Nando's, the South African fast-food and restaurant chain, has withdrawn advertising that depicts the ageing, authoritarian President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, 87, as "the last dictator standing".
In a statement, Nando's said it noted with concern "political reaction" in Zimbabwe, including threats against managers, staff and customers at its spicy-chicken franchise outlets across the country. "No TV commercial is worth risking the safety of Nando's staff and customers," it added.
The ad shows Mr Mugabe dining alone at Christmas, his empty table set for departed dictators including Muammar Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein. Nando's says it will no longer air the advertising on South African television, which is beamed by satellite to tens of thousands of Zimbabwean subscribers.
The commercial shows an actor playing Mr Mugabe reminiscing about his times with former dictators. It portrays him and Gaddafi engaging in a water-pistol fight, with Gaddafi wielding a gold-plated AK-47 water pistol.Reuse content