#MduduziManana facing arrest today
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Johannesburg - As the country celebrated the 61st anniversary of Women’s Day, three women were still waiting for the outcome on an assault investigation against Deputy Minister of Higher Education Mduduzi Manana.
The women, Mandisa Duma, 30, Thando Mahlaba, 29, and Thina Mapipa, 31, have accused Manana of assaulting them in a restaurant, the Cubaña in Fourways, at the weekend.
There was some late movement on Wednesday in the case when the investigating officer assured the trio Manana was expected to be arrested on Thursday.
“We just met with the detective to sign our statements and he told us they are supposed to be arresting him today (Wednesday), but it’s a matter of finding him. But he said the arrest should be made tomorrow (Thursday),” said Duma.
News of the imminent arrest came as President Jacob Zuma pledged to make crimes against women and children a priority in his Women’s Day address on Wednesday.
The three women told The Star that they first met Manana at the club and had no idea who he was.
“We actually did not know who he was. We only figured this out once we were there and debates (were) happening.
“We just kept asking, ‘Who is this guy. Why are we even talking politics’,” said Mapipa.
“The people around us then told us that he was actually the deputy minister. And we were like, ‘Oh okay.’ We had no idea. We just thought he was a normal guy, spending money at a bar with his friends.”
All three women said they were recovering from headaches, knee, eye and back injuries sustained in the alleged attack.
Ministry of Police spokesperson Vuyo Mhaga said Manana’s statement and the medical certificate are the final elements to conclude the investigation.
Mhaga said one of the statements needed to be completed. He said the video of Manana appearing to assault Duma may be included in the gathering of evidence.
“We are wrapping up the investigation and are at the final stage. As soon as we (are) done with that, then the docket will be taken to the senior prosecutor to make that (arrest) decision,” he added.
Manana was initially charged with common assault but this could be changed to grievous bodily harm once the medical results were released, Mhaga added.
“The determination is made by the medical physician’s certificate”
Manana’s spokesperson, Busisiwe Gqangeni, referred The Star to two statements released this week. She did not, however, answer questions as to whether Manana would resign as deputy minister over the incident.
Tuesday’s statement by Manana was an apology to the staff, management and clients of Cubaña for his “unbecoming behaviour” and “shameful incident” that went viral.
“I know my actions and those of the people in my company have disappointed and hurt many people in the country, especially the victims and families. As a leader, I should have known better” said Manana.