The Minister of Women in the Presidency and leader of the ANC Women's League [ANCWL], Bathabile Dlamini, says she is disappointed by Mduduzi Manana's behaviour, following the latest incident in which the ANC's former deputy minister was accused of assault — for the second time in nine months.
"One thing I am disappointed about, is that just last year Mduduzi apologised, went to court and committed to community work," she told HuffPost on Monday. "He has a short temper — he had agreed also to deal with anger management.
"The first question I want to ask him when we meet, is: 'Why are you so angry?' ... but also: 'Why as a young, profound and a smart-looking man who grew up under the ANC, do you abuse a woman? More particularly, a poor domestic worker?'"
Manana was charged with assault in August last year, after he physically attacked Mandisa Duma and her companions at a Fourways nightclub, causing injuries. In a sound recording obtained by TimesLive, he first claimed that the men he was with were the ones guilty of assault, but changed his tune and admitted to the crime after being confronted, saying Duma had "called him gay".
The latest case, to which the ANCWL president was referring, was opened against the former deputy minister of higher education earlier this month by domestic worker Catherine Wiro, although she later withdrew it.
He was recorded offering the woman, whom he is accused of verbally abusing and pushing down some stairs at his home, a R100,000 bribe to drop the charges. He has since claimed that Wiro and her family were trying to "extort" the money from him.
If we think the action that is taken is not enough, as the Women's League, we are going to stand up on the issue. We have already committed through the statement.Minister of Women in the Presidency Bathabile Dlamini
The parliamentary committee on ethics is currently handling the matter, Dlamini said.
This, despite the ethics committee not yet having concluded its investigation or taken any action on the August assault, for which Manana was sentenced in November last year to a R100,000 fine (or the option of a year in jail) and 500 hours of community service. He was also ordered to pay compensation totalling more than R26,000 to the three women he injured outside the Cubana nightclub.
"Parliament has its procedures, and if people show they are going to act, we need to wait and see what is going to happen," Dlamini said.
ANCWL will take on the matter
Dlamini says the ANC Women's League will also be taking action against Manana if need be.
"As the Women's League, we are going to stand by the victim. If we think the action that is taken is not enough, as the Women's League we are going to stand up on the issue. We have already committed through the statement; we have to fight that no other leader of the ANC abuses a woman."
She says society has normalised abuse — but that the ANCWL will not "defend the interests of patriarchy".
"As the society, we have understood violence a lot," she said, adding that she has also spoken to Manana's mother, who is "hurting".
"I have worked with her for some time," the minister said. "She is a very strict and strong woman who has tried to embrace Mduduzi."