An online petition launched on Monday calls for deputy higher education minister Mduduzi Manana to be fired over his assault of a woman at a Cubana restaurant at the weekend.
Manana apologised for the attack in a statement on Monday afternoon — but the authors of the Amandla.mobi petition say it is not enough.
“Dismiss higher education deputy minister Mduduzi Manana for physically assaulting a woman at the Cubana Restaurant. An apology is not enough‚” the petition states.
“Many women are killed‚ raped and brutalised by men on a daily basis‚ and yet very few are brought to justice for these crimes. Dismissing … Manana will be sending a loud and clear message that we condemn such behaviour. Deputy minister Manana is a public figure‚ and as such‚ should know the high expectations of him.
“Keeping him in the employ of the government will undermine ongoing efforts to develop and implement a comprehensive‚ fully-funded National Strategic Plan to prevent‚ combat and respond to [gender based violence‚” the petition continued.
By 8.30am Tuesday‚ it had been signed more than 400 times.
“Mduduzi Manana must be dismissed if we want to send a clear message that when you strike a woman you strike a rock‚” the petition stated.
Some of those who signed the petition did not hold back.
“Ntai R” wrote: “Our expectations is always of integrity‚ respect‚ morality‚ being exemplary‚ etc. It’s women’s month and women are under siege‚ sadly by us men. As men‚ we are labelled “trash” and rightly so because of “men” like Manana and others. Our expectation from him as a deputy minister‚ was that he should be the one leading the call against women abuse. Also‚ we were expecting him to give free lessons on LGTBI. You can’t cry foul for being called “gay”! His actions were disgusting and shameful.”
While “Carmen A” said: “Violence towards women cannot be seen as a normal part of society. Our leaders must stand against violence towards women.”