Statement issued by Thandi Nontenja – UDEMWO Secretary General

The United Democratic Movement Women’s Organisation (UDEMWO) is furious and shocked by the incident where the Education Deputy-Minister Mduduzi Manana assaulted two women at a night club at the weekend.

He has apparently admitted that he has done so and UDEMWO believes that his actions cannot be justified under any circumstance. This incident not only happens in Women’s Month, but against the background of the increase in gender-based violence in South Africa. A man at Deputy-Minister Manana’s level should live by example.

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula must also not be tempted to protect his colleague abusing his position. Deputy-Minister Manana cannot get away with this. No one is above law; least of all a minister and he must face the consequences of his actions.

We also hope that the witnesses will not be intimidated during the investigation.

Does the ANC Women’s League approve of this behaviour? The same as they did with Kwezi?

We in addition call upon the ruling party itself to urgently subject Minister Manana to a disciplinary process.

Should there be no consequences for Deputy-Minister Manana, it will be a clear indication that the ruling party and its male ministers do not have time for strong women; we cannot be led by people who don’t respect us.