South Africa’s deputy Education Minister for Higher Education Mduduzi Manana is appearing in the Randburg Magistrates Court in Johannesburg.
On Monday, he was accused of hitting a woman during a row at a nightclub and has since apologised.
He was escorted through a separate entrance to avoid the media circus outside the courthouse – the media has also not been allowed into the courtroom.
This is not common practice and will further fuel claims that he is receiving preferential treatment because he is a government official.
South Africans have taken to social media since news of his alleged assault of a woman in a night club last weekend, asking why he had not been arrested, in spite of admitting to the incident.
It has been a particularly sore point for many who point out that the alleged assault happened at a time when the country is currently observing a government-led campaign called 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children.
Some say the way the authorities are handling this case speaks volumes on how the country and society views violence against women.