ANC and the law must act against this minister
If ever there was a clear case of a minister disgracing their oath of office it is that of Deputy Minister of Higher Education Mduduzi Manana.
As the allegations mount, the average citizen would be forgiven for believing that Jacob Zuma has a serial woman-beater in his cabinet ranks.
Not only is Manana accused of stomping on a woman in the early hours of Sunday morning; now John Steenhuisen, the DA's chief whip in parliament, claims Manana had also assaulted one of his MPs before and that nothing was done about it.
And while we were still reeling from that claim, along came another from the manager of a bar and lounge in Ermelo, claiming the deputy minister had dished it out to a female patron there too.
And with the richest of ironies this all emerges barely a week into South Africa celebrating Women's Month.
Manana's "apology" does little to ameliorate his behaviour. Implicit in his statement is that he acted on the tail-end of being provoked.
An apology with a large "but" attached to it cannot suffice and is difficult to believe, even if this could ever be a mitigating factor, in light of the video which appears to show Manana stomping on the head of his victim at the weekend.
That is not the action of a person acting in an insane spur of the moment - it is evidence of a person with deep and disturbing issues.
It goes without saying that Manana cannot remain in public office, either in cabinet or as a member of parliament. He should be criminally prosecuted.
If Zuma and the ANC do not act it will expose as a lie the ANC's claimed commitment to fighting gender-based violence and it will confirm that it is happy to wear the mantle of a party of ill-repute.