#TotalShutDown urges Johann Rupert to cancel Chairman's Conversation appearance over Mkhari's assault allegations

2018-11-30 06:34
Johann Rupert (File, Netwerk24)

Johann Rupert (File, Netwerk24)

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The #TotalShutDown movement has written to businessman Johann Rupert asking him to cancel his appearance on Power FM's Chairman's Conversation on Tuesday over allegations that Given Mkhari, the chairperson of the station's parent company MSG Afrika, assaulted his wife.

"We write to you as the #TotalShutDown in the midst of the 16 Days of Activism against the abuse of women and children. We believe that leaders like you, with considerable influence in our society, must support the fight against gender-based violence and not create space for women abusers," the letter dated November 27, 2018, reads.

#TotalShutDown first made headlines when it successfully staged "shut down" marches and protests across the country in August as part of its campaign for the end of gender-based violence in South Africa.

The impact of the demonstrations resulted in President Cyril Ramaphosa convening South Africa's first ever summit against gender-based violence and femicide on November 1, 2018, in Pretoria.

ALSO READ: #GBVSummit: 'We hear you and we will not fail you' – Ramaphosa tells delegates

The civil society group is appealing for Rupert to cancel his appearance in light of media reports that Mkhari, who is expected to conduct the interview, allegedly assaulted his wife and has since "refused to engage listeners on the incident", according to the movement.

ALSO READ: PowerFM boss Given Mkhari and his wife appear in court for assault

"Mr Mkhari has not only refused to engage his listeners about that incident but is said to be intimidating some presenters and Power 98.7 staff from talking about the matter on air declaring it his private matter," the civil society group alleges.

Interview 'an opportunity for the public'

The movement further claims that an appearance by Rupert would be an insult to victims of gender-based violence.

"We believe that your participation in the so-called Chairman's Conversation in the middle of 16 Days of Activism against the abuse of the most vulnerable of our society will send a message that business in general and your business, in particular, do not support the struggle against abuse," the movement concluded.

Mkhari joined Thursday night's edition of Power Perspective with Thabiso Kotane to give listeners a taste of what they can expect on Tuesday and why the chairperson chose to engage Rupert.

"If you look at the Rupert-controlled businesses in South Africa and globally, they are far-reaching, he is a serious businessman.

"Rupert has and does play a role in society, his name has been prominent in catch phrases like 'white monopoly capital', that is why we chose him," he said.

Mkhari added that this platform would provide an opportunity for the public to ask the media-shy businessman questions.

"We know the name, we don't know his voice or face, but he matters. So many things have been said about him, let the man come face the public and let the public face him and ask the questions," he concluded.

Read more on:    given mkhari  |  johann rupert  |  domestic violence
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