The Eastern Cape government will facilitate a process which will possibly lead to the arrest of a woman seen beating two girls in a video that was taken at the Endumisweni Faith Mission Church in Mdantsane.

This emerged during a visit by Social Development MEC Dr. Pumza Dyantyi at the home of the victims in Mdantsane, outside East London.

The perpetrator had argued that she was instilling discipline in the victims who had allegedly posted pictures of themselves drinking alcohol on social media.

The incident triggered outrage. Now, for the first time, victims have decided to speak out and tell their side of the story.

They say on that day, they went out with their cousins to watch movies. They then posted a video of themselves at a parking lot dancing. They say the video was then seen by other congregants who reported them to the church leader. They were then summoned to the church by Tsidi Spampul, who accused them of drinking alcohol and calling them backsliders.

One girl says a trending video of her on social media platforms opened wounds she was healing from as the incident occurred in December 2018.

“As people were asking me, ‘Did you see the video?’ ‘What’s happening?’ And then, they sent me those videos. I was so embarrassed because I would become an insult to my age group.”

Both victims are demanding justice though they are reluctant to lay charges themselves.

“The law should take its course in such a way that it should discipline her because what she did was wrong and also to help other children so that they cannot be beaten. So that she can also not make that mistake again.”

“Children were beaten and it was not for the first time. So, the society and the community when they saw that video, it was an illegal thing. So, if the law wants to arrest her, they must.”

MEC for Social Development Phumza Dyantyi says that the department will take tough action.

“As we are doing our investigation, we are definitely, definitely going to open up a case as Social Development, but we are aware that other people as well are going to as soon as we get enough information. We are aware of one person for now. She alleges that she has been given permission by parents. That is why we are also interviewing parents to find out if that is true, that they have given permission that their children should abused in the way she’s abusing them.”