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'My remarks mustn't be taken out of context': Angie Motshekga responds to 'educated men won't rape' backlash

'Educating men about power relations is also important in the fight against rape'

15 February 2021 - 15:02 By unathi nkanjeni
Basic education minister Angie Motshekga. File photo.
Basic education minister Angie Motshekga. File photo.
Image: GCIS/Kopano Tlape

Basic education minister Angie Motshekga has hit back at criticism after a video of her saying “educated men won't rape” went viral on social media.

Motshekga made the remarks on Monday while addressing pupils at the Nellmapius Secondary School in Tshwane.

In a video captured by Newzroom Afrika, she can be heard saying the government was prioritising education because “only through education can we deal with challenges" facing communities.

“An educated man won’t rape,” said Motshekga to the pupils.

The pupils can be heard disagreeing with Motshekga’s statement.

“I thought they need to be a bit civilised not to do certain things, now I’m disappointed,” Motshekga responded to pupils.

“My theory is that the more educated you are, the more sophisticated you are, the less you get involved in wrong things because you can look after yourself, your family, you can look after your environment,” she added.

Motshekga's comments come just days after five cases of sexual misconduct by educators around the country this year were made public by Education Labour Relations Council arbitrators.

Her comments drew sharp criticism on social media, including from One SA Movement leader Mmusi Maimane.

In her defence, Motshekga said she was trying to encourage pupils to be educated about gender-based violence (GBV).   

“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 in a statement.

“Therefore, my remarks must not be taken out of the context of educating children to develop them to become better people.”

She said men needed 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,” she added.

“Regarding the reaction of the learners, I was not going to debate because the purpose of my remarks was to encourage them to be educated on GBV, including educating them about women abuse.”