THE year is just not off to a good start for Gqom queen Bongekile Simelani (24), popularly known as Babes Wodumo. First she hit the headlines when news of her alleged assault by former boyfriend Mampintsha, real name Mandla Maphumulo, spread. Now the star is facing legal troubles of her own after a warrant was issued for her arrest when she failed to appear in court over an assault charge.
Babes, her manager and sister Nondumiso Simelane, and singer Thobeka Ndaba aka Tipcee allegedly assaulted a woman believed to be Babes’ friend at a guesthouse in March. The common assault case against the trio was opened at the Umbilo police station in Durban and they were set to make their first appearance in Court A, at the Durban Magistrate Court on 5 April.
WARRANT OF ARREST
But Babes was nowhere to be found, leaving the court with no option but to issue an arrest warrant for the musician and her two alleged accomplices. Their names were called out three times in the court corridors and none of them were present and neither were their legal representatives. The victim was also not present. The magistrate, Jackie Jonck, was not impressed and said the accused were all personally served with the summons. “A warrant of arrest has been issued for all the accused,” Magistrate Jonck declared.
A court official, who spoke on condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak, said they knew where Babes was booked. She was later arrested and fined R1,000 or alternatively spend 30 days in jail.
“She is booked at the Pavilion in Durban. The arrest is supposed to take place there,” the court official says.
Babes was also expected to perform at Artizen in KwaMashu the weekend after she was meant to appear in court.
WHAT STARTED IT ALL
By some accounts, the squabble started because Babes believes the victim leaked a video clip of the three accused and herself while at a guesthouse. In the video, Babes is seen talking about her relationship with Mamphitsha and having a good time, barely hours after she secretly live streamed her ex-boyfriend allegedly beating her up.
Public sympathy was divided after the leaking of the video, as some believed she should have been nursing a bruised body. In the clip she’s heard saying, “I was tired of the abuse”.
THEIR SIDE OF THE STORY
When Tipcee was called, she refused to comment. “I am going to exercise my right not to answer. I have a lawyer who is handling this matter,” she said before cutting the call.
When Nondumiso was called, she also refused to comment. “If it’s media, I am not saying anything.”
Speaking to news site TimesLive, Nondumiso said they’d had a late show the night before the court case.
“We actually had a gig last night so unfortunately we couldn’t make it, because we had car troubles.”
Babes’ phone went straight to voicemail.
Meanwhile, Babes is still dealing with the assault case she opened against Mampintsha. He handed himself over to the police after the video of the assault went viral and is currently out on bail. He has since apologised to his ex-girlfriend, her family and to the nation.