Malusi Gigaba’s childish gesture has not gone down well at all.
Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba has angered many South Africans this week (and for much of the last few years if we’re keeping it 100) with his antics in parliament.
The minister has not enjoyed much positive publicity for most of the last two years and amid calls for him to resign, he has done even more damage to his reputation. The minister reacted angrily to his fellow member of parliament, Mbuyiseni Ndlozi after the EFF spokesperson joked about the minister’s cell phone troubles.
An explicit video of Gigaba was leaked online last week in which he is seen candidly displaying his private parts. The video was allegedly leaked by a hacker who was blackmailing the minister and proved to be the latest in a series of embarrassing moments for the former Minister of Finance.
Mbuyiseni, who was speaking in Parliament at the time, joked that government officials should be issued with old-school, ‘clamshell’ phones (also known as ‘feature’ phones) as they cannot be hacked. To this joke, Gigaba reacted with a bit of crass humour of his own – as he held up his pinky finger.
Just in case you’re unsure of the symbolism behind the gesture – a cabinet minister joked about the size of his penis during a live parliamentary broadcast.
While some saw the funny side in his locker-room humour, others were not impressed… least of all some of South Africa’s most notable figures.
Red Tlhabi and Bonnie Mbuli lambasted his actions when they wrote:
Malusi Gigaba’s pinky gesture is a perfect exposition of his sorry/not sorry attitude, sitting in parliament boasting about his size made me want to vomit.
He doesn’t know what phallocentric means. I am certain of that. He also doesn’t grasp symbolism of men, sitting in chamber where laws are passed, nit picking about dick size. Doesn’t see how power or lack thereof, is determined by SIZE. Doesn’t see how THIS is violent masculinityNomboniso Gasa@nombonisogasa
& @mzwandileMasina thinks @mgigaba‘s phallocentric response is a joke. Your representatives, my people. SMH https://twitter.com/mzwandileMasina/status/1059826749133987841 …
The minister apologised “unreservedly” for his actions, but even that apology won him little favour:
I apologise, unreservedly, for this gesture. The petty taunts that provoked it and the strain I have been taking, over the past 10 days, are no excuse for my indiscretion which is perfectly summed-up in this tweet by @SpheDludla.Sphelele@SpheDludla
I’m waiting for social studies feminist academics to advance a debate how this @mgigaba‘s gesture to @MbuyiseniNdlozi feeds into toxic hypermasculinity discourse and jealousy in men setting in over whose dick is bigger and how this leads to gender-based violence and femicide
surely malusi gigaba must be tired of apologizing, because i know we’re tired of hearing it.
With increasing pressure on the minister to resign from his post as the head of Home Affairs, incidents like these are doing little to ease the tension surrounding his role in the South African government.
Were you offended by Malusi Gigaba’s actions this week?