Correctional Services said that “matters are under control” at Johannesburg’s Sun City Prison on Wed.
The KwaZulu-Natal Commission on Gender Equality (CGE) yesterday called on the newly formed Men's Forum to combat negative perceptions and gender stereotyping.
The CGE said the Men's Forum could play a pivotal role in ensuring that women are not discriminated against for wearing pants.
Commissioner Mfanuzelwe Shozi said they would continue to work in partnership with their colleagues in the Office on the Status of Women in the provincial legislature and South African Human Right Commission (SAHRC) to ensure that substantive work is done to promote education and awareness of gender equality.
Addressing a press conference yesterday at the Umlazi equality court, Shozi said the CGE was acting on behalf of Zandile Mpanza, who was abused for wearing pants.
Mpanza was allegedly assaulted by four men while walking near the Umlazi men's hostel wearing pants last July.
Shozi said the CGE was seeking a declaratory order from the equality court based on the infringement of Mpanza's right to human dignity.
"The matter was instituted in the equality court as a result of the assault and damage to property inflicted on Mpanza as a result of her (Mpanza's) noncompliance with a ban stipulating that women are not allowed to wear pants at T-section in Umlazi," Shozi said.
"A conservative mindset and patriarchal attitudes seeking to determine and violently enforce what behaviour and dress is deemed appropriate for women serve to oppress, intimidate and marginalise women. This can not be tolerated."
Taryn Powys of the CGE's legal team said their interest was to protect Mpanza's interests.
"She is now hiding with relatives after her home was vandalised," Powys said.
In court papers filed by Mpanza she wants her attackers to pay damages for impairing her dignity and causing emotional and psychological suffering.
She also wants an unconditional apology in writing and this to be made public. She also wants steps to be taken to remove the ban on women wearing pants.
lSee also page 7