SA Music Awards (Sama) organiser and Recording Industry of SA (Risa) chief executive Nhlanhla Sibisi is being investigated by police for a case of crimen injuria after he allegedly called businessman and SA Music Industry Council (Samic) national executive member Brian Mokoena a woman abuser through text messages sent last month.
Mokoena, who previously worked with veteran musician Arthur Mafokate as his music manager, opened the criminal charge at Douglasdale Police Station on September 5 following a disagreement with Sibisi, who is also the deputy president of Samic, over the council’ submission of the Copyright Amendment Bill to the parliamentary portfolio committee on trade and industry last month, allegedly without consulting national executive members.
Gauteng police spokesperson Mavela Masondo confirmed that a case was registered, but said no arrests had been made.
“The investigating officer is in the process of obtaining a warning statement from the suspect and the docket will be taken to court for a decision,” he said.
City Press has seen a text screenshot of the alleged insult from Sibisi, which reads: “And I still have your audio about three women… Without Arthur you are nothing! Bashing your wife’s head against a toilet seat, really? You actually are not fit to sit in any industry platform!”
Speaking to City Press, Mokoena said that Sibisi chose to be malicious when he couldn’t explain why documents were submitted to Parliament without the buy-in of the whole leadership of the organisation.
“Since he is an advocate, he should know better than to accuse me of abuse when there is no proof of those statements. I have never been found guilty of abuse by any court of law, so this is an attack on my reputation.”
Mokoena said it was important to consult the national executive committee because the document needs to address all concerns regarding intellectual property in the music industry.
“The level of toxicity in Samic is unbearable. Today I am going to write them my resignation letter, but I am going to enforce my rights.”
He said he was worried that Sibisi would spread similar allegations to industry colleagues, which would further harm his reputation.
“I still maintain that if anyone has laid a case of abuse against me then they must come forward … I am not an abuser of any kind … and as an officer of the court, [Sibisi] should know better.”
Sibisi, however, told City Press that he considered the charges a waste of resources.
“It is not worth commenting about. It is a waste of time and taxpayer money,” he said after referring us to media reports where Mokoena was alleged to have assaulted a woman.
“I hope you will write about why these women withdraw their cases against him after [he admitted] to bashing his wife against the toilet seat and kneeling on the other [woman], almost suffocating her,” he said.