The Minister of Women in the Presidency and head of the ANC Women's League, Bathabile Dlamini, has expressed her concern over the way Gqom artist Babes Wodumo was drawn into alleging on MetroFM's drive-time show that she was assaulted by her partner Mampintsha.
During the interview with Ndlovu and Mo Flava on Friday, Wodumo accused Mampinstha, to whom she was engaged, of physical assault.
She said she'd ended their relationship recently, after things turned "sour". She also said the recent picture of her apparent engagement was old, and was actually posted by Mampintsha. According to the artist, her ex-fiancé has the password to her Instagram account.
If this [had been] done properly, Babes would have taken her own decisions, [but instead,] now she is put under pressure...Minister Bathabile Dlamini
Dlamini says gender-based violence is a "sensitive" matter that needs to be dealt with "earnestly".
According to the minister, Wodumo should have been informed that she would be asked about the alleged violence in her relationship before the interview.
"Now someone comes to an interview for something else, and is not informed in advance, or there is no negotiation whatsoever about this," she explained. "If this [had been] done properly, Babes would have taken her own decisions, [but instead,] now she is put under pressure — and as we are speaking I am sure she is shaken."
She criticised the journalists who sprung the subject on Wodumo, pointing out that they also ignored the alleged perpetator's right to reply. Referring to patriarchy still manifesting in journalism, she said that had Mampitsha been asked for comment, he would have been given "ample time to prepare" — while the same courtesy was not afforded Wodumo.
She saidthere was another way in which presenter Masechaba Ndlovu could have handled the matter — such as finding out "if [Wodumo] has done anything to fight this. Because I am sure she would not have just sat down; there are steps she has taken." The minister is now worried "that whole thing has aborted efforts she had already started taking to ... respond to the matter".
Mampintsha has since released a statement claiming innocence.
"I may have overreacted in a couple of incidents during our relationship with her over certain things I will not be comfortable to discuss in the public domain," the statement read. "I fully understand that no human being owns or is entitled to another, and that every human being is at all times at liberty to take personal decisions..." the statement reads in part.