Sonke staff, our Community Action Team (CAT) members and members of the Sisonke Sex Workers’ Movement picketed outside the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court yesterday (Thursday, 17th September 2015) and today (18th September 2015) where murder accused ANC Youth League Johannesburg inner-city leader, Patrick Wisani, appeared for his bail application. Wisani is accused of sjambokking and killing his girlfriend, Nosipho Mandleleni, in Yeoville on the 5th of September.
The initial hearing, which was held on Thursday, was adjourned after the magistrate, Pieter du Plessis, said Wisani’s docket did not contain sufficient information about the alleged incident. On Friday, the magistrate adjourned the proceedings again after the defence could not verify the address of the residence at which Wisani would stay, in the event that he is granted bail.
Commenting on the alleged murder at Thursday’s protest, Elias Mafura, a member of Sonke’s Community Action Team in Yeoville, said, “what has happened is unspeakable. We are very, very shocked.”
Another member of the Community Action Team lamented the scourge of gender-based violence in South Africa. “We don’t want this to go on. Right now, it’s September, but what will happen next month? How many women will be killed in Yeoville if we do not stand up?”
As Sonke, we view the allegations against Wisani in the most serious light as we have always held that public figures influence social norms and so shape our values and priorities. For this reason, Sonke has consistently held public figures accountable when they violate women’s rights or use, promote or condone violence.
Earlier in the week, Sonke’s programme director, Desmond Lesejane emphasised Sonke’s stance on the matter of gender-based violence, saying, “we urge the ANCYL to suspend Wisani while the law takes its course.”
Wisani will appear in court again on Monday, 21 September. Sonke Gender Justice will continue to follow the developments around this case.