/ 24 July 2018

Manana withdraws from Parly to focus on his political organisation

Mduduzi Manana outside the Randburg Magistrates Court.
Mduduzi Manana (Gallo)

ANC MP Mduduzi Manana has “voluntarily” withdrawn his membership from the National Assembly after 10 years of participating in parliamentary politics.

“Though there has been mounting pressure for me to step down as a Member of Parliament, I felt that this would have been premature step as the matter was still being investigated by law enforcement agencies and it would have most likely amounted to admission of guilt,” said Manana.

“Now that the NPA [National Prosecuting Authority] has independently decided that I have no case to answer based on the police investigation, I have decided to voluntarily withdraw my membership from the National Assembly.”

Manana said that his withdrawal from parliamentary politics will allow him to focus on his political organisation ahead of the 2019 general elections, as well as his academic commitments and business interests.

Earlier this week, the NPA informed Manana that it would not prosecute him on the assault case that his former domestic worker had opened against him at the Douglasdale Police Station.

According to News 24, Manana allegedly tried to push Christine Wiro down a flight of stairs in May. The charges were later withdrawn.

“I need to reiterate that the allegations against me were obviously frivolous and were rooted in a politically motivated smear campaign against me by my political opponents. I welcome the decision of the NPA which has cleared me of any wrongdoing and I feel totally exonerated,” Manana said in a statement.

Manana was going to face a parliamentary ethics inquiry on Wednesday for his assault of three women at Cubana nightclub in Fourways, Johannesburg, on August 6 2017.

Last year, Manana was convicted of three counts of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm after pleading guilty to the charges of assaulting the three women.

READ MORE: Manana convicted on three counts of assault after pleading guilty

He was ordered by the court to either pay R100 000 fine or face up to 12 months in jail. Manana was also required to complete 500 hours of community service, a rehabilitation programme and pay the victims a total of R26 680.46, News 24 reported.

The former deputy minister of higher education has promised to donate a portion of his pension to charity.

R1-million, he said, would be donated to the Khuluma Ndoda Campaign, a men’s social movement against gender-based violence, and R500 000 would go to the Nceduluntu Youth Foundation’s One Million Pads campaign — which aims to “restore the dignity of African girl children through the distribution of sanitary packs”.

The former MP also vowed to set up scholarship which would allow five male students to enrol at the University of South Africa in postgraduate programmes in gender studies.

Manana lost his position as deputy minister in 2017 following the incident in Fourways.

On Wedneday, ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu confirmed Manana’s resignation as a Member of Parliament.

“His voluntary resignation from Parliament, coupled with his resignation from the executive in 2017, is indicative of someone who has taken full responsibility and has shown remorse for his actions relating to his involvement in a gender-based violence case where a court found him guilty,” Mthembu said.