Mashaba defends women are prostitutes’ comments

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Herman Mashaba announced last week that Advocate Dali Mpofu and Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi would be representing his application for interdictory relief, “pending the finalization of a defamation lawsuit” against Tua, the ANC Women’s League and COSATU.

Mashaba also wanted to make it clear that the application was brought in his “personal capacity,” and that “no public money has been used for this purpose.”

This follows after Tau made remarks about Mashaba back in 2016 at the funeral of the late ANC Councillor, Nonhlanhla Mthembu, and insinuated that Mashaba is sexist and anti-black. Tau said at the time:

“The City of Joburg is today led by a man who believes that the women who are senior executives prostituted themselves to be in the jobs they are in. He says that in fact for them to earn the positions they are in they had to sleep with the leadership… We have heard views from the Mayor Mashaba who says that in fact if it were up to him, he would not want to be black.”

COSATU echoed the same sentiments in October 2016, and the ANC Women’s League accused Mashaba of “labelling all women who are in senior executive positions as sex workers who were paid by the executive position.”

Mashaba claims that Tau was given ample opportunity to retract his statements and issue an apology. Mashaba added that if he wins the case, he will be “donating the proceeds to an NGO with a focus on abandoned or abused children or women in Johannesburg.”

As reported by Karyn Maughan from Sowetan Live, Tau’s remarks were presumably referencing Mashaba’s earlier comment when he said “the days when they [ANC leaders] allowed their girlfriends to run state institutions are over.” Mashaba also said in an interview that if he could remove any laws classifying him as black, he would do so without sparing it a second thought.

Mashaba said he would remove the laws, not because he is anti-black, but that he believes racial classification is wrong. He added:

“It is so outrageous and ironical to suggest that I do not want to be considered black when I decided to name my company Black Like Me.”

He said outside the court earlier today that he “never made a statement that women are prostitutes,” and that his legal team “would like councillor Tau to apologise unconditionally and retract the statements against me.”

Tau was not present at court and judgment has been reserved in the defamation case. Mashaba said he will not let the case “die,” adding that if the need arises, he will look at “other options with [his] lawyers” to ensure that his dignity is restored.