ANC Joburg branch secretary sentenced to 12 months for assault, but he might not spend it in jail

2019-02-04 17:32
ANC branch secretary in Inner City Zone 12 Thabiso Setona kicks a female Black Land First (BLF) member outside Luthuli House on February 05, 2018 in Johannesburg. (Gallo Images)

ANC branch secretary in Inner City Zone 12 Thabiso Setona kicks a female Black Land First (BLF) member outside Luthuli House on February 05, 2018 in Johannesburg. (Gallo Images)

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ANC Johannesburg branch secretary Thabang Setona has reportedly been sentenced to 12 months in jail for assaulting a woman at a march outside Luthuli House last year.

The ANC in Johannesburg, however, denies that he will be serving the sentence in prison.

The police told Sowetan that Setona, 36, will spend a year in prison because he was not given the option of paying a fine.

"[The] good conviction is the result of diligent work done by an investigating officer. We hope this sentence will scare away would-be offenders from committing the same crime.

"No person has a right to assault another person," the Johannesburg Central police station told the publication in a statement.

But the ANC told a different story: "The court handed down a twelve-month suspended sentence in this matter. Whilst comrade Thabo will not be going to jail to serve a sentence; the ANC will resuscitate its internal disciplinary processes to deal with his conduct," spokesperson Jolidee Matongo said in a statement on Monday.

ALSO READ: 'I want him to get 15 years in jail,' says woman assaulted at Luthuli House protest

The victim of the assault, Olivia Makete, was in the back of a truck carrying people, who were believed to be Black Land First (BLF) supporters, to the march when Setona pounced.

Setona was captured kicking Makete while she was on the ground. The image sparked outrage and the branch suspended the 36-year-old with immediate effect on February 5, 2018.

"We are an organisation that is supposed to be upholding the rule of law and we are supposed to protect people even if they don't hold the same view as ours. We are disappointed, hence we took the decision to suspend him with immediate effect," Matongo previously told News 24.

Makete told News24 at the time of the incident that she was not at the ANC headquarters to protest but to hand over a memorandum about service delivery because they lacked water, electricity and houses at Orange Farm Extension 10.

ALSO READ:ANC suspends man who assaulted woman at #LuthuliHouse march

The ANC in Johannesburg has welcomed the judgment.

"We are pleased that he handed himself to the police service and has pleaded guilty.

"In addition, we welcome the fact that he has since the day of the incident shown remorse and apologised to the victim," Matongo said.

The NPA could not be immediately reached for comment.

Read more on:    anc  |  thabang setona  |  courts

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