By Mbali Sibiya
Amid growing calls for the self-confessed woman-beater, Deputy Minister Higher Education and Training, Mr Mduduzi Manana, to resign or be fired, it was not on the cabinet agenda this week, Communications Minister Ms Ayanda Dlodlo revealed on Thursday.
Briefing journalists in Pretoria and Cape Town on cabinet’s fortnightly meeting this week, Ms Dlodlo said the issue of gender-based violence and Women’s Month was broadly discussed without mentioning Mr Manana.
“We did not have a specific conversation around that because it would be a little odd to discuss individuals in cabinet,” said Ms Dlodlo.
“We did not discuss whether he should step down or not step down, whether he should be fired; that resides within the ambit of the work of the president of the republic, but it all depends on Mr Manana himself, the course of action he would want to take in dealing with this matter.”
Ms Dlodlo said cabinet did not want to be seen as a kangaroo court.
“All the matters that we are talking about, my understanding is that they are all before court or charges have been laid against the individuals and the law must take its course and where people are found guilty they must accept that outcome or appeal…”
The assault happened in the early hours of the morning on Sunday, August 5 at a Johannesburg nightclub, following a heated argument about the ANC succession debate. It is alleged that Ms Mandisa Duma called Mr Manana gay before the alleged assault ensued. The assault reportedly continued outside in a parking lot.
Ms Duma reported the assault at the Douglasdale police station.
Photographs showing bruises on her head, neck and leg were posted on social media. After a video of the assault surfaced, Mr Manana issued an apology to Ms Duma, saying he was “extremely provoked” but would subject himself to the law.
“I wish to apologise unreservedly to Ms Mandisa Duma, her family, the government of South Africa and all South Africans, and women in particular, for the incident that happened at Cubana in Fourways over the weekend.
“Regardless of the extreme provocation, I should have exercised restraint. That shameful incident should not have happened. 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. I will subject myself fully to the process of the law and give it my full cooperation,” Mr Manana said in a statement.
Mr Manana only handed himself over to the authorities much later, appearing in court on August 10 when he was granted R5000 bail.