08/05/2018 06:02 SAST | Updated 08/05/2018 06:09 SAST

Manana To Sue Domestic Worker For Extortion After Assault Claim

Mduduzi Manana says his former domestic worker's family tried to extort him for R100 000.

Sunday Times via Getty Images
CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA FEBRUARY 16: Mduduzi Manana on the red carpet at the State of the Nation Address (SONA) 2018 in Parliament on February 16, 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa. SONA, is an annual event in Republic of South Africa, in which the President of the country reports on the status of the nation, to the resumption of a joint sitting of Parliament. (Photo by Gallo Images / Sunday Times / Esa Alexander)

Former deputy minister of higher education, Mduduzi Manana will sue the family of his domestic worker, Catherine Wiro, after she accused him of assault and then dropped the charges. According to TimesLive, Manana claims Wiro's family tried to extort him of R100 000.

Wiro reportedly filed charges of assault against Manana on Sunday night, claiming he pushed her down the stairs, but withdrew the charges a few hours later.

Eyewitness News reported that the woman claimed Manana threatened to track her down and that she feared for his life, as the former deputy minister "has connections everywhere".

Wiro told SowetanLive that Manana treated her badly, and that she frequently worked until 10:30pm despite having started at 6am. Her son reportedly said she was often subjected to verbal abuse.

But on Monday night, according to TimesLive, Manana reportedly issued a statement via a government media whatsapp group, denying the woman's version of events and saying she was capitalising on his previous assault conviction.

Manana was convicted of assault after he was caught on film beating up a woman at Cubana in Fourways in August.

"I am aware that a case of assault has been withdrawn but I have instructed my lawyers to file a legal suit against the Wiro family for extortion as they demanded an amount of R100 000‚ 000. Instead‚ I gave Ms Wiro money that was due to her for the two weeks period that she worked at my home," Manana reportedly said on Monday night.

According to him, the "altercation" related to how Wiro frequently let people into his home, posing a risk to his security.

"I warned her about a possible security risk that such conduct poses to me and especially to her as she could easily be raped. On May 6‚ 2018‚ I... 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 assault which was leveled against me and for which I pleaded guilty‚ there has 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‚" Manana reportedly said.