Long arm of the law to run its course against Godongwane: Adv Madonsela – SABC News
Former Public Protector Barrister Thuli Madonsela said due process should be allowed in relation to the sexual assault allegations against Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana.
Madonsela was speaking at an expert dialogue on gender-based violence (GBV) in higher education institutions held at the University of Stellenbosch.
Allegations of sexual misconduct against Minister Godongwana have been in the public discourse. The former Ombudsman said justice agencies should have space to deal with the case.
The president of the Law Trust in Social Justice at Stellenbosch University said the allegations were quite saddening, but as a nation we should be careful about the allegations.
“That’s been confirmed and you know me, I always say let’s give the process time. Let’s hear what his response will be, for example, if the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) decided to indict him, we’ll assume they have a clear case against him, but until then it’s not fair to start thinking about whether he should step down,” the president adds.
The discussion aimed to establish the causes of gender-based violence and to develop response mechanisms to this scourge.
Stellenbosch University has faced a number of GBV incidents in the recent past. The Commission on Gender Equality found that the University was not decisively addressing GBV cases 2 years ago.
Root cause of GBV
Experts gathered here and virtually to discuss the root cause of GBV, its impact on society, and failures to formulate preventive measures.
The expert panel agreed that most incidents of GBV in South Africa emanate from historical trauma.
Gender Equality Commission Deputy Chair Dr Nthabiseng Moleko says South Africa is not a country at war, but statistics show war is taking place in homes and schools – and it is the effect of a generational trauma.
She explains: “Our response is not adequate to deal with GBV. More than 60% of men who present with a pre-deprivation of trauma 33% are exposed to violence. Violence in society has become normalized. Economic inequality exacerbates the scourge and tendencies of men to display traits of patriarchy. Drug addiction is also a huge factor.”
Strong policies for gender transformation
The University says it has made progress in strengthening its policies that include gender transformation to address GBV cases.
“We have a transformation plan at Stellenbosch University and is currently being reviewed and we are developing a new transformation policy. This is a very opportune moment for us to reflect on these questions. We have made good progress and have had focus groups and students over the past few years that involve their contributions and those of academics. We try to be proactive to prevent these incidents from happening, if they do happen you want to have systems in place to deal with them effectively. says the University.
Allegations of sexual misconduct against Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana have been in the public discourse. The former Ombudsman says justice agencies should have space to deal with the case.
The panel echoed that a multi-pronged approach was needed to deal with cases of violence, starting with tackling social ills such as poverty, high unemployment and substance abuse.
It has also developed frameworks that specifically address GBV in higher education institutions.