Police Minister Fikile Mbalula has confirmed that a case has been opened against deputy higher education minister Mduduzi Manana for an alleged assault against a woman at the weekend.
Mbalula said the alleged incident took place at 04:00 on Sunday morning at the Cubana in Fourways, Johannesburg.
He said he viewed the allegations seriously because protection of women and vulnerable groups were a priority for his ministry.
“Women deserve love and protection from all of us. The police must be given space to investigate this case without fear or favor, no one is above the law irrespective of their position in society,” Mbalula said in a statement.
He said he wanted the victim to be treated with respect and dignity.
A social media post shows images of the injuries Mandisa Duma suffered after the alleged assault. See below.
The deputy minister’s office could not be reached for comment on Sunday night and early on Monday morning.
A social media post by SABC reporter Lumko Jimlongo said the incident occurred when the woman allegedly called Manana gay. Another post on social media said the incident allegedly occurred during a debate in Cubana over African National Congress leadership.
An alleged voice recording of a call purportedly with Manana also surfaced on social media.
The ANC Women’s League said in a statement on Monday morning that it noted the “disturbing reports alleging that the deputy minister… and his friends physically assaulted women at a pub in the past weekend”.
“The ANCWL condemns violence against women and perpetrators must face the might of the law. Whilst we take into account the principles of innocent until proven guilty, the ANCWL is resolute in supporting the victims of violence and wishes to reiterate this position.
“Based on media reports, we are led to believe that a case has been reported to the police and we urge all witnesses to come forward to assist law enforcement agencies in resolving the matter.”
The ANC said in a statement that it had noted the accusations against Manana with disappointment.
“Such behaviour is unacceptable and should be roundly condemned by all in our society. Regardless of the circumstances or the identity of the perpetrator or victim, violence against women is the shame of our times.”
The ANC called on law enforcement agencies to act without fear or favour to investigate the allegations and bring the perpetrators to book.