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By Thobo Motlhoka
No subject has been off the table at the National Assembly this season. Never a dull moment with the current crop of legislators. More recently this week the topic has shifted from warning Youth Minister Thapelo Olopeng from leaning suspiciously too close to Minister of Trade Bogolo ‘Honourable Bae’ Kenewendo to the importance of sex.
Is it just a mere choice or an integral part of everyday life? Member of Parliament (MP) for Lobatse Sadique Kebonang last Thursday, November 22 received criticism for relegating the act of sexual intercourse to a mere choice that people can easily do without.
Making his case on the importance of supplying free sanitary pads as opposed to condoms Kebonang said if the government can provide condoms for males surely they can provide pads because at the end of the day, he feels, sex is a choice while (menstrual) periods are not.
However, Selebi Phikwe West Member of Parliament Dithapelo Keorapetse was having none of it. “I hear Kebonang talking about how sex is a choice but for someone who’s well learned like him I expect him to know about a research done in America that shows sex is no longer just a mere choice but an absolute necessity the absence of which can affect levels of productivity,” Keorapetse interrupted.
The Phikwe West legislator attributed the grumpiness displayed at times by bank tellers to sexual frustration. “It even contributes to prostate cancer,” Keorapetse added.
“The point I was making is that males have a choice to go and have sex and therefore, they are provided with condoms whereas women are not provided with pads. That was the point that was being made,” Kebonang made an attempt to clarify which was met by another opposition from Leader of Opposition Duma Boko.
“I think it must be a slip of the tongue when you seem to ascribe participation or interest in sex to males only, it is a two-way street. It is absolutely necessary for males and females as well,” Boko said.
Rights of LGBTIs. Kebonang also called on the government to promote and recognize the rights of the Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgenders and Intersex (LGBTIs). “The right as to identity must be respected, we must recognize that people have different sexual preferences and it is not for us to judge them. It is also not as a matter of fact …,”he said, attracting support from Mahalapye East MP Botlogile Tshireletso. “On the issue of LGBTIs I agree with you wholly,” she said. “What people do in the privacy of their own homes is nobody’s business. Some are not even able to express themselves but there is no legislation that prevents them. This issue needs to be assessed.” Molepolole South MP Tlamelo Mmatli reminded the House that being LGBTI is not a matter of choice. “They do not have control over their hormones. It is not a matter of choice,” he advised.