SABC 1: News Mdantsane church Corporal Punishment

Date: January 22, 2019
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Name of the monitor: Sakhile Dube
Name of Television station: SABC1
Name of programme: Xhosa News
Date of broadcast: 22/01/2019
Story number in the bulletin 7
Time: 19:00 – 19:30
Genre: News
Theme: GBV
Skills: Accuracy, Headlines, Portrayal, Sources
GBV focus explicit or implicit? Explicit
Gem Classification: Gender Blind
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A brief description of the news story:
The story is about two videos that were trending on social media showing two young women in their 20s being beaten with a pipe by the house mother of Endumisweni Faith Mission church in Mdantsane, Eastern Cape. It’s alleged the girls had gone to the cinema with friends and posted on social media. Endumisweni Faith Mission Church seem to have a history of ill treating and abusing young women who stay in the church.

Heading: Outrage over Mdantsane church corporal punishment.

The headline is gender blind as it does not state that it was only young women and girls who received corporal punishment.


This story is GBV focused and it highlights unreported issues of violence and abuse perpetrated by religious leaders who believe that corporal punishment will assist in grooming young women. The story has been classified as gender blind. Although the voices of the survivors were included, the voices of authority were all men. This is an obvious case of violence against women and girls but the SABC missed an opportunity to relate this incident with the broader social issue of gender based violence in South Africa.

Although the sources included the voices of the survivors, the SABC should have included a female voice of authority, for example a female psychologist or pastor, to give commentary on the abuse.

Recently there have been more stories about religious leaders who enact all forms of abuse against young women. This story could have been more gender-aware if there was a voice of a gender activist who made a comment on these stories and what should be done to monitor these religious institutions and where young women can get help or report any forms of abuse. The story also unnecessarily showed the abuse multiple times. Although there was a warning at the beginning of the story, the video of the beating should only have been shown once otherwise it can be considered gratuitous and aimed at achieving shock value as opposed to reporting with sensitivity.


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