16 November 2017

South Africa: State Calls for Harsh Sentence for Manana Co-Accused

The State called for a harsh sentence on Thursday for the two men, who along with former deputy minister of higher education Mduduzi Manana, assaulted three women in Johannesburg in August.

Cyril Madonsela, 35, and his co-accused Thulani Mdaka, 30, both pleaded guilty to two counts of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm in October, following their involvement in the assault of the women at Cubaña, in Fourways.

A video of the assault surfaced on social media and sparked widespread condemnation.

The two have no previous convictions.

State prosecutor Yusuf Baba argued that Madonsela and Mdaka were not remorseful and were forced to plead guilty.

"Are we sending out a message that all women in the country are punching bags because 'I'm under the influence?'"

"The court heard that these two men are responsible, but how do you drink to 04:00 in the mornings? Is that responsible?" Baba asked.

He was referring to submissions by the men's lawyers that they should not be harshly punished.

The lawyers pointed to the men's personal circumstances.

In Madonsela's probation report read out by his lawyer Jameson Mawila on Thursday, he claimed that he was not married. His family was shocked when they heard about the incident.

Disappointments

In the report, his brother said that after the death of their father, Madonsela took it upon himself to look after the family. He supports them financially.

During closing arguments, Mawila said the punishment should fit the offender.

Mawila argued that his client was remorseful and deeply ashamed of his actions.

He asked that the court consider sentencing options besides direct imprisonment.

"It is our submission that he [Madonsela] is not a suitable candidate for prison. This was not a premeditated assault and no weapon was used."

Mawila said a R3000 fine, with an alternative of 3 months imprisonment, was an appropriate sentence.

In Mdaka's report, read out by his lawyer Oscar Thovhakale, he claimed he had four children from four different women.

A friend who had known him for 10 years described him as a calm and friendly person who normally walked away from violent situations.

His wife said he was a caring person who loved his children.

Mdaka claimed he acted out of anger and was under the influence of alcohol. He had disappointed himself and his family.

Alcohol 'not an excuse'

A probation officer who took the stand on Thursday morning, Yolanda Matikinca, told the court that correctional supervision was a suitable recommendation for Mdaka and that counselling would be adequate.

Thovhakale also argued for a less harsh sentence. He said his client apologised and showed remorse for his actions.

Baba argued that a strong message needed to be sent.

He further argued that the fact that they were under the influence of alcohol was not an excuse to assault the two women.

The matter was postponed to November 27 for sentencing.

Source: News24

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