News / South Africa

Makhosandile Zulu
3 minute read
25 Jul 2018
11:00 am

Mthembu confirms Manana’s resignation, DA calls it ‘face-saving’ exercise

Makhosandile Zulu

The DA says Manana should be removed from all positions he holds within the ANC, though the party warns he'll be brought back anyway.

Mduduzi Manana leaves the Randburg Magistrates Court in Johannesburg on 8 October 2017. Manana appeared at the court for a sentencing hearing in his alleged assault of two women in a nightclub earlier in the year. Picture: Yeshiel Panchia

The office of ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu has confirmed Mduduzi Manana’s resignation as a member of parliament (MP).

“The letter received by the office, dated July 24, 2018, states comrade Manana’s voluntary withdrawal of membership from the National Assembly with immediate effect,” a statement issued by Mthembu’s office reads.

Mthembu said Manana’s resignation from parliament is an indication that the former deputy minister of higher education is remorseful for a gender-based violence case for which he was convicted last year.

Manana on Tuesday announced through his foundation that he would voluntarily be resigning as an MP for the ANC despite the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) declining to prosecute him for allegedly assaulting his domestic worker.

In a statement, Manana said that in the spirit of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Thuma Mina campaign, he would donate a portion of his pension to charity, with R1 million going to a men’s group fighting abuse and another R500 000 to a group distributing sanitary pads.

ALSO READ: NPA’s decision not to prosecute Manana for ‘assault’ must be reviewed – IFP 

He further committed to funding five students to study at Unisa to increase “their capacity” to understand gender relations in the country.

Manana concluded by committing himself to combating sexual and gender-based violence “wherever it manifests itself”.

Mthembu said the governing party noted Manana’s commitment to actively participating “in campaigns and initiatives to fight any form of gender-based violence and these initiatives have our support”.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance (DA) has said Manana’s resignation “is nothing more than an attempt to evade accountability by not going before Parliament’s Joint Committee on Ethics and Members’ Interests”.

Manana was due to appear before the committee on Wednesday.

LISTEN: Manana offers his domestic worker R100k as consolation

The DA said the ANC should hold Manana accountable by subjecting him to its internal ethics committee and remove him from all positions he held within the organisation, “including as member of the ANC’s national executive committee”.

“The DA fears that Manana’s resignation is little more than a temporary face-saving exercise and that the ANC will later bring him back into the fold after a period out of the public gaze. Indeed, Manana would not be the first ANC public representative to be brought back following the conviction of a crime. As illustration, the ANC appointed fellow NEC member and convicted fraudster Tony Yengeni as chairperson of its working group on crime and corruption at ANC’s election manifesto workshop only last month,” the party said in a statement.

The DA said Manana’s decision to donate a portion of his pension to charity would not undo the emotional and physical harm inflicted on his victims.

“What Manana is trying to sell his resignation as a selfless act, is in fact nothing more than an attempt to avoid facing the consequences of his deplorable actions.

“As we head into Women’s Month, the ANC has an opportunity to show that they are serious about combating violence against women by removing Manana.”

Manana was convicted of assault after video footage emerged of him assaulting a woman at Cubana restaurant in Fourways in August last year.

After he admitted to assaulting two others as well, he was convicted of three counts of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm in September 2017.

Then, in May, Manana was acused of assaulting his domestic worker Christine Wiro and attempting to push her down a flight of stairs. Charges were laid but later withdrawn.

An audio clip in which Manana is heard allegedly trying to bribe Wiro with R100 000 if she agreed to drop the charges became the subject of news reports in May.

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