One hundred organisations that fight gender based violence have called on President Jacob Zuma to remove Higher Education deputy minister Mduduzi Manana, saying keeping him in his position brings into question government's commitment to address the issue.
Manana is accused of assaulting a woman at a Johannesburg nightclub on Sunday, August 6, after she allegedly called him gay.
In an open letter to Zuma, the organisations, represented by the Shukumisa Campaign and Stop Gender Violence: A National Campaign, said the accusations against Manana are serious in nature.
The organisations recalled Zuma's own commitment, during the State Of The Nation Address, to make the safety of women and children a priority.
"For [Manana] to continue ... sends a very confusing message about government's commitment to addressing GBV (Gender Based Violence). We find this very concerning"
Manana was granted R5 000 bail on August 10 on charges of assault with intent to cause bodily harm.
In a video widely circulated on social media, Manana could be seen slapping a woman, who covers her head with her hands to try and stop the blow.
In a recording obtained by TimesLive, Manana admitted to the assault, but said he was sworn at and called gay.
"I hit her, I slapped her," Manana is heard saying in the recording.
Manana later issued a statement apologising for his actions.
The Shukumisa Campaign was founded in 2008 by members of the National Working Group on Sexual Offences (NWGSO) calling for the strengthening of laws related to sexual offences in South Africa.
Stop Gender Violence: A National Campaign was started in 2014 when civil society organisations across the country came together. The campaign demands a fully-funded, evidence-based, multi-sectoral, inclusive and comprehensive national strategy to end Gender Based Violence.