/ 23 July 2018

Manana to face ethics probe over assault of 3 women

Mduduzi Manana lost his position as deputy minister of higher education following the Cubana incident.
Mduduzi Manana lost his position as deputy minister of higher education following the Cubana incident. (Gallo)

Embattled ANC MP Mduduzi Manana will appear before a joint ethics sub-committee in Parliament on Wednesday over his involvement in an assault at a Cubana nightclub in Fourways last year.

Ethics committee co-chairperson Aumsensingh Singh told News24 that they had a number of witness statements about the 2017 incident, which would be put to Manana in a closed session at 10:00.

Manana was convicted of three counts of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm in September 2017, after pleading guilty to the charges.

Video footage emerged of an assault on three women at Cubana in Fourways on August 6, which went viral on social media and sparked demands for his arrest.

Singh said Wednesday’s inquiry would only consider the 2017 Cubana charge, despite National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete’s request that a more recent incident of alleged assault involving Manana’s domestic worker be included in his existing case.

READ MORE: NPA declines to prosecute Mduduzi Manana

Singh said the ethics committee was an independent committee of Parliament, and it thus set its own agenda as cases came in. The second incident would be dealt with when the case came to the committee at a later date, he said.

MPs on the sub-committee will grill Manana and send their findings to the joint ethics committee, for a final recommendation to be made. Manana will then get a chance to respond to the recommendation.

‘Who do you think you are? You gay’

Manana lost his position as deputy minister of higher education following the Cubana incident. Calls have since intensified for him to be axed as an MP as well.

In his plea explanation, Manana said he was asked by one of the women, Noluthando Mahlaba, who joined their table: “Who do you think you are? You isitabane (gay).”

“Isitabane” is a term used to derogatively refer to gay people.

Following this remark, he intentionally assaulted Mahlaba with an open hand on her face and back, he said.

Manana also pulled her hair, pulled her to the ground, kicked and punched her.

He said a fight then broke out in which he also intentionally assaulted two other women – Monoisa Duma and Thina Mopipa.

In November, the Randburg Magistrate’s Court ordered Manana to pay a R100 000 fine or face 12 months in jail for the Cubana incident.

He was also ordered to complete 500 hours of community service and to complete a rehabilitation programme. In addition, Manana has to pay the victims a total of R26 680,46.

NPA declines to prosecute

Earlier on Monday, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said it was declining to prosecute Manana for a more recent incident of alleged abuse involving his domestic worker.

Gauteng NPA spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane told News24 on Monday that Manana’s case would not go ahead, despite the evidence against him.

“We declined to prosecute because there was no reasonable prospects for successful prosecution,” Mjonondwane said.

Manana allegedly tried to push his domestic worker Christine Wiro down a flight of stairs in May this year. The charges were later withdrawn.

An audio clip emerged soon after of Manana allegedly trying to bribe Wiro with R100 000 to drop the charges.

Manana would later say he intended laying a complaint against the domestic worker for allegedly trying to “extort” him. — News 24