Former deputy minister of higher education Mduduzi Manana is appearing in the Randburg Magistrate's Court. File picture: ANA

Johannesburg - Former deputy minister of Higher Education Mduduzi Manana, found guilty of assaulting three women at a Johannesburg nightclub, told a probation officer that alcohol played a roll in his behaviour as he was under work pressure at the time.

"He stated that maybe he was sober he would've handled the situation differently," social worker Masisi Modikoane read from her report on Wednesday.

Modikoane told the Randburg Magistrate's Court that Manana told her that he generally spent time at home when be was not at work and that his job was "rather stressful", but that he tried to not allow it to get to him.

Manana was convicted of three counts of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm after pleading guilty to the charges. The charges relate to the assault of three women at Cubana in Fourways on August 6.

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He said following the incident he was questioned about whether he was homophobic or whether he himself was gay. He said he was offended by being called gay because he wasn't and because it had happened in a derogatory manner.

Manana's mother said she was disappointed and ashamed of his actions and wasn't coping, the probation officer further testified. 

Modikoane said the victims felt humiliated, especially because of his then position as deputy minister.

All three women, Mandisa Duma, Noluthando Mahlaba and Thina Mopipa have requested R100 000 compensation from Manana.

Modikoane said despite Manana reporting not having alcohol issues, he still had to be responsible for his actions, with or without alcohol.

"He, at no point, shifted blame to his victims...he can reason between right and wrong and has shown maturity," she said.

Modikoane added that Manana had a role to play in society and had to act accordingly.

"There was no planning involved in the execution of the offence," she added. 

She added that he could rehabilitate himself and did not deserve imprisonment. 

Modikoane recommended that Manana  pay compensation for the medical bills of the three women, attend counselling sessions and complete 1 000 hours of community service. She added that victims could receive free counselling.