Pants case still on fire

Mary Papayya

Mary Papayya

The Young South African Women in Dialogue in KwaZulu-Natal is furious because Thulani Cele has been granted bail.

The headman is at the centre of a row involving Zandile Mpanza, who was attacked for wearing trousers. Cele is the alleged ringleader of a mob that stripped Mpanza, from Umlazi's T section, and burnt her house.

Cele and two other men appeared at the Umlazi magistrates' court on Wednesday on charges of malicious damage to property, and of intimidation.

Spokesman for the woman's group Fikile Masiko said Cele's release showed a "total disregard and disrespect" for women's rights.

"Being stripped, beaten and forced to parade half-naked is a serious offence and a violation of human rights. It is a serious threat to our democracy and freedom and an indictment to all the women of our country.

"We are disturbed by the manner in which the SAPS handled the case and are also concerned that the justice system did not bring the alleged perpetrator to book. The abuse and humiliation of women and children has no place in our democracy," Masiko said.

The accused will reappear in court next week.