Following a public backlash on social media against convicted woman beater Mduduzi Manana speaking at a fundraiser to fight gender-based violence, it was reported on Tuesday that a convicted rapist would also speak at the event.
The fundraiser is organised by Shevolution Africa and is themed ‘Legends United Against Gender-Based Violence’.
According to EWN, the rapist served 12 years for the crime and would speak at the event on Saturday.
The organisers of the event reportedly said perpetrators of gender-based violence should be part of seeking solutions to address the scourge.
The organiser of the fundraiser, Buhle Tonise, said bringing victims of gender-based violence and perpetrators of such crimes into discussions would make a difference.
Tonise was quoted as saying victims of the crime would not be able to come up with solutions to address the issue because of their emotional state.
The organiser said survivors who would be part of the event had agreed to include perpetrators of gender-based violence in the discussions.
Criticism of using Manana’s image on a poster advertising the event was also made by Manana’s foundation, which described the use of the former MP’s image as “insensitive”.
The Star reported that although the event organisers had noted the outrage about inviting Manana to the event, it had intended to have different voices, including those of victims and abusers, speak on the matter.
Shevolution Africa’s Dineo Mancotywa told the publication Manana would not speak at the dinner, but would rather be a panellist who would face 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 former MP was convicted on three counts of intent to commit grievous bodily harm late last year and fined R100 000 for assaulting women at the Cubana nightclub in Fourways, north of Johannesburg.