Following from the recent allegations of common assault against ANC Member of Parliament, Mduduzi Manana, Sonke Gender Justice has filed an additional complaint against Manana with the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Ethics and Members’ Interests.
On, or about, 6 May 2018, charges were filed against Manana by his former employee, Ms. Christine Wiro, including charges of assault after Manana allegedly pushed her down the stairs. Wiro withdrew charges filed against Manana, but the National Prosecuting Authority has instructed the South African Police Services to continue with the investigation of this matter. Despite numerous calls for his resignation, Manana remains a Member of Parliament.
We note with continuous disappointment that despite having filed a complaint with the Joint Committee against Manana in September 2017 in relation to his assault of three women in August 2017, and the Randburg Magistrate’s Court convicted him and ordered him to pay a R100,000.00 fine or face 12 months in jail, in addition to completing 500 hours of community service and a rehabilitation programme, there has been no action by the Joint Committee against Manana.
Given the current allegations of assault against Manana, it continues to be an affront to South Africa that one of its leaders continues to perpetuate violence, and in particular, against women. Manana is also in breach of the Code of Ethical Conduct and Disclosure of Members’ Interests for Assembly and Permanent Council Members (‘Code’) and the laws of South Africa.
Sonke and partners reiterate that Manana has violated the Code as follows:
1.1 He violated the principles, rules and obligations of the Code, by not behaving and continuing to not behave in accordance with the ethical standards of behaviour expected from public representatives;
1.2 He broke the law in flagrant disregard of the oath or affirmation of allegiance taken as a Member of the National Assembly;
1.3 He did not act in accordance with the public trust placed in him, as noted by his refusal to resign despite the various calls for his resignation;
1.4 He did not place the public’s interest above his own, as evidenced by his assault of female members of the public, specifically the most recent alleged attack on Wiro;
1.5 As a result of his actions, he lost the public confidence and trust in the integrity of Parliament, by refusing to resign as an MP, thereby resulting in the loss of respect and confidence that society needs to have in Parliament as a representative institution; and
1.6 His assault of women indicated a lack of commitment and disregard for the eradication of all forms of discrimination, specifically the eradication of discrimination against women.
Should the Committee find an MP guilty of contravening the Code, it must recommend an appropriate sanction to Parliament. Sonke recommends that the Joint Committee call for the dismissal of Manana as a Member of Parliament. In addition, we call on the ANC Integrity Commission to investigate Manana’s actions and recommend his dismissal as an ANC representative in Parliament.
Finally, Sonke and partners continue its calls on government to urgently implement a national strategic plan to address gender-based violence. It is only by rolling out a national action plan that we will begin to feel that government has a strong commitment to dealing with violence against women and children.
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