Fire Manana – or else

Mduduzi Manana Photo: Kopano Tlape/GCIS

Mduduzi Manana Photo: Kopano Tlape/GCIS

Published Aug 17, 2017


In an ultimatum threatening legal recourse if their request was not met by August 25, the Women’s Legal Centre (WLC), in a letter sent to the Presidency, yesterday urged President Jacob Zuma to dismiss Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training Mduduzi Manana, who has admitted publicly to physically assaulting at least one woman at a nightclub in Fourways, Johannesburg, on August 6.

In a letter, WLC advocate Bronwyn Pithey said Zuma, as head of the executive and president of the country, had appointed Manana and had the power to dismiss him in terms of section 93 of the constitution, adding: “It is our view… that the president’s failure to dismiss Mr Manana constitutes a clear violation of the constitution…

“Mr Manna’s conduct in committing a serious assault of a woman is clearly criminal. By perpetrating such an act of violence his conduct breaches the constitution, his oath of office and the Executive Ethics Code. 

"He has further acted in a manner that is inconsistent with the integrity of his office and the government. He has acted… contrary to the commitments of the government to not tolerate violence against women.

“Even if Mr Manana is not found guilty in court, his conduct, on his own version, makes him unfit to occupy the office of a deputy minister.

“It is crucial to the constitutional project, which includes the reduction in violence against women, that the government, and in particular the president, send a clear message to the public that violence against women will not be tolerated at any level.

“The failure to take any action against Mr Manana, notwithstanding the fact that more than a week has passed since he assaulted a woman, cannot be regarded as anything other than irrational given the information that is before the president.

“It is also our view that to have taken no action in these circumstances constitutes a breach of South Africa’s international obligations contained, inter alia, in the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.

"For Mr Manana to continue to serve as a deputy minister in government undermines and makes hollow those commitments. 

"The conduct of government officials, such as Mr Manana, must reflect the obligations of the constitution and national legislation. Mr Manana has failed to comply with both.

"We request that Mr Manana be dismissed by August 25, failing which we intend launching an urgent application in the Western Cape High Court for the appropriate relief.”

Bronwyn Pithey  

The Women’s Legal Centre

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