Calls for unionist to ‘step aside’

Picture: 123RF/3DRENDERINGS

The provincial South African Municipal Worker’s Union (Samwu) has condemned violence against women and children and advised that a member of the union who is currently facing rape charges, “step aside” until the case is finalised.

Police spokesperson Captain Namhla Mdleleni said a 34- year-old man appeared before the Molteno magistrate’s court last week charged with attempting to rape a 16-year-old girl. “He allegedly gave the victim a lift from Sterkstroom. While on their way he drove in the other direction and assaulted the victim. A case of attempted rape was opened. The suspect was arrested and appeared in court. He was released on R1 000 bail,” said Mdleleni.

Samwu provincial executive committee (PEC) member Victor Totolo said they were disappointed that the provincial office bearers had been silent about the arrest of the accused who is the provincial secretary.

“The ANC and its alliance partners have a provincial campaign against gender-based violence (GBV) and child abuse, therefore Samwu, as part of Cosatu, is disappointed that one of our own has been accused of attempting to rape a young teenager. Samwu has a policy against GBV and has established gender structures at all levels as a strategy to deal with GBV. The PEC will have to pronounce itself against this unethical behaviour and he should do the honourable thing and step aside until his case is concluded.”
Videos of residents chanting outside court last week when they were picketing against violence against women and children were shown to The Rep.

“We strongly feel that people accused of rape should not be granted bail so that prospects of them repeating their acts are thwarted. We respect the decision of the court. We are grossly disappointed that one of us can be embroiled in rape allegations and we are looking up to our national office-bearers to approve the sitting of the PEC so that the issue is dealt with accordingly.”

Mdleleni said the accused would appear again on November 17.

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