In The News South Africa

Rights group petitions Parliament again over disgraced MP Manana

JOHANNESBURG, May 17 – Rights group Sonke Gender Justice on Thursday said it has filed another complaint with Parliament’s ethics committee against embattled African National Congress MP Mduduzi Manana.

The organisation first wrote to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Ethics and Members’ Interests in 2017 following Manana’s assault of three women at a Johannesburg nightclub.

”We note with continuous disappointment that despite having filed a complaint with the Joint Committee against Manana in September 2017 in relation to his assault of three women in August 2017, the Randburg Magistrate’s Court convicted him and ordered him to pay a R100,000 fine or face 12 months in jail, in addition to completing 500 hours of community service and a rehabilitation programme, there has been no action by the joint committee against Manana,” the organisation said in a statement.

”Given the current allegations of assault against Manana, it continues to be an affront to South Africa that one of its leaders continues to perpetuate violence, and in particular, against women. Manana is also in breach of the Code of Ethical Conduct and Disclosure of Members’ Interests for Assembly and Permanent Council Members and the laws of South Africa.”

The former deputy minister of higher education on Monday opened a case of perjury against his domestic worker Catherine Wiro, claiming she lied to Douglasdale police in her statement alleging that Manana assaulted her at his Fourways home last week.

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 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.

Sonke Gender Justice insisted again that Parliament and the ANC national executive committee take action against Manana.

”Sonke recommends that the joint committee call for the dismissal of Manana as a member of Parliament. In addition, we call on the ANC integrity commission to investigate Manana’s actions and recommend his dismissal as an ANC representative in Parliament.”

”Finally, Sonke and partners continue its calls on government to urgently implement a national strategic plan to address gender-based violence. It is only by rolling out a national action plan that we will begin to feel that government has a strong commitment to dealing with violence against women and children.”


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