Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni
Premium Journalist
2 minute read
17 Feb 2021
9:36 am

Motshekga’s rape statements ‘classist’ and ‘anti-black’

Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni

'The underlying assumption is that rapists are 'monsters', and that these monsters are working class, uneducated people. This suggests that only poor people rape.'

Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga. Picture: Gallo Images/Sowetan/Veli Nhlapo

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga should properly apologise and submit herself to a gender-sensitivity programme following her statements about rape culture on Monday.

This according to Equal Education Law Centre (EELC), which said it was deeply troubled after she told school children that educated men did not rape in a bid to encourage learners to stay in school.

“Minister Motshekga’s statements contribute to larger societal myths about who can rape and who can be raped in South Africa,” the NGO said in a statement on Wednesday.

ALSO READ: Angie should go back to class to learn how to speak plainly

“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.”

EELC called on Motshekga to commit to participating in a gender-sensitivity programme.

“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.”

ALSO READ: Maimane, DA unhappy with Motshekga ‘doubling down’ on rape comment

On Monday, Motshekga tried to explain away her comments by blaming the media for taking her words out of context.

Motshekga said her “educated men” comments were about the relationship between rape and power.

“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,” she said.

“Men need to be educated about how to deal with power, patriarchy and negative or toxic masculinity. Educating men about power relations is also important in the fight against rape.”

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