Sat Oct 22 07:31:31 SAST 2016

Court strips 'pants ban' man of bail

By unknown | Aug 06, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

The 47-year-old alleged ringleader of a group who stripped a woman naked for wearing pants in Umlazi's men's hostel before forcing her to parade in the streets has been denied bail.

Thulani Cele, regarded as the man behind the campaign that "bans" women from wearing pants in the township, was arrested for assaulting the woman on July 22.

He, however, failed to appear in court after being granted bail. He evaded arrest for a while but was rearrested last week following an outcry from the community, especially from women leaders.

He appeared in court again on Friday where his bail was revoked.

Cele faces charges of assault and defamation of character.

Police spokesman Superintendent Vincent Mdunge said an additional charge of arson had been slapped on Cele after the woman's house was burnt down.

"We are searching for other suspects who might have been involved in the torching of the house. We will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that they are brought to book," said Mdunge.

Last week Premier Sbu Ndebele called for a heavy sentence to be imposed on the suspect.

"We can't allow self-proclaimed vigilantes to abuse and exploit women. I urge the justice system to slap him with a harsh sentence to teach others a lesson.

"We need to fight against these self-appointed vigilantes. We cannot tolerate what happened in Umlazi. We have not fought for freedom in order for some chauvinists to assault women for wearing pants," said Ndebele.

Meanwhile the ANC Women's League in the province is organising a march to the hostel this week. They said they will wear pants during the march, which is expected to spark further controversy.

KwaZulu-Natal MEC for community safety and liaison, Bheki Cele has applauded the police for rearresting the suspect.


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