Former Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training Mduduzi Manana was convicted of three counts of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm in the Randburg Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday afternoon after he pleaded guilty.
The matter was adjourned to November 7 for sentencing.
Earlier, a second suspect was arrested at the court after being pointed out by one of the victims.
He was taken to the Randburg Police Station.
Manana admitted assaulting two women at the Cubana nightclub in Fourways, Johannesburg.
In a cellphone recording of Manana talking to one of the victims’ brothers shortly after the assault, Manana said he had slapped the woman because she called him “gay”.
He claimed he had been “extremely provoked”.
On Wednesday morning, students from the University of Johannesburg, Fort Hare and TUT protested outside the court in support of Manana.
They held placards that read: “He is remorseful, let us forgive.”
A second one read: “Good leaders know when they are wrong.”
UJ student Brian Matyila said Manana was a young leader that they were proud of.
“He has been an inspiration of ours and when we were calling for free education, he was one of the few people who gave us a voice and listened to us,” Matyila said.
Matyila said they were “very sorry” for what had happened and that they were holding the victim in their prayers.
“This was one of the first leaders who showed remorse, to say sorry and we don’t get that a lot. He is sorry and we should listen to his remorse.”
A small group of DA supporters were also seen at the main entrance of the court.
They held placards that read: “Real men don’t hit women”.