Manana resignation a tactic to avoid taking accountability in Parliament – DA

2018-07-24 21:47
Mduduzi Manana

Mduduzi Manana

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The DA has labelled ANC MP and former deputy minister for higher education Mduduzi Manana's voluntary resignation from Parliament as nothing more than a move to evade accountability.

Manana was due to appear before Parliament's Joint Committee on Ethics and Members' Interests on Wednesday, an appearance he will no longer have to make after resigning on Tuesday. 

"Now he seems to have jumped before being pushed, resigning less than 24 hours before having to face the ethics committee," said DA chief whip John Steenhuisen 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."

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.

NPA won't prosecute over latest abuse charges 

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.

More recently, claims surfaced that Manana had allegedly assaulted his domestic worker, Christine Wiro.

Manana allegedly tried to push Wiro down a flight of stairs in May. The charges were later withdrawn.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. He later denied the claims of bribery, saying he intended laying a complaint against the domestic worker for extortion.

On Monday, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said it declined to prosecute Manana for the alleged abuse of Wiro because it believed there were "no reasonable prospects for successful prosecution".

Call for Manana's removal from ANC positions

In a statement published on his Facebook page, Manana said he made the decision in light of the NPA's decision to not prosecute him for the alleged abuse.

"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," he said in the statement.

"I welcome the decision of the NPA which has cleared me of any wrongdoing and I feel totally exonerated."

Steenhuisen said 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.

"The DA fears that Manana's resignation is little more than a temporary face-saving exercise and that the ANC will later bring him back into the fold after a period out of the public gaze," said Steenhuisen.

Steenhuisen 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. 

More than R1.5m in donations

He accused Manana of trying to sell his resignation as a selfless act when in fact it was "nothing more than an attempt to avoid facing the consequences of his deplorable actions".

"As we head into Women's Month, the ANC has an opportunity to show that they are serious about combatting violence against women by removing Manana."

Manana said he would donate a portion of his pension to heed President Cyril Ramaphosa's "rallying call".

He will donate R1 000 000 to Khuluma Ndoda, a men's social movement against gender-based violence, which will be launched on August 1; R500 000 to the Nceduluntu Youth Foundation's 'OneMillionPads' campaign; and a scholarship opportunity for five male students to enrol at the University of South Africa for postgraduate programmes in gender studies.

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Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  mduduzi manana  |  parliament

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