DA to report Manana to Commission for Gender Equality
The Democratic Alliance is to report Deputy Higher Education Minister Mduduzi Manana who has been charged with assaulting three women at a Johannesburg restaurant last weekend to the Commission for Gender Equality.
The DA’s Hlomela Bucwa said on Sunday that the party was appalled by recent reports of Manana’s alleged treatment of his former secretary as well as other female employees in his department.
Allegations include swearing at his former secretary‚ making her sit outside his apartment in winter in Cape Town from midnight to 2 am as “punishment” and forcing employees to clean and cook for him.
“This treatment is nothing less than blatant and sexist abuse and it is untenable that a person in his position gets away with allegedly treating his employees in this manner.
“The DA will‚ therefore‚ report these allegations to the Commission for Gender Equality and ask the commission to make recommendations to Parliament as well as to the Human Rights Commission on appropriate further steps‚” Bucwa‚ a member of Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training‚ said.
“It has become increasingly clear that Mr Manana is a menace who has no respect for women and treats them as inferior human beings. This was unequivocally highlighted in his assault of women in a nightclub last weekend‚” Bucwa charged.
“We have furthermore noted ANC Women’s League president‚ Bathabile Dlamini’s‚ defence of Manana and her statement that ‘there are those [in government] that are actually worse than him’.
“Especially in a country like South Africa‚ where violence against women has reached pandemic proportions‚ it is utterly unacceptable for any woman – even more so the president of the ANC Women’s League – to make excuses for this kind of behaviour.
“What message does it send out to women and young girls across the country? That this behaviour by a public representative should be ignored and left unpunished because there are “others” who are also guilty?
“This is a shameful statement by Dlamini – one that she should publicly apologise for. Furthermore‚ she should come forward and report the “others” who are serial abusers. It is her legal duty to do so‚” Bucwa said.
Bucwa added that on the day of Manana’s next court appearance‚ the DA intended to mobilise with civil society and other interested parties to “send out a strong message that we will stand up to any person who violently enforces patriarchy in our society”.