Deputy Minister Mduduzi Manana
Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training Mduduzi Manana has reportedly confessed to assaulting a woman because she called him gay.
The incident, which reflects the continued stigma in South African society associated with being identified as LGBT, ironically took place just days before the country marks Women’s Day this week.
According to various report, Manana attacked Mandisa Duma and another woman in the early hours of Sunday morning at the Cubana restaurant and cocktail lounge in Fourways, Johannesburg.
The altercation appears to have started with an argument about who should replace President Jacob Zuma as head of the ANC.
At some point it appears that Duma called Manana “gay”, leading him to allegedly slap, kick and hit her. Pictures posted on social media showed the woman’s bruised face and body.
A witness, corporate attorney Tumi Sole, tweeted: “In the early hours of this morning, I witnessed Deputy Higher Education Minister Manana go ape and beat up a defenceless woman coz she allegedly called him gay.” Sole also posted a video in which a man alleged to be the mister is seen hitting a woman in the venue.
In a separate audio clip, a person, alleged to be Manana speaking to Duma’s furious brother, is heard to say in isiZulu: “My brother, when she swore at me and called me gay, I slapped her.”
A charge of assault was laid against Manana at the Douglasdale Police Station.
According to Deputy Minister Manana’s official profile, he “possesses leadership wisdom that belies his age” and “has dedicated his life to developing those who are on the margins….” To relax, he plays golf and reads political books.
In 2011, South Africa’s Constitutional Court ruled that being called gay is not grounds for defamation.