Deputy Minister Mduduzi Manana
EFF National Chairperson Dali Mpofu has joined those asking why Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training Mduduzi Manana beat a woman because she called him gay.
Manana confessed to assaulting Mandisa Duma and another woman at the Cubana restaurant and cocktail lounge in Fourways, Johannesburg just over a week ago.
Speaking in isiZulu, he said in an audio recording: “…when she [Duma] swore at me and called me gay, I slapped her.”
On Sunday, Advocate Mpofu wrote on Twitter: “Maybe I missed this but has ANYONE asked Manana why being called gay justifies violence?”
Presumably referring to the scourge of gender-based violence against women in South Africa, he added, bitingly, “Isn’t the insult to be called a SAn man (like him)??”
Some responded to Mpofu by defending Manana, and even appeared to back his beating of Duma.
LANDLESS LAND LORD (@Dlundlu1) told Mpofu: “If a woman calls me gay I will prove to her Manana way that I’m not gay….”
Scelo Mncwango (@scelomncwango) also tweeted: “May be you don’t understand that being gay is an attempt to reduce someone’s manhood which is what every man will fight to protect.”
Many, however, agreed that being labelled gay should not be perceived as an insult and was certainly no justification for violence.
Vukakusile Bende (@VukakusileB) commented that the incident “exposes the mentality of some of our SAn citizens around sexual orientation,” while Commander T (@CommanderT5) said, “It just proves how homophobic he is…”
Others speculated that Manana is actually gay and in the closet, stereotypically alluding to his often flashy dress sense.
Trap Lord (@SESHIKA1) suggested that Manana attacked Duma not because she called him gay but because she may have used the term “istabane”, which can be seen as an anti-gay slur: “Nothing justifies what he did. However, there is everything wrong with being called ‘istabane’. it’s derogatory, even to gay people.”
Manana, who remains a cabinet minister, is out on R5,000 bail. The spokesperson for the Commission for Gender Equality, Jabu Baloyi, said it was disappointed by the way the government has responded to the incident.
“We’re calling on the president [to] let him be dismissed from office because that will send a very strong message,” Baloyi said, reported EWN.
Mambaonline has urged both Manana and Duma to apologise to the LGBT community for using and treating homosexuality as an insult or a justification for violence.