Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni
Premium Journalist
3 minute read
11 Aug 2017
5:00 am

Victim’s family still not interested in Manana’s apology

Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni

He was granted R5K bail yesterday on two counts of assault after hitting two women at a Fourways nightclub last week.

Deputy Minister of Higher Education Mduduzi Manana leaves the Randburg Magistrates Court with friends and his security detail after his bail hearing in 10 August 2017 in Johannesburg. The Minister handed himself in to police after allegedly assaulting a woman at Cubana nightclub last week. Picture: Yeshiel Panchia

Deputy Higher Education and Training Minister Mduduzi Manana has not yet apologised personally to his alleged assault victim, Mandisa Duma, or her family before he handed himself over to the Douglasdale police yesterday morning.

And Duma’s brother, Phesheya, told The Citizen his family were not interested in an apology.

“We have not received an apology … We are not expecting one to happen. We expect the law to take its course and we are not interested in an apology.”

The deputy minister earlier this week issued a public apology in which he indicated his intent to apologise to Duma and her family.

Manana was granted R5 000 bail yesterday on two counts of assault, after hitting two women at a Fourways nightclub last week.

“The law is the law, and if he is entitled to bail then that’s the law, but he must have his day in court,” Phesheya said when asked how the Duma family felt about Manana being granted bail.

Manana appeared briefly at the Randburg Magistrate’s Court, where he spent most of the morning and afternoon waiting as the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) prepared his docket.

He appeared stoic, showing no emotion as he stood in the dock in his signature look, dressed in a blue suit.

Prosecutor Yusuf Ababa warned Manana not to attempt to contact any witnesses or their family members after indicating he would not be opposing bail.

Despite the confirmation of another assault charge laid against the deputy minister last month, resulting from an alleged altercation involving at least two women at another nightclub in Ermelo, Mpumalanga, the NPA said there were no grounds to keep him in custody.

In that incident, he was accused of assaulting a woman and allegedly throwing her over the bonnet of a car.

Zinhle Mokhohlane, the woman who laid and subsequently dropped a charge of assault against Manana in Ermelo, was apparently afraid to reopen her case against him.

This was according to a friend of Mokhohlane, who wanted to remain anonymous.

The friend told The Citizen that after the incident, she refused an attempt by Manana to bribe her before opening a case of assault at the Ermelo police station.

Manana then opened a countercharge of assault and this, according to the friend, was what scared the victim into dropping the charge.

“She felt scared after she heard about the countercharge, because they had tried to defend themselves against him.”

Police department spokesperson Vuyo Mhaga said he was aware of the incident, but did not know why the charges were dropped.

“Our understanding is that there was a charge of assault laid against him and a countercharge that he laid against (the accuser), but all those cases were dropped.”

Mhaga could not confirm reports that Manana dropped his charge against the alleged victim on condition that she did the same.

“I don’t know if there was a deal … I don’t know which charge was dropped first.”

The deputy minister’s spokesperson, Busiswa Gqangeni, could not immediately comment on the previous assault charges.

“I have released two statements on (the recent charges) and those are the only documents. We have no further comments.”

Activists from the lobby group Not In My Name were at the court, supporting Duma’s family, and called on Manana to resign.

This was echoed by the Democratic Alliance, which said in a statement yesterday the assault accused had “no place in Cabinet”.

Manana’s case was postponed to September 13 for further investigation. – simnikiweh@citizen.co.za