Mduduzi Manana pleads guilty to all three counts of assault
Former deputy minister of higher education and training Mduduzi Manana‚ who was accused of assaulting three women‚ has pleaded guilty to all three charges brought against him and the court has accepted the guilty plea.
This comes as Mandisa Duma‚ one of the three women which Manana assaulted‚ initially opened a case of assault with intention to cause grievous bodily harm at the Douglasdale police station on August 6.
The other two women who were with Duma on the day of the incident - Noluthando Mahlanga and Thina Mopipa - have also opened charges against Manana after he assaulted them at Cubana restaurant in Cedar Square‚ Fourways.
"I Mduduzi Comfort Manana‚ do hereby voluntarily‚ without any undue influence‚ and in my sober senses‚ confirm that I have read and understood the three charges preferred against me by the state. I hereby plead guilty to the three counts of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm ... ‚" said Michael Motsoeneng Bill‚ Manana's attorney.
Manana made his first court appearance at the Randburg Magistrates Court on August 9 and was granted R5‚000 bail.
Manana‚ 33‚ clad in a tailored navy blue suit‚ white shirt and black shoes‚ briefly appeared at the Randburg Magistrates Court on Wednesday where he faces three counts of assault to cause grievous bodily harm.
Magistrate Ramsamy Reddy granted the postponement to November 7.
Before Manana's court appearance on Wednesday‚ Duma identified one the men who was with Manana on the day of the incident and he was arrested in court.
The second suspect who fled the court after his friend was arrested‚ later handed himself over to the police. The duo will both appear at the same court tomorrow (Thursday).
On August 6‚ Manana lost his cool after an argument on who should succeed President Jacob Zuma at the party's elective conference in December. But what allegedly triggered him to attack the women was when one of them made a comment about his sexuality‚ labelling him gay.
She claimed that she was with Manana and his friends inside the Cubana restaurant when Manana chased them out of the venue.
Duma‚ who sustained a black eye‚ bruised knees and a swollen face and neck‚ further claimed that while walking out‚ Manana slapped her cousin across the face after the comment about his sexuality before turning on her in the parking lot.
In a video that went viral‚ the former deputy minister can be seen wearing a black t-shirt and a black and white cap.
Three men can be seen dragging one of the women down as she tries to get up while bouncers can be seen standing by and not intervening in the 14-second video clip. The woman can be heard asking the men four times: "What are you doing?" before the video cuts.
Manana has since resigned and apologised for the incident.
Shortly after his appearance Manana said he would respect the outcome of the court when sentencing would be handed down.
"I intend apologising to the victims once the sentence has been delivered but truly‚ I want justice to be served. Obviously‚ it doesn't have to favour me.
Asked if he hoped the court to show leniency given that he has apologised and admitted that he was wrong‚ Manana said: "The court will use its own wisdom to come to a determination."