Johannesburg - ANC MP Mduduzi Manana has rubbished assault allegations by his domestic worker, threatening to lay extortion charges against her and her family.
Manana said the fresh assault allegations were a smear campaign following his conviction in the Randburg Magistrate's Court for assaulting three women at a Johannesburg nightclub last year. He was consequently fired as deputy minister of higher education.
''I wish to place on record that since the case of assault which was leveled against me and for which I pleaded guilty, there has been desperate attempts to discredit and tarnish my name. This deliberate ploy is to use assault as a permanent stigma attached to me by my detractors whom I believe had a major influence in her opening the case and giving her access to the media community,'' he said in a statement.
''This despite many corrective measures I have put in place to embrace, empower and push for the emancipation of women in our country. I have stated before that the incident that unfolded at Cubana [nightclub] leading to my guilty plea was unfortunate and sad, to an extent that it cost my job, and therefore I could never have a repeat of it.''
His domestic worker, Christine Wiro, who has been in his employ for three weeks, laid charges against him for allegedly assaulting her at his Fourways home over the weekend. She alleged that Manana tried to push her down the stairs for allowing a guest into his home without checking with him first. She told Douglasdale police that Manana had previously verbally abused her, made her work long hours and threatened to have her deported back to her home country, Zimbabwe.
Wiro reportedly withdrew the charges on Monday after Manana offered to pay her R100 000 to drop the case, according to The Times report. Manana was reportedly accompanied by his sister, who confirmed the payment to The Times reporter.
''He first offered my mother a job. She rejected it. He then offered a job for her where she would work for a friend that she rejected that one too. He then offered us R100‚000‚” Wiro's son identified as Mpho said.
Manana said he realised in her first week at work that Wiro often gave access to everyone who arrived at this home. He said he warned her about a possible security risk and ''what such conduct poses to me and especially to her as she could easily be raped''.
Wiro, said Manana, allowed his guest into the house, whom he was scheduled to have breakfast with, without first alerting him that the guest was at the gate.
''I am aware that a case of assault has been withdrawn but I have instructed my lawyers to file a legal suit against the Wiro family for extortion as they demanded an amount of R100 000. Instead, I gave Ms Wiro money that was due to her for the two weeks period that she worked at my home. Further details on this specific matter remain subjudice,'' said Manana.