Manana arrest outrage
CONFUSION between the police and NPA over who should make the call to arrest Mduduzi Manana may have kept him out of jail yesterday.
The deputy minister of higher education has admitted to assaulting a young woman, Mandisa Duma, at Cubaña Restaurant in Fourways over the weekend.
According to National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane, the matter has to be decided by the NPA once the docket had been received. She claimed the NPA had not received the docket by 4pm yesterday.
Police ministry spokesperson Vuyo Mhaga insisted the NPA had the authority to decide on arresting and prosecuting Manana.
“The investigation is at an advanced stage. The docket has been given to the prosecutor to give a decision,” said Mhaga.
A case of common assault was opened at the Douglasdale Police Station by Duma and her cousin Thando Mahlaba, 29. Both Duma and Mahlaba were assaulted early on Sunday morning after a verbal exchange over the ANC succession debate and allegedly calling Manana gay.
According to a senior public prosecutor at one of the Gauteng courts, when it comes to the arrest of an alleged offender, it all depends on the case that has been opened.
The prosecutor, who preferred to be anonymous, said if the charge was common assault, which does not require the victim to get a medical report, the alleged perpetrator does not get arrested. That was because the assault was seen to be minor, he said.
If the charge laid against Manana was common assault, a case would be opened, police would investigate and the accused issued with a summons saying what they are charged with.
DUMA’S brother Phesheya told The Star there was a verbal altercation between his sister and Manana, and he later slapped her in full view of the public in the restaurant.
“He then slapped one of the ladies who was with her, being my cousin. From there, they left and he (Manana) followed them outside and began to assault my sister, whose pictures are all over the media,” said Phesheya.
After the incident, Phesheya later confronted Manana during a recorded phone call and he admitted to slapping Duma. In the audio clip, Manana said: “My brother, when she swore at me and called me gay, I slapped her.”
Phesheya said Duma was recovering but was shocked and traumatised following the incident. He further added that the family had not received an apology from Manana and wanted the law to take its course.
“Some of the officials in the police ministry have been in contact with us to try and sort this matter out, to ensure that we bring him to book. So I have no doubt in the processes that are unfolding. I just think we need to be patient,” he said.
Manana released an unreserved apology to Duma, her family, the government and women in particular as public outrage swelled yesterday.
“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 co-operation,” said Manana.
He said he’d meet with President Jacob Zuma and other ANC leaders to inform them about his side of the story. Zuma also condemned the incident, saying the government had made violence against women a priority crime.
In a statement, ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said: “Such behaviour is unacceptable and should be roundly condemned by all in our society”.
The DA went a step further and called on Zuma to fire Manana.
“Manana’s violent assault of a woman in a nightclub is a criminal act, which he has now confessed to, and is a profound disgrace to the government and to the country.
“Mr Manana continues to equivocate, claiming that he assaulted Ms Duma after ‘extreme provocation’. This is rubbish. There is no provocation whatsoever that justifies him using physical violence,” said the party in a statement.
Minister of Police Fikile Mbalula said police must be given space to investigate the case.
“No one is above the law, irrespective of their position in society,” said Mbalula.
The PAC said it was deeply concerned with the rising levels of violence, especially against women and children.
PAC spokesperson Kenneth Mokgatlhe said: “We cannot have public servants behaving like the Karate Kid or Rambo, especially towards women during Women’s Month.”
He admitted to slapping Duma for calling him gay
ADMISSION: Mduduzi Manana