NUMSA rejects Mduduzi Manana’s un-apology for beating up Mandisa Duma
08 August, 2017
The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) rejects Mduduzi Manana’s unapology for abusingMandisa Duma. The deputy minister of higher education has admitted to assaulting Duma at a bar in Johannesburg over the weekend. It has been reported that the motivation for the assault was that Duma insulted him by calling him ‘gay’and that she may have also disagreed with him politically. He responded violenty, by viciously assaulting her.
In his statement he says ‘Regardless of the extreme provocation, I should have exercised restraint.” This statement is an attempt to justify the unjustifiable. His life was not in danger, the woman did not pose a threat of any kind, and yet her outspokenness was regarded by him as ‘extreme provocation’, which subsequently led to a violent physical assault in response. He had no right to lay a hand on Duma.
Women, children and members of the LGBTI community are extremely vulnerable and are often subjected to extreme levels of aggression and violence in South Africa. Sadly, the behavior of the Deputy Minister is a reflection of this deep problem that afflicts our society. As a man who occupies a position of power, into which a lot of public trust is vested, he should have done better. He, as a member of parliament, should lead by example, and show other men that violent expressions of masculinity are unacceptable.
However, his actions now provide an opportunity for the government for which Manana works for, to demonstrate that if such violence is meted out against women and children, it will act swiftly and harshly to send a clear message to perpetrators. As a Marxist-Leninist inspired trade union we oppose discrimination in all its forms within the workplace and society as a whole. We are fighting for a society where all sexes are treated equally. We reject any form of gender based violence or discrimination of the sexes.
Furthermore if the deputy minister was truly apologetic for his shocking behavior, he would have handed himself over to the nearest police station. His admission of guilt and public apology should be enough to set the ball rolling for his arrest. We also call on the Presidency to demonstrate that no one is above the law. They must suspend him from office, and subject him to a disciplinary process as he serves at the pleasure of the President.
Statement issued by Phakamile Hlubi, Acting NUMSA spokesperson, 8 August 2017