'ANC men can't tell women what to wear, they can close their eyes': youth league

30 January 2020 - 15:55 By ZINGISA MVUMVU
ANC Youth League spokesperson Sizophila Mkhize said she was prevented from entering the ANC NEC lekgotla venue because her dress was 'too short'.
ANC Youth League spokesperson Sizophila Mkhize said she was prevented from entering the ANC NEC lekgotla venue because her dress was 'too short'.
Image: Facebook/Mathekga Senyolo

ANC Youth League national task team (NTT) convener Thandi Mahambehlala on Thursday told men in the party to stop telling women what to wear.

Mahambehlala was reacting to an incident at the ANC national executive committee lekgotla, where the NTT spokesperson, Sizophila Mkhize, was barred from entering the venue because her dress was “too short”.

The incident created an uproar after Mkhize vented about it on Facebook.

Mahambehlala said women in the ANC and society at large should not be viewed as “sexual objects”.

For the ANC, said Mahambehlala, no woman should ever be judged based on what she's wearing, but rather her meaningful contribution to discussion in the organisation.

Any man who was offended by a woman's outfit at any party gathering, she said, should close his eyes.

“We will wear what we want in any gatherings of the ANC, but that does not mean that we must come to ANC like Zodwa Wabantu's sense of dress,” said Mahambehlala.

“In the case of comrade Sizo [Mkhize], that dress was very long in my understanding, not unless the ANC wants us to come like newlyweds wearing dresses that go all the way to the ankles.

“We refuse to be told what to wear because we are members of the ANC and we have rights to wear our short pants and come to meetings, because it is political ideology that matters not the dress code,” she continued. “Those who have a problem must just close their eyes and look at us like sisters and brothers, because that is the ANC we grew up in. We do not want to be classified as sex objects.”

Mahambehlala was speaking at a press briefing about the state of readiness for the league's national congress, set to take place from March 27-30.

She said all was set and there would be no postponements.

The recruitment of new members had been successful after closing at the end of December 2019. Auditors had been dispatched to provinces to tally up the membership numbers.

As for the league in the provinces, she said, they would be convening in time before the national congress.

With the mother body's financial situation not at its best after staff were not paid their December salaries on time, Mahambehlala said the league's bank account looked good and there was enough money to sponsor the national congress.

She did not, however, reveal exactly how much the league has in its bank account.

It's believed the national congress, with a minimum of 4,000 delegates, will cost at least R30m.

The costs include transportation, catering and accommodation.