ANCWL, EFF defend Malaika Mahlatsi, slam 'vicious assault on her person'
The intention by Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina to suspend his speech writer Malaika Mahlatsi has been criticised and viewed as a further subjugation of vulnerable women.
The ANC Women’s League and the EFF in Ekurhuleni came to Mahlatsi’s defence and called on Masina to reconsider the decision he announced yesterday.
This is following allegations made on social media by Mahlatsi’s jilted ex-boyfriend during a public spat following their break up.
The man posted an audio clip of a conversation between him and Mahlatsi in which she is heard making claims that Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina wants to decrease salaries of staff members of the municipality without consultation."
Mahlatsi, who is also Sowetan's columnist, is said to have told Mamabolo during their intimate moments that Masina had forced his executives to take pay cuts and donate towards the fight against coronavirus.
He also alleged that Mahlatsi had revealed that she had been assisting Masina with some of his PhD studies.
Mamabolo is said to have further shared messages and photos Mahlatsi sent to him before she decided to end their brief relationship, a decision he was not happy with.
The ANCWL said that Mamabolo’s actions showed that his intention with Mahlatsi were never sincere and that he had targeted a young and strong woman with the purpose of breaking.
The league’s secretary general Meokgo Matuba said Mamabolo’s actions were common within abusers.
“They use the vulnerabilities of women to weaken them, and then cast aspersions on their characters in order to normalise and justify their abusive behaviour,” Matuba said.
“In portraying Mahlatsi as an immoral woman, Mamabolo sought to legitimise his vicious assault on her person.”
She said that Mamabolo’s decision to also publicly reveal and mock mental health challenges suffered by Mahlatsi reversed and spat on the gains made by the country in de-stigmatising mental health issues.
“There is no circumstance under which it can ever be correct to mock a person for a condition they have no control over. It is cruel[ty] beyond measure,” Matuba said.
“The reality of the situation is that Malaika is not alone. She symbolises many women in our society who have been harassed, victimised and blackmailed by men who refuse to accept "No" for an answer. Our patriarchal society makes men believe that women are their personal property, and so when women exercise their agency and demand their own autonomy, they are put in their place through humiliating and abusive tactics identical to what Mamabolo did.”
The EFF’s Ekurhuleni regional chairperson Nkululeko Dunga said the charges faced by Mahlatsi did not warrant her suspension and called on Masina to withdraw his intention.
Dunga further called for an investigation into allegations that Mahlatsi had been assisting Masina with his studies and for the city of Ekurhuleni to also look into abuse of office by the mayor.
“Black women should never be sacrificial lambs for populist politicians. This reverses the little gains on women empowerment that have been able to achieve,” Dunga said.
“As vanguards of marginalised members of the society, we cannot be spectators when an injustice is done towards a black girl child at the expense of redeeming lost credibility by those who hold high political offices.”
Mahlatsi's media profile includes Bua Fela talkshow on MojaLove channel on DStv. She discusses topics about social ills and other problems affecting youth, women and communities.