Former deputy higher education minister Mduduzi Manana in the Randburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday. PHOTO: Lindi Masinga/ANA

In The News South Africa

MP Manana lays into domestic worker, says he wants his day in court

JOHANNESBURG, May 17  – Disgraced ANC MP Mduduzi Manana wants his domestic worker, Catherine Wiro, to be investigated for perjury, accusing her of lying to the police following her opening an assault case against him.

In a letter written by his lawyer, Michael Motsoeneng-Bill, and sent to the Douglasdale police, Manana inquired about the perjury charge he said he laid against Wiro on Monday.

The letter sent on Tuesday reads: ”In our client’s affidavit, he alleges that the statement by Ms Wiro is false and as a result, Ms Wiro committed perjury. The purpose of this letter therefore, is to follow up on the progress made in respect of the investigation.”

”As you may well know, this matter has attracted wide media attention, all of which, paint a picture that our client is guilty of assault in circumstances where his version has not been tested in court of law. Our client therefore, is keen to have his day in court and would request that this matter be investigated by the SAPS in order that our client’s version of events can be tested in court of law.”

Michael Motsoeneng-Bill confirmed that the letter was sent by him to the police.

”All that has happened regarding the case is in that letter, I confirm sending that letter to the police,” he said.

Manana said the perjury allegations could be corroborated by a witness who was a guest at his home at the time of the alleged assault.

Wiro laid charges against Manana for allegedly assaulting her at his Fourways home last week. 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 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.

Allegations of extortion emerged after a voice recording surfaced in which Manana is heard offering to pay her R100,000 to drop the case. Manana denied assaulting her or offering her cash. He said Wiro instead asked him to pay her off in exchange for dropping the case. He threatened to lay an extortion charge against Wiro.

Motsoeneng-Bill would not comment on whether his client has dropped the extortion charge. In light of mounting cases of abuse of women and children, the National Prosecutions Authority (NPA) has since refused to allow police to drop the assault case and instructed investigators to continue with the probe.

Manana’s latest run-in with the law comes just months after he was convicted by the Randburg Magistrate’s Court of assaulting three women at a Johannesburg nightclub last year. He was consequently fired as deputy minister of higher education.

Political parties have called on Manana to resign as member of Parliament and the ANC national executive committee. The Democratic Alliance on Monday laid extortion and corruption charges against the embattled MP.


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