All citizens have the right to human dignity as well as access to justice and the protection of the law, Zuma said on Wednesday.
Zuma was reacting to the assault of 49-year-old Ester Mankge in Limpopo which was reported on Tuesday. They filmed the assault.
“Regardless of alleged crime, all citizens have an inalienable right to human dignity as well as access to justice and the protection of the law,” Zuma said.
Matthew Makofane, Maria Mahlaela, Gladys Maphanga, Refilwe Mzimba and Thabang Makuwa, all employees at a clothing shop in Jane Furse, allegedly assaulted Mankge in October, after accusing her of stealing a packet of underwear.
Makofane and Mahlaela were granted bail of R500 each by the Nebo Magistrate’s Court, on Tuesday. Maphanga, Mzimba and Makuwa would remain in custody because of previous assault allegations.
Zuma welcomed the arrests of the accused and appealed for the law to be allowed to take its course.
On Tuesday, Limpopo police said three of the accused were linked to a similar crime involving young children.
“The employees allegedly beat children with sjamboks last year for allegedly stealing from the shop,” Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said at the time.
“Following a tip-off we found a video of a woman being beaten with a rubber hammer. We located the victim and opened a case against the five employees.” The two men in the group allegedly beat the woman with various objects while filming it.
The Daily Sun newspaper uploaded the video to their YouTube account on Monday.
“The incident happened in October last year but the woman never opened a case until someone notified the police of the video,” Mulaudzi said.
A case was opened on April 8. All five were arrested last week.
The group was expected to appear in the Nebo Magistrate’s Court on April 22 on charges of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. – Sapa