Johannesburg - The ANC Women’s League released a statement on Monday night condemning Thabiso Setona’s acts and also revealing that there were allegations that he was friends with Patrick Wisani, who sjambokked his lover, Nosipho Mandeleleni, to death in 2015.
“If the allegations of Mr Setona and Mr Wisani being friends are true, then it means birds of a feather flock together,” the statement said.
“It’s a shame that Setona’s gang under their Siyavuma regalia unleashed their barbaric acts on women around Chief Albert Luthuli House during the centenary of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, who was the epitome of peace and reconciliation. And also the centenary of Nontsikelelo Albertina Sisulu, a former leader of the ANCWL, who spent her life fighting for the rights of women.
“In the spirit of renewal and unity, the ANC must expel all it’s members who participated in this shameful act of assaulting women and suspend the organisers who created the conducive environment for vigilantes to run amok and maul defenceless women under the disguise of defending Chief Albert Luthuli House.”
The BLF has confirmed that the woman was one of their members from Orange Farm.
BLF president Andile Mngxitama said despite being so violently attacked, the woman whose age is not yet known was doing well. He said all those involved in the attack needed to be brought to book.
“The man did not act alone. All those who assisted him should be held accountable but worse, the police were there and folded their arms.
“We want those policemen to be disciplined. They are there to keep law and order, they know the situation is volatile and they should keep law and order, they did none of that. We have them on video and we will write to Ipid for action to be taken against them.
“We are going to open a criminal case,” he said.
Setona, Inner City Zone 12 secretary, handed himself over to the Joburg Central police station after being suspended by the region’s working committee.
The man seen on the images and footage kicking a woman handed himself over to the police - while police were set to get him. He is being processed at JHB Police Station.
We call on people who know and have contacts of the survivor of his abusive uncultured self to assist us. pic.twitter.com/3AzWk9TANS
Efforts to get comment from Setona him were unsuccessful at the time of publication.
The region’s spokesperson Jolidee Matongo said it was “unacceptable that violence be meted out against those who hold a different view from others”.
The ANC national spokesperson Khusela Diko said the party condemned the attack.
“Regardless of what some may deem as provocation by the Black First Land First Movement, who intended to march to Luthuli House, there will never be any justification for scenes as the ones witnessed today. Disturbing in the extreme is the assault of women in a callous and dehumanizing manner,” she said
The party said Setona’s actions did not represent what the ANC stands for. “As a consequence of his revolting behaviour, he will face a disciplinary process hastily,” Matongo said.
Police spokesperson Lungelo Dlamini said police struggled to explain why police present at the scene did not arrest the man.