Mampintsha's Overdue Arrest Reveals a Deeper Problem with SAPS

We celebrate the arrest of Babes Wodumo’s alleged abuser, but…

Mampintsha has just been arrested. Let’s celebrate that. But was SAPS complicit in protecting him? The alleged abuser’s seemingly long-overdue arrest reveals a deeper, more systemic problem with our police force.

Mampintsha’s arrest came after a video of his alleged abuse went viral and Gqom star Babes Wodumo laid a criminal charge against him. But why has it only happened now, after a public outcry calling for his arrest? Babes Wodumo’s father has spoken out on how Mampintsha has bribed the police to keep the alleged abuse silent.

Related: South Africans Show Support for Babes Wodumo After Video of Alleged Abuse 

Many South Africans have a lack of trust in the police. In particular, when it comes to gender-based violence being reported, the records and statistics are dismal. Survivors are often not taken seriously and corruption remains a systemic problem in the South African police force. This case seems to be no exception.

Shortly before the arrest was made, Babes Wodumo’s father spoke on this issue. He mentions how Mandla “Mampintsha” Maphumulo had been beating his daughter for a long time and that the Westville police station in Durban has been complicit in protecting Mampintsha:

“He always boasts saying the Westville Police Station won’t help because he is bribing those police at the Westville Police Station. I think that the ministers and all other stakeholders must make sure that they deal with that police station … That station is filthy.”

Mampintsha was taken into custody since being reported missing this morning. After appearing in the Pinetown Magistrates Court, he has been granted bail of R2 000 and has laid a counter-charge of assault against Babes Wodumo, according to News24. He’s been instructed not to contact her.

Related: Babes Wodumo Lays an Assault Charge and her Parents Speak Out

It shouldn’t take a viral video, public pressure from celebrities and politicians, and national media coverage for an arrest to be made, for a victim of abuse to be safe and for justice to be served. The thought that the police may be complicit in protecting abusers is terrifying, but not that far-fetched.

Nonetheless, this alleged abuser being behind bars is a win, for Babes Wodumo and for South Africa.

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