The Deputy Minister of Higher Education Mduduzi Manana was granted R5 000 bail with conditions that he doesn’t make any contact with the witnesses.
Manana, who reportedly handed himself to the police on Thursday morning, briefly appeared at the Randburg Magistrate’s Court on two charges of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. His case has been postponed to 13 September to allow for further investigations.
Gauteng National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane told the media outside the court that the case was a schedule one offence and they had no grounds to oppose the bail. “Hence we agreed on an amount of R5 000 and it was settled,” she said.
She told journalists that the NPA did not have any information about the Deputy Minister’s pending assault case, which was apparently reported in Ermelo, Mpumalanga.
“According to the investigating officer, there is no pending case in Ermelo, so at this point, the information that we have is that there is no pending case against the accused,” she said.
The Deputy Minister was involved in an assault incident in which he assaulted two women in the early hours of Sunday morning at the Cubana Restaurant in Fourways, Johannesburg. One of the victims, Mandisa Duma, later opened a case at Douglasdale police station and claimed that while walking out, Manana slapped her cousin across the face after she made a comment about his sexuality, before turning on her in the parking lot.
The Manana incident caused a public outcry when an audio clip in which he admitted to slapping a woman circulated on social media. It was later followed by a video. He has since unreservedly apologised to the victim.
Addressing the media in Cape Town on issues of crime against women, Minister of Police Fikile Mbalula said no-one was above the law and Manana would not receive special treatment.
“Many have asked for a rush to arrest the suspects. However, the law does not always work that way. An arrest without a warrant is not done willy-nilly.
“Courts have also been clear to SAPS that an arrest must be done procedurally. We lose a lot of money in civil claims in this regard when we arrest without proper due diligence,” he said.
Mbalula said the Deputy Minister was a known individual who could not hide from the law. “He is not a flight risk and as police, we do not mete out punishments, but secure suspects for court processes. I have noted that many in society would prefer for the Minister of Police to carry handcuffs and cuff up any suspect,” he said.