Johannesburg – The Randburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday ordered former Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training Mduduzi Manana to pay a R100 000 fine or face 12 months in jail.
He was also ordered to complete 500 hours of community service and to complete a rehabilitation program. In addition, Manana has to pay the victims a total of R26 680,46.
On September 13, Manana was convicted of three counts of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm after pleading guilty to the charges.
The charges relate to the assault of three women at Cubana in Fourways on August 6 which was filmed and went viral on social media sparking a national outcry for his arrest.
Manana, in his plea explanation, said he was asked by one of the women, Noluthando Mahlaba, who joined their table: “Who do you think you are? You isitabane [gay].”
“Isitabane” is a term used to derogatively refer to gay people.
He said, following this remark, he intentionally assaulted Mahlaba with an open hand on her face and back.
Manana also pulled her hair, pulled her to the ground, kicked and punched her.
He said a fight then broke out in which he also intentionally assaulted two other women – Monoisa Duma and Thina Mopipa.
Final arguments for sentencing were heard on November 8.
At the time, State Prosecutor Anne-Marie Smith argued that Manana and his co-accused attacked one woman, calling for a “harsh” sentence.
These three grown men assaulted one woman. Manana saw it fit to assault this woman too and then assaulted another woman too.”
Smith described this as a “barbaric act”.
She said that Manana – who indicated that alcohol played a role in the assault – needs “correctional supervision” where he won’t be allowed to consume alcohol.
Manana’s lawyer Michael Motsoeneng Bill argued that the word “isitabane” was used for many years to oppress the gay community.
Bill said Manana was provoked and that Magistrate Ramsamy Reddy must consider certain circumstances in this regard.
He argued for a sentence of 12 months imprisonment, wholly suspended for five years.
Bill said this should be subject to Manana attending a rehabilitation programme and doing 500 hours of community service.