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Mashaba lambasted for suggesting pads would lead children to ‘focus on sex’

Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba is facing a staunch backlash for suggesting that handing out sanitary towels to young girls in school encourages them to focus on sex.

FILE: Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Gender experts have weighed in on Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba’s latest Twitter gaffe, warning his comments on sanitary towels are not only false and misleading but also dangerous.

Earlier on Friday, the mayor suggested that handing out sanitary towels to children would lead to a focus on sex.

He was then asked on Twitter what sanitary pads have to do with sex to which he replied, “a lot”.

Mashaba’s initial comment was in response to an image of African National Congress NEC member Nomvula Mokonyane handing out sanitary pads at a school, while on the campaign trail in KwaZulu-Natal.

Mashaba is facing a staunch backlash for suggesting that handing out sanitary towels to young girls in school, encourages them to focus on sex.

Mashaba tweeted that doing so amounted to deliberately destroying the future of the youth.

Gender Links’ Sifisosami Dube says this is a lie: “There’s no relation between sanitary pads and sex. Sanitary pads are used for protection.”

Sexual reproductive health expert Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng says Mashaba's tweets are dangerous.

“The utterances of Mr Mashaba are damaging because he won’t spend time undoing that as he thinks he’s correct. ”

Mashaba has attempted to clarify his comments by saying he has a problem with sanitary towels being given to grade R pupils.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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