An audio clip has surfaced of former deputy minister of higher education Mduduzi Manana offering R100 000 to his former domestic worker, after she laid charges of assault against him. In the clip, obtained by Times Select, Manana can be heard saying he would give her R100,000 if she drops the charges.
In a separate incident, Manana was convicted of assaulting a woman at Cubana nightclub in Fourways earlier this year.
In the clip released by TimesLive, Wiro and Manana can be heard talking about a payment of R100,000.
But Manana told Times Select that the clip actually showed that the woman, Christine Wiro, was extorting money from him. He reportedly said the amount was suggested by her son in exchange for making the charges go away.
On Sunday night, Wiro reportedly laid charges of assault against Manana for assault, alleging that he pushed her down the stairs. Manana denied the charges, and said Wiro was trying to extort money from him.
On Monday, Manana said he would lay charges of extortion against Wiro, according to News24.
According to Times Select, in the clip, Manana reportedly says,
"I'm willing to do anything ... Understand the situation.
"Please. Ngiyanicela [please] ... I'm saying, just for any consolation, just to take care of umama for what she feels is humiliation, I can give a consolation to her. The money she needs, the money she was earning. I can give her consolation to take care of her health, of her family. At least a hundred...
"That does not end our relationship but it continues. That is the consolation I'm trying to get into. Look mama, I know that you worked just for two weeks but I am willing, just for humiliation, to give that consolation. Then we can still continue with our relationship."
Contacted for comment by Times Select, Manana said the clip proved that the family was trying to extort money from him.
"This is after they said to me: 'What are you going to do for us?' So I said: 'Well, I am willing but let us ensure that this case is done away with.' But they proposed the amount and I said: 'Fine, I will offer that'," said Manana.
"They even made me to sign a letter to say, actually, I am committing that I will give them the money, but I felt that this is extortion in the main," he reportedly said.
But in an interview with Eyewitness News (EWN) on Tuesday, Wiro said she dropped the charges out of fear.
"He's a politician. He can do whatever he wants to do with my life, so I'm very scared... I'm very scared...I want justice only. He's already accused me of stealing. I just want justice," she reportedly said.
News24 reported that Manana denies assaulting the woman, and said he merely verbally reprimanded her for letting people into his house without his permission.
"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 [me] my job, and therefore I could never have a repeat of it.
"I gave her (the domestic worker) money that was due to her for the two weeks period that she worked at my home," he reportedly said.