JOHANNESBURG - Parliament's portfolio committee on education on Wednesday condemned tweets of semi-naked women posted by Department of Basic Education spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga for the 'Read to Learn' campaign, saying they were inappropriate and objectified women.
Mhlanga posted a series of suggestive photographs of women reading over the weekend, urging people to read books as part of the department's campaign. Committee chairwoman Bongiwe Mbinqo-Gigaba said the pictures sent a wrong message to the public.
"Mr Elijah Mhlanga’s approach to the Read to Lead campaign for the basic education sector misses his target market completely and does more harm than good. Furthermore, South Africa has made big strides since the dawn of democracy in the emancipation of women," said Mbingo-Gigaba.
"The comments and distribution of images of this nature by a person of Mr Mhlanga’s stature undermines many of these gains. We cannot but condemn these images of scantily-clad women, which attempt to promote reading by making it ‘sexy;."
Mbinqo-Gigaba noted that Mr Mhlanga had first tried to justify his tweets and then apologised.