Ekurhuleni - ANC leaders should practice self-restraint at all times, says ANC Women's League president Bathabile Dlamini.
Dlamini said this while addressing journalists on the sidelines of an ANCWL's event in Germiston on Sunday.
Earlier, she had come under fire for an interview she granted weekend newspaper The Sunday Times.
Social media users said she defended Deputy Minister of Higher Education Mdu Manana, who is accused of beating up Mandisa Duma and her friend at a club in Johannesburg.
Dlamini also told the newspaper that there were worse perpetrators in the governing party than Manana.
"Our position is [that] the ANC should have policy on the abuse of women. Instant action must also be taken against all who abuse women in the ANC," Dlamini said.
Earlier, she told hundreds of supporters that they were tired of being used as political tools.
"Even the storyline is made to use us as weapons or as objects," she said, referring to the Sunday Times interview.
She admitted that they have been lagging behind talking about the issues of being innocent until proven guilty instead of supporting the victim.
Although Dlamini said she wanted the law to dictate the processes to unfold around Manana, she refused to preempt what this should be.
The women's league in Ekurhuleni, which hosted the event, also took the opportunity to endorse Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as the next ANC president.
The region's chairperson Anastasia Motaung told delegates they were ready for Dlamini-Zuma to lead.
The ANC goes to an elective conference in December, where President Jacob Zuma is set to step down. Dlamini-Zuma has been named one of the front runners expected to replace him.
The former African Union Commission Chairperson, who was the guest at the event, focused her speech on the importance of the fight against gender based violence and the dire need to open up South Africa's economy so more people can gain from it.