Police VIP protection officer to pursue private prosecution against Gauteng Provincial Legislature Deputy Speaker

Vuyo Mhlakaza-Manamela, Deputy Speaker of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature, must explain herself to a court for allegedly assaulting a police officer. That is the wish of police Protection and Security Services officer, Sgt. Lizzy Mojapelo, who has approached AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit for help. The matter was withdrawn last year after senior prosecutors allegedly told Mojapelo that the matter would be difficult to prosecute because the suspect is a very high-profile person.

The alleged assault took place in February 2020 at the home of Mhlakaza-Manamela and her husband, Bhuti Manamela, Deputy Minister of Higher Education. Mojapela alleges that the suspect, in a drunken fit of rage, severely assaulted her. She further states that her police superiors did not want to help her open a case, but instead did everything in their power to frustrate those efforts.

A medical examination confirmed that Mojapelo sustained multiple injuries, and also confirmed she was 11 weeks pregnant at the time. She suffered vaginal bleeding and had to receive fertility treatment to ensure her pregnancy was not terminated.

Mojapelo, as a diligent and dutiful police officer, documented details of the alleged assault at every step of the process — from the occurrence book at the scene of the crime to compiling notes of her interactions with prosecutors and investigators. Despite the prima facie evidence against Mhlakaza-Manamela, the National Prosecuting Authority declined to pursue the matter.

“We created this office to restore the principle of equality before the law, inclusive of politicians who are sheltered from prosecution because of their connections. We laud Sgt. Mojapelo for her strong conviction and will ensure that politicians, like everybody else who are alleged to have committed crimes, are held to account,” says Adv. Gerrie Nel, head of AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit.

This case has similar features to other assault cases handled by the Private Prosecution Unit where politicians are involved. Instead of rallying to the support of men and women in blue, the criminal justice system instead seeks to protect politicians from being held accountable for their violent behavior. AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit takes a firm stand against selective prosecution and will ensure that everyone is equal before the law.

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