Sonke rallies behind Babes Wodumo as cops arrest Mampintsha
Johannesburg - Sonke Gender Justice on Tuesday expressed concern over some of the negative comments shared online on Bongekile "Babes Wodumo" Simelane's video depicting her alleged assault at the hands of her boyfriend Mampintsha.
On Monday morning, Simelane live-streamed what appeared to be an argument between her and Mampintsha, real name Mandla Maphumulo, during which the latter can be seen hitting Simelane repeatedly. The video sparked outrage and calls for the Big Nuz star to be arrested.
Simelane has since laid charges at the Westville police station in Durban.
Sonke Gender Justice in a statement said it was concerned by some of the reactions to the video.
"Sonke notes Simelane has received criticism for her decision to share the alleged abuse via Instagram Stories.
"It is important as a society to understand the complex dynamics of gender-based violence (GBV) and rather than shame a survivor for speaking out, we should create an environment, which believes the survivor when they allege abuse, encourages and facilitates reporting of 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."
The organisation said it stood by Simelane's decision to "break her silence surrounding the abuse, and in her decision to lay charges against Mampintsha".
"South Africa has some of the highest rates of GBV and femicide in the world – with the femicide rate being almost five times the global average.
"We know that domestic abuse is often a precursor to femicide and each case of domestic violence must, therefore, be taken seriously. Narratives which challenge the authenticity of such allegations fuel under-reporting because women do not feel supported and safe to report incidences for fear they will not be believed."
Mampintsha has since been arrested in connection with the assault and will appear in court on Tuesday afternoon.