THE month of August is a very special month to all women in South Africa as it is a tribute to the thousands of women who marched to the Union Buildings in 1956 to protest against the pass laws. Although this is one month in which all men are supposed to show love, honour and respect to all the women in the country, the recent events have shown that the assault and abuse of women is still rife.
CAUGHT IN THE ACT
The recent case against Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training, Mduduzi Manana, who allegedly assaulted a woman after she reportedly called him ‘gay’ at a night club in Fourways, north of Johannesburg, was met with much despair. The deputy minister was reportedly caught in a widely circulated video when he and his acquaintances were allegedly beating up the woman identified as Mandisa Duma. He has since reportedly admitted to have taken part in the assault. ”We are calling on the justice system to intervene in the fight against women abuse. We cannot have leaders such as the deputy minister violating the rights of women. What kind of example are we setting for our youth with such violence,” says CEO of Not Yet In MY Name, Siyabulela Jentile. Siyabulela adds that they are calling on the Minister of Police, Fikile Mbalula, to ensure that justice is served in this matter. “We will be supporting the victim until the end of the court case,” he says.
WHAT POLICE SAY
Police have confirmed that they do not condone nor take any charges laid by women against men lightly, more especially in the month of August. “With the recent charge of assault by Mandisa Duma against Deputy Minister Mduduzi Manana, we are happy to report that he has appeared in court and was granted bail,” says Gauteng police spokesperson, Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini. Lungelo says that the matter has now been taken over by the National Prosecuting Authority in which all charges against the deputy minister will be dealt with.
STOP THE VIOLENCE
Siyabulela says men have the power to stop the violence against women by simply showing love and affection to them. “To those who feel they do not have the love to show to women, the only thing that must be shown to them is a prison cell because the violence has gotten out of hand,” he says.