Police Minister Fikile Mbalula briefs media on the allegations of assault against deputy higher education minister Mduduzi Manana.. PHOTO: Chantall Presence/ANA

Parliament - Police Minister Fikile Mbalula on Thursday said alcohol abuse led to the assault of a woman by deputy higher education minister Mduduzi Manana.

Briefing journalists in Parliament, Mbalula 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]," the minister said.

Mbalula defended the action of police, who failed to arrest Manana before his court appearance on Thursday.

Mduduzi Manana

"Citizens have rightfully demanded that this case be treated as serious and urgent due to the identity of the perpertrator. I agree," said Mbalula, but added that police had to first obtain witness statements before they could take action.

The assault of Mandisa Duma reportedly happened early Sunday morning following a heated argument about the African National Congress’s (ANC) succession debate. 

The woman allegedly called Manana gay before the alleged assault ensued. The assault reportedly continued outside in a parking lot. Duma said she reported the assault at the Douglasdale police station. Photographs showing bruises on her head, neck and leg were posted on social media on Sunday.