On Monday, September 28, 2020 disturbing reports surfaced regarding minors who were raped, allegedly by their own father who currently serves as ANC Mpumalanga PEC member.
The accused appeared in the Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court on Monday, September 28, 2020 and the matter was postponed to 1 October for a formal bail application.
Sonke notes with great concern that this is not the first time the accused has been accused of rape. A few years ago, he was charged with raping a woman, and the charges were subsequently withdrawn due to a lack of evidence against the accused.
Unfortunately, it had to be another tragedy that highlights once more the importance of a functioning criminal justice system that ensures that victims of gender-based violence are able to access justice and perpetrators are brought to book.
While Sonke welcomes the ANC’s decision to suspend the accused given the gravity of the charges he faces. The ruling party needs to demonstrate that it is on the side of survivors of abuse and that no official in their ranks will be shielded from the consequences of their actions.
In a country that continues to grapple with GBV against womxn and children on a day-to- day basis, it is important that perpetrators of these crimes are brought to book without fear or favour.
There have been instances of several politicians that have been caught on the wrong side of the law on these issues who have escaped accountability both within their respective parties and the legal system at large, this needs to change.
On the matter of the accused, it is now up to our state institutions to demonstrate that they do not favor powerful or connected men. The accused cannot evade justice again. The lives of womxn and girls deserve better.
For more information, please contact:
- Given Sigauqwe, Communications & Strategic Information Manager, 073 988 2870 or firstname.lastname@example.org