Give Mbete a chance to preside freely
THE SPEAKER of the National Assembly has been accused of many wrongs by the opposition in Parliament, but her greatest crime is this, and this only: She is a woman.
While the voices in the ANC Women’s League calling for a woman president have been growing louder, the opposition has sought to prove to us all that a woman is incapable of handling such powerful positions as that of the Speaker of the National Assembly.
Stereotypes such as racism and sexism have become sophisticated to pinpoint in post-1994 South Africa that one must read between the lines to understand them well.
We have seen, for instance, the stark distinction between the opposition’s behaviour when Mbete presides and when the Deputy Speaker, Lechesa Tsenoli, takes over the reigns.
At a certain point the opposition clapped hands and cheered loudly when Mbete had to be replaced by her deputy, after she had been given a torrid time by the same opposition members.
This is uncalled for. As a person who speaks from an independent point of view, without the bias of belonging to any political party and consequently with the advan- tage of reading between the lines, I believe we should give a chance to Mbete and allow her to preside freely, without necessarily treating her with kid gloves.
It is sad that the highest legislative house of the country deliberately treats a woman leader in such a fashion, just to prove a point – that she is incapable of leading due to her being a woman.
We should equally call for Mbete to preside fairly and not expect that she will be treated with kid gloves just because she is female.
Tembisa, Kempton Park