EE calls on Minister Motshekga to attend gender sensitivity programme for rape comment
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga should apologise properly and withdraw the ‘educated men don’t rape’ comment she made at a school, demanded education advocacy group Equal Education (EE).
EE and Equal Education Law Centre (EELC) said they are deeply troubled by the remarks on gender-based violence which Motshekga made while visiting a school in Pretoria this week.
“We believe that what the Minister said was reckless and harmful, and while we acknowledge that there is learning and unlearning for all of us to do, the standard for our country’s leaders must be higher,” said EE.
On Monday, television news channel Newzroom Afrika, posted a video Motshekga, while encouraging pupils to stay in school, she made remarks that suggested that young people need to stay in school to not become rapists.
In the video, the pupils can be heard disagreeing with the Minister. To which she says: “I thought they (the rapists) need to be a bit civilised to do certain things.”
The organisation said Motshekga’s comments contribute to larger societal myths about who can rape and who can be raped in South Africa. EE called upon the minister to participate in a gender sensitivity programme.
“ The underlying assumption is that rapists are ‘monsters’, and that these monsters are working class, uneducated people. This suggests that only poor people rape – a suggestion that is not only classist but also perpetuates anti-black racism,” said EE.
In her defence, Motshekga said her comments were taken out of context.
“Rape is indeed about power, hence the department has programmes to educate the boy child to appreciate the importance of how to deal with power relations between men and women from a young age.
“Therefore, my remarks must not be taken out of the context of educating children to develop them to become better people,” she said in a statement.
However, her argument did not hold any ground, with politicians condemning her.
This minister of basic education is committed to making foolish statements & mistakes. She must be kept very far from SA’s education system. There is nothing wrong with shutting up if you have nothing to say. Angie Motshekga must honestly shut up! pic.twitter.com/YTDStNpy0w— Floyd Shivambu (@FloydShivambu) February 15, 2021
Economic Freedom Fighter (EFF) deputy president Floyd Shivambu tweeted: “This Minister of Basic Education is committed to making foolish statements and mistakes. She must be kept very far from SA’s education system. There is nothing wrong with shutting up if you have nothing to say. Angie Motshekga must honestly shut up!”
One SA leader Mmusi Maimane tweeted: “The learners seemed to know more about the reality of these issues than the person who is paid to administer their education along with 13 million other learners. The kids are all right, the education administration is holding them back from reaching their full potential.”