- Editor's note: Please be advised the following visuals may offend some viewers.
JOHANNESBURG - Pictures and video have emerged of a woman being brutally assaulted outside Luthuli House.
On Monday, ANC members waited outside Luthuli House for a march by the Black First Land First (BLF) group in support of President Jacob Zuma.
Calls have been mounting for Zuma to step down ahead of the State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Thursday.
The situation outside Luthuli House was volatile with clashes breaking out between the groups.
However, they were not only fighting with each other - the visuals that emerged from the fray clearly show a man, identified as an ANC member, kicking an older woman twice in the stomach.
The men wearing ANC-branded t-shirts pulled the woman from a bakkie and violently attacked her.
The attack happened in full view of the police.
The ANC in Johannesburg has named the man kicking the woman as Thabiso Setona, ANC branch secretary in Inner City, Zone 12.
In a statement, it said: "As the ANC in Joburg we strongly condemn any acts of violence against any person, more so women. The ANC Greater Joburg does not subscribe to the notion of people violently assaulting those who hold contrasting political views. Thabiso Setona’s acts do not represent what the African National Congress stands for, and as a consequence of his revolting behaviour, he will face a disciplinary process hastily."
Warning: The video below contains visuals that may offend some viewers.
The #DefendANC grouping has distanced itself from the violence.
In a statement, they said; "The incident and other violent altercations associated with the defense is regrettable and for that and the harm it caused, we apologise unreservedly.
"We have identified the two gentlemen involved in the video-incident, that has since gone viral, and have asked them to leave the premises and promise those who were attacked by them our full support and cooperation in any criminal actions planned or considered."
The statement goes on: "We also will not tolerate such violence against anyone, especially women, and wish to assure all sympathisers, and supporters that our defense of Luthuli House was always intended to be peaceful and free of violence and intimidation.
We have also been made aware that some who associate themselves with us were subjected to violence and we condemn even these instances in the strongest possible terms and recommit our cause to non-violence and peace.
Protest is a Human Right enshrined in our Constitution thus we will defend and protect it. What we won’t do however is protect and watch as criminality unfolds.— Min of Police: Mr Fearfokkol (@MbalulaFikile) February 5, 2018
We not only condemn the violence and barbaric nature some protestors conducted themselves - we will ACT pic.twitter.com/V2F7ek7kWM
Setona has subsequently handed himself over to police in connection with the woman’s assault.
The ANC has suspended Setona’s membership with immediate effect.
(Pic: #DefendANC/Mkululi White.)
The Commission for Gender Equality has said it is shocked at the "merciless beating."
In a statement, it said it is equally worried that there was lack of police action to either stop the beating or apprehend the perpetrator of this heinous crime. "The beating clearly shows we are a society that has normalised violence against the most vulnerable people of our society, in this case, a defenseless woman."
It urged members of the public who have knowledge of and information on acts of gender-based violence and abuse to call our Toll-Free Number 0800 007 709 to report such cases.