File picture: Matthew Jordaan/African News Agency (ANA)

Durban - The African National Congress (ANC) said on Wednesday that it would no longer be using its chaplain general, Reverend Vukile Mehana, to officiate at its January 8 celebrations due to "disappointment" at the "utterances" he allegedly made.  

Mehana reportedly made sexist comments about women in a recording that was posted on social media by one Raymond Sibanga, to whom the remarks were allegedly conveyed.  

Said the ANC in its statement: "The leadership of the ANC has spoken to both the presiding bishop of the Methodist Church of South Africa, Bishop Zipho Siwa and Rev. Mehana. The Methodist Church appealed for space to deal with this matter internally.  However, Bishop Siwa has agreed that Rev. Mehana will not officiate at the January 8th celebrations planned for next week in Durban."
 
The Methodist Church called the recording "unfortunate and distressing", in a press release issued on Monday. 

"We note with dismay the blatant disrespect and portrayal of women who are characterised in a dismissive, humiliating and degrading caricature. The objectifying of the anatomy of women and its link to culture and religion is not only unacceptable but also equally distasteful," said the statement released by the church.  

It further called the comments "offensive and highly intolerable", given the country's climate where women were "dehumanised, abused and disrespected". 

A full investigation was being conducted, said the church. 

African News Agency (ANA)