Ashamed Manana: ‘There is no excuse to justify what I have done’

19 August 2017 - 13:59 By Timeslive
Deputy Minister Mduduzi Manana.
Deputy Minister Mduduzi Manana.
Image: CITY OF EKURHULENI

Disgraced Deputy Minister of Higher Education Mduduzi Manana‚ who recently admitted to assaulting two women at a Johannesburg nightclub‚ has resigned‚ saying there is no excuse to justify what he did and that he is “completely and utterly shameful of the act”.

“I am heart-broken and disappointed in myself as a leader in our great nation‚” he said in a statement on Saturday.

He added that he had had occasion to reflect on the matter and “consequent to such reflection‚ I have decided – on my own – to step down from the position of deputy minister of higher education and training in the Republic of South Africa and have communicated my decision with the president”.

Manana said this would allow him to focus on the legal proceedings pending before the Randburg Magistrate's Court while allowing the good work of government to run unhindered.

He admitted recently to assaulting two women at the Cubana nightclub in Fourways‚ Johannesburg‚ earlier this month‚ citing “extreme provocation”.

According to reports‚ one of the women allegedly called him gay.

He appeared in the Randburg Magistrate’s Court on Thursday on two counts of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. He was released on R5‚000 bail.

Manana also faces a disciplinary inquiry within his own party after the ANC national working committee decided he should be disciplined.

President Jacob Zuma announced in a brief statement earlier on Saturday that he had received and accepted Manana’s resignation.

Zuma "thanked Mr Manana for his contribution to the work of government during his term of office".

In a separate statement‚ Manana said: "There are simply no words enough to express the disappointment in the circumstances of the last few weeks. I am heartbroken and disappointed in myself as a leader in our great nation.

“The people of South Africa have entrusted me to lead in delivering the ethos and essence of our Constitution. I ought to be an example of that. In this case‚ I acted with great hindsight.

“The unfortunate situation that unfolded in the past two weeks has left me exposed. My true sense of leadership in that situation was tested and I failed the test dismally.

“There is no excuse in the world to ever justify what I have done, and as much as I am completely and utterly shameful of the act‚ it’s not even about me! It is about all the women of our nation who go through abuse daily at the hands of men – people who should lead them and protect them.

“Fellow South Africans‚ it is indeed with deep regret that I have let you down. I have spent a lot of time reflecting on this. Reflecting on my role in it and how I can make things right – for the women I have done wrong to and of course to the nation at large who expect more from me as a leader.”

Manana added it was clear that he had some “personal” work to do.

“I have to get to the bottom of why I acted in the manner I did‚ and then address any underlying issues that prompted my unfortunate action. I believe this is the right thing to do‚ for the country‚ for my organisation and for me.

He said: “I have started seeking professional help so that I emerge as a stronger and better, improved person.”

He also undertook to “offer all assistance possible to the families I did wrong and again I am sorry. I will act dutifully and diligently with all law enforcement agencies who assists with the matter.”

Addressing fellow South Africans‚ Manana said: “You have every right to be angry at me and I deserve your anger in this matter because no matter how you look at it‚ it was wrong in every way. To this extent‚ I am sorry.

“I take all accountability and I promise that this will never happen again.”

Here is Manana’s resignation statement in full:

Fellow South Africans‚

There are simply no words enough to express the disappointment in the circumstances of the last few weeks. I am heart-broken and disappointed in myself as a leader in our great nation.

The people of South Africa have entrusted me to lead in delivering the ethos and essence of our Constitution. I ought to be an example of that. In this case‚ I acted with great hindsight.

The unfortunate situation that unfolded in the past two weeks has left me exposed. My true sense of leadership in that situation was tested and I failed the test dismally.

There is NO excuse in the world to ever justify what I have done and as much as I am completely and utterly shameful of the act‚ it’s not even about me!

It is about all the women of our nation who go through abuse daily at the hands of men – people who should lead them and protect them.

Fellow South Africans‚ it is indeed with deep regret that I have let you down. I have spent a lot of time reflecting on this. Reflecting on my role in it and how I can make things right – for the women I have done wrong to and of course to the nation at large who expect more from me as a leader.

I had occasion to reflect on the matter and consequent to such reflection‚ I have decided - on my own‚ to step down from the position of deputy minister of higher education and training in the Republic of South Africa and have communicated my decision with the president. This will give me space to focus on the legal proceedings pending before the Randburg Magistrate's Court whilst allowing the good work of government to run unhindered.

A responsible leader is one who takes responsibility and acts with agility on the face of a crisis. In this instance‚ I choose to put my country first and not allow a bad shadow to haunt the workings of government during this period. Equally‚ the African National Congress (which I joined voluntarily as its member 15 years ago) has suffered greater harm as a result of this incident and I cannot expose my organisation to further harm.

It is clear that I have some “personal” work to do. I have to get to the bottom of why I acted in the manner I did‚ and then address any underlying issues that prompted my unfortunate action. I believe this is the right thing to do‚ for the country‚ for my organisation and for me.

Going forward‚ I have started seeking professional help so that I emerge as a stronger and better improved person. I have to deal with this problem so that I can continue serving my people as an effective member and leader of our community in every way. I further undertake to offer all assistance possible to the families I did wrong and again I am sorry. I will act dutifully and diligently with all law enforcement agencies who assists with the matter.

I would like to thank the African National Congress and the president for the support they have given me throughout my term in government. The work we have done and are continuing to do in taking our country forward is paramount and I am glad to have been part of that exciting yet crucial journey of improving the livelihoods of our people for the better. I would also like to thank my family for their support‚ both during my tenure as a member of the national executive‚ and in arriving at this decision.

Fellow South Africans‚

You have every right to be angry at me and I deserve your anger in this matter because no matter how you look at it‚ it was wrong in every way. To this extent‚ I am sorry.

I take all accountability and I promise that this will never happen again.

 

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