Parliamentary ethics case against Manana is closed

2018-07-25 15:42
Mduduzi Manana. (GCIS)

Mduduzi Manana. (GCIS)

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Through his 11th-hour resignation as an MP, convicted woman beater Mduduzi Manana has dodged having to account to Parliament's Joint Sub-Committee on Ethics and Members' Interests.

"In light of his resignation, Mr Manana is no longer a member of the [National] Assembly and by extension, a Member of Parliament," said co-chairperson of the committee Aumsen Singh.

READ: 'I feel totally exonerated' - Mduduzi Manana resigns as MP

"Consequently, the sub-committee and the code finds no application on Mr Manana in light of the allegations he was expected to answer [to on Wednesday]."

This means the case against Manana is closed.

The committee has, however, decided to seek a legal opinion on whether it can recover their travel costs from Manana, as Parliament is currently on recess and members travelled to Cape Town especially for this meeting from their constituencies.

"Having met today to commence with hearings on the allegations levelled against Mr Mduduzi Manana, the Joint Sub-Committee on Ethics and Members' Interests has, instead, received his resignation letter at 09:30," Singh said.

He said this meant the committee did not have jurisdiction over Manana.

Shortly after the meeting, Parliament issued a statement confirming Manana's resignation, which he made public on social media on Tuesday.

"Parliament confirms that Speaker of the National Assembly Ms Baleka Mbete has, this morning, received a letter of resignation from Member of Parliament Mr Mduduzi Manana. The resignation is...effective from 24 July 2018," reads the statement.

"Mr Manana was scheduled to appear before Parliament' s Joint Committee on Ethics and Members' Interests in relation to the conduct [of] which a court found him guilty.

"In the light of his resignation, this matter automatically falls away as both the Joint Committee and the Ethics Code have no jurisdiction over former members – except in instances where MPs abuse parliamentary entitlements beyond their term of office."

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

In September last year, Manana was convicted of three counts of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm after he pleaded guilty to the charges.

The charges related to the assault of three women at Cubana in Fourways on August 6, 2017, which was filmed and went viral on social media, sparking a national outcry for his arrest.

Earlier this year, his 53-year-old domestic worker, Christine Wiro, alleged that he threw her down the stairs. The National Prosecuting Authority decided not to prosecute.

On Wednesday, the office of ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu also confirmed Manana's resignation and said it was "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".

"The letter received by the Office, dated 24 July 2018, states comrade Manana’s voluntary withdrawal of membership from the National Assembly with immediate effect," said Mthembu in a statement.

"Comrade Manana joined the National Assembly in 2009 and served in the Portfolio Committee on Human Settlements at the time of his resignation. He had previously served on the Portfolio Committee on International Relations & Cooperation, and the Public Works Portfolio Committee when he joined Parliament in 2009. He was later appointed as whip of the Portfolio Committee on Transport in 2011 and was thereafter deployed to the Executive as Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training – a position he resigned from in 2017. 

"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.

"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."

Manana is still a member of the ANC's national executive committee to which he was elected at the party's national elective conference in Nasrec in December.

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