It was a wardrobe disaster that made Thandile Babalwa ’Twana Sunduza the talk of the red carpet and the country ahead of President Jacob Zuma’s state of the nation address.
Sunduza’s skimpy off-the-shoulder frock – in canary yellow – stole the limelight outside Parliament on Thursday evening and pitched the arts and culture portfolio committee chairperson squarely into the fashion police’s sights.
Sunduza (37) wasn’t fazed by the attention. Posing for pictures in the blustery evening air, she smilingly told journalists: “I’m seven months’ pregnant. If you ask who’s the father, I don’t know.”
Her dress sparked an online frenzy as detractors compared it with yellow caterpillars and called her “Oros’ wife”. But some people did leap to her defence.
In an interview with City Press on Friday, the MP, who is originally from Soweto, said: “The dress was not what I wanted to wear. My original dress by a designer in Pretoria arrived late and wasn’t what we agreed upon. It was too tight.”
So, said Sunduza, she was forced to adjust the yellow dress.
“I cut off the frills and the sleeves to make it a boob tube. Pieces were falling off, it was a nightmare.”
She thanked her supporters and lamented the discrimination against “fat” people, saying she did not even eat sweet things or drink alcohol.
“I grew up chubby. I’ve never been thin, even though I play sport and walk around. I’ve tried diets. It just doesn’t work. What I want to say is that women must start loving themselves,” said Sunduza.
“If Beyoncé was wearing it or Bonang [Matheba], it wouldn’t be an issue.”
Sunduza said the confusion over the identity of her baby’s father had been a joke. In fact, the couple is planning to get married soon, she said.
She was in high spirits during our phone conversation but, hours later, she collapsed at OR Tambo International Airport.
Sunduza left Cape Town shortly after her interview with City Press. By yesterday afternoon, she remained in a Johannesburg hospital. Her personal assistant, who refused to give her name, said it still was not clear what was wrong.
“This whole thing must be getting to her.” – City Press