Deputy minister of higher education Mduduzi Manana has “apologised unreservedly” for his role in an attack on three young women at Joburg nightclub, Cubana, in Fourways during the early hours of Sunday.
Manana took to Twitter this morning on what appears to be a recently created Twitter account.
“I wish to apologise unreservedly to Ms Mandisa Duma, her family, the government of South Africa and all South Africans.”
“That shameful incident should not have happened.”
He added that he was aware that his “actions and those of the people in my company have disappointed and hurt many people in the country”.
“As a leader, I should have known better and acted better. I will subject myself fully to the process of the law.
“I also commit myself to, when the time is right, further engage with Ms Duma and her family to apologise.”
The Democratic Alliance has called for Manana to resign after his alleged assault.
“While we welcome that a criminal case has been opened against him, this is simply not enough.
He must .. resign from his post. He is clearly unsuited to hold it,” the DA’s Hlomela Bucwa said today.
Meanwhile the minister in the presidency responsible for women, Susan Shabangu, has condemned Manana’s actions.
“I urge that the assault case be attended to with urgency,” Shabangu said.
She called on women to “be fearless” and report crimes “which infringe upon their opportunities to enjoy the liberties bestowed on them by our hard-earned Constitution – among them the right and freedom to dignity and to not be treated unfairly on the basis of being women.”
Duma, who is recovering from her injuries, told City Press yesterday that Manana assaulted her and two friends, Thando Mahlaba and Thina Mapipa, during a heated political debate. A case of assault has been opened at Douglasdale police station.
In her own words, Duma, shared what transpired during those moments with City Press.
“It all started in a heated argument inside the club where we were all debating who should be the next president between Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Cyril Ramaphosa,” Duma said.
Duma said that Manana called the staff and friends together so he could make a speech. One of her friends, Thando, took her phone out to take a video, and a male member of his entourage requested that she not take the video.
“Thando then asked that the deputy minister himself ask her to not take a video. The deputy minister turned around and shouted who are we and in fact what are we doing at the restaurant because it’s closed [and] we must leave. He called for security to escort us out and was shouting profanities. We got up from the table and proceeded to leave,” she said.
As they walked out, Mahlaba made a comment about Manana being gay, said Duma.
“The deputy minister turned around and slapped Thando and pounced at her and pulled her by her hair, and a friend of his proceeded to assault her by hitting and slapping her as well, while others managed to get me outside the restaurant.”
Duma said that Mapipa went in to intervene and eventually ended up outside the restaurant, and “they were assaulting us”.
WATCH: A video clip from the assault which took place, currently doing its rounds on social media.
Outside the restaurant, she said, Manana attacked Mapipa, slapped and threw her to the ground, and “his friends continued to attack me.”
One of the bystanders, Lumko Jimlongo, wrote on his Instagram feed that he had witnessed Manana beating up the defenceless woman because she called him “gay”.
“I was there and I am willing to put my testimony on the record,” Jimlongo wrote.
In the audio doing the rounds, Manana confessed to Duma’s brother, Phesheya, that he slapped one of the girls in the club. He however denied assaulting anyone outside the club, saying it was the people he was with who attacked the girls.
LISTEN: Audio clip of Manana speaking to Mandisa Duma’s brother, Phesheya, where he admits to slapping Duma.
ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said this morning that the behaviour was “unacceptable” and “should be roundly condemned by all in our society”.
“The African National Congress calls upon our law enforcement agencies to act without fear or favour to investigate these allegations and bring the perpetrators to book,” Kodwa said.
City Press is yet to verify if the Twitter account does indeed belong to that of Manana, but many have responded to the tweet in shock.