South Africa deputy minister in court on assault charges
A South African deputy minister appeared in court Thursday on assault charges for allegedly kicking and punching two women at a nightclub in northern Johannesburg at the weekend.
Higher education deputy minister Mduduzi Manana “appeared in court after handing himself to the police this morning,” Police Minister Fikile Mbalula told reporters.
Manana faces two counts of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm over the incident at around 4:00am on Sunday at the upmarket Cubana club in Johannesburg’s Fourways district.
He was granted bail of 5,000 zar ($375).
Manana has apologised for the “shameful incident”, saying that “regardless of the extreme provocation, I should have exercised restraint”.
The main opposition Democratic Alliance party urged Manana to resign.
Mbalula dismissed accusations that the deputy minister was getting lenient treatment.
“It is very disappointing because we expect individuals like him to act as ambassadors in the protection of women against violence… nobody is above the law, that is guaranteed,” Mbalula said.
One of the alleged victims told eNCA that the minister and a group of his friends had “kicked me (and) punched me, as well as my cousin.”