Manana gets the chop from Shevolution Africa
Mduduzi Manana has officially been given the chop as a panelist at the Shevolution Africa event around gender-based violence.
"We can confirm that Mr Manana will not be part of the event‚" Buhle Tonise of Shevolution Africa confirmed in a text message to SowetanLIVE on Wednesday.
Manana's 11th-hour exclusion from the event follows stinging criticism of the organisers for including him so soon after his conviction for assault. He pleaded guilty to beating three women at a nightclub barely a year ago in Fourways‚ Johannesburg. Manana again made headlines in 2018 when his domestic worker accused him of beating her.
Gender activists were among the people who had called for a boycott of the event‚ scheduled to take place on Saturday.
On Tuesday‚ Manana released a statement confirming that while he had accepted the invitation from Shevolution Africa‚ he was not aware that he would be used to market the event.
His face was plastered on a poster advertising the event‚ alongside that of deputy minister of telecommunications and postal services Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams.
Tickets for the event‚ titled "Legends United Against Gender-Based Violence"‚ cost R1‚000 to R5‚000 and the proceeds are meant to go to 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 and injuring two others in 2017.
Shevolution Africa had‚ until Tuesday‚ stood by its decision to include Manana‚ saying it wanted to include all voices in the debate around gender-based violence.
“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 organisation said.
Through his foundation however‚ Manana said he had requested 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 in a statement.
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 said he was aware that his assault conviction 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”.