Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini's defence of Mduduzi Manana has sparked outrage.
Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini’s response to reports of an attack on a woman by Deputy Higher Education Minister Mduduzi Manana is disgraceful. Dlamini is the leader of the ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) and should not be defending Manana’s actions. After all, Manana has admitted to assaulting the woman and is accused of attacking another in Ermelo.

South Africa has high levels of violence against women and those who are guilty must be punished, not defended. Men like Manana feel they can attack women without facing punishment because people like Dlamini seem to think this is acceptable, which allows him them get away with it.

When she said “there are those that are actually worse than him”, it appeared as if she believed Manana should be let off the hook.

The ANCWL is among the largest women's organisations in the country, but its leader has shown where her loyalties lie - not with the victims of abuse but with protecting the perpetrators. She has failed women and should be ashamed for defending abuse.

Dlamini has made it clear that she is only concerned with the image of her party. Women need to stand united against abuse and comments such as Dlamini’s go against the goal of a non-sexist and abuse-free society.

Denise Robinson

Federal chairperson of the DA Women’s Network