‘There is no excuse to justify what I have done’, says Manana
Disgraced deputy minister of Higher Education Mduduzi Manana‚ who recently admitted to assaulting two women at a Johannesburg nightclub‚ has resigned‚ saying there is no excuse to justify what he has done and that he is "completely and utterly shameful of the act".
"I am heart-broken and disappointed in myself as a leader in our great nation‚" he said in a statement.
He added that he had an occasion to reflect on the matter and "consequent to such reflection‚ I have decided — on my own‚ to step down from the position of Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training in the Republic of South Africa and have communicated my decision with the President".
Manana said this would give him space to focus on the legal proceedings pending before the Randburg Magistrates’ Court while allowing the good work of government to run unhindered.
Manana admitted recently to assaulting two women at the Cubana nightclub in Fourways‚ Johannesburg‚ earlier this month‚ citing "extreme provocation".
According to reports‚ one of the women allegedly called him gay.
He appeared in the Randburg Magistrate’s Court on Thursday on two counts of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. He was released on R5‚000 bail.
Manana also faces a disciplinary inquiry within his own party after the ANC national working committee decided he should be disciplined.
President Jacob Zuma announced in a brief statement earlier on Saturday that he had received and accepted Manana’s resignation.
Zuma "thanked Mr Manana for his contribution to the work of government during his term of office".
In a separate statement‚ Manana said: "There are simply no words enough to express the disappointment in the circumstances of the last few weeks. I am heart-broken and disappointed in myself as a leader in our great nation.
"The people of South Africa have entrusted me to lead in delivering the ethos and essence of our constitution. I ought to be an example of that. In this case‚ I acted with great hindsight.
"The unfortunate situation that unfolded in the past 2 weeks‚ has left me exposed. My true sense of leadership in that situation was tested and I failed the test dismally.
"There is no excuse in the world to ever justify what I have done and as much as I am completely and utterly shameful of the act‚ it’s not even about me!
"It is about all the women of our nation who go through abuse daily in the hands of men – people who should lead them and protect them.
"Fellow South Africans‚ it is indeed with deep regret‚ that I have let you down. I have spent a lot of time reflecting on this. Reflecting on my role in it and how I can make things right – for the women I have done wrong to and of course to the nation at large who expect more from me as a leader."
Manana added that it was clear that he had some "personal" work to do.
"I have to get to the bottom of why I acted in the manner I did‚ and then address any underlying issues that prompted my unfortunate action. I believe this is the right thing to do‚ for the country‚ for my organization and for me.
"Going forward‚ I have started seeking professional help so that I emerge as a stronger and better improved person."
He also undertook to "offer all assistance possible to the families I did wrong and again I am sorry. I will act dutifully and diligently with all law enforcement agencies who assists with the matter".
Addressing fellow South Africans‚ Manana concluded: "You have every right to be angry at me and I deserve your anger in this matter because no matter how you look at it‚ it was wrong in every way. To this extent‚ I am sorry.
"I take all accountability and I promise that this will never happen again."