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Blaming drink for abuse not on

Mduduzi Manana, Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training in Pretoria. Pic: Freddy Mavunda. © Financial Mail
Mduduzi Manana, Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training in Pretoria. Pic: Freddy Mavunda. © Financial Mail

Former deputy minister of Higher Education Mduduzi Manana is now blaming alcohol for his unbecoming conduct when he assaulted three women at a Johannesburg nightclub on August 6.

He told a probation officer that he may have handled the situation better had he been sober.

He claims he was offended by being called gay while he wasn't and because it was said in a derogatory manner.

Reading from her report at the Randburg Magistrate's Court yesterday, social worker Masisi Modikoane said Manana told her that he generally spent time at home, but his job was "rather stressful".

The former deputy minister was convicted of three counts of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm after pleading guilty to the charges.

The women, Mandisa Duma, Noluthando Mahlaba and Thina Mopipa have requested compensation of R100000 each.

Drunk or not, Manana should have known better. He was a public figure and should have behaved accordingly.

Modikoane said Manana could rehabilitate himself and did not deserve imprisonment.

She recommended that he pays compensation for the medical bills for the women, complete 1000 hours of community service and attend counselling sessions.

It has, however, emerged that Manana seems to have a history of violence and abuse.

In August, the Sunday Times reported that Manana was described by his staff as a boss from hell who threw temper tantrums, blackmailed and blatantly abused them.

Members of his VIP protection unit also claimed that Manana had fired more than five bodyguards in just over a year and that he partied until the early hours of the morning, compromising their ability to function.

His former head of office, Wonga Tabata, also lodged a complaint with the public protector's office in 2012, accusing Manana of attacking him and abusing his powers.

He described Manana's attacks as "humiliating" and a "violation [of his] human dignity".

Despite all these accusations, Modikoane told the court that Manana could rehabilitate himself.

The case was postponed to Monday for sentencing.

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