Media Statement by Thandi Nontenja – UDEMWO Secretary General

The United Democratic Movement Women’s Organisation (UDEMWO) is appalled by the way the situation around Emfuleni Mayor Simon Mofokeng (with his so-called “slip up” with a lewd post on an African National Congress (ANC) WhatsApp group) is being handled.

It is shocking that, by all accounts, Mr Mofokeng was in a “relationship” with a 14-year-old girl. An adult man cannot be in a “relationship” with a teenage girl; that is not a relationship, it is statutory rape.

Mr Mofokeng seems to be a law unto himself, who faces no consequences and no rebuke from his peers – not even for his past transgressions. Seemingly his political clout has cowed his regional and provincial colleagues into silence.

Even his national colleagues are mum, with a report that Cabinet Minister Nomvula Mokonyane, who is apparently part of the WhatsApp group, said: “I don’t discuss ANC matters in the media”. Why does a minister, who is a woman, has nothing to say? Why is this an ANC matter Minister Mokonyane? Why is it not a woman and girl-child abuse matter? How do you sleep at night?

Suspending Mr Mofokeng is not good enough. Simply waiting for the 28th of November to hear if an interim protection order against him will be granted is not good enough. Why has Mr Mofokeng not been arrested? Where is Police Minister Fikile Mbalula? Where is Women and Children Minister Susan Shabangu? Can the two of you explain why this matter is seemingly being swept under the carpet?

Is it because the ANC has only a couple of weeks left before its elective conference? If that is the case, shame on the entire ANC leadership! This girl’s life has been ruined and all you can do is to close ranks like a bunch of immoral zombies for the sake of your political futures.