On Saturday the hashtag #DASexScandal and another variant, #DASexGate, went viral. These twitter tongues were set wagging after an explosive email alleged DA parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane, as well as four other members of the party, prey on female members of the party.
— Anele Mkabayi Mda (@Neza4real) May 2, 2015
The party itself has entirely rejected the claims, calling them “negative”, “false” and “destructive”. “We reject it entirely, and suggest that congress delegates do the same,” said Maimane’s campaign manager Geordin Hill-Lewis. The email, which names and shames Gavin Davis, Paul Boughey, Athol Trollip and John Steenhuisen alongside Maimane, claims the men of the DA “use their power to manipulate the ascension of women in the party. The writer of the mail, however, who claims that she is one of the “playthings” in question, remains anonymous.
It is utterly disturbing to learn how women continue being treated as mere sex objects even in politics #DASexGate
— @UncleLupi (@lupingcayisa) May 2, 2015
ANC supporters have, understandably, reacted with glee to the allegations.
OK. post the giggles. What is this #DASexGate thing saying about our society? Or worse that DA leaders are silent about issue save to deny?
— Shaka Sisulu (@shakasisulu) May 2, 2015
Outgoing DA leader, Helen Zille has remained mum, but Maimane’s wife has come out in his defence.
The timing of these revelations is questionable, considering Maimane is challenging Wilmot James for leadership of the party. It’s all “he said, she said” stuff for now, but some people are questioning why South Africans are not more outraged.
A woman is alleging that men in the DA treat women as playthings. Where’s the anger and enquiry? Treat this like a race issue. #DAsexGate
— Brad Cibane (@Brad_Cibane) May 2, 2015
Why does it seem like our attention on the DA sex scandal is focused on the black guy & seemingly exonerating the others?
— Jolakazi (@Ncepsi) May 2, 2015