Ramaphosa condemns violence against women

File: President Cyril Ramaphosa says political infighting in the ANC isn't helping to draw investors into the country to create jobs.

File: President Cyril Ramaphosa says political infighting in the ANC isn't helping to draw investors into the country to create jobs.

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa condemned violence against women on Wednesday after a video apparently showing Babes Wodumo being attacked by her boyfriend went viral, sparking outrage in a country with some of the world's worst rates of violent crime.

The clip released on Instagram showed Bongekile Simelane -- who goes by the stage name Babes Wodumo -- being hit repeatedly. Her boyfriend Mandla Maphumulo has been charged with assault and released on bail, police said.

READ: Babes Wodumo lays charge with police

Ramaphosa has a "special abhorrence of violence against women and children", his spokeswoman told the Thomson Reuters Foundation on WhatsApp.

"We have full confidence that our law enforcement agencies will leave no stone unturned in the quest to ensure this heinous deed does not go unpunished."

Women's rights campaigners backed Simelane's decision to share the video in the face of criticism from some quarters, saying it was "important as a society to understand the complex dynamics of gender-based violence (GBV)".

"We must not victim blame. And in this case, we should not judge the decision of Ms Simelane to expose the actions of her abuser via social media," said Sonke Gender Justice, a campaign group.

READ: Mampintsha granted R2,000 bail

Former president Jacob Zuma said violent attacks against women and children represented a national "crisis" and last year, activists held a nationwide march against gender violence under the #TotalShutdown banner.

One of the activists, Lesley Ncube, criticised the decision to grant Maphumulo bail, saying it put Simelane at risk.

"We are watching a broken system play itself out again and again," said Ncube.

"Having a march has given women the power to talk about abuse, to say, 'me too'."

The African National Congress condemned violent behaviour in a statement on Monday, calling "on women who suffer in silence to take back their power from these criminals and make their voices heard".

Source
Reuters