Musician Simphiwe Dana who was heavily bashed and arrested because of her boyfriend reveals all

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JOHANNESBURG – Award-winning South African musician Simphiwe Dana has on Friday described her ordeal after being arrested for assault and crimen injuria after her ex-fiance laid a counter criminal charge.

Dana’s fiance allegedly assaulted her on 27 December. She laid a charge of assault and intimidation at the Norwood police station on 30 December and posted details of the assault on her social media platform.

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Dana said she had been threatened by the man, whom she revealed as Leshoto Itsweng, against going to the police.

On Monday, 13 January, police opened a charge of assault and crimen injuria against Dana after informing her that she would be arrested and imprisoned, as Itsweng had laid a counter-charge.

She subsequently handed herself over at the Norwood police station on 16 January and was incarcerated in the holding cells.

“My experience has been a disturbing revelation about how the criminal justice system can be manipulated to re-victimise and harass victims of intimate-partner abuse,” Dana said in a statement.

“There appears to be an increasing trend of abusers laying counter-assault charges against their victims as an intimidation tactic. The cell I was held in bears testament to this – it was full of domestic violence survivors whose partners had laid counter-charges.

“This, as the abusers well know, has the immediate effect of bullying victims into dropping the charges against their assailants. The swiftness with which the police respond to the counter-charges by imprisoning the survivor serves to perpetuate inequality and re-victimisation. As things stand, pressing counter-charges is increasingly being used as a weapon to intimidate women into dropping charges. In a society where violence against women is such a scourge, surely this merits some kind of review?”

The prosecutor has since declined to prosecute the case against Dana, while she said she would pursue her case against Itsweng.

Source: EWN


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