In case you ever doubted it, here’s why the ANC hates women

After the political fiasco of Monday’s African National Congress top six elections in which Cyril Ramaphosa was voted in as party president (and, let’s just say it, the president of the country), those who still have faith in the ANC are delusional.

The moral degradation of the party has hit its peak with Ramaphosa’s election, not to mention the ascendance of the controversial David Mabuza into the highest committee of leadership of the state. But none of this can be surprising. The ANC is rotten to the core, and no amount of appeasing political rhetoric can change that. It wasn’t even shocking that woman-beater Mduduzi Manana was nominated to serve on the national executive committee (NEC).

For all its espoused feminist philosophy, the ANC is the epitome of misogyny. Party members supported a rapist throughout his eight years of presidency. The misogyny continues today. Yes, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was no better a candidate than anyone else nominated, and having more than a single Jessie Duarte in the ANC Top Six isn’t radical, because we all know that the guise of progress that representation creates while still maintaining the systemic issues is just that. A guise. A farce. Smoke and mirrors. But none of those truths can detract from the fact that the entire party has deep, true antipathy towards feminist struggle.

And where is the ANC Women’s League through this all? It is laughable that this party has a women’s league at all. It is a league of patriarchal princesses, who care less about the women of South Africa than defending ANC leadership, toxic masculinity and all. The president of the League, Bathabile Dlamini, is a hypocrite and traitor against feminism, criticising Ramaphosa’s election against Dlamini-Zuma as a blow against women while forgetting that when Manana was accused of assault she defended him. She also suggested that the reason why the league sent six men to represent it at the party’s policy conference in June was that women are “too emotional”.

Manana’s assault of a woman was caught on video. It made the headlines for weeks. He was convicted of assault and given a choice of jail or a fine.

But in South Africa, hurting women has little effect on political ambitions. Manana accepted the NEC nomination. This, after he pleaded guilty to assaulting three women. This is a slap in the face to every women in the country. This is a big “fuck you” to every feminist activist working tirelessly to preserve our rights. This is the ANC protecting and rewarding men who hate women, again.

The ANC national conference has been a blight against democracy. And we played a role in celebrating this, in giving these narcissists the attention they wanted but don’t deserve. South Africans tweeting jokes, making memes and speculating about the rand. Hundreds of journalists treating this circus like it was something that warranted our attention, taking pictures and videos of criminals like they were heroes, publishing stories about the same devil with different faces. We have a choice in what we allow to consume our time. This level of concern never extends to the real issues, to the real stories of real people who suffer the consequence of our selective attention.

Let’s stop pretending like any of these politicians care about us, the actual citizens of the country. They spout appealing promises to get into power, power they wield over us, deciding our lives for us. The ANC is dead, and no other political party will be our saviour. Today, let us spare a thought for the families of the murdered Marikana miners, for Fezekile “Khwezi” Kuzwayo, for the three women assaulted by Manana and for all the rest of those nameless, faceless people hurt by our elected officials, who never received screentime.

Featured image via Flickr