In a taped phone conversation, a person, who is reportedly South Africa’s Deputy Education Minister Mduduzi Manana, admits to slapping a woman at a club after she called him gay, local media say.
Reports add that the two were involved in a row over who should should succeed President Jacob Zuma as leader of the governing African National Congress (ANC) at the party’s elective conference in December.
The confession was part of a recording of a subsequent conversation between a person believed to be Mr Manana and Phesheya Duma, the brother of Mandisa Duma, the alleged victim, TimesLive reports.
Mr Manana has not yet commented.
But on the tape, the voice can be heard denying that he followed the victims out to the car park to continue the violence. He said that other people did that.
A post on Twitter talks about the injuries that Ms Duma allegedly sustained during Saturday night’s altercation at the club in Fourways, near the main city Johannesburg, a twitter user with handle @Luwanda_Duma tweeted:
‘Dep Min of Edu assulted my sister last night. This is not the kind of behavior we expect from “so-called leaders” It’s disgusting!’
A police ministry spokesman said a case of assault has been opened at a local police station, the local IOL news site reports.
The site also quoted the ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) as saying it had noted the reports of the alleged incident.
“The ANCWL condemns violence against women and perpetrators must face the might of the law,” a statement said, IOL reports.
Mr Manana is a supporter of Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa in the battle to succeed Mr Zuma, local media report.
Other contenders include former African Union commission chief Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who is the ex-wife of Presdent Jacob Zuma, and housing minister Lindiwe Sisulu, both of whom hope to become South Africa’s first female president.