M-net and Somizi reach mutual agreement for him to take time off Idols amidst abuse allegations

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Photographer: Nick Boulton
Photographer: Nick Boulton

M-net has excused Idols SA judge, Somizi Mhlongo-Motaung from his role on the competition show after allegations of physical abuse were made against him by his estranged husband, Mohale Motaung-Mhlongo.

In a statement sent to TRUELOVE, the channel said that the decision was a mutual one between themselves and the entertainer.

READ MORE | SABC shelves Somizi while M-Net says they have yet to make a final decision

“M-Net and Mr Somizi Mhlongo-Motaung met to discuss his role on Idols SA in light of the allegations made against him. We have reached a mutual agreement that Mr Mhlongo will take some time off to deal with his personal circumstances until this matter has been resolved,” the statement read.

The news of M-net’s decision came just a few hours after Somizi released a statement refuting the claims that were allegedly made by Mohale in a leaked voice recording between him and a television production house.

Mohale has admitted that it is indeed him on the recording but he did not give consent to its release.

In the rather frank recording,  Mohale (27) , painfully recounts moments of terror and physical abuse which he allegedly experienced at the hands of the 48-year-old star, Somizi, during their relationship. Mohale also alleges that Somizi had tried to sabotage his efforts of becoming financially independent which subsequently cost him his relationship with production outlets.

I am, at this stage, not at liberty to dive deeper into the details...
Somizi Mhlongo

He also claims Somizi tried to run him off the road in a fit of rage. Recounting his night of sheer horror, Mohale says he left Somizi’s house after a verbal altercation and to his shock, shortly after driving away, he noticed Mhlongo’s G-Wagon tailing him. “ He bumped my Audi, a couple of times”

In his statement which was posted on Friday morning, Somizi addressed both these allegations and claimed that they were not completely true.

“Our relationship had its ups and downs, but I have never been physically or knowingly emotionally abusive towards my estranged husband. I vehemently deny the allegations of criminal acts towards him and would like to clear my name of that defamation,” Somizi wrote before adding that the couple only had one altercation during their relationship.

“What I am going to state however, is that we had one altercation in which I had to defend myself and both of us were physically hurt by the other. I am, at this stage, not at liberty to dive deeper into the details but can state that he is not a victim in this situation."

Somizi then went on to deny sabotaging Mohale’s efforts of being financially independent and said that he encouraged opportunities that came his way and even helped in him in obtaining some of those opportunities.

READ MORE | 9 abuse red flags to look out for in a potential partner

Idols SA viewers will still see him on their screens till Sunday, 22 August 2021, as the auditions for the ongoing season were pre-recorded.

On Thursday, the SABC had also met with Somizi and had decided to grant him his request of taking some time off from his METRO FM show amidst the social media backlash he had been receiving since the allegations were levelled against him.

“The Corporation has also noted the comments on social media about Mr. Mhlongo and we would like to point out that the public service broadcaster does not condone any acts of abuse and violence," SABC's group executive for corporate affairs and marketing, Gugu Ntuli, said.

Speaking to TRUELOVE, Mohale said that he had seen Somizi’s statement but could not comment before consulting with his legal team.

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