After reports emerged on Monday that ANC MP and former deputy minister Mduduzi Manana was embroiled in yet more allegations of woman abuse, Manana released a statement on Monday night about the affair.
He denied that he had been abusive towards his middle-aged domestic worker. He went as far as to imply that she may have stolen from him. He also made it clear that he thought she had a bad attitude as an employee.
He bizarrely claimed that he’d been trying to prevent his employee, Catherine Wiro, from being raped in his home and that, despite that, she was too laissez-faire in granting access to guests.
He did not specifically deny that he pushed her down the stairs at his home, saying that certain aspects of the case were now “sub judice”. He merely said that at one point he asked her to leave his house.
Reports emerged today that he had allegedly paid Wiro off to drop the case of assault, crimen injuria and intimidation she’d laid against him on Sunday.
However, Manana says it was in fact Wiro who had tried to “extort” R100,000 from him.
He said in his statement: “The new allegations levelled against me are both unfortunate and malicious. Ms Catherine Wiro was employed as my domestic worker for a period of two weeks and she is a Zimbabwean national.
“On her first week at work, I realised that she often gives access to everyone who comes to my home and I warned her about a possible security risk that such conduct poses to me and especially to her as she could easily be raped. This was the week preceding the long weekend and I gave her permission to go home as I was also travelling to my home province of Mpumalanga for party deployment. She returned on Tuesday (01 May 2018). On Wednesday (02 May 2018), I brought to her attention that I am missing some possessions (ie, a camera and a box of crystal glasses). She responded by crying that I am accusing her of stealing.
“On 6 May 2018, I woke up in the morning and told her that I was expecting a guest and she should prepare breakfast for two persons. I went back to take a shower and then I heard voices from the kitchen. I stepped out of my bedroom and discovered that my guest had already made herself comfortable at my home. I then confronted Ms. Wiro that she should have verified with me that there was Ms Sithembile Ntuli at the gate before opening for her because I had not told her the name of the guest that I was having breakfast with.
“Like any other employer, it is within my right to reprimand Ms. Wiro if she flouts the rules of the house, and she responded by laughing, much to my guest’s shock. I then asked her if there was anything funny from what I’m saying. She responded and said ‘I do not know’. I went on to ask if she still interested in the job. Again, she responded and said ‘I said I do not know’. I then asked her to leave the house as that was not the correct attitude for any workplace.
“I wish to place on record that since the case of assault which was levelled against me and for which I pleaded guilty, there have been desperate attempts to discredit and tarnish my name. This deliberate ploy is to use assault as a permanent stigma attached to me by my detractors whom I believe had a major influence in her opening the case and giving her access to the media community. This despite many corrective measures I have put in place to embrace, empower and push for the emancipation of women in our country. I have stated before that the incident that unfolded at Cubana leading to my guilty plea was unfortunate and sad, to an extent that it cost my job, and therefore I could never have a repeat of it.
“I am aware that a case of assault has been withdrawn but I have instructed my lawyers to file a legal suit against the Wiro family for extortion as they demanded an amount of R100 000. Instead, I gave Ms Wiro money that was due to her for the two-week period that she worked at my home. Further details on this specific matter remain sub judice.”