Manana – the sad state of violence against women in RSA

The National Prosecuting Authority in South Africa has elected to drop charges of assault against Mduduzi Manana according to Times Select.

The charges relate to Manana’s domestic worker Christine Wiro, who alleged that the politician had assaulted her, and then offered her R100,000 in hush money.

Manana denied the allegations, but he’s got a bit of a history when it comes to violence against women.

Manana recently resigned from Parliament, shortly before he was due to appear in front of the Joint Committee on Ethics and Members’ Interests, a move the DA said was calculated to save face, according to TimesLIVE.

In 2017 Destiny reported that Manana pleaded guilty to assaulting three women at the Cubana in Fourways. He was given a R100,000 fine.

This also cost him his position as Deputy Minister of Higher Education.

The Citizen reports that the IFP wants the NPA to review its decision on this, as, “It is unacceptable that many women and children face abuse at the hands of men, and Manana sets a dangerous precedent that [normalises] abuse by showing men they can pay their way out of trouble.”

My Take

Violence in general is not acceptable. We’re all supposed to be adults and able to conduct ourselves in an adult manner.

eNCA reports that on Monday an ANC councillor in Knysna was shot dead. If you look at our taxi industry about a dozen drivers have been murdered over the past week or two, in Middleburg, Mpumalanga Xolisile Ndzongana was murdered by a group of white men according to the Mail and Guardian.

This is not conducting ourselves in an adult manner.

We as a country have a major problem with violence against women – and nothing we do seems to be working in solving this problem. We have marches, and protests, and days of prayer, and moments of silence and nothing works.

And I suspect it is because in order for anything to work, it requires doing a little bit more than feeling deeply ashamed and saddened by it all. I suspect it requires men to man up and stop acting like spoiled schoolyard bullies, not just towards women but towards everyone.

Those habits of behaviour we have between men are habits which bleed over towards how we treat women, and they’re not good habits, they’re not making our lives better for having them.

I look at Manana, and I think he should be in jail. How can you get caught on camera assaulting three women and get a fine? Why do we take this so lightly?

And it is we who are taking this so lightly – our courts are a product of our society.

We don’t need days of action against women abuse, we need courts that take these crimes far more seriously than they have done, because this epidemic of violence needs to be stopped. Other countries have found solutions which have much reduced their levels of violence, there is no excuse for us not doing.

  • Picture of Mduduzi Manana taken by the DoC via Flickr

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