Sonke Gender Justice (‘Sonke’) welcomes the conviction of Mr Mduduzi Manana for his assault of three women on 6 August 2017 outside a restaurant. Manana, the former Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Learning was found guilty of three counts of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm after a violent incident with three women. He was ordered yesterday to pay only a R100 000 fine or face 12 months in jail, in addition to completing 500 hours of community service and a rehabilitation programme.1
We note with grave concern that Mr Manana continues to serve as a member of parliament. The lack of sanction this represents is inconsistent with Government’s stated commitments to end violence against women,2 including statements made by the Minister of Police to treat violence against women as a national priority.3 Sonke reiterates its call for the ANC to suspend Manana4 and we call on the the Joint Committee on Ethics and Members’ Interests to recommend that Manana be dismissed as a Member of Parliament.5 At a time when powerful individuals across the world are increasingly being held accountable by their constituencies, their industries and governments,6 it is unacceptable that a now convicted perpetrator of assault continues to hold a leadership position in the South African government.
Sonke is further concerned by the men who have openly celebrated Manana’s lack of adequate accountability for perpetrating violence against women. Bafana Khumalo, Sonke’s Director of Strategic Partnerships states: “I was also troubled by the young men who sang celebrating that Manana got off lightly. I’m concerned as to what impression this sentence is sending to these young men who obviously are left with the impression that if you are connected and monied you can get away with anything.” We believe that men need to stand up and be counted in efforts to end violence against women. Violence against women is not only a women’s issue, and men – and especially men in leadership positions – must join women in the struggle for gender justice.
As we have done on many occasions over the last four years, Sonke 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 adequately prevent and respond to men’s violence against women and girls.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
- Bafana Khumalo, Director of Strategic Partnerships, Sonke Gender Justice, firstname.lastname@example.org, 082 578 4479
- Marike Keller, Policy Development and Advocacy Unit Coordinator, Sonke Gender Justice, email@example.com, 083 259 6573
- Daily Maverick, Manana to pay R100 000 or face 12 months in jail. Accessed on 14 November 2017.
- South African Government News Agency, Government, NGOs tackle gender-based violence. Accessed on 14 November 2017.
- EWN, Mbalula: Gender-Based Violence a national security threat. Accessed on 14 November 2017.
- Available here.
- On 30 August 2017, The Women’s Legal Centre submitted a formal complaint to the Parliamentary Joint Commitee on Ethics and Members’ Interests against Manana – available here. Sonke supported this complaint in a letter to the Committee – available here.
- IOL, Powerful men confronted as ‘Weinstein Effect’ goes global. Accessed on 14 November 2017.