Sonke Gender Justice disappointed by NPA decision not to prosecute Manana

2018-07-25 21:25
Mduduzi Manana. (Gallo/Esa Alexander)

Mduduzi Manana. (Gallo/Esa Alexander)

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NGO Sonke Gender Justice has condemned the National Prosecuting Authority's (NPA) decision to drop charges against former ANC MP Mduduzi Manana for allegedly assaulting his domestic worker.

Earlier this year, claims surfaced that Manana had allegedly assaulted his domestic worker, Christine Wiro. He 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 The charges were later withdrawn.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 NPA said it declined to prosecute Manana for the alleged abuse of Wiro because it believed there were "no reasonable prospects for successful prosecution".

In a statement, Sonke Gender Justice said it was disappointed by the NPA's decision.

"Gender-based violence (GBV) in South Africa is endemic and it is incumbent on institutions like the NPA to assist in eliminating GBV. Rigorous prosecution in cases of violence as well as access to justice are essential components of violence prevention, and responses to violence," the statement read.

"South Africa is among countries with the highest rates of GBV, and research shows that on average, one in five South African women has experienced physical violence."

Furthermore, Sonke Gender Justice said the lack of prosecutions had resulted in decreased confidence in the criminal justice system, which has led to decreased reporting of GBV and the systemic perpetuation of gender-based violence in communities.

'I feel totally exonerated'

Manana resigned from Parliament on Tuesday after learning that he would not be prosecuted.

"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 a statement on his Facebook page.

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

READ: Parliamentary ethics case against Manana is closed

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.

Despite this, Sonke's view was that Manana had breached the code of ethical conduct and disclosure of members' interests for assembly and permanent council members and the laws of South Africa.

Manana was convicted of three counts of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm in September 2017.

Video footage emerged of him assaulting a woman at Cubana in Fourways, Johannesburg, on August 6, which went viral on social media and sparked demands for his arrest.

Read more on:    npa  |  women abuse

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