10/08/2017 12:52 SAST | Updated 10/08/2017 13:28 SAST

Here's How The Ministry Of Police Is Trying To Justify Not Arresting Minister Mduduzi Manana

"We must then say, what is the degree of assault that we are talking about?"

Frennie Shivambu / Gallo Images
South African Deputy Minister of Higher Education Mduduzi Manana at the State of the Nation address 2017.

The Ministry of Police says there are valid reasons why it has not arrested deputy minister of higher education Mduduzi Manana and insists that he is not being given special treatment.

Manana was charged with assault on Monday after he allegedly hit Mandisa Duma at a Fourways restaurant, causing injuries. He admitted to the crime in a sound recording, saying she had called him gay.

Ministry spokesperson Vuyo Mhaga told HuffPost SA on Thursday: "There is nothing special about this [Manana's case]". He said the public assumes it is standard procedure for a perpetrator to be arrested in such cases but this is not always the case.

The Manana case does not appear to follow the normal case of events in an alleged crime: police did not arrest him before he appeared in court and all inquiries were referred to the ministry.

The South African Police Service (SAPS) declined to speak to HuffPost SA about the case and deferred questions to the ministry.

When asked why the ministry was dealing with the case and not the SAPS, Mhaga told Huffpost SA only that the ministry had deemed it necessary to handle the case directly and that this was the time it needed to "show leadership".

He added that "when you hand in the details, you don't have to be arrested" straight away.

According to Section 35 of the Bill of Rights, accused suspects have rights and Acts that protect them from being arrested. An arrest without a warrant happens in a case where there was a dangerous wound inflicted.

Mhaga supported this by saying that cases of this matter are handled differently and that "each case has got its merits". He said the arrest of a perpetrator depends on the extent of harm to the victim.

"We must then say, what is the degree of assault that we are talking about? It is a common assault he's been charged with," he said.

"If they know where you stay, you basically appear at the police station, you give them your address and everything, and then you are given the date when you're going to appear," said Mhaga.

On Monday, ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa told Radio 702 that the ANC was trying to locate Manana but could not find him.

On Tuesday, Police Minister Fikile Mbalula said Manana's arrest was imminent. "He's not above the law. He'll be arrested."

Manana had not yet been arrested by Wednesday morning.

He was expected to appear at the Randburg Magistrate's Court on Thursday.