The Minister in the Presidency Responsible for Women, Bathabile Dlamini, on Wednesday denounced the violence reportedly meted out to domestic worker Catherine Wiro allegedly by her high profile employer, Mduduzi Manana.
Wiro quit her job after the former deputy minister of higher education and training allegedly pushed her down the stairs at his Fourways residence.
She is accusing Manana, who is an African National Congress (ANC) MP, of assault, crimen injuria and intimidation. The 43-year-old domestic worker has reported the matter to the Douglasdale Police Station, but fearing for her life she said she has since withdrawn her complaint.
“We categorically denounce and are against any form of violence against women under whatever circumstances. The fight against gender-based violence remains our fundamental commitment,” Dlamini said in a statement issued on her behalf by the Presidency.
Dlamini said she was aware that on 7 May 2018 Manana issued a statement in which he announces his intention to “file a legal suit against the Wiro family for extortion as they demanded an amount of R100 000”.
However, an audio recording in which Manana is heard asking the complainant to drop the matter and offers her “100K” as “consolation” has surfaced.
“The public altercation between Ms Wiro and Mr Manana presents a serious cause for concern for a number of reasons. The allegations of violence have resurfaced against Mr Manana, who as a leader, has been entrusted by the public to represent them at the Parliament of the Republic,” said Dlamini.
“Such a leader must, therefore, live his life as a living reflection of the aspirations of our Constitution. At the same time, we are concerned by allegations of extortion levelled against the Wiro family by Mr Manana.”
Related: Manana caught on tape offering money to his domestic worker
Last year in September Manana pleaded guilty to assaulting three women at a night spot in Fourways. He was sentenced to 12 months in prison or a fine of R100,000 as well as 500 hours of community service. Manana was also ordered to undergo counselling. As a result of the conviction, Manana lost his cushy deputy minister job.
Dlamini urged “all parties involved to submit themselves to law enforcement processes in order for the matter to be addressed by our judicial system,”
She said her department remains committed to improving the social-economic conditions of all women in South Africa.
“As such, we encourage women throughout the country to continue to report crimes that threaten their chances at enjoying the liberties bestowed upon them by our hard-earned Constitution,” said the minister.
“We also urge the security cluster in general and the police, in particular, to address allegations of violence on women as a matter of urgency.”