The Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training, Mduduzi Manana has released a public apology to the woman he allegedly assaulted over the weekend.
“I wish to apologize unreservedly to Ms Mandisa Duma, her family, the government of South Africa and all South Africans, and women in particular, for the incident that happened at Cubana Restaurant in Fourways over the weekend” ,he said.
The woman in question, Ms Mandisa Duma was allegedly “trampled” by Manana after she commented on his sexual orientation, according to media reports. A case has been opened against the Deputy Minister.
With the increased focus on Women's issue this month the incident has received enormous backlash from several fronts including the ANC Women's League and the Democratic Alliance. The opposition party has called on Manana to resign from his ministerial office.
The Minister who has been quiet since the incident took place, published an apology on Monday afternoon on the Department of Higher Education and Training Facebook page stating, “As a leader, I should have known better and acted better. I will subject myself fully to the process of the law and give it my full cooperation.”
Pictures and video recordings of the incident have been circulating on social media networks fueling public outcry.
“Regardless of the extreme provocation, I should have exercised restraint. That shameful incident should not have happened. I know that my actions and those of the people in my company have disappointed and hurt many people in the country” , Manana said.
The deputy minister said that he would “further engage with Ms Duma and her family to apologise...”
He stated that fake accounts had been opened in his personal name and were being used to further “tarnish” his name and cause more harm to the victim.
Manana is expected to meet with the ANC, and President Jacob Zuma to give a full account of the incident.
However the ANC have also condemned the incident and announced their disappointment over the minister's alleged behaviour.
"Such behaviour is unacceptable and should be roundly condemned by all in our society. Regardless of the circumstances or the identity of the perpetrator or victim, violence against women is the shame of our times."