Deputy Minister of Higher Education Mduduzi Manana.

Johannesburg - Some university students abandoned their studies this morning and flocked to the Randburg Magistrates' Court to show their support for Mduduzi Manana who faces assault charges.

Manana, the former Deputy Minister of Higher Education, was due to appear in court on Wednesday morning for allegedly beating up two women at a Fourways nightclub last month. 

A group of students clad in T-shirts showing support for Manana said he deserves to be given a second chance. 

They said they would plead with the court to not impose a direct imprisonment on Manana, adding that a suspended sentence should be enough. 

On the other hand, Democratic Alliance student wing DASO was having none of that and said they were in court to condemn Manana's conduct. 

One DASO member from Tshwane University of Technology, Thabo Malusi said they were  there to support the victims and also to also state that they were against women abuse. 

Malusi said they were shocked to see that there were people who were in court to support Manana.  

Social movement, #NotInMyName, who have been in court since Manana's first appearance, said they wanted justice to take its course and that they were behind Manana's two alleged victims.

Manana was charged with two counts of assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm. 

He was granted R5 000 bail last month and has since resigned from his position as the deputy minister. 

The case continues.

The Star