Pretoria – Using a picture convicted woman-beater Mduduzi Manana and his inclusion as a keynote speaker on posters of a fundraising event for gender-based violence (GBV) was "insensitive" - the former ANC MP's foundation said on Tuesday.
The Mduduzi Manana Foundation (MNF) said the move was "insensitive" considering his conviction was "understandably still fresh in the minds of many South Africans”.
“The foundation has noted the insensitive nature of the event poster carrying the face of the chairperson [Manana] and further describing him as a legend," said the MNF statement.
"The assault conviction that involves the chairperson, for which he took full responsibility and showed remorse, is understandably still fresh in the minds of many South Africans, more so during this month, and his total commitment to the fight against GBV is yet to be tested through his conduct and practical deeds.
“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 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.”
Manana, who remains a member of the ANC national executive committee, was - the foundation said - not going to be a guest speaker at the “Legends United Against Gender Based Violence” fundraising gala dinner.
The poster, which says tickets for the gala dinner range between R1 000 and R5 000, sparked a furore, particularly on social media.
Last month, the disgraced Manana resigned from Parliament, in the wake of assault conviction.
"Now that the [National Prosecuting Authority] NPA has independently decided that I have no case to answer based on the police investigation, I have decided to voluntarily withdraw my membership from the National Assembly after almost 10 years of active participation in parliamentary politics."
Manana was pressured into quitting his deputy minister of higher education position after he was convicted of assaulting two women at a Johannesburg nightclub.
In May, Manana's former domestic worker Christine Wiro laid assault charges against him. An audio recording then surfaced in which Manana is heard offering Wiro R1 000 000 as "consolation" in exchange for dropping assault charges against him. The case is yet to be heard in court.
However, the NPA said it declined to prosecute him for that alleged abuse of Wiro, saying they believed that there were no reasonable prospects for successful prosecution.
African News Agency/ANA