Former Deputy Minister Mduduzi Manana has pleaded guilty to assault charges leveled against him.
Manana briefly appeared at the Randburg Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, where he admitted to hitting two women at a Johannesburg night club last month.
His lawyer, Michael Motsoeneng, had confirmed in court that Manana will be pleading guilty to the two counts of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm he’s facing.
Manana had earlier apologized to the women and to the country after he publicly admitted beating them. Consequently, he made his first court appearance in August in the Randburg Magistrate’s Court, where he was granted a bail of R5000.
The 34-year-old subsequently resigned from his position as the deputy minister of Higher Education last month after so many civic organizations and political parties called for his resignation.
In a letter addressed to President Jacob Zuma by a group of organizations focusing on gender-based violence, the president was asked to dismiss the deputy minister because he committed the crime at the wrong time.
Particularly, the organizations – including the Mosaic Training, Healing and Advice Centre for Women, Sonke Gender Justice, and the Shukumisa Campaign – buttressed that the assault came at a time when many in the country have been united in their strong condemnation of violence towards women.
They also reminded President Zuma of his drive against the violation of women and children and need to treat cases relating to women/child assault as an imperative.
If Zuma refuses to fire Manana, the group further argued, it would send a message that his government is not serious about fighting gender-based violence.
In their reactions, National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete and ANCWL leader Bathabile Dlamini frowned at Manana for assaulting Ms. Mandisa Duma and her friends.
Mbete, at the time, called on the government to take up disciplinary steps against “males leaders” who abuse women.
“Maybe we need to talk about whether people need to go for some training, for whatever type of way to deal with the problems that they are reflecting in the way of being also violent,” she said.
Although Manana has resigned from his position, he still represents the African National Congress (ANC) in Parliament. However, he would be subjected to a disciplinary hearing since he is not serving as a leader in any structure.
Former Deputy Minister Mduduzi Manana could face suspension or expulsion from the party if found guilty.