EDUCATION activist Hendrick Makaneta on Wednesday issued a statement in support of beleaguered Deputy Minister of Higher Education Mduduzi Manana, who is under fire for beating up a woman at a Johannesburg night club.
"Most South Africans are very quick to jump to conclusions when they hear that a woman has been slapped by a man but they often turn a blind eye when a woman [abuses] a man," said Makaneta, who holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Pretoria.
In the early hours of Sunday morning Manana assaulted a woman at Cubana nightclub in Johannesburg. The highly publicised incident happened after a heated argument over leadership succession in the African National Congress (ANC). Witnesses said Manana became violent when it was suggested that he was "gay".
A video clip of the incident went viral on social media resulting in a backlash against Manana. The deputy minister has since apologised for assaulting Mandisa Duma.
Duma who said her cousin was also beaten up and her friend "pushed around" has reported the assault at the Douglasdale Police Station.
The ANC has criticised Manana's violent behaviour.“It is with great disappointment that the African National Congress has noted the accusations of violence against women levelled against the deputy minister of higher education and training Comrade Mduduzi Manana,” ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said this week.
“Such behaviour is unacceptable, and should be roundly condemned by all in our society.”
However, Makaneta who often campaigns for government emphasis on the teaching of maths at schools, blamed Manana's woes on the media. He said the media instigates "the spirit of hatred against those they declare traitors", adding that support for the abused was reserved only for women in society.
The education activist asked South Africans to give Manana a chance to heal. He asked the public to refrain from subjecting the deputy minister to the "unnecessary court of pubic opinion".
On Tuesday, Police Minister Fikile Mbalula said Manana's arrest was "imminent".
African News Agency (ANA)