Deputy Minister of Higher Education granted R5 000 bail

S. African minister granted bail in assault case

South Africa's Deputy Minister for Higher Education has been forced to issue an apology after reports emerged that he had kicked and punched a woman at a nightclub.

Manana is accused of assaulting a woman in a Johannesburg nightclub at the weekend‚ and the delay in arresting him attracted criticism on Wednesday from former public protector Thuli Madonsela.

Manana, who faces two counts of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, appeared briefly in the Randburg Magistrate's Court on Thursday for assaulting a woman.

Mbalula said the case was between Manana versus the state, which is representing the victim.

The deputy minister's spokesperson, Busiswa Gqangeni, could not immediately comment on the previous assault charges. "I hit her, I slapped her", Manana is heard saying in the recording.

Mbalula says there will be no special treatment for the deputy minister. "We lose a lot of money in civil claims in this regard when we arrest without proper due diligence", he said.

He maintained that, while he was disappointed, a person was innocent until proven guilty.

Mbalula denied getting involved in Manana's matter before it reached the police.

The minister said the matter was reported to him on Twitter and he said he followed up immediately.

When asked why Manana was still in his position, Mbablula said it was up to President Jacob Zuma to dismiss or suspend Manana.

Manana had availed himself to police, had been fully co-operative, was known to the victim and the public, and was therefore "not a flight risk".

Violence started with dehumanising language and the dehumanising way in which parliamentarians spoke to one another on national television‚ which had created a "psyche of violence"‚ she said.

'That shameful incident should not have happened, ' Manana said in a statement.

Mbalula said he was not defending Manana, but just explaining the law in terms of procedure.

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