By Mbono Mdluli | 2019-11-15
MEMBER of Parliament (MP) Princess Phumelele has slammed the Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence (SODV) Act.
The MP said it was wrong for Parliament to allow the SODV Act to be passed the way it was because it could spark domestic violence.
She said it was wrong for women to be allowed to refuse their spouses conjugal rights yet it was their responsibility to do so.
The MP was speaking during the debate of the second quarter performance of the prime minister’s office.
She said she wondered how the Act was passed by Parliament because some of the legislators were against it, seeing that they cause more violence as it would be difficult for men to accept that their wives would sometimes refuse to help them sexually.
The MP also stated that men also had a role to play in making sure that their women had conjugal rights.
If wives wanted to be sexually satisfied, the husbands had to be responsible for that satisfaction. If any of the parties wanted sexual satisfaction, there should be no reason for the other party to refuse.
She said currently, the SODV Act seemed to be more protective of women than men and that had to be corrected.
Responding to Princess Phumelele’s submission, Women and Law in Southern Africa (WLSA) Director Xolani Hlatjwako said such a statement was unfortunate, coming from Princess Phumelele.
“Women have the right to say NO in any circumstance, even if they’re married. We had advocated for the inclusion of marital rape in the SODV for this very reason: so that it may be known that women are not objects for men’s sexual pleasure,” Hlatshwako said.
She said the SODV Act went through so many consultations, including with traditionalists. It was passed into law by capable legislators and was assented to by the King.
She said it was unfortunate to learn that after all these processes the princess had slammed it.
Hlatshwako viewed this as an insult to all those that played a part in its formulation and enactment.
The director was of the view that the legislator had to apologise to the nation for her utterances.
“Princess Phumelele, for someone in her position, owes the nation an apology and should retract her statement,” she said.
The princess is not the only legislator who has criticised the law. Dvokodvweni MP Mduduzi Magagula had a motion already calling for the review of the Act, but chose withdraw it until further notice.
Instead MPs have given the Deputy Prime Minister Themba Masuku an ultimatum to submit the SODV Act regulations.
Their concern is that the law in its current form is unconstitutional.
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