ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu says former MP Mduduzi Manana’s resignation from Parliament indicated that he was someone who took full responsibility for his actions and that he showed remorse.
The embattled former deputy minister announced his voluntary resignation in a statement on Tuesday afternoon and said that he felt “exonerated” by the National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) decision to not prosecute him for alleged abuse.
On Wednesday, Mthembu said the party received Manana’s resignation letter late on Tuesday and it was effective immediately.
“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 of law found him guilty,” Mthembu said in a statement.
“We further note his public statement to the effect of actively participating in campaigns and initiatives to fight any form of gender-based violence and these initiatives have our full support.”
Tactic to avoid accountability
“We wish Comrade Manana well with all his future endeavours,” he finished.
On Tuesday, Manana claimed the charges against him were part of a “political smear campaign”.
However, on Tuesday, Democratic Alliance chief whip John Steenhuisen said Manana’s resignation was a tactic to avoid full accountability.
Manana was supposed to appear before Parliament’s joint committee on ethics and members’ Interests on Wednesday — an appearance he will no longer have to make.
“Now he seems to have jumped before being pushed, resigning less than 24 hours before having to face the ethics committee,” Steenhuisen said in a statement.
“If Parliament cannot hold Manana, a convicted abuser, to account then it is up to his party, the ANC, to hold him accountable.”
Steenhuisen added that if the ANC was truly serious about bringing an end to the scourge of violence against women and children, it would refer Manana to its internal ethics committee and remove him from all positions he currently holds in the party, including his membership of the ANC’s national executive committee.
He also rubbished Manana’s decision to donate a portion of his pension to charitable causes, saying that it would not undo the emotional and physical harm suffered by his victims.
In a separate incident, Manana was convicted of three counts of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm in September 2017.
Video footage emerged of Manana assaulting a woman at Cubana in Fourways, Johannesburg, on August 6, 2017, which went viral on social media and sparked demands for his arrest.
He admitted during court proceedings that he also assaulted two others, saying the women had called him “isitabane”, a term used to derogatively refer to gay people.
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, complete a rehabilitation programme and pay the victims a total of R26 680.46. — News24