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Media Centre  |  COSATU Press Statements

COSATU President Speaks out on Rape and ASA Advertising Ban

7 October 1999

COSATU and SADTU President Willy Madisha has strongly condemned the chauvinist judgement of Justice Foxcroft who passed a "light" sentence of seven years on a father for raping his daughter. This judgement harks back to the era of feudalism, when men s upposedly "owned" their daughters and wives. As progressive men we do not regard women as commodities - to be owned and treated like possessions - but as creative, independent, equal beings in their own right. That is why we cannot understand the re asons for such a lesser sentence!

Speaking on behalf of the union movement, Madisha called for the judgement to be taken up on appeal - since rape is rape is rape - no matter from which quarter it comes.

Incidentally, most of the rapes are perpetrated by men who are known to the victims and survivors of rape - such as family members and friends.

We must face the hard facts:

  • rape is an endemic crisis in our society;
  • a women is brutalised every 26 seconds of every day;
  • most of the perpetrators of this violence are men.

Madisha also joins the growing protest of men against the withdrawal of the recent POWA television advertisement as a result of the ruling by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The ASA ruled against the advertisement on the grounds that it implied that all men are rapists and that all men condone rape.

Our reading of the advertisement is completely at odds with this interpretation.

"What standards does the 'Authority' in ASA stand for?" Madisha asked. "Does it refer to the authority of men? How can a petition signed by only 28 persons (all males) get an advertisement banned? And on what criteria? Does this mean that if all COSAT U's 1,8 million members say they we want the advert to run again, it will?"

Madisha believes that if the ASA is acting in a sexist manner and not in the public interest, it must go!

After hundreds of years patriarchal rule; the few men apparently hurt by the advert should "wake up". If they are so hurt by allegedly being accused of condoning rape - why do we not hear them speaking out against the grossly unfair Foxcroft judgement ?

Willie Madisha is scheduled to address a protest meeting organised by the Friends Of the Public Broadcaster on Tuesday 12 October 1999 at the Workers Library and Museum at 17:15. (Newtown Precinct - not far from the Market Theatre).

The ASA are welcomed to come and explain their decision to the public.

A petition for bringing back the rape awareness advertisement will be circulated then.

Issued by SADTU Media
Willy Madisha (President of SADTU)
President of COSATU
For More information contact:
Hassen Lorgat
SADTU Media Officer
082 870 0668
011- 334 4830