It's unlikely Mduduzi Manana will go to jail. That became clear as his sentence for assaulting three women was debated in the Randburg Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.
Judgment on former higher education and training deputy minister Manana's sentence was reserved on Wednesday after the prosecution and defence spent the day sparring over a suitable punishment. Both teams advised against direct imprisonment and the magistrate will deliver the sentence on Monday.
In September, Manana pleaded guilty to three counts of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. He and two friends assaulted three women - Noluthando Mahlaba, Monoisa Duma and Thina Mapipa - at the Cubana nightclub in Johannesburg's north in August when after an argument one of them called him "stabane", a homophobic slur.
He pushed them to the ground, pulled their hair, kicked and punched them. At least two other women later came forward alleging Manana had assaulted them in the past.
Prosecutor Anne-Marie Smith called the attack "barbaric" but said, "Direct imprisonment and nothing else is an inappropriate sentence under the circumstances." She argued, however, that "there must be retribution and society expects more than just a mere doing community service".
She didn't suggest...