Responsibility: Mdu Masilela failed to take it

2017-10-29 00:00
Mdu Masilela (Photo: Gallo)

Mdu Masilela (Photo: Gallo)

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‘I am against women and child abuse, so for me to be labelled an abuser is sad. Couples go through their ups and downs in relationships, but that doesn’t justify why men lay their hands on women or even threaten to kill them. Sarah and I are not perfect, but I won’t go to the extent of trying to take her life.”

These were words kwaito legend Mdu Masilela uttered three months ago, while denying news reports that linked him to the attempted murder of his wife, Sarah, at their Sandton home. He allegedly fired gunshots into the air after an altercation with Sarah over a call he had received.

Adding her voice to the drama, she said: “I was shocked by reports that my husband tried to kill me. I want to make it clear that nothing like that happened. We don’t know why such a story was ever written. Everything about Mdu trying to kill me was a lie.”

That was then.

This week, Masilela was again in the news. Coincidentally, it related to the same thing he professed he was against in July. This time his former lover and the mother of his eight-month-old child laid a charge against him after he tried to evict her from his other house.

Flanked by his wife, Masilela told the Sowetan on Tuesday: “I apologise to my wife and I’m thankful that she’s still by my side. I’m disappointed in myself that I could fall into the same trap twice. I did another blunder and I’m sorry to put my wife through this.

“I’m not proud of what happened over the weekend and I wish to extend my apology to women all over South Africa and the world. There are better ways to deal with disputes and disagreements.

“There was never any intent on my part to do any harm to her. The content of the discussion and her calling my wife, only to realise she knows about our meeting, led to her uncalled-for outburst. In the course of the altercation and while defending myself, she might have been hurt ... I feel the matter can be resolved without it being for public consumption.

“She threw a glass of wine and hit me with many objects.”

By Tuesday, pictures of his former lover circulated on social media, which led to Masilela’s condemnation.

In the interview he gave, Masilela saw no reason to apologise to the woman he is accused of beating. Instead, his statement could be interpreted as an attempt to justify his reaction.

He apologised to his wife and “women all over South Africa and the world”. But not to the woman he is accused of lifting his fist to.

An apology to her would have gone a long way towards correcting the wrong and would have shown that Masilela had taken responsibility for his actions.

But trying to justify the fight with what led up to it is an excuse and a failure to live up to his words in July: that he is against women and child abuse.

Follow me on Twitter @DumisaneLubisi

Read more on:    violence  |  women abuse

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