S. African minister apologizes for nightclub 'incident'


South African Deputy Minister of Higher Education Mduduzi Manana has apologized for allegedly assaulting a woman at a Johannesburg nightclub in the early hours of Sunday morning.

The minister was accused early Monday of hitting a woman after a debate, over President Jacob Zuma's succession after his term ends in December as African National Congress (ANC) president, turned sour.

"I wish to apologize unreservedly to Ms. Mandisa Duma, her family, the government of South Africa and all South Africans, and women in particular, for the incident that happened at Cubana Restaurant in Fourways [district] over the weekend," Manana said in a statement.

He said that regardless of the "extreme provocation" he had received he should have exercised restraint.

"That shameful incident should not have happened. I know that my actions and those of the people in my company have disappointed and hurt many people in the country," he said.

The Times newspaper has broadcast on its website a recording, purportedly of a conversation between the minister and the victim's brother, in which the former allegedly admits to having slapped Duma after she called him "gay".

The ruling African National Congress (ANC) said it had noted with great disappointment the accusations leveled against Manana.

"Such behavior is unacceptable and should be roundly condemned by all in our society," ANC spokesman Zizi Kodwa said in a statement Monday.

Duma, posted images, allegedly of her swollen face, a black eye, bruised knees and neck on Twitter creating outrage among users.

A police spokesperson said a case of assault had been opened against the minister.

"The African National Congress calls upon our law enforcement agencies to act without fear or favor to investigate these allegations and bring the perpetrators to book," the ANC said Monday.

Susan Shabangu Minister in the Presidency responsible for Women condemned the alleged incident saying she received it with great shock and disappointment.

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