Chicco defends izinkabi claim

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Twala, who admits to warning Vanara of Ndlovu’s alleged hiring of izinkabi.
Twala, who admits to warning Vanara of Ndlovu’s alleged hiring of izinkabi.
Leon Sadiki


Legendary musician Sello “Chicco” Twala has come out guns blazing and says he is ready for a face-off with former SABC sportscaster Owen Ndlovu in court.

Twala told City Press on Friday that he had damning recordings and WhatsApp messages that supported his decision to warn SABC lawyer and former parliamentarian Mthuthuzeli Vanara about Ndlovu threatening his life.

This week, it emerged that Twala was named as a witness in a criminal case involving Vanara, after Vanara claimed that he had been told by the musician that Ndlovu had travelled to KwaZulu-Natal to hire izinkabi (hitmen) to kill him in December.

To retaliate, Vanara allegedly hired his own izinkabi and sent Ndlovu a WhatsApp message to warn him that he was also armed.

READ: Chicco Twala in the centre of SABC men's inkabi murder threats

Ndlovu took the message to the police to open a criminal case of intimidation and obtain an interim protection order against Vanara.

Vanara appeared at the Booysens Magistrates’ Court on Thursday and the matter was postponed to next month.

The fight between the two was sparked by a long-standing legal matter wherein Ndlovu publicly blamed Vanara for blocking a payment amounting to R36 million by the SABC for work he did for the public broadcaster through his company, Owen Ndlovu Entertainment.

Twala, who admits to warning Vanara of Ndlovu’s alleged hiring of izinkabi, is a witness for Vanara in the criminal case, and says he is ready to stand before the court to defend his decision.

He said:

Owen is very conniving and he lies a lot. I was in his office at the SABC when he told me these things [about hiring izinkabi].

“Fortunately, I have been warned about how to deal with them [Ndlovu and his wife], so I record everything that happens when I am with them. I have it on record and even through direct WhatsApp messages when he told me.”

However, Ndlovu’s wife, Portia, defended her husband and said Twala was lying and had a vendetta against them because they refused to give him a stake in their company.

“Chicco came to our studios and he wanted to see how my company operates and, after we showed him around, he said he had a proposal and he wanted to be part of the company. I asked him how and he said he ... saw potential and that it was a growing business. I said that would not work because the business was already standing...

“This was the same day he started fighting with Owen through text messages at night because I rejected his offer and said I did not want to partner with him, because I did not understand how he would feature in my business,” she said.

However, Twala rubbished this and provided a recording that he says he made during the meeting. He can be heard saying that he does not want to be part of Owen Ndlovu Entertainment, instead expressing a wish to start a similar company from scratch.

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In an affidavit that Twala deposed to, he states that his disagreement with Ndlovu happened on the same day of the meeting at the SABC, after he was alerted that the former sportscaster was being investigated by the arts and culture department for misuse of R2 million.

Twala said he called Ndlovu for an explanation after he was made aware that his name was mentioned as one of the people who Ndlovu paid R50 000 to for a project.

“He said in his report that he paid me the money to bring Doja Cat and Mary J Blige to the country. How is that even possible? With that R2 million, one could never bring Mary J Blige to the country. So, I called him to enquire about this and he immediately started fighting with me.

Twala said:

Owen and his wife are not good people. They are very dangerous and people must be careful when dealing with them.

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