JOHANNESBUR, South African Deputy Minister of Higher Education Mduduzi Manana has been given notice to appear in court this week to answer charges of assault against him, says Police Minister Fikile Mbalula.
Manana is alleged to have assaulted two women at a nightclub in Johannesburg over the weekend.
The Premier of Gauteng Province, David Makhura, on Wednesday called on police to separate politics from law and justice. Makhura said arresting Manana for the assault was not a political a decision, and the police must act without fear or favour.
Manana has since apologised for the incident which was captured on video. However, the women, including the victim, have rejected his apology.
Speaking in Cape Town, Mbalula said no one was above the law. "He (Manana) will have to appear in court, because he is not an unknown suspect in this particular matter," the Minister added.
"We don't want to undermine the rule of law by undermining the aspects that need to be followed in the alleged matter. For now, we have acted swiftly in protecting the victim. It is up to him whether he co-operates with the police or not. If he doesn't, we will find him.
Meanwhile, Makhura and various members of the Executive council (MECs) of Gauteng province marched in Pretoria Wednesday to commemorate Women's Day, honouring the legacy of the women who in 1956 marched against apartheid pass laws.
Decades later, women still have to fight for their rights. Increasing gender-based violence is also a major concern, perhaps highlighted by the recent assault case by Manana.
Makhura said the police must act without fear or favour. Gauteng's MEC for Health, Gwen Ramokgopa, said: It's not a political a decision. It's a basic decision that police must do. When women report cases, police must act on those cases and the criminal justice as whole must run its full course.
"In this particular case, which is very regrettable, including also a case of our Minister who fondled an employee, we must condemn it with the strongest words to say that is not the leadership we need. Our society and the police must act swiftly."
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK