ANCWL president Bathabile Dlamini has called on her party to act in the latest assault scandal involving MP Mduduzi Manana.

This follows hot on the heels of his party’s youth wing union, Cosatu and in particular the South African Domestic Service and Allied Workers Union.

Cabinet has also condemned it, but says the accusations against him were not discussed in isolation of the wave of gender-based violence plaguing the country.

Manana is accused of verbally abusing and attempting to push his domestic worker, Christine Wiro, down a flight of stairs.

A woman is murdered every four hours in South Africa; one in five partnered women have experienced physical violence, and 6% of partnered women aged 18 and over have experienced sexual violence.

These are the shocking numbers that Cabinet is concerned about, highlighted by the brutal killing of Karabo Mokoena at the hands of her now convicted boyfriend Sandile Mantsoe, and Durban student Zolile Khumalo allegedly shot dead by her ex-boyfriend.

But, it’s now ANC MP Mduduzi Manana’s latest gender violence scandal involving his domestic worker that’s raised eyebrows.

Cabinet didn’t directly address it, and a blanket response was given when asked about the specific incident.

Communication Minister Nomvula Mokonyane says, “Cabinet did not discuss Mduduzi Manana as an individual but did reflect on gender-based violence in the country and how it has been meted. If he, as a person, is affected we must condemn this act. And we do hope the law will take its course so that no individual, irrespective of standing, can run away with infliction of pain and humiliation and degradation of rights of other people, in particular vulnerable groups.”

A latest audio recording seems to suggest Manana even offered his domestic worker R100 000 to make the case go away. She withdrew the charge just hours after laying it. But the NPA has instructed police to continue with their investigation.

There are no accurate statistics for violence against domestic workers. The SA Domestic Service and Allied Workers Union say that’s because they are isolated and vulnerable.

In 2017, he was sentenced to 12 months in jail or a R100 000 fine for beating up three women in a Johannesburg night club.

Dlamini says, “We are very hurt because Mdu has just apologised and we call upon all men to think about this deeply. We call on the ANC to act in this matter.”

As the voices become louder for stern action to be taken against Manana, he remains mum.

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