Johannesburg - Deputy Minister of Higher Education Mduduzi Manana has apologised for his involvement in the assault of a woman outside Cubana restaurant, Fourways in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Manana, who has been implicated in the attack alongside others, said that regardless of what he termed as the “extreme provocation”, he should have exercised restraint.
“That shameful incident should not have happened,” he said in a statement.
“I know that my actions and those of the people in my company have disappointed and hurt many people in the country. As a leader, I should have known better and acted better.”
Manana said he would subject himself to the process of the law and give his full co-operation.
“I also commit myself to, when the time is right, further engage with [the victim] Ms [Mandisa] Duma and her family to apologise, take responsibility and address the harm that has occurred.
“I will also meet with my organisation, the ANC, and President [Jacob] Zuma to give a full account of the incident.”
Manana also said fake social media accounts had been created, that show “less remorse” to the victim, with the intention to further tarnish his name.
Police Minister Fikile Mbalula confirmed that a case had been opened after the alleged attack took place around 04:00 on Sunday.
“Minister Mbalula takes these allegations very serious [sic],” ministry spokesperson Vuyo Mhaga said in a statement about the “disturbing allegations”.
“Protection of women and vulnerable groups are a number one priority of the police ministry. Minister Mbalula maintains that victims of abuse and gender based violence who go to the SAPS stations with cases of assault must be treated as genuine victims.”
The EFF has called on Manana to hand himself over to the police.
“Manana must also name all the men who helped him deliver the assault, as it is clear he was not the only one doing the beating. If his admission of guilt is genuine, then he must hand himself over to the police with immediate effect and call out his corroborators [sic],” said Economic Freedom Fighters spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi.
The African National Congress said in a statement that it had noted the accusations against Manana with disappointment, saying such behaviour was unacceptable.”Such behaviour is unacceptable and should be roundly condemned by all in our society. Regardless of the circumstances or the identity of the perpetrator or victim, violence against women is the shame of our times.” ‘Disturbing reports’ The ANC Women’s League said in a statement on Monday morning that it noted the “disturbing reports alleging that the deputy minister… and his friends physically assaulted women at a pub in the past weekend”.”The ANCWL condemns violence against women and perpetrators must face the might of the law. Whilst we take into account the principles of innocent until proven guilty, the ANCWL is resolute in supporting the victims of violence and wishes to reiterate this position.Minister in the Presidency responsible for women Susan Shabangu said the incident had shocked her.”The minister has also listened to a sound clip that purports to be an admission, by the deputy minister, to slapping the young woman. In the clip, Manana is heard telling Duma’s brother that he slapped her for identifying him as a member of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered and Intersexed (LGBTI) community.”It is most regrettable that this alleged act of violence is perpetrated only a week into Women’s Month, which we have themed ‘Women United in Moving South Africa Forward’. It has also happened at a time when the country is tirelessly working to address the high rates of femicide and other brutal acts of violent on women.”The ANC Youth League called the assault “bizarre”. ‘Put ANC in a bad light’ “The ANCYL is concerned about the accusation which involve cde Mduduzi Manana because it does not put the ANC in good light. We say this with a serious consideration that there are many other incidences which involves ANC leaders that has made it to the public domain.”We as the ANCYL are concerned about this matter, we believe it seeks to perpetrate what the organisation stands firmly against, Gender Based Violence.”The Democratic Alliance, meanwhile, said it was shocked and angry to learn about the alleged assault.”We condemn this act in the strongest terms. In our country which is plagued by unacceptably high levels of gender-based violence, this behaviour only seeks to normalise and perpetuate violence against women,” DA MP Hlomela Bucwa said on Monday. DM