
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@non-slut, stop acting like a slut and take it on the chin. the man made a mistake....slut!!!

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Anonymous, wrote

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01:43pm on 22 August 2011
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our leaders...:( that campaign was aimed against people like this minister

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