Johannesburg - An ANC Youth League member who took part in the #FeesMustFall topless protest has lodged a sexual harassment complaint against her colleague for body-shaming her and calling her “horny” during a heated argument over the party’s December elective conference.
The incident happened on the ANCYL ward 15 WhatsApp group on Monday. Sarah Mokwebo, 24, has lodged a complaint against Ayanda Gantsu, 35, with the branch executive in Ekurhuleni. The matter will be escalated to the party’s regional and provincial structures.
Branch chairperson Gugu Zwane described the incident as humiliating and disappointing as her branch was about to welcome Gantsu back after he recalled his resignation from the party last month.
Mokwebo was at Kempton Park police station on Wednesday to open a case against Gantsu when The Star contacted her. She refused to comment.
“I don’t want to speak about it yet. I need to iron out a few things. I don’t want to act on impulse. I need some time. Please respect my wishes,” said Mokwebo, who advocates for feminism and is also a master’s student at Wits University.
The group discussion over the hotly contested ANC presidential candidacy seems to have sparked the tension.
According to screengrabs seen by The Star, Gantsu threw insults at Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, who is one of the candidates, calling her “an old horse tired to even walk and an x-girlfriend of the president” (sic). He added that people who supported that “nonsense” (Dlamini Zuma) “lacked the capacity to save themselves”.
Mokwebo intervened and asked Gantsu to show respect towards Dlamini Zuma by calling her by her rightful name.
Gantsu then charged directly at Mokwebo: “I shall sleep at night peacefully for my brain is not rented like yours. You empty sh*t. Where was your head when you were naked in fees must fall protest. Comrades ask her for her boobs here... if you want to be horny. You are even horny now. Infect (sic) you are always horny. Ward 15 is not for horny comrades.”
When Mokwebo asked what Gantsu’s problem was, he referred to her many photos taken during a topless #FeesMustFall protest at Wits University in October last year.
In the photos, Mokwebo and other students stood unmoved in front of the police while half-naked with their hands raised above their heads.
“Ask those police maybe they were ready that day from what they saw,” replied Gantsu.
Zwane said her branch would do all it could to keep Gantsu away because he had a history of bullying people on social media platforms.
“This is the first formal complaint but it is not the first complaint against him. The ANC recently kicked him out of its WhatsApp group because he was throwing insults. The Women’s League also wants him out. What he did is disgusting and cannot be allowed to happen,” said Zwane.
Gantsu could not be reached on his phone and he failed to reply to an SMS sent to him.
Gauteng ANCYL spokesperson Mbali Hlophe said they had not received the full details of the incident.
“It would be unfortunate that we still have members who use derogatory names towards women,” said Hlophe.