Music producer Chicco Twala tells DRUM why he’s had enough of his drug-addicted son and turned him in for stealing
ASK any parent and they will tell you that they want only the best for their children. They want their kids to have better lives than they did. They might even hope their children will want to build on the legacy they’ve worked so hard to create. Never did Sello “Chicco” Twala imagine that all he’d wish for his son – his only adult boy – was jail time.
Yet this is the shocking situation Chicco finds himself in.
After years of the family falling victim to the demons of addiction that burdened Longwe Twala (34), the legendary musician and producer has reached breaking point.
“Maybe if he can spend 10 to 15 years there, he will come back a better person,” he says.
A recent video which surfaced on social media shows Chicco handing Longwe over to authorities at Diepkloof Police Station in Soweto. He’d allegedly stolen a friend’s cellphone.
As the footage zooms in on Longwe, who is waiting to be processed and seems unfazed by his surroundings, Chicco can be heard launching a tirade, filled with rage and disgust, at his son.
“You will never get bail! We will oppose that bail vigorously. You must never get bail!
“I worked hard for my name. I can’t stand this sh*t.”
An off-camera voice asks an uncuffed Longwe if he will run, but it is Chicco who responds, “Where would he run to? Put a bullet in him if he runs away! Shoot him because he is under arrest at the moment. I am his father, I can witness the shooting. The way my heart feels, I don’t care. I would rather bury you. You are better off dead!”
They’ve been struggling with Longwe’s addiction for 15 years, a heartbroken Chicco tells DRUM.
They are at their wits’ end now as
Longwe’s increasingly hostile and criminal actions get worse and worse.
“He’d steal clothes and cellphones to sell. Last year I even had to kick him out of my other property where he lived, a student accommodation. He was stealing from the tenants. He’s a grown man now and I can’t take the backlash for his actions.
“He can’t even tell me why he uses drugs,” Chicco says. “He’s not someone who grew up struggling. The best he can say is that it is just a habit.
“I grew up in a much more difficult time and I never turned to drugs.”
IT’S clear Chicco has now given up on his son. It wasn’t an overnight decision and it’s been a long road to leading to this heart-breaking point. “He’s been in and out of rehab centres. It’s even difficult to calculate the amount of money that I have spent on him. He has been to so many rehab centres, some which he went back to four to five times, and they are all private, so they are expensive.
“The reason you do that is because you want him to be a better person, but if he refuses to be better, what can one do?”
Chicco says he will no longer deal with a son who continues to tarnish his name. “There is nothing as painful as not trusting your own child,” Chicco told The Sowetan. “Longwe has sticky fingers and has been stealing from me.
“I used to wonder how some parents could kill their own kids . . . but these drugs can push you to the point where you think, ‘This child is better off dead’.”
He tells DRUM that Longwe has
exhausted all chances of redemption.
“I’ve heard him sing the same tune over 15 times, that he will change, but that has not happened. As it stands, I don’t want him around me and will not accept him the way he is.
“At the moment, no one wants him. The only people who do want him are those who do not know him.”
Nothing frustrates Chicco more than how Longwe’s recent actions have refuelled conspiracy theories around the death of soccer player Senzo Meyiwa.
“Remember, it was said that I am the one who gave my gun to him [Longwe] to kill Senzo,” Chicco tells us.
In the now-viral video Chicco can be heard telling his son, “I so wish it was you who killed Senzo Meyiwa so that you can rot in jail.”
“I was not there when Senzo was killed,” Chicco tells us. “I don’t even know whether they were at a party or whatever they were doing. But people started saying that my firearm is the one that was used and that they were fighting and all sorts of things.”
IN WHAT was said to be a robbery gone wrong, Senzo was at then girlfriend Kelly Khumalo’s mother’s home along with Kelly’s mother, son and sister Zandi.
Zandi’s then-boyfriend, Longwe, as well as Senzo’s friends, Mthokozisi Twala and Tumelo Madlala, were also there.
Chicco says he tried talking to Longwe about cleaning up his act as the investigation into Senzo’s death is still ongoing. “But he didn’t listen. Every time he does something it is me who people gun for.”
Despite the fact social-media users previously accused Chicco of protecting his son over his alleged involvement in the killing of Senzo, at the time of Senzo’s death Chicco told the media he would not defend Longwe if he was the killer – and he stands by that now more than ever.
“When Senzo was murdered he was with two of his best friends. So if those two friends saw my son kill him, then they must say it.
“South Africa must stop listening to people of social media who are creating all these fake stories for the sake of getting followers.
“The people who know who killed Senzo are the ones who were in that house – Kelly Khumalo, my son and all the others.”
Yet he later told The Sowetan that while his son maybe a drug addict, he isn’t violent.
“I believe Longwe’s story about what happened on the day Senzo was killed. He does not carry a gun. If Longwe had murdered Senzo, I would have handed him over to the police.”
Meanwhile, the police have confirmed they have arrested Longwe for the “theft of a cellphone”.
When Longwe was located, he had already sold the phone and directed the police to where it had been sold.
Gauteng police spokesperson Brigadier Mathapelo Peters confirmed it, saying, “A suspect was arrested on a theft case reported at Diepkloof SAPS on January 8 2020. The 34-year-old suspect appeared before court on January 9.”
Longwe is believed to have been out on bail for another theft, and it’s believed that bail was paid by Chicco’s sister.
Chicco tells us Longwe’s bail was recently set at R2 000.
“I refuse to pay it. And I told his aunt to not bail him out either. At this point in time, it is my name and my legacy that he is tarnishing.”
‘When Senzo was murdered he was with two of his best friends. So if those two friends saw my son kill him, then they must say it’