M-Net has removed Dr Tevin Naidu after he made social media comments about molestation.

* This story has been updated to reflect that Naidu was not fired by M-Net as initially stated. 

DURBAN - M-Net has said Dr Tevin Naidu will no longer play a role in the marketing of The Bachelor South Africa after he made offensive comments about molestation on social media this week. 

Naidu, a former Mr India South Africa winner, had taken to social media to apologise on Wednesday night. 

But M-Net spokesperson Lani Lombard said the pay channel did not condone abuse and said they would no longer be working with Naidu. 

"M-Net does not condone any type of abuse, or references to it, in any context and viewed Tevin Naidu’s offensive Instagram comment in a serious light. Tevin was part of the initial marketing activities to recruit female contestants for the new dating show The Bachelor South Africa but will not be involved in the remainder of the campaign," said Lombard. 

Naidu found himself at the centre of a social media storm when he posted a picture of a wedding shoot featuring himself and a local model on his Instagram page, which he then captioned it: “Find yourself someone who looks at you the way I look at her (Like a molester who found his next victim)," he wrote.

Screenshots of his statement surfaced on Facebook and had been widely shared. By Wednesday, his Instagram account was made private after social media users condemned his comments.  

The controversial social media comments made by Tevin Naidu. He has since apologised for the comments.
The controversial social media comments made by Tevin Naidu. He has since apologised for the comments.

Naidu, who is an intern doctor at the King Edward VIII Hospital in Durban, said in his apology: “To everyone affected and offended by my social media post directly or indirectly, I would like to issue a formal apology to all of you. My post was made in jest and unfortunately - it lacked sensitivity, was completely distasteful, and offensive. I truly regret having posted what I did, and would like to categorically state that I had no malicious intentions. I can only ask that this unfortunate incident be put down to my lack of better judgement at the time.”

He said in his apology that molestation clearly was not an issue to be mixed with humour.

“I understand that the lack of judgement and error on my part has offended many people and I am truly sorry for this. I can only pray and hope that my indiscretion in this regard can be forgiven and my apology accepted,” wrote Naidu.

Dr Tevin Naidu in a The Bachelor South Africa marketing campaign.
Dr Tevin Naidu in a The Bachelor South Africa marketing campaign.

Naidu was recently a participant on Survivor South Africa and had been involved in marketing as a “stand-in bachelor” for MNet’s new The Bachelor South Africa reality dating show.

On Thursday, Naidu's attorney wrote to the Sunday Tribune to clarify that their client did not have an employment contract with M-Net and could thus, not be fired by the pay channel. 

"He is in fact contracted and employed by the Department of Health KZN and currently stationed at the King Edward Hospital in Durban", said Naidu's attorney, Edward Abraham of Pather and Pather Attorneys. 

[email protected]  

* This story has been updated to reflect that Naidu was not fired by M-Net as initially stated. 

SUNDAY TRIBUNE