Mduduzi Manana asks for mercy

Manana pleaded guilty to beating three women at a Johannesburg restaurant, shortly after footage of the attack went viral in August.

FILE: Former deputy Higher Education Minister Mduduzi Manana arrives at the Randburg Magistrate's Court on 8 November 2017. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - It’s emerged that former deputy Higher Education Minister Mduduzi Manana has pleaded for mercy in the Randburg Magistrates Court where he's being sentenced for assault.

Manana pleaded guilty to beating three women at a Johannesburg restaurant, shortly after footage of the attack went viral in August.

The argument in mitigation of sentence is currently underway.

Manana has pleaded for a sentence in line with rehabilitation, saying he is remorseful for his actions.

He told the court through his attorney that he's undergoing counselling to help him with anger management.

He also says he's already started giving back to the community through his foundation and that he's joined another organisation that aims to address gender-based violence.

THEFT CONVICTIONS

At the same time, the court has heard that Manana has two previous convictions for theft.

He has confirmed in court that he has two previous convictions, one of which was for stealing a can of coke.

It’s understood the other was an admission of guilt and he was slapped with a R500 fine.

Both offences happened over 10 years ago.

The courtroom is packed to capacity with activists against women abuse and some political parties attending Wednesday’s proceedings.