29 März 2018 | Leserpost
Dear Mr Van Rooyen,
we, 400+ petitioners, urge you to apologise for the ad you posted.
Your advert is directly contributing to the social issues you are so concerned about in your “apology” (published 23 March). Deeply ingrained gender stereotypes are at the root of all forms of Gender Based Violence (domestic violence, sexual assault and abuse, rape, sexual harassment, psychological abuse) and your ad is a textbook example of such harmful stereotyping. If a Namibian captain of industry gets away with publicly speaking like that from a position of power, how can we expect men and women in this country to stand up and view abuse and violence as unacceptable? Your advert is not only contributing to the problem, it is a perfect example of what the problem is.
Your PR campaign video of yourself is not an apology. You speak of societal issues that our government and civil society have been working hard to address. Therefore, among other offences, you have criticized their efforts. The advertisement is unconstitutional and an obstacle to healing a country plagued by gender-based violence; globally-high rape statistics; and systematic inequality. A forthright acknowledgement of this from your company would be a considerate and responsible approach.
The fact that this advert passed the desk of higher management including yourself shows that your business is in need of radical transformative gender training to ensure that such public displays of sexism and unawareness will not harm again and that likely concurrent private harms within your company are protected against.
Concerned Citizens (https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/no-to-trustcos-sexism & 615+ at Trustco Hell NO #TrustcoHellNO)