Nervous Manana awaits his fate in court
Mduduzi Manana‚ the Deputy Minister of Higher Education‚ sneaked into court via a back entrance on Thursday.
Manana appeared anxious as officials ironed out the details around his appearance in the Randburg Magistrate's Court in Johannesburg.
Suspects usually use the main entrance during their first appearance‚ unless they had already been arrested and would be brought up from the holding cells.
Manana is accused of assaulting three women at the Cubana restaurant at Cedar Square in Fourways on Sunday.
"Normally when a person is accused of assault then the police have an option of either bringing him into court or to the police station to process him and take him to court to apply for bail. The court then decides whether or not that person qualifies as someone who should be released on bail or not‚" said Ulrich Roux of BDK Attorneys.
One of Manana's victims‚ Mandisa Duma‚ opened a case of assault with the intention to cause grievous bodily harm at the Douglasdale police station.
"There's various of ways of bringing a person into court. The police could have requested that the deputy minister report and hand himself over to the police station so that the normal process takes its course or they can go out and arrest him‚" said Roux.
He said Manana should have been arrested immediately after he admitted to committing the crime and that a double standard was being applied.
On Sunday morning‚ the deputy minister lost his cool after a debate on who should succeed President Jacob Zuma at the party's elective conference in December.
He said tension escalated after one of the women in his company labelled him gay.
Manana apologised to Duma and Cubana for the incident.
A senior prosecutor who is privy to the case said Manana and his legal team are still writing the docket and the case is yet to begin.
Clad in a blue suit‚ white shirt and brown shoes‚ Manana avoided the media and looked very nervous as he waited anxiously for his first court appearance.