Members of the public have reacted with outrage to the pictures that the Basic Education Department Spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga posted on his Twitter page in an apparent bid to promote reading.

Mhlanga posted a series of pictures of semi-naked women as part of the department’s Read to Lead campaign.

Minister Angie Motshekga has distanced the department from the pictures, saying she has ordered that appropriate action be taken.

Members of the public say women deserve to be respected.

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Mhlanga has since apologised.

However, the Department of Women and Gender Equality Commission says it’s concerned that a government spokesperson can resort to posting pictures of naked women to promote a reading campaign.

Commission Chairperson Tamara Mathebula says they will not take the matter lying down.