Reformed abusers need to join fight
Panellist defends invite to convicted woman beater Manana
Women beaters should not be ostracised but should be integrated back into society so as to teach other would-be offenders not to abuse women and children.
These were the words of telecommunications and postal services deputy minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams at the Shevolution Africa Fundraiser Gala Dinner at the East London Golf Club on Saturday.
Ndabeni-Abrahams formed part of a panel who discussed gender-based violence in SA at the event.
Disgraced higher education deputy minister and convicted woman beater Mduduzi Manana was to be one the panel members.
However, he later withdrew amid outrage on social media.But Ndabeni-Abrahams said offenders had to share their stories to educate more people.
“I wanted Manana to engage with those who have not yet abused, but people thought it wasn’t the right time. “When will the right time be? They must be able to tell their stories in order to educate other men,” she said.
She said rape was taken for granted in South Africa when in fact it was an illness.
“We have the responsibility as members of our society, irrespective of the positions we hold, to take a stand and act against this violence.”
Panel members included Durban-based motivational speaker and author Scelo Mncube – who shared his life story as a child conceived through rape, in his book I Was Raped and You Were Born – and Nelson Mandela University student activist Thandeka Tshabalala.
Founder of Shevolution Africa Buhle Tonise said months of public appeal towards the fundraiser went unnoticed until the event poster with Manana’s face went viral.
“That one poster alone caught media attention and everyone suddenly wanted to jump in.
“Our justice system prides itself on rehabilitating offenders back into society, but society also doesn’t accept them. How do we deal with this?”Tonise said the fundraiser was to help Cacadu’s (formerly Lady Frere) Lion Mama finish building her house.
The woman, who cannot be named to protect the identity of her daughter, made international headlines in September last year when she stabbed to death Zamile Siyeka and wounded Xolisa Siyeka and Mncedisi Vuba, whom she said she caught allegedly gang-raping her daughter.
The two will be back in court on November 26.She was arrested but the National Prosecuting Authority decided against prosecuting her.The mother and daughter were the guests of honour at the glitzy event.
Lion Mama told the media that through money she had received from donations she received after the incident, she was able to begin building a three-bedroomed house for herself and her six children.
“I wasn’t able to complete building because I ran out of money and none of us are employed.”She thanked everyone who had offered her and her daughter financial and emotional support since last year.
“I have no fear of what is to come because I still stand by the truth, which is what I witnessed with my own eyes,” she said.Tonise said Lion Mama’s house would be completed by August 30.
She said the donations included all the material needed to complete the house, as well as furniture and a water tank.