‘Silence over assault’

In the face of silence from rights groups, the assault on BLF supporters is described as a shameful act. PICTURE: THAPELO MOREBUDI

WOMEN’S rights groups have come under fire for their “silence” over Olivia Makete – the BLF supporter who was assaulted near ANC’s headquarters on Monday.

Makete, an unemployed mother of two children has been subject of a media frenzy following the widely condemned act by the ANC’s Thabang Setona who assaulted her during protests between the anti- and pro- Zuma factions.

The assault was caught on camera and went viral nationwide. Makete said she has received no support from women’s groups or the Department of Women and Children. Yesterday, BLF president Andile Mngxitama visited Makete at her home in Orange Farm, south west of Johannesburg.

BLF national spokesperson Lindsay Maasdorp said: “I can categorically state that Makete and the other victims injured belong to the BLF. What has been reported in the media has been misleading, Makete is doing much better as she is walking better.” BLF is spearheading the “hands-off Zuma” protest. The lobby group believes the decision to remove Zuma from office is influenced by white monopoly capital who in turn want to

“continue to suppress black people”. Setona was released from detention but police investigations into the incident continue. The ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) on Monday said: “The ANC must expel all it’s members who participated in this shameful act of assaulting women and suspend the organisers who created the environment for vigilantes to run amok and maul defenceless women under the guise of defending Chief Albert Luthuli House.”