Shaka Sisulu charged with assault

Political activist Shaka Sisulu may face the music for allegedly assaulting his former partner and the mother of his child, Lerato Sedi.

Sedi, who works as a chef, told City Press this week that she would not have agreed to go to Sisulu’s home in Morningside, Sandton, had she known that she would be nursing bruises to her elbow.

Sisulu denied assaulting Sedi, saying a “disagreement on a maintenance issue suddenly turned into an assault claim”.

“I also am not sure what the motive of this could be,” he said via email yesterday.

However, Sedi said the trouble began when she texted Sisulu, asking him to send money for their three-year-old son.

“He then asked that I come to his home the following morning on my way to drop off our son,” she said.

“I went to his home and he asked that we speak outside on his patio. When I explained to him what the money I keep asking for every month was for, he told me that I chose friends over my financial security,” she alleged.

Sedi said she then walked out after telling Sisulu that they were not on the same page, but made the point that she wanted him to contribute to their son’s upbringing.

'No assault of any kind took place'

Sedi and Sisulu, the grandson of struggle stalwarts Walter and Albertina Sisulu, were wed in a traditional ceremony in 2013 and separated two years ago.

“I told him that since we were not agreeing on a few things, I’ll have to take the matter to court. He asked me to come back to the patio. I went back because I thought he had something sensible to say.

“He proceeded to tell me that he doesn’t owe me anything and that I should stop asking him for money,” she alleged.

She further claimed that as she angrily walked away from Sisulu to open the door and leave, he slammed the door into her arm and bruised it.

“He is aware that he assaulted me, but he hasn’t even apologised to me,” she said.

Sisulu told City Press the following via email: “The mother of my child claimed that I pushed her against a door. I deny this claim.

“I can confirm that, indeed, she came to my house for a meeting last Thursday morning. The purpose of the meeting was solely to renegotiate the current terms of maintenance for our child which have been more than adequate for the child’s upkeep. Other than her leaving my house upset that I did not accede to her proposals, I can confirm with absolute certainty that nothing else happened.

“Absolutely no assault of any kind took place.”

Sisulu said his family had “insisted on mediation for this difference over maintenance, and as we both clearly care a lot about the best interest of our child, we have agreed that we shall take this up”.

“At the end of the day, the only important thing in this apparent dispute is the best interest of our child.

“We have always maintained a cordial relationship because of our common interest to raise our child well.

“I am sorry that my stance on our maintenance dispute has caused her feelings to be hurt.”

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane confirmed to City Press on Friday that Sisulu was arrested at the Sandton police station, where he had gone to with his attorney. He was charged with assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

He applied for bail on the day of his arrest and was released on R500 bail.

“He allegedly hit the mother of his child against the door at his Morningside, Sandton, home after an argument over the collection of child maintenance money,” said Mjonondwane.

Sisulu was scheduled to appear in the Randburg Magistrate’s Court on Thursday – the day that deputy minister of higher education Mduduzi Manana appeared in the same court – but he did not arrive.

He was issued with a bench of warrant (an arrest warrant that is ordered by a judge). Sisulu then sent the court a valid reason for being unable to appear on Thursday. The bench of warrant was withdrawn.

He then appeared in court on Friday and is scheduled to make another court appearance next month.

Police spokesperson Captain Mavela Masondo confirmed that a case of common assault was opened against Sisulu, but it has been elevated to a case of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.