Statement by George Lekgetho (MP)

1 February 2008

I have noted media reports relating to my statement made during the meeting of the parliamentary portfolio committee on Arts & Culture on January 29, regarding the ‘legalisation of prostitution ahead of the 2010 World Cup´. The inference derived from this statement is that the prevalence of gender-based violence in this country is a consequence of the illegalisation of prostitution.

I wish to submit my profound and unreserved apology to all women of South Africa for the manner in which these comments in the portfolio committee were attributed. I would like to state that I had not in any way intended to offend or undermine the dignity of women of this country.

I deeply regret the damage my ill-considered statement has done to the dignity of this country´s mothers and sisters and the harm it might have inflicted to the progressive and historical positions adopted by my organisation, the ANC, on the issues of women´s rights and gender emancipation.

I wish to state that as a member of the organisation I fully subscribe to the organisation´s commitment to the elimination of gender stereotypes, oppression and exploitation from our society. Therefore I fully apologise to the organisation for any damage my statement caused.

Further media inquiries relating to this matter will henceforth be handled by the Office of the Chief, through the Head of Media & Communications.

Issued by George Lekgetho, MP