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'It's about equality': ATM's Mzwanele Manyi dragged for polyandry stance

18 May 2021 - 09:00 By Unathi Nkanjeni and unathi nkanjeni
The African Transformation Movement's Mzwanele Jimmy Manyi weighs in on the proposal of polyandry in SA.
The African Transformation Movement's Mzwanele Jimmy Manyi weighs in on the proposal of polyandry in SA.
Image: Gallo Images

The African Transformation Movement's (ATM) Mzwanele Manyi has come under fire for questioning the stance on polyandry in SA. 

Over the past week, the topic sparked major debates in parliament and online after the department of home affairs gazetted a new green paper for the Marriage Act

One of the proposals in the gazette is the recognition of polyandry. This would allow a woman to have more than one husband. Only polygamy is recognised in SA, which means men can have more than one wife.

Members of the public have until the end of June to comment on the proposal.

Weighing in on the heated debate, Manyi questioned how polyandry would improve SA's non-existent social fabric. 

“Did I miss a women's protest, seminar or conference calling for polyandry? How is polyandry meant to improve our non-existent social fabric? How?” he asked.

In a separate tweet, he questioned why women wanted more than one husband if men are dubbed as “trash”. 

“If men are trash, why exactly would women want more of it?” asked Manyi.

Defending his questions, he said the concept of polyandry was a “brand new development in SA”. 

“The constitution of SA is deepening de-Africanisation. Who came up with polyandry?”

According to Manyi, an “African man” with a clan name would not approve of polyandry. 

“An African man cannot do things with a woman impregnated by another man. So if a woman has three African husbands and gets pregnant, the other two must basically 'stay out' for the entire duration of the pregnancy. Is that practical?”

Manyi's statement drew a mixture of reactions from social media users, with some defending him and others accusing the politician of “having an issue with equal rights”. 

Here is what some people had to say about his views: