Randburg – Two men, who along with former deputy minister of higher education Mduduzi Manana assaulted three women in Johannesburg in August, pleaded guilty in the Randburg Magistrate's Court on Friday.
The men pleaded guilty to two counts of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm following their involvement in the assault on three women at Cubaña, a popular hangout spot in Fourways, Johannesburg, on August 6.
Cyril Madonsela, 35, and his co-accused 30-year-old Thulani Mdaka, had both their legal teams read out identical affidavits, confirming their version of events.
Madonsela and Mdaka said they had arrived at Cubaña at 20:00 and sat on the couches. A while later, some women sat down not too far from them, but they hadn’t talked directly.
They said in their affidavits that the commotion ensued when they asked the women to stop filming them. A 14-second video of the violent assault went viral on social media after one of the victims tweeted about her experience.
The two pleaded guilty to assaulting Mandisa Duma and Noluthando Mahlaba, submitting to the court that they unlawfully assaulted the women by pulling them to the ground, slapping, hitting, kicking, pushing, punching and pulling their hair.
"I admit that there was no lawful defence for acting in the manner that I did, since my life was not threatened or in danger, nor was the act in self-defence. I was fully aware of my action," the court heard.
The two walked into the courtroom looking suave, with Madonsela wearing a tight-fitting black suit with a red-and-white pocket square, and Mdaka wearing a burgundy suit with a white shirt.
They kept their heads down during proceedings, standing only to address the magistrate.
Manana, who appeared in the same court recently, has since resigned and apologised for his "regrettable" actions. In a clip broadcast on radio, Manana can be heard talking to one of the victims’ brothers, saying that he assaulted her because she called him "gay".
One of the men was arrested after a victim pointed him out in the court building during Manana's appearance on September 13, and the other handed himself over to police on the same day.
The two will have their bail extended under the same conditions, until their appearance again in the same court for pre-sentencing on November 7.
Manana is also due to appear for the third time on that day.
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