Mbalula insists Manana treated without 'fear or favour'

2017-09-07 18:57
Fikile Mbalula (File, Netwerk24)

Fikile Mbalula (File, Netwerk24)

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Cape Town – Police Minister Fikile Mbalula has insisted in Parliament that former deputy minister of higher education and training Mduduzi Manana did not receive special treatment after he admitted to assaulting a young woman.

EFF MP Philip Mhlongo asked Mbalula in a written question: "Why was a certain person (name furnished) not arrested as soon as he agreed that he assaulted a woman as it is practice that a person who has allegedly committed a crime is arrested and appears in court as due legal process?"

Mbalula said people are arrested to ensure that they appear in court, and the person in question handed himself over.

Mhlongo asked in his follow-up question if Mbalula thought that it was acceptable for someone who admitted to assault to walk free.

Mbalula said the law had to be observed and a "rigorous process of investigation" was followed in the case of Manana, who he still referred to without using his name, leading to jeers from the opposition.

He said the fact that a person admitted to a crime "in whatever way" does not affect the police's obligations.

"The law has been observed to the letter despite the status of the individual," Mbalula said.

"Who?" yelled DA MPs.

DA MP Zakhele Mbhele asked what chance for justice did the 30 schoolgirls who were impregnated by their teachers have, given the police's inaction on Manana.

"The South African Police Service acted on the instance of Mr Manana," Mbalula said amid ironic cheers from the DA for mentioning Manana by name.

"As we speak, Mr Manana was arrested. The South African Police Service acted without fear or favour in the case of Mr Mdu Manana."

Mbalula 'misleading' House

IFP MP Themba Msimang pointed out that Manana is a member of Parliament and was a member of the executive and asked what that means in terms of the government's stated fight against gender-based violence.

"The member you are referring to… Mdu Manana…" began Mbalula in response.

"Hear, hear!" a DA MP interjected.

"… has been arrested and appeared in court," Mbalula continued.

"He wasn't arrested!" yelled someone from the DA benches.

DA deputy chief whip Mike Waters raised a point of order, accusing Mbalula of misleading the House, as Manana hadn't been arrested. He also questioned the ANC's commitment to fighting gender-based violence, as Manana was still an ANC MP.

Mbalula responded: "He's (Waters) got a member who touched a woman's private parts and is still a member of Parliament."

Mbalula was referring to DA MP Archie Figlan who was found guilty of sexual harassment by the DA in 2015.


Read more on:    mduduzi manana  |  fikile mbalula  |  abuse

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