News / South Africa

Gosebo Mathope
2 minute read
17 Jan 2018
3:56 pm

Gender Commission condemns attacks by Eastern Cape churchgoers

Gosebo Mathope

One of the attacks allegedly took place on church premises.

File picture

The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) is “shocked” at the alleged assault on two women in the Eastern Cape by members of two different churches. One of the attacks allegedly took place on church premises.

In the first incident reported to the commission’s Port Elizabeth offices as well as to its chairperson, Lulama Nare, while on official business in the province, it is alleged that gender activist Pamela Mabini, who has been leading marches against sexual-assault accused Pastor Tim Omotoso, was assaulted by Jongisizwe Mali.

The reportedly left Mabini with a swollen face and her cellphone broken.

“The Commission is calling for those who witnessed the alleged incident to cooperate or better still volunteer information with the police since a case of grievous bodily harm [assault GBH] has been opened. In this endeavour, they will not be supporting Ms Mabini, but all survivors or victims of gender-based violence, who at times are left alone to face the ordeal of being assaulted or attacked,” said commission spokesperson Javu Baloyi

“The alleged attacker should be made example off that society cannot allow innocent people to be attacked for exercising their constitutional rights. Ms Mabini should be applauded for spearheading and leading the voices against one of the serious crimes that is committed against humanity on a daily basis, not attacked,” said Baloyi

The second incident involved “a well-known Port Elizabeth medical doctor, Mfundo Mabenge” who, according to the commission, “has allegedly assaulted Abongile Bulo, a 16-year-old teenager at a church function”.

“The Commission is extremely disappointed that someone whom society reveres due to the nature of his profession and supposed to be exemplary has allegedly done something that is very unfortunate and unwarranted. The Commission is calling on Dr. Mabenge to unequivocal (sic) apologise to the Abongile, the church and the country, if the allegations against him are true.

“The incident is understood to have taken place at the premises of Seventh Day Adventist in Gouga Village, Eastern Cape.

“The CGE is also calling on the church that he belongs to, to suspend him with immediate effect from all duties pending the outcome of the investigation in the matter,” Baloyi said.

There is an increase in workplace sexual harassment and rape – CGE