Powerful men keep obfuscating issues instead of tackling allegations

'The why now' syndrome fails sexually abused women

Mbuyiselo Botha Gender Imbizo

Solly Msimanga has a case of sexual harassment currently opened against him, by a fellow colleague, Nkele Molapo, the DA Gauteng MPL. I hold no brief for Nkele and I think she can adequately articulate the reasons why she laid the charges. What I find fascinating is the approach Msimanga took in rebutting this accusation.

Msimanga does not in fact say in so many words “I did not do it”. All that he has been saying as soon as this allegation emerged was “why now”, questioning the timing without substantively engaging the allegations themselves. It is not unusual for men to question the timing of a woman speaking out  whenever they are confronted with such allegations or accusations. We always put the victim in the dock. We always ask questions and attempt to discredit the accusation; what are the motives behind this accusation? We ask; are her motives nefarious? Is she being used? Is she being abused? We attempt to rebut, instead of answering to the allegations or accusations...

This article is free to read if you register or sign in.

If you have already registered or subscribed, please sign in to continue.

Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@sowetanlive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00.