From 2000 to 2020: An inadequate timeline of how South Africa responds to violence

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Words used in reports related to violence in South Africa.
Words used in reports related to violence in South Africa.

Using public figures as case studies, this timeline takes a look at the ways that prominent brands, the government and the public have responded to violence in the last twenty years. 



Baby Jake Matlala's rape case was settled out of c
Baby Jake Matlala's rape case was settled out of court and he continued to fight in the ring until he retired in 2002. (Photo: Supplied)

Baby Jake Matlala

In August of 2000 boxing championship Jacob “Baby Jake” Matlala was trialed for raping Julia Mnyamezeli Ntla on 18 August in 1998, two years before. In defending himself, Matlala said he “interpreted her body language as a desire to foster a physical relationship”, reported News24.

However during the court case, Ntla told the court that Matlala confessed to the incident during a meeting between herself, her pastor, perpetrator and their spouses. 

The rape case was settled out of court and Matlala continued to fight in the ring until he retired in 2002. 

When he did retire in March 2002, the occasion was marked with a ceremonious event where he was carried into the ring, at Carnival City, on a throne. Nelson Mandela and actor Will Smith were present for the farewell fight. 

In January of 2011 Matlala was honoured at a gala dinner hosted by Golden Gloves, a South African boxing consortium. During the gala dinner, the then Minister of Sports and Recreation, Fikile Mbalula said the following in his keynote address to Matlala: 

Baby Jake is one of the best role-models that South Africa and the world has ever had and is a highly disciplined cadre of the sports and boxing fraternity…We believe the nation owes you a lot… You made us proud in difficult and happy moments of our lives and put us high on the world centre-stage.



Four years after facing rape charges, Jaco Zuma wa
Four years after facing rape charges, Jaco Zuma was elected president of South Africa (Photo:Minasse Wondimu Hailu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Jacob Zuma

On 6 December 2005 Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo filed rape charges against Jacob Zuma. 

On 8 May 2006, the Court dismissed the charges, agreeing that the sexual act in question was consensual.

On 9 May 2009, Zuma was inaugurated as the third elected president of the Republic of South Africa. He continued into his second presidency term in 2014. 


DJ Euphonik
Themba Nkosi also known as Euphonik

Euphonik

In 2012 television personality Bonang Matheba laid assault charges and filed a protection order against DJ Euphonik.

In September of 2012, Matheba dropped the charges. 

In 2015 he took part in Marie Claire’s In Her Shoes gender based-violence campaign that saw men like Trevor Gumbi, Gareth Cliff, Maps Maponyane and Siv Ngesi wearing high heels to get a message across. 

By wearing women's shoes I hope to create a lot of awareness… on the amount of abuse that happens with females in this country.
Euphonik



Since returning after his conviction Okmalumkoolka
Since returning after his conviction Okmalumkoolkat has headlined at events including the South African Music Awards. (Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Okmalumkoolkat

On 18 January 2016 rapper Brian Simiso “Okmalumkoolkat” Zwane was arrested in Tasmania, Australia for sexual misconduct. He pleaded guilty and served a month-long sentence in an Australian prison. 

When rapper Aka came under fire for having Okmalumkoolkat design the artwork for his 2017 single Caiphus Song, he responded on Twitter saying, “I can’t speak for the guy but I think he’s being punished. Furthermore he didn’t RAPE anyone. He made a mistake. He still paying for it.

Since returning after his conviction Okmalumkoolkat has headlined at events including the South African Music Awards, Trace Fest, Riky Rick’s Cotton Fest, Smirnoff’s Zone1818 and Kasi Explosion. 

His 2020 EP has received endorsements from Gagasi Fm, Slikour on Life, Shelflife.


Cell phone footage showed Mduduzi Manana assaultin
Cell phone footage showed Mduduzi Manana assaulting a woman at Cubana in Fourways. ((Photo by Gallo Images / Sunday Times / Esa Alexander)

Mduduzi Manana

Cell phone footage showed that while being the deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training in 2017, Mduduzi Manana assaulted a woman at Cubana in Fourways. After 2017 when he resigned from his ministerial post and received a R100 000 fine and a sentence of 500 hours of community service, Manana was charged for assaulting his then domestic worker in 2018. At the time of the second assault case, Manana was a member of parliament. 

A parliamentary committee investigated the allegations. While announcing the investigation on 9 May 2020, the then National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete added that Manana remained innocent until proven otherwise.

Although he stepped down as an MP, the state did not find him guilty of the second assault. 

Speaking on the investigation, the National Prosecuting Authority’s spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane on 23 July 2018 said: 

Basically there are no prospects for success… The version of an independent eye witness who was allegedly present at the scene does not corroborate the version of the complainant.

Speaking to broadcast newsroom Enca during the red carpet coverage leading up to the 2020 State of the Nation address, Manana referred to himself as a reformed perpetrator and believes that the country has forgiven him. 


In August of 2018 Arthur Mafokate was acquitted of
In August of 2018 Arthur Mafokate was acquitted of the assault charges that singer Busisiwe Thwala had against him.(Photo: Getty/Gallo Images)

Arthur Mafokate

In August of 2018 Arthur Mafokate was acquitted of the assault charges that singer Busisiwe Thwala had against him. Thwala says the charges came after she suffered sexual, emotional and financial abuse at Mafokate’s hands. 

Speaking to Sunday World after being acquitted, Mafokate said that he lost “contracts worth millions” and stopped releasing music, performing and producing music because he was deeply affected by Twala’s claim.  


On 29 October 2019, house singer-songwriter Lady Z
On 29 October 2019, house singer-songwriter Lady Zamar said she had been “abused (verbally and once sexually)” by hip-hop artist Sjava in the past. (Photo by Frennie Shivambu/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Sjava

On 29 October 2019, house singer-songwriter Lady Zamar said she had been “abused (verbally and once sexually)” by hip-hop artist Sjava in the past. The Twitter thread, now removed from her account, was sparked by fans asking Lady Zamar about her relationship with Sjava following his sold out One Night with Sjava performance, two days prior. 

On 14 November 2019 Sjava released what he called his “final statement on the matter” on Twitter saying:

As a final statement on this matter, I write to you as my colleagues, business partners, peers and supporters to inform you that I will not be engaging on matters of assault and abuse levelled against me on social media or any other platform. I have instituted legal proceedings in the high court of SA and as such the matter is now sub judice.

In December of 2019 Sjava was a headline act AfroPunk, a festival which built its brands on a foundation that denounces sexism, racism, homophobia, ableism, fatphobia and other forms of violence. 

On 12 February 2019 the Cape Town International Jazz Festival announced its final line-up. Sjava was on the list. 

On 1 March 2020 he sold out the second iteration of One Night with Sjava. The event, which took place at the Durban International Convention Centre, received backing from Gagasi Fm and SABC 1. 

The next day Sunday World reported how Lady Zamara had opened a case against Sjava in November 2019. The report was based on confirmation from Limpopo police spokesperson Motlafela Mojapelo. Later on 2 March 2019 the CTIJF removed Sjava from its lineup saying

Due to the seriousness of the allegations levelled against Sjava, the Management of the Cape Town International Jazz Festival has withdrawn Sjava’s performance from the CTIJF 2020 line up. #CTIJF2020

On 27 August 2020 Sjava posted a 12 minute video to counter Lady Zamar's statements. 

He said that is confuses him that she would say he raped her because they continued dating afterwards. It also shocked him that Lady Zamar is afraid of him. 

I am not a rapist. I have for years been advocating for abuse of any kind, any shape or form, be it women or children abuse, even alcohol abuse,” he said... It’s been almost a year since these allegations have surfaced and I have lost everything. We’ve even tried to write to her legal team. They do not reply to requests for updates, and it’s painful now because I’ve lost my income. I’ve lost everything, I cannot work, I’ve been taken off shows, at this point I do not have any form of income because no one wants to work with me.

Fans responded to his video with a #JusticeForSjava hashtag. 

On the evening of 27 August 2020 Lady Zamar took to Instagram Live saying: 

Jabulani raped me. I did not give him consent. I told him to stop.



On 4 August 2020 actress and model Lerato Moloi re
On 4 August 2020 actress and model Lerato Moloi released a statement saying retired comedian and television personality Mongezi ‘Tol Ass Mo’ Mahlangu sexually assaulted her in 2014 while she was working on a television production (Photo: Instagram)

Tol Ass Mo

On 4 August 2020 actress and model Lerato Moloi released a statement saying retired comedian and television personality Mongezi ‘Tol Ass Mo’ Mahlangu sexually assaulted her in 2014 while she was working on a television production in Paarl, Western Cape. 

After being quiet for six years, Moloi shared parts of her story on Twitter in June of 2020. She details the consequences of speaking out in the statement saying: 

In the past two month’s I have been served with letters from his attorneys to remove my tweets. A protection order was then applied for against me along with an interim order demanding that I delete my tweets and effectively attempting to silence me just after I found my voice to speak about my experiences. This culminated in an arrest warrant being issued against me and my subsequent imprisonment.

Although Mahlangu’s wife has declared her support for him, the comedian or his legal representatives are yet to make a public statement regarding Moloi’s claim. 

However two weeks after Moloi’s statement was released, on 20 August 2020, television personality and actress Pearl Thusi took to social media to campaign for the upcoming season of her talk show, Behind The Story. Aired on BET Africa, one of Viacom’s subsidiary television channels, Behind The Story sees Thusi interviewing South Africa’s pop culture figures about personal matters that the show’s description refers to as “controversial”. 

In a bid to promote her show, Thusi announced how this season will feature sit downs with Khanyi Mbau, Tolass Mo and Mome. The tweet, which has since been deleted, read as follows: 

“Please send @BET_Africa any questions or any comments for Khanyi Mbau & Tolass Mo/Mome!!! Please send before 12:30!! !#BehindTheStoryBET”.

In response to the backlash, 24 August 2020, BET Africa released a statement on social media saying

BET Africa confirms that the Tol Ass Mo and Mome interview from the upcoming season of Behind the Story with Pearl Thusi will not be aired on the channel out of respect for the current environment, legal proceedings and the basis of impartiality.






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