19 August 2017

South Africa: Political Parties Welcome 'Overdue' Manana Resignation

Photo: GCIS
Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training Mduduzi Manana.

Political parties on Saturday welcomed Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training, Mduduzi Manana's, resignation.

DA Shadow Minister of Higher Education Belinda Bozzoli said that the ANC should have removed Manana "as soon as he had admitted to assaulting women almost two weeks ago".

"That he was not immediately fired speaks volumes about how seriously the ANC views women abuse, which is rife in our society in part because leaders are not held to account for their actions," she said.

She said the DA had already reported Manana to the Commission for Gender Equality for the alleged mistreatment of his former secretary as well as other female employees in his department.

"We await confirmation of this investigation and will also keep a close eye on the case of assault that Manana must answer for in court."

She added, "It is high time that those who abuse women, especially those in positions of power, are held to account so that a message is sent that it will no longer be tolerated."

Meanwhile Congress of the People said in a statement that Manana's resignation was long overdue.

The party said that the resignation was a show and did not express genuine remorse from Manana or President Jacob Zuma.

"It is the result of unrelenting and a growing wave of public pressure against his continued holding of public office. He was forced to fall on his sword."

The party said South Africans were "not prepared to tolerate any further abuse, not even for a second".

"Leaders must set the tone and lead by example by acting expeditiously against such morally reprehensible conduct."

Cope called for Manana to be summoned to the Joint Member's Ethics Committee to "hold him fully accountable and for bringing the institution into disrepute".

"There must be no place to hide for women bashers like Mduduzi Manana."

The South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) described Manana's resignation "as a victory against gender based violence".

"For all it is worth, we must commend him for not digging his heels and in the process keep the cloud of controversy that would have inhibited him from effectively performing his official duties," Sanco national spokesperson, Jabu Mahlangu said.

Mahlangu said that Manana has shown respect for the public office he occupied.

"We wish other elected public representatives who find themselves in a similar position could follow his example and not drag offices they have the honour to occupy with them into the quagmire," he said.

The ANC also since welcomed his resignation.

In a statement, ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa thanked Manana for "his service to the people of South Africa during his tenure".

Zuma said on Saturday that he had accepted Manana's resignation.

"The President has thanked Mr Manana for his contribution to the work of government during his term of office," the presidency said in a short statement.

Manana admitted to the assault of two women at the Cubana nightclub in Fourways, Johannesburg.

Manana appeared in the Randburg Magistrate's Court on Thursday and was released on R5 000 bail. He faces two charges of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

In a cellphone recording of Manana talking to one of the victims' brothers shortly after the assault, Manana says he slapped the woman because she called him gay.

Manana claimed he had been "extremely provoked".

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