Protect women? Mudslinging mayors did anything but

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Protect women? Mudslinging mayors did anything but

ANALYSIS | Court will decide in the case of Mashaba v Tau, in which it appears women were used as political props

Journalist

It has been a fortnight since President Cyril Ramaphosa and EFF leader Julius Malema apologised to each other for the gender-based violence accusations that dominated the State of the Nation debate – with the president stressing that GBV should not be trivialised to score political points.

This week, the apparent use of women as props in political mudslinging becomes a matter of legal debate, as the Supreme Court of Appeal decides on former Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba’s defamation case against the ANC mayor he succeeded, Parks Tau.

Mashaba convinced the Johannesburg High Court that Tau defamed him – following the outcome of the 2016 local government elections – by stating not only that Mashaba “would not want to be black”, but that he believed that “women who are senior executives in the City of Johannesburg prostituted themselves to be in the positions that they are in”...

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