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ANCWL statement on brutal assault of women during a protest march at Chief Albert Luthuli House

ANCWL statement on brutal assault of women during a protest march at Chief Albert Luthuli House

5 February 2018

The African National Congress Women's League (ANCWL) is saddened by video images of a group of men wearing #Siyavuma T-shirts brutally assaulting women in a bakkie outside Chief Albert Luthuli House today.

The ANCWL has noted reports that one person who participated in the assault is the Mr Thabiso Setona the ANC branch secretary zone 12 in Greater Johannesburg region. There are also some allegations that Setona is a close friend of former ANC youth league leader Mr Patrick Wisani who was sentence effective 20 yrs in prison in 2017 for the murder of his girlfriend Nosipho Mandeleleni to death. If the allegations of Mr Setona and Mr Wisani being friends then it means birds of same feathers flock together.

The vigilante mob led by Mr Setona disregarded section 17, 18 and 21 (1) of the Constitution of South Africa, 1996 (as amended) and unleashed their brutality on defenceless women who were sitting at the back of a bakkie. There is no justification to subject any person to physical violence and dehumanising acts in the name of politics. It is a barbaric act and those who participated in that stupid primitive act must face the law. Setona must reveal all his gang members who participated in the violent attack of defenseless women outside of Chief Luthuli House. All of them must face the full might of the law.

The ANCWL further request the legal institutes to assist the women who were assaulted by Setona's gang to lay civil claims against people who organised the event for the likes of Setona to come to Chief Luthuli House to unleash violence to defenceless women. Organisers of gatherings must be held responsible for the behaviour of the attendees of their events. The event organisers were supposed to have adequate marshals to control their participants. They have failed in protecting the rights of women who were sitting on the back of the bakkie against a vigilante group led by Setona. Furthermore, the ANCWL calls for the Minister of Police to institute an investigation against members of the South African Police Services (SAPS) who are seen on the images not protecting the women against Setona's gang.

It is a shame that Setona's gang under their Siyavuma regalia unleashed their barbaric acts on women around Chief Albert Luthuli House during the centenary of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela an epitome of peace and reconciliation and also centenary of Nontsikelelo Albertina Sisulu a former leader of the ANCWL who spent her life fighting for the rights of women. In the spirit of renewal and unity, the ANC must expel all it's members who participated in this shameful act of assaulting women and suspend the organisers who created the conducive environment for vigilantes to run amok and maul defenceless women under the disguise of defending Chief Albert Luthuli House.

All ANC members, supporters and society in general must isolate Setona's vigilante group and their mobilisers and funders. They must be exposed as nothing but women abusers disguising as people who love Chief Albert Luthuli House more than any other person. They must face the full might of the law. Violence against women must not be tolerated in a society and perpetrators must face the full might of the law. Women's rights are human rights.

Issued by:
Meokgo Matuba
ANCWL Secretary General
011 376 1242

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