Manana denounces 'insensitive' poster

Mduduzi Manana.
Mduduzi Manana.
Image: Freddy Mavunda

Amid mounting criticism over the inclusion of convicted woman beater Mduduzi Manana in the Shevolution Africa’s event to mark gender-based violence‚ former education minister Manana has spoken out‚ saying he had no idea he would be headlined.

Manana’s face was plastered alongside that of deputy minister of telecommunications and postal services‚ Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams for the the event‚ scheduled for Saturday‚ August 11. The event is titled "Legends United Against Gender-Based Violence," with tickets costing between R1‚000 and R5‚000.

Manana on Tuesday issued a statement through his foundation‚ requesting that the Shevolution Africa group remove his face from its posters.

“The foundation was honoured to receive an invitation from Shevolution Africa but we were not aware that the event poster will carry the picture of the chairperson [Manana] and we have since advised the organisation to be sensitive to the public outcry and withdraw the event poster and any other material carrying his face‚” the Mduduzi Manana Foundation said.

Manana said he was invited to the event “given his recent assault action and new commitment to fight against gender-based violence and other discrimination against women”.

He was referring to his an assault conviction which came about after he and his friends reportedly beat three women at a Fourways restaurant in August 2017. A video emerged online showing the altercation. Manana pleaded guilty to the offence and was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment or a fine of R100‚000‚ which he opted to pay.

Manana said he was aware that the incident was “still fresh in the minds of many South Africans” and that his fight against gender-based violence “is yet to be tested through his conduct and practical deeds”.

Meanwhile‚ Shevolution Africa said a decision to include Manana in their fundraising programme was to include all voices in this debate.

It said Manana not be a speaker at the event‚ but would participate in the panel discussion.

“He will face some tough questions from people who have felt directly the pain [of gender-based violence] instead of him giving a speech without any dissenting voices responding.”

The proceeds of the event are reportedly to go toward “Lion Mama and other development programmes“. Lion Mama‚ as she has come to be known‚ is an Eastern Cape mother who admitted to stabbing her daughter’s alleged rapists‚ killing one of them and injuring two others last year.

Besides the Fourways assault‚ Manana made headlines again earlier this year after he was accused of assaulting his now-former domestic worker‚ Christine Wiro. Days before Manana announced his resignation as a member of parliament in July this year‚ the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) announced it had declined to prosecute the case‚ saying there were no prospects of success. Manana had claimed his innocence.

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