Cape Town - A grouping of organisations focusing on gender-based violence on Thursday said they had written to President Jacob Zuma asking him to eject deputy higher education and training minister Mduduzi Manana.
"This is a serious charge, committed at a time when many in the country have been united in their strong condemnation of violence towards women," the letter to Zuma stated.
Manana, a self-confessed woman beater, was captured on a cellphone camera assaulting Mandisa Duma at the Cubana lounge in Johannesburg on August 5th.
Two days later he issued an apology, saying he was “extremely provoked” but would subject himself to the law.
“I wish to apologise unreservedly to Ms Mandisa Duma, her family, the government of South Africa and all South Africans, and women in particular, for the incident that happened at Cubana in Fourways over the weekend," Manana's statement said.
Civil society organisations say this is not enough, and want Zuma to take tough action to send a message his government is serious about fighting gender-based violence, especially since Manana is a public figure who also heads a progamme fighting violence against women on South African campuses
"For him [Manana] to continue in these positions sends a very confusing message about government’s commitment to addressing GBV. We find this very concerning," the letter said.
The organisations were also quick to point out that Zuma had told the country in his state-of-the-nation address that everyone should be involved in keeping woman and children in the country safe.
"This, Mr PRESIDENT, was YOUR ASSURANCE to the Nation that the Violation of Women and Children will be addressed as an imperative of South Africa."
The organisations include Mosaic Training, Healing and Advice Centre for Women, Sonke Gender Justice, and the Shukumisa Campaign.
Earlier on Thursday, Cabinet spokeswoman and Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo told journalists that the issue of gender-based violence and Women’s Month was broadly discussed. However, the incident involving Manana did not feature.
“We did not have a specific conversation around that because it would be a little odd to discuss individuals in Cabinet,” said Dlodlo.
“We did not discuss whether he should step down or not step down, whether he should be fired…that resides within the ambit of the work of the president of the republic, but it all depends on Manana himself, the course of action he would want to take in dealing with this matter.”
- African News Agency (ANA)