JOHANNESBURG, November 8 – The State in the case against former deputy minister of higher education Mduduzi Manana has on Wednesday, argued in the Randburg Magistrate’s Court that a fine alone would be a “slap on the wrist” for his actions.
Prosecutor Anne-Marie Smith told the court that Manana had “fat” pockets and handing him a mere fine would not be adequate punishment, in addition to him having previous convictions.
Earlier, the court heard that Manana hand two previous convictions of theft in 2004 and 2005.
Manana was convicted on three counts of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm after pleading guilty to the charges on September 13. The charges relate to the assault of three women at Cubana in Fourways on August 6.
Smith submitted damage claims from the women which added up to around R27,000. Earlier damages were said to be R37,000, while Mandisa Duma, Noluthando Mahlaba and Thina Mopipa told the social worker that they wanted R100,000 compensation.
As part of the claims, the trio listed the damage to their nails, hair extensions and medical fees.
Smith said a strong message needed to be sent that abuse against women would not go unpunished.
While submitting his arguments for Manana, Michael Motswaneng Bill told the court that being called “stabane” — a derogatory term for a homosexual person — had made gay men less free to love who they wanted to love and had oppressed them. He said the term was also derogatory for a “straight” man.
He added that the injuries that were sustained by the women were bad but not as bad as they could have been.
Motswaneng Bill said Manana was willing to compensate the women, do 500 hours of community service while being monitored by the social worker, and 12 months wholly suspended imprisonment over fives years, on condition that he does not commit a similar offence.
Judgment has been reserved to Monday.
Former deputy minister of Higher Education Mduduzi Manana, found guilty of assaulting several 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.
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.
The state has revealed that former deputy minister of higher education, Mduduzi Manana, has two previous convictions of theft dating back to 2004 and 2005.
The revelations were made in the Randburg Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, the second day of sentencing of the former deputy minister who has pleaded guilty to two counts of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm for hitting two women at a Cubana nightclub earlier this year.
Manana resigned from his deputy minister job as a result of the scandal.
On Wednesday State prosecutor, Anne-Marie Smith, gave the court documentary evidence of Manana’s previous convictions. The accused paid a R500 admission of guilty fine for stealing a can of coke. In his defence the former deputy minister said he simply “forgot” to pay for the coke.
In mitigation of sentence, Manana’s attorney, Michael Motswaneng Bill, told the court that his client was working on his “anger management” and had started an organisation for men who want to stop gender violence.
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 6 August.
He requested that the court consider that he was no longer deputy minister and that his earnings had decreased. The accused also said he had to pay legal fees and the medical bills of his victims of around R37,000.
The former deputy minister asked the court for a suitable sentence, preferably a fine, and added that despite being found guilty he believed he still deserved to be allowed to handle a fire arm as he was never find guilty of a violent offence.
– African News Agency (ANA)