7 August 2017

South Africa: Deputy Minister Manana Charged With Assault

A case of assault has been opened with the South African Police Service (SAPS) against the Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training, Mduduzi Manana, police confirmed on Monday.

The Deputy Minister allegedly assaulted two women at a night club in Fourways, Gauteng, in the early hours on Sunday morning.

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula on Monday confirmed that the assault victim made a statement to the Douglasdale police outlining details of the incident.

The Minister said they take these allegations very seriously, as the protection of women and vulnerable groups is the number one priority of the Police Ministry.

As such, Minister Mbalula said the case would be treated as any other case and that a statement would be taken from the Deputy Minister.

"Women deserve love and protection from all of us. The police must be given space to investigate this case without fear or favour. No one is above the law, irrespective of their position in society."

Minister Mbalula maintained that victims of abuse and gender based violence, who go to SAPS stations with cases of assault, must be treated with respect and dignity.

Minister Mbalula said the police must proactively give feedback to the victim.

Meanwhile, Minister in the Presidency responsible for Women, Susan Shabangu has condemned the alleged violent actions of Deputy Minister Manana.

Minister Shabangu said she has received the news of the alleged assault of Mandisa Duma with great shock and disappointment.

The Minister said she has also listened to a sound clip, where Deputy Minister Manana is reportedly 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.

"We are also aware that an assault case has been opened, and that SABC journalist, Lumko Jimlongo, has made a statement to the effect of witnessing the incident. We are proud of Lumko and condemn those who stood by and watched. All those who remain silent in the face of violence are accomplices to that violence.

"Our role, as leaders - young and old, men and women - is to lead by example. The country has entrusted us to represent it at its highest legislative platforms. This is a task we cannot eschew," Minister Shabangu said.

The Minister said it is most regrettable that this alleged act of violence is perpetrated only a week into Women's Month, which is observed under the theme '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 Minister urged all women to be fearless and report crimes that infringe on their rights.

This year, the country is celebrating the year of OR Tambo, who sacrificed his life fighting against racism, classism, and gender discrimination.

OR Tambo was conscious of the urgency to bring an end to gendered inequalities in all areas of societies. He called on women to take up their rightful positions as leaders in our society.

He also called on women to be brave enough to hold men accountable for gender crimes of all natures.

Minister Shabangu urged that the assault case against Deputy Minister Manana be attended to with urgency.

Gender based violence victims can call the toll free number on 0800 428 428 (0800 GBV GBV) and will be able to speak to a social worker for assistance and counselling. Callers can also request a social worker from the command centre to contact them by dialling *120*7867# (free) from a cell phone.

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