The “disparaging and sexist” remarks by the ANC Youth League and Congress of South African Students (Cosas) about Public Protector Thuli Madonsela might have come back to haunt them.
The ANC said on Monday it had summoned the ANCYL and Cosas leaders to account for their derogatory remarks about Madonsela.
It was reported on Monday that Cosas secretary-general Tshiamo Tsotetsi referred to Madonsela as “that woman with the big, ugly nose”.
He allegedly uttered this at a gathering attended by ANC and National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) members near Brits in North West on Sunday.
“F*** Nkandla report, f*** Madonsela” were some of the alleged vulgarities the crowd shouted in response to the ANCYL and Cosas utterances.
The utterances came two days after the rants against Madonsela by ANCYL national convener Mzwandile Masina and co-ordinator Magasela Mzobe. This followed the release of her damning report into the R215 million upgrades at President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla private home in KZN.
Masina said the league was disgusted by Madonsela’s report and that her office had acted like kangaroo court.
“We believe that after she has done with the mess of Nkandla, she must go,” Masina raged at a media briefing on Thursday.
An incensed Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula warned of dire consequences on Monday.
“Once you are summoned, you shiver. You will be made to account,” she said during the ANC’s subcommittee on peace and stability breakfast meeting with editors and political editors.
Earlier, the party said secretary-general Gwede Mantashe had summoned its youth and student wings to explain their remarks.
It suggested the actions constituted misconduct and were in conflict with its views.
“The remarks made and the sentiments expressed do not reflect the views of the ANC and are in contrast with the manner in which we… would expect members of the organisation to conduct themselves in debate,” stated ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu.
Should the ANCYL leaders be hauled before the ANC’s disciplinary committee, it would be the first time this has happened since former leader Julius Malema was expelled in August 2012.
Mapisa-Nqakula said there was “nothing political” about the league and Sasco’s remarks, particularly Tsotetsi’s.
“He wouldn’t say so if it was a man. To actually say to a person your nose is like this and like that is wrong. It wouldn’t have been done to a man with a big tummy.
“It’s important as the ANC that we should not judge a woman by her looks. He was very sexist to judge the person on the basis of looks. I am big but comfortable with my weight.”
Mapisa-Nqakula cited the incident involving ANC MP Thandile Sunduza, who collapsed at OR Tambo International Airport in the middle of the month last month after she was ridiculed on social media for attending the State of the Nation address in Cape Town wearing a skin-tight dress.
“This is what happened to the young MP. I have seen some of the men at the opening of Parliament, they are as big as myself but you don’t pick on them… It’s a culture that we must discourage.”