The Musicians Association of SA (Masa) and the Gospel Music Association of SA say kwaito star Arthur Mafokate must “recuse himself or be recused” from the board of the powerful SA Music Rights Association (Samro) until he is cleared by the courts of assaulting singer Cici (real name Busisiwe Twala).
The music associations want Arthur and Samro to follow the same process as what happened at Brand SA, where Arthur resigned from the board of trustees earlier this year, apparently because of the Cici case.
In a statement, the musicians’ bodies said: “It is about time that the music and broader creative industry join in on the #MeToo campaign.”
City Press has, meanwhile, learnt that the Brand SA board allegedly pushed Arthur to resign after the case began to make headlines.
Khanyisile Kweyama, chairperson of Brand SA, denied the claims, saying: “Arthur Mafokate resigned from the board voluntarily. He sent a letter of resignation, which I accepted as chair in consultation with the board.”
However, sources on or close to the board said there was more to it than that.
“He was asked by the board to explain himself about Cici. He did this verbally and in writing,” said one.
Another confirmed this and said: “The board wasn’t satisfied and a subcommittee recommended he be asked to resign, which he did.”
Asked for comment, Samro’s Andre le Roux told City Press: “Samro remains deeply concerned over the allegations that are faced by its board member, Mr Mafokate, relating to the alleged assault of Ms Twala.
“The allegations against him go to the heart of the violations that South African women face on a daily basis.”
He said the board had consulted with Mr Mafokate and made this sentiment known, however, Samro believed that “all people are, and must be, presumed innocent until proven guilty ... As such, Samro wishes to allow the current court process between Mr Mafokate and Ms Twala to run its course. Once judgment is handed down, Samro is committed to taking any action as may be necessary on an urgent basis.”
Arthur’s lawyer, Bongani Khoza, told City Press: “The truth of the matter is that our client was the victim of abuse at the hands of Twala. We have noted the extremely biased stance that has been taken by the members of Masa without allowing the legal processes to be concluded. Our client is discriminated against as a result of his gender.
“Our client was not asked to resign from the Brand SA board as alleged. Our client voluntarily resigned to protect the interests of Brand SA. Our client will not be resigning from any further boards, after having sought legal advice in relation to the issues.”
Cici’s lawyer, Keegan Elliott, said: “We deny the allegation that our client was, at any point, abusive towards Mr Mafokate and advise that Mr Mafokate’s comments via his legal representatives are simply of a defamatory nature and, in so far as we can surmise, are aimed at attempting to paint Mr Mafokate as the victim in the assault that took place against our client.”