Citizen Reporter
Reporter
3 minute read
16 Aug 2018
1:59 pm

DA calls for MEC Mathabo Leeto to own up to Van Riebeeck rape comments

Citizen Reporter

The DA wants the Free State MEC to own up to her statements, which highlight 'prejudices' and have been viewed as 'hurtful to all women'.

Free State MEC for Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation Mathabo Leeto.

Democratic Alliance member of the Free State provincial legislature Mariette Pittaway wants Free State MEC for sport, arts, culture and recreation Mathabo Leeto to own up to her prejudices.

Leeto is accused of referring to all white people as rapists when she gave a speech in the Free State legislature.

The MEC allegedly called for the graves of white people to be exhumed so their bodies could account for their “sins”.

Leeto directed her remarks at Dr Roy Jankielsohn during a debate on Women’s Day earlier in August.

Transcripts of the comments “prove” Leeto uttered the words, according to Pittaway.

Pittaway said the comments made to the media by Leeto after the incident were an attempt to mislead the public and conceal her prejudices.

“In short, MEC Leeto claimed that rape in South Africa arrived with the ancestors of white South Africans, that their descendants are now DA members, that their graves should be dug up so that they can account, and that Dr Roy Jankielsohn was a piece of faeces.”

“What MEC Leeto forget is that all proceedings of the legislature are recorded,” Pittaway said, adding those were not the words of a leader.

Read MEC Leeto’s comments in Sesotho (with English translation further down):

Empa, Motsamaisi wa Dipuisano, o tla hopola hore taba ena ya dipeto tsa bomme haholoholo, e qadile kgale-kgale kwana.  Ha re ne re bua ka ho hatellwa ha batho Afrika Borwa, ha Jan Van Riebeeck a fihla ka 1652, re keke ra lebala hore bontatarona-moholo ba ile ba nkuwa ba fetolwa makgoba, yaba ha ba ntse ba fetotswe makgoba, bonkgono ba rona ba ile ba betwa ke bona bana ba basweu ba fihlileng ba nka naha ya rona.  Jwale re batla ditloholo tsa bona, tsena tse ka hara DA tsa batho ba basweu, di seke tsa lebala hore bontatabona-moholo ba betile bonkgona ba rona.

Bonkgono ba rona ba betilwe ka nako eo bontate moholo ba rona ba ne ba isitswe ba ilo fetolwa makgoba.  Mohlomong bomme ba Afrika Borwa ha ba ntse ba hweletsa, ba tla tlameha ba bue hape hore ha re ba lateng re ilo ba ntsha mabitleng, moo ba leng teng, ba tle ba tlo arabela ditaba tsa dipetso tseo ba ileng ba di etsa dilemong tseo.  Motsamaisi wa Dipuisano, Afrika Borwa e bonahetse e buisana ka taba ena ya ho kgutlisetswa ha mobu bathong kapa beng ba wona ba bangata ntle le ditefello.

Translation:

Acting speaker, you will remember that this issue of the rape of women started long ago. When we spoke about the oppression of people in South Africa, when Jan van Riebeeck arrived in 1652, we won’t forget that our grandfathers were taken and made slaves, and when they were made slaves, our grandmothers were raped by these white people who came and took our land. Now we want their grandchildren, these white people who are within the DA, that they should not forget that their grandfathers raped our grandmothers.

Our grandmothers were raped while our grandfathers were taken away and made slaves. Perhaps, when the women of South Africa shout, they will make a call that we should go and dig them out of their graves, where they are buried, so that they can come and account for the rapes they committed during those years. Speaker, South Africa is discussing the return of land to the people without compensation.

Pittaway said Leeto’s comments did not address the problem of sexual violence and rape in communities, but instead were degrading not only to the DA members and other white South Africans, but all women who had fallen victim to sexual predators.