Survivor SA’s Tevin Naidu caught in controversy over molestation comment made online

2018-08-16 07:15
 

*This article has been updated to include a statement from M-Net and the KZN Department of Health.

Cape Town - “Find yourself someone who looks at you the way I look at her (like a molester who found his next victim),” Survivor SA contestant Dr. Tevin Naidu captioned a photo of himself alongside a female model on his Instagram account earlier this week.

After receiving backlash over the post, the reality TV star quickly edited the caption to remove the offensive remark and made his Instagram account private. 

However social media users had already taken screengrabs of Tevin’s comment and were sharing it online in shock, demanding an apology. 

SEE A SCREENGRAB HERE:

(A screengrab of the original post. Photo: Supplied)

It was only late on Wednesday evening, after Channel24 had reached out to Tevin for comment, that the 24-year-old issued a public apology. 

APOLOGY ON INSTAGRAM:

Briefly making his Instagram profile public, Tevin shared a blank image and added the following statement: "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."

He added: "I truly regret having posted what I did and I 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.

"Molestation is clearly not an issue to be mixed with humor and 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."

On Thursday morning Tavin's Instagram account was set to private once again. A link to his apology was still visible on his Twitter account.

SEE THE TWEET HERE:

The young doctor from Durban was the sixth person voted out of the current season of Survivor South Africa set in the Philippines. The finale is set to air on M-Net (DStv 101) on Thursday night at 19:00. 

M-NET RESPONSE: 

M-Net on Thursday issued the following statement to Channel24 on Tevin's comment: "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 also part of a marketing campaign for the South African version of The Bachelor. He was a “wingman” at speed dating events held to find female contestants for the show. 

Lani Lombard, head of M-Net publicity, confirmed that "Tevin was part of the initial marketing activities to recruit female contestants" for the new dating show but "will not be involved in the remainder of the campaign".

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH RESPONSE: 

A spokesperson for the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health, Ncumisa Mafunda, told Channel24 that the department strongly condemns the comment made by Tevin, whose an intern at the King Edward VIII Hospital in Durban. 

"This matter is being dealt with internally by management of King Edward VIII Hospital. Furthermore, and without prejudice, the department urges all its employees to familiarise themselves with the social media guidelines for personal use of social media, as set out by the Government Communications and Information Systems (GCIS)," Ncumisa said. 

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