Johannesburg - The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) has welcomed the resignation of Higher Education and Training Deputy Minister Mduduzi Manana.
"Upon his acknowledgement that he has assaulted Ms Mandisa Duma at the Cubana Nightclub in Fourways, [Johannesburg] the gender commission was vociferous in its calls for Mr Manana to either be suspended or be dismissed," commission spokesperson Javu Baloyi said.
While acknowledging his resignation, the commission believed this had come a little too late. Consequently, this had created an unfortunate impression that government was morally ambivalent and indifferent about the seriousness of gender-based violence.
"Manana’s resignation should not be an exoneration for common assault and grievous bodily harm that he is charged with. Justice must be served for the victims of this attack. Even if he remains an ordinary member of parliament (MP) the law must take its course as his resignation as the deputy minister of the department of higher education and training is not an exoneration of the crimes that he must answer for," Baloyi said.
As the institution empowered by the Constitution “to promote respect for gender equality and the protection, development, and attainment of gender equality”, this placed upon the commission the burden to ensure that the country observed the right of women to be protected against gender-based violence.
"It is against this backdrop that we will continue in our endeavors to speak out against all forms of violence against women and children irrespective of the identity and position of the perpetrators."
The commission appealed to both the public and private sector and society at large not to tolerate people who commit gender-based violence. "We will continue as the gender commission through our outreach and legal programmes to educate and raise awareness about the scourge of gender-based violence in our communities. We urge members of the public with information about acts of gender-based violence and abuse to call our toll free number 0800-007-709 to report such cases," Baloyi said.