The knives are out for Umkhokha actor Kini Shandu and Impucuzeko Maskandi Festival founder Xolani Mcineka.
Shandu, a former Daily Thetha and Gagasi FM presenter, hosts the annual Sebenza Women’s Awards. Mcineka stages the popular maskandi festival at the Moses Mabhida stadium every year.
The two seem to have bitten the proverbial hand that feeds them. A KZN women’s NGO has written a petition to the premier’s office urging that government support for the two men’s projects be reviewed.
Accused of attacking women on social media
Both event organisers enjoy financial support from KwaZulu-Natal government as they host various gigs that are aimed at honouring women.
The NGO has also complained about the two men’s use of denigrating language against women on their social media platforms.
KwaMthaniya Women’s Activist Movement NGO has written a letter of complaint to KZN Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube. The NGO said it represents concerned women, activists and professional groups. It is headed by Zibu Masotobe Sibiya.
NGO petition against the two men
The women are decrying the use of denigrating language against women. They alleged that this is perpetrated by Shandu and Mcineka on their social media platforms.
“Over 3,000 women have signed the petition calling for the premier’s intervention. Mr Shandu and Mr Mcineka benefit hugely from the government funding in staging their events. It doesn’t sit well with us that the very same people rely on some women for support. [They rely on women] in order for their events to be successful,” said Sibiya.
Premier’s office responds
The KZN premier’s office confirmed receiving a letter of complaint. “The premier has instructed the Office on the Status of Women in the [premier’s office] to look into the correspondence and allegations. Critical to this process, will be an engagement with the drafters of the correspondence. We will reach out to those implicated in the correspondence in order to get a fuller picture.
“The premier strongly condemns acts of violence against women and vulnerable groups. These [may be] through physical contact or general impugnment of the dignity of women, as is alleged in this instance.
“The premier is bound by the Constitution to uphold and promote human rights. This is including freedom of expression and the right to dignity… However, the premier is unequivocal in asserting that the freedom of expression is not an absolute right. It has Constitutional limitations.
“As such, the premier subscribes to the Constitutional principles that the exercise of the right of freedom of expression, while it is fundamental, must be such that it does not infringe on the rights or cause harm to other individuals,” read part of the letter.
Fight against GBV
The Office of the Premier urged those implicated in this complaint and the general public to refrain from making reckless public statements that might worsen the situation.
“We urge all members of society to unite in the fight against GBV [gender-based-violence] … We call on all peace-loving men and women to be vocal and vicious in their fight against GBV.”
For his reckless comments, Shandu has had two major sponsors SMG (BMW) Umhlanga and Oceans Mall, walking away from the Sebenza Women’s Awards.
The blowback comes as he made disparaging comments about women who have children out of wedlock.