An attempt to justify the unjustifiable. This is what National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (Numsa) acting spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi has called the apology by deputy minister of higher education Mduduzi Manana, after he allegedly assaulted Mandisa Duma at the Cubana nightclub in Fourways during the early hours of Sunday morning over the weekend.
“Women, children and members of the LGBTI community are extremely vulnerable and are often subjected to extreme levels of aggression and violence in South Africa. Sadly, the behaviour of the deputy minister is a reflection of this deep problem that afflicts our society,” Hlubi said this morning.
She has called on government to act swiftly by setting an example and arresting Manana in order “to send a clear message to perpetrators”.
Minister in the presidency responsible for women, Susan Shabangu, condemned the attack by Manana and said that “all those who remain silent in the face of violence are accomplices to that violence.”
Manana has been facing severe backlash following the altercation, which is alleged to have been as a result of Manana being called “gay”, something he took offence to.
Video footage has been circulating on social media of the incident, which shows Manana wearing a white cap violently attacking Duma.
Despite gender-based violence being a violation of human rights, violence against women and children continues to plague society. One in five South African women who are over the age of 18 have been victims of some form of violence, according to Stats SA.
Whilst Manana remains to be arrested, a case of assault was opened and police minister Fikile Mbalula maintains that an arrest is “imminent”.
After the incident, the police ministry issued a statement saying that the police “must be given space to investigate the case”.
This week several political parties also came out against the attack, with the Democratic Alliance calling for President Jacob Zuma to “fire Deputy Minister Mduduzi Manana immediately, regardless of the hollow apology Manana issued”.
The Pan Africanist Congress also spoke out against violence against women this week, saying that “leaders are not role models”.
“We have seen many leaders such as Malusi Gigaba who (was accused of cheating on) his wife, Jacob Zuma who was accused and charged for rape, Mduduzi Manana for going on a beating spree of our sisters. We must stand up for women,” PAC spokesperson Kenneth Mokgatlhe said.
Mokgathle referenced the allegations against President Jacob Zuma who was accused of raping Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo, also known as “Khwezi”, in 2005. The charges were dropped against Zuma as there was a lack of sufficient evidence to prove that Zuma was guilty. Khwezi passed away on October 8 2016.