Manana NO PLACE TO HIDE

CityPress - - Front Page - NTOMBIZODWA MAKHOBA and LEANNE GE­ORGE news@city­press.co.za

Last Sun­day evening an in­jured Man­disa Duma told City Press she had learnt that Mduduzi Manana was try­ing to reach her fam­ily to con­vince them to drop the charges she had laid against him. But the woman, who is the niece of ANC pres­i­den­tial hope­ful Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, was adamant she would do noth­ing of the sort.

“I won’t withdraw the charges. I am do­ing this to be the voice of other women who have been as­saulted and who are afraid to speak out,” she said.

This week, Duma (30) stuck to her guns as Manana ap­peared in the Rand­burg Mag­is­trates’ Court on Thurs­day charged with two counts of as­sault with in­tent to do griev­ous bod­ily harm. Duma’s brother, Phesheya, rushed to court af­ter be­ing told of ru­mours that the case was go­ing to be dropped. He said: “We are not drop­ping the charges at all. My sis­ters [re­fer­ring to Duma and her cousin, Thando Mahlaba] are not for sale.”

The deputy min­is­ter picked on the wrong fam­ily, he said.

“Even if we were from a dif­fer­ent fi­nan­cial back­ground we wouldn’t have sold our souls to drop the charges,” Phesheya said.

A fam­ily mem­ber who asked to not to be named told City Press that as a politi­cian, the chances of Manana be­ing con­victed were slim, but they weren’t giv­ing up.

“He is a politi­cian and a con­nected man. It’s lit­er­ally a bat­tle of con­nected peo­ple,” said an­other rel­a­tive who added that Dlamini-Zuma was also very angry about what had hap­pened to her niece, but that there was lit­tle she could do.

Manana (34), wear­ing a navy-blue tai­lored suit and a white shirt, was granted R5 000 bail. He was in a jovial mood, greet­ing and smil­ing at sup­port­ers in the public gallery. His case was post­poned to Septem­ber 13 for fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Manana may re­ceive his come­up­pance this time, af­ter twice be­ing ac­cused of as­sault­ing women in Ermelo, where he owns a home in a lux­ury com­plex. In both cases, the women laid charges against him but there was no fur­ther ac­tion on both com­plaints.

Ear­lier this year, Rap­port re­ported that Manana and his el­derly neigh­bour Sy­bil Raul­stone (67) filed criminal com­plaints against each other af­ter she al­legedly called him a “k ***** ” af­ter she had com­plained about a noisy party, and he al­legedly as­saulted her. Raul­stone said he pushed her so hard she fell over and had to be hos­pi­talised. Manana con­firmed that he was racially abused but de­nied the as­sault. The docket was sent to the Na­tional Pros­e­cut­ing Author­ity for a de­ci­sion but noth­ing came of that matter.

This week TimesLive re­ported that Manana al­legedly as­saulted Zinhle Mokhohlane (22) and her aunt in a park­ing lot in Ermelo af­ter which they laid charges against him. He laid charges against them too, af­ter which both par­ties dropped their com­plaints. But the case has not yet been for­mally with­drawn.

Raul­stone and other neigh­bours told Rap­port this week that Manana reg­u­larly had “wild par­ties” on his vis­its to Ermelo, which take place a few times ev­ery month. At the par­ties there are usu­ally only “young men and body­guards”, said neigh­bours and work­ers in the com­plex. Manana’s spokesper­son, Bu­siswa Gqan­geni, told City Press that Manana’s bail con­di­tions did not al­low him to make con­tact with Duma di­rectly. Last Sun­day af­ter­noon, Duma, her brother, fa­ther, cousin Thando Mahlaba and a friend were out at Cubana in Four­ways. Phesheya and his fa­ther left ear­lier in the evening, leav­ing the three women at the venue.

In her state­ment be­fore court, Duma said the drama started just be­fore 3am with a “heated ar­gu­ment in­side the club, where we were all de­bat­ing who should be the next pres­i­dent be­tween Nkosazana DlaminiZuma and Cyril Ramaphosa”. Duma said Manana called the staff and his friends to­gether so he could make a speech. Mahlaba took her phone out to take a video, and one of Manana’s friends asked her not to. “Thando then asked that the deputy min­is­ter him­self ask her to not take a video. The deputy min­is­ter turned around and shouted, ‘Do you know who we are?’ and asked us what we were do­ing at the res­tau­rant be­cause it was closed and we must leave. He called for se­cu­rity to es­cort us out and was shout­ing pro­fan­i­ties. We got up from the ta­ble and pro­ceeded to leave,” she said.

As they walked out, Mahlaba made a com­ment about Manana be­ing gay, said Duma.

“The deputy min­is­ter turned around and slapped Thando, and pounced on her and pulled her by her hair, and a friend of his pro­ceeded to as­sault her by hit­ting and slap­ping her as well, while oth­ers man­aged to get me out­side the res­tau­rant,” Duma said.

Duma said their friend, Thina Mapipa, went in to in­ter­vene and both of them ended up out­side the res­tau­rant, and “they were as­sault­ing us”. Duma al­leged that Manana at­tacked Mapipa, slapped and threw her to the ground, and “his friends con­tin­ued to at­tack me”.

Duma sus­tained in­juries to her neck and ears, and was left with a swollen eye.

It is un­clear why, al­though Duma al­leged that Manana as­saulted her and the two other women, he was only fac­ing two charges of se­ri­ous as­sault.

On Tues­day, Manana ad­mit­ted in a state­ment that he had “slapped a girl” and apol­o­gised for it, but added that there was “ex­treme provo­ca­tion”.

PHOTO: LEON SADIKI

I SLAPPED HER Higher Ed­u­ca­tion Deputy Min­is­ter Mduduzi Manana ap­peared in court this week

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