File: Police Minister Fikile Mbalula says he wants to ensure that women reporting rape and abuse are dealt with in a sensitive manner.
JOHANNESBURG - In an interview with Talk Radio 702, Minister of Police Fikile Mbalula insisted that the Deputy Minister of Higher Education Mduduzi Manana was not given special treatment by police in his assault case.
During an interview with presenter Xolani Gwala the minister initially tried to explain, "we don't discuss some of these cases but for the sake of your listeners, I'll unpack it. In the initial reporting of the case..." The line was then cut off.
When the minister was back on the line, Gwala drew a comparison between a Durban student, who assaulted a fellow student, and Manana, who was not taken into custody after the news broke of him assaulting a woman in a nightclub.
Mbalula said the charge initially brought against the deputy minister was of common assault and was later changed to assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, which influenced how the matter was initially handled.
The minister also detailed the shortcomings his department has regarding gender-based violence and the six-point plan that is being implemented at a police station level.
Mbalula said the South African Police Service had done what it could do under the circumstances. When queried about the outrage that Manana has not been fired, the minister said it was up to the courts and employers to decide on the consequences Manana should face.
He said that the only way the police's response to abuse could be undermined would be if they ignored abuse when it was reported.