Mother of four Esther Mankge, 49, was filmed begging for mercy while two alleged staff members of a local shop in Limpopo, South Africa, beat her with ropes, belts, a broom and a rubber hammer after accusing her of shoplifting, the South African Human Rights Commission reports.
Mankge described the events saying that she was not only brutally assaulted, but she was wrongly accused of the crime in the first place:
I hadn’t bought anything but a woman accused me of stealing panties and hit me in the face. I cried and asked them to call the cops if I had stolen something.
In a statement released last week, Isaac Mangena of the Commission was reported as saying:
It was very shocking to see such ruthlessness knitted out to a human being, and a woman for that matter. Indeed we are seeing this dark trend in our community whereby women and the elderly are being abused, are being kicked and all those kinds of things.
Below is a video posted on YouTube by Daily Sun showing the staff members beating Mankge:
The video has since sparked national outrage. South Africa's African National Congress Women's League (ANCWL) has called for a boycott of all regional branches of the store. ANCWL's provincial secretary, Maleke Mokganyetji, declared:
We are calling on progressive women and men to protest against all regional branches of the store during any time of the day. Our message to the store is, ‘You strike a woman, you strike the rock’.
Nhluvuko Masocha Shabangu commented on eNCAnews’ Facebook discussion forum saying that:
Point of correction. It didn't go viral [because] other people's pain entertains us but it went viral because awareness had to be raised about the brutality that takes place behind security doors, that these animals who call themselves humans in their attack lack the mercy to even consider that this is an elderly woman. They just beat her like a dog. Sies! The only person who finds this act amusing is that bish behind the camera. Ntli!
But the outrage was not limited to South Africa.
Nigerian blogger Musibau Lyabo lamented the events on BekkyBlog.com:
There are times when we think Africa is really shifting from its backward mentality, then things like this makes one think otherwise. Why do people resort to jungle justice in this time and age? Do they feel the government and laws put in place are not adequate enough?
This post was proofread in English by Georgi McCarthy.