KwaZulu-Natal Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube has ordered an investigation into comments shared on social media by well-known media personality, Kininonke "Kini" Shandu.
Shandu, founder of the Sebenza Women Awards, implied that it was embarrassing to marry a woman who had two to three children out of wedlock.
Dube-Ncube said her office has received complaints from concerned women, activists, and professional groups over the disparaging comments.
To this end, she has tasked the Office on the Status of Women to look into the complaints and claims made.
"Critical to this process will be an engagement with the drafters of the correspondence and reaching out to those implicated in the correspondence in order to get a fuller picture," Dube-Ncube said.
She further condemned the acts of violence against women and vulnerable groups.
She added that while she is bound by the injunction of the Constitution to uphold and promote human rights, including freedom of expression and the right to dignity, freedom of expression is not an absolute right as it has Constitutional limitations.
Dube-Ncube added that she wants to foster frank and open dialogue around the topic as a means of addressing this and similar issues in the future.
The premier is urging those implicated in the complaint and others to refrain from making statements on social media that could worsen the situation.
Meanwhile, SMG uMhlanga and Oceans Mall have pulled their sponsorship of the awards.
SMG uMhlanga said the company will no longer be associated with the Umkhokha actor.