Johannesburg - Activists have vowed to exert pressure and ensure that Higher Education and Training Deputy Minister Mduduzi Manana does not get off the hook after his admission to assaulting two women.
Members of the public, including anti-woman abuse activists, Andile Gaelesiwe and her team, were at the Randburg Magistrate’s Court on Thursday when Manana was granted R5000 bail.
Activists wore T-shirts with the slogan #NotInMyName. Gaelesiwe told The Star they were attending the proceedings to support the victims and to condemn violence against women.
“We are saying no; not in my name will another woman be raped, and the minister smack someone and not get punished for it.”
Police Minister Fikile Mbalula held a media briefing shortly after Manana was charged with two counts of assault.
Mbalula spoke out strongly against woman abuse and emphasised that Manana would not be handled with kid-gloves.
“Rape and domestic violence against women and vulnerable groups are serious crimes. Whether the rape is occurring between strangers or acquitted persons, it is still a crime. Women are not the property of males in this country, no human has the right to own and control another,” Mbalula said.
Earlier, the minister said alcohol abuse was the cause of many assaults in the country, especially over weekends. “The example of this is seen in the case of our comrade (Manana),” Mbalula added.
Manana stands accused of beating up two women at the Cubana restaurant in Fourways in the early hours of Sunday.
The deputy minister sneaked into the court through a side entrance while a contingent of journalists waited for him in front of the courthouse.
Prosecutor Yusuf Baba told magistrate Liesel Davids that Manana faced two counts of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
The court ruled against the media taking pictures or video recordings of Manana while he was in the courtroom.
Wearing a tailored navy suit, Manana was granted bail on condition that he refrains from making contact with any witnesses, directly or indirectly. The case was postponed to September 13 for further investigation.
National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said Manana was not given special treatment, and had handed himself to the police on Thursday morning.
“It was his first appearance this is a schedule one offence. As the State, we had no grounds to oppose his bail, hence we agreed on the amount of R5000."
“We remain committed, as the NPA, to amplify the voice of the victims in our courts. We will go and prepare and ensure that the victim gets fair representation,” Mjonondwane added.
She denied that Manana has a case pending in the assault of a woman in Ermelo.