Metro FM host and human-rights activist Criselda Kananda-Dudumashe has declined her nomination to serve as a board member on the South African National Aids Council.
This followed outrage over the controversial comments she made on social media where she defended former deputy minister of higher education and training Mduduzi Manana.
“I accept the criticism and recognise that my statements have caused harm for which I am deeply sorry.
“These objections are based on my regrettable statements that I believe will constitute conflict of interest if I serve on the [South African National Aids Trust].
“As a public advocate to campaigns for the rights of people living with HIV and believing in the significant gains made by the multi-sectorial approach for the fight against the Aids epidemic, I have taken the decision to decline nomination to serve on the trust,” she wrote on Facebook and Instagram last night.
Manana is facing charges of the alleged assault of two women at a Johannesburg night club earlier this month after they allegedly called him gay.
Kananda-Dudumashe praised Manana on the work he did in government and said he is a man of good character.
“Having interacted with him I know how remorseful he is,” she wrote on Facebook last Friday.
Manana had since resigned from his ministerial position, but remained an ANC MP.
The Treatment Action Campaign and the Democratic Alliance both raised objections to rumours that she was due to be appointed to the body, which coordinates the country’s response to HIV and Aids.
Speaking at the TAC’s sixth national congress in Sterkfontein on Thursday, deputy president and the council’s chair Cyril Ramaphosa assured the congress that Kananda-Dudumashe would not hold any position on the council.
Ramaphosa, who was the keynote speaker, said he had spoken to her and “immediately conceded” that she not be appointed. He welcomed her decision to turn down the nomination.
Kananda-Dudumashe also made controversial comments about transgender people at a gathering at the University of Venda recently, saying that anyone “with a dick between his legs is a man”.