The Democratic Alliance Women’s Network (DAWN) in the Eastern Cape is appalled by the limp-wristed action taken by Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane against one of his staff members who is alleged to have verbally and physically abused two young women in East London.
According to reports the staff member, a Mr. Luntu Sokutu, insulted two young women, aged 16 and 18, in the early hours of Sunday, 29 December 2019, at McDonald’s in Beacon Bay. Mr Sokutu is also a former SASCO NEC member and the SACP Skenjana Roji District Spokesperson.
Premier Mabuyane has reportedly granted Mr Sokutu a leave of absence and confirmed that he will be leading an internal investigation while the police investigation is taking place.
The Premier must show the people of the Eastern Cape that he is serious about fighting the scourge of gender-based violence and immediately suspend Mr Sokutu pending the outcome of the investigation.
Premier Mabuyane must also ensure that his investigation is concluded speedily. He cannot wait for a police investigation to be completed before acting.
South Africa has one of the highest rates of gender-based violence in the world and therefore women are not being provided with the freedom afforded them in the Constitution. They are being failed, not only by the men who brutalise and murder them, but also by the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the South African criminal justice system. The police must do more to protect women and to make sure that all perpetrators of these crimes are found guilty and sent to jail. Those who commit crimes against women must be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
Women are suffering. Enough is enough; action must be taken decisively and immediately.