Midrand, Aug. 10 -- The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) yesterday condemned the actions of Higher Education and Training Deputy Minister Mduduzi Manana, who has admitted to assaulting a female patron at a Gauteng night spot. Numsa urged the government to show its commitment to women's rights by taking action against Manana. Manana and a group of friends were at Cubana restaurant in Fourways in the early hours of Sunday morning when he physically attacked Mandisa Duma. Manana has apologised via the media to Duma and the staff at Cubana for the incident. Witnesses said the attack followed a spat over the ANC succession debate, which culminated in Manana apparently being called gay. A video clip of the assault emerged and went viral on social media. President Jacob Zuma has expressed his distress over Manana's behaviour and Minister of Women in the Presidency Susan Shabangu called for Manana to be prosecuted. Acting Numsa spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi said the union rejected Manana's apology. He said Manana's life was not in danger and therefore had no reason to attack Duma. "Sadly, the behaviour 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 known better," Hlubi said. "However, his actions now provide an opportunity for the government 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. "His admission of guilt and public apology should be enough to set the ball rolling for his arrest. "We call on the Presidency to demonstrate that no one is above the law." news@thenewage.co.za

Published by HT Digital Content Services with permission from The New Age.