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Mduduzi Manana to sue his domestic worker after assault claims

Mduduzi Manana, former Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training.
Mduduzi Manana, former Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training.
Image: Freddy Mavunda/Financial Mail

Former higher education deputy minister Mduduzi Manana is set to sue the family of his domestic worker following claims of assault.

In a statement issued on Monday night‚ Manana‚ who pleaded guilty to an assault case last year‚ said that the family of Catherine Wiro had tried to extort him out of R100 000. The statement was released on a Gauteng government media WhatsApp group on Monday night.

Wiro opened a police case against Manana at the weekend‚ but the assault case was withdrawn in court on Monday.

“I am aware that a case of assault has been withdrawn but I have instructed my lawyers to file a legal suit against the Wiro family for extortion as they demanded an amount of R100 000. Instead‚ I gave Ms Wiro money that was due to her for the two weeks period that she worked at my home‚” said Manana.

In the statement‚ Manana denied assaulting Wiro‚ a Zimbabwean national‚ but does describe the incident as an “altercation”. He also described her claims as “both unfortunate and malicious”.

According to his version of events‚ Wiro had only started working for him for about two weeks‚ but she “often [gave] access to everyone who comes to my home”.

“I warned her about a possible security risk that such conduct poses to me and especially to her as she could easily be raped. On May 6‚ 2018‚ I… told her that I was expecting a guest and she should prepare breakfast for two persons. I went back to take a shower and then I heard voices from the kitchen. I stepped out of my bedroom and discovered that my guest had already made herself comfortable at my home.

“I then confronted Ms. Wiro that she should have verified with me that there was Ms Sithembile Ntuli at the gate before opening for her because I had not told her the name of the guest that I was having breakfast with. Like any other employer‚ it is within my right to reprimand Ms. Wiro if she flouts the rules of the house‚ and she responded by laughing‚ much to my guest's shock. I then asked her if there was anything funny from what I'm saying. She responded and said 'I do not know'. I went on to ask if she still interested in the job. Again‚ she responded and said 'I said I do not know'. I then asked her to leave the house as that was not the correct attitude for any workplace‚” Manana said.

Manana added that the claims of assault were simply to discredit him given his assault conviction.

“I wish to place on record that since the case assault which was levelled against me and for which I pleaded guilty‚ there has been desperate attempts to discredit and tarnish my name. This deliberate ploy is to use assault as a permanent stigma attached to me by my detractors whom I believe had a major influence in her opening the case and giving her access to the media community‚” said Manana.

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