The man accused of assaulting a woman during protests outside Luthuli House on Monday has handed himself over to the police, Eyewitness News (EWN) reported. Thabang Setona was caught on video violently kicking a woman to the ground.
His details were circulated on social media along with calls for the ANC to take action against him.
This moron who's assaulting a woman is apparently Thabang Setona @MYANC Ward 62 Branch Secretary. Let's make him famous and get @MYANC to act against him. Those who know him, please help pic.twitter.com/nr5ZyEzrGi— Mmanaledi Mataboge (@MmanalediM) February 5, 2018
There guys. ANC Joburg says his name is THABISO SETONA not THABANG as I was told earlier. Either way, he must fall, bloody hard >>> https://t.co/kY0SnTWaMz— Mmanaledi Mataboge (@MmanalediM) February 5, 2018
On Monday evening, the ANC in Johannesburg said Setona had been suspended with immediate effect and a disciplinary process would take place. The party said Setona had handed himself over to the police.
According to News24, the party said,
"As the ANC in Joburg we strongly condemn any acts of violence against any person, more so [against] women. The ANC Greater Joburg does not subscribe to the notion of people violently assaulting those who hold contrasting political views."
Gauteng police spokesperson Lungelo Dlamini confirmed to News24 that Setona had handed himself over.
This was confirmed by Police Minister Fikile Mbalula on Twitter.
The man seen on the images and footage kicking a woman handed himself over to the police - while police were set to get him. He is being processed at JHB Police Station.— Min of Police: Mr Fearfokkol (@MbalulaFikile) February 5, 2018
We call on people who know and have contacts of the survivor of his abusive uncultured self to assist us. pic.twitter.com/3AzWk9TANS
But there have been concerns about the police's silence on the fact that the assault happened in front of police officers.
Kodwa Mhlekazi, the fact that he assaulted that lady in front of the police and the police neither stopped nor arrested him after the assault should be concerning. Only the Lord knows what would have happened had the cameras not been rolling. https://t.co/jyNN2o80VV— Scapegoat (@AndiMakinana) February 5, 2018
Setona was part of the pro-Zuma protesters. One of the organisers, Mkhululi White, told EWN that the group condemned the attack.
"What that comrade did was very wrong and must be condemned in the strongest term and also we hope that the law enforcement will deal with that comrade because he was not part of the organisers, he's a person who joined the march (sic)," he said.
The ANC Women's League and the Council for Gender Equality (CGE) both condemned the attack.
According to IOL, CGE spokesperson Javu Baloyi said: "In a video that has gone viral, a woman is seen being brutally beaten by a man wearing an African National Congress [ANC] T-shirt. The Commission is also shocked that nobody came to the assistance of a powerless and helpless woman who was being assaulted even whilst lying on the ground.
"The CGE is equally worried that there was lack of police action to either stop the beating or apprehend the perpetrator of this heinous crime. The beating clearly shows we are a society that has normalised violence against the most vulnerable people of our society, in this case a defenceless woman. In the year 2016 alone, a staggering 182,933 cases of assault were reported."