Arthur Mafokate has been fired from the Southern African Music Rights Organisation (Samro) after the music rights group finally heeded the call to boot the kwaito king from its board.

But this came a month ago after Samro told Sowetan that “the organisation respected the process of the law and believed all people were presumed innocent until proven guilty by a court of law”.

But yesterday, the music rights organisation made a U-turn and removed the 999 Music boss as a non-executive director.

Mafokate faces a charge of assault for allegedly beating up his ex-girlfriend Busisiwe “Cici” Twala. He also laid a counter-charge of assault and the matters are currently being heard at the Midrand Magistrate’s Court.

Mafokate said in a text message: “I am equally surprised as you [are] as no one has yet informed me of the decision. One can only suspect that there is more to this, than meets the eye. I have been a law-abiding member of the Samro board who is entirely free of shenanigans. I will wait to be informed and advise my lawyer about it [and] then take it from there.”

The decision to show Mafokate the door came after a board meeting on June 28, which viewed the allegations he faces in serious light.

Samro said consultations with Mafokate took place and the organisation’s stance on gender-based violence was also discussed. Samro said the grievous allegations against the king of kwaito “went to the heart of the violations that South African women face on a daily basis”.

Samro board member Jerry Mnisi said: “We are sensitive to the unique and added vulnerabilities faced by women in the music industry. Samro strongly and unequivocally condemns any violence, and especially [which is] perpetrated against women. This is something each member of our organisation, including the board, is aware of.

“It was unanimously agreed that the ongoing court case involving Mr Mafokate and Ms Busisiwe Twala has continued to attract undesirable, and quite frankly worrying publicity, which has also caused serious harm to the public perception of the organisation.”

Mnisi added that the resolu- tion of the board, was neither a pronouncement on the potential outcome nor merits of the case. He said Mafokate has since been given notice of the decision, and has been given rights to respond to the notice within five calendar days, failing which the resolution to remove him as nonexecutive board member is passed.

Meanwhile, Mafokate stayed away from the #100MenMarch in Pretoria yesterday, despite initially stating he would show up.

He issued a statement while themarch was underway, saying: “I have decided to no longer participate in the #100MenMarch to which I was invited to participate through RiSA, Samro and SAACYF, due to opposition as well as threats I and my immediate family have received.”

He maintained his innocence: “That I stand accused of having perpetrated violence against a woman does not mean I am guilty thereof.”

The 100MenMarch which was organised by the Government Communications Infor- mation System (GCIS), attracted thousands of men from all walks of life.

The men, walking as individuals or representing various organisations, marched from Church Square in central Pretoria to the Union Buildings where they signed a memorandum of support for efforts to combat violence against women and children.

The march was jovial and cheerful at times with a lot of dancing and loud music and sombre during heartfelt speeches.

It was attended by mostly politicians, government officials and social activists, including Minister of Police Bheki Cele, Minister of Women in the Presidency Bathabile Dlamini and Minister of Communications Nomvula Mokonyane.

Assault case doesn’t mean I am guilty

It’s absurd that the milestone #100 MenMarch against abuse of women and children in Pretoria yesterday, descended into a mudslinging contest between Arthur Mafokate and his detractors.

The controversial king of kwaito sparked outrage on Sunday when he announced that he would be joining the march.

What followed was a barrage of insults, pleas and protest against Mafokate, who stands accused of beating up his ex-girlfriend and singer Busisiwe “Cici” Twala.

The matter is ongoing at the Midrand Magistrate’s Court where Mafokate also laid a counter charge of assault against Twala.

But here is the thing: you don’t need to be found guilty or not guilty first to read the situation.

Mafokate’s insistence on joining the march is a tragic display of a lack of empathy and sensitivity towards women who have become victims of abuse. It sends mixed signals to them and society at large, especially because Mafokate has not owned up or apologised for the turn of events on that fateful morning at his house in Midrand.

To paint himself as a warrior and friend of the movement against violence on women and children is hypocrisy at its worst.

Perhaps things would have been different if he had not been found guilty and had a message to send about being falsely accused; or if he was found guilty then he could talk about rehabilitation and changing men’s ways. As things stand, what is he saying?

It’s a spit in the face of the movement and women and children who experience this.

As organisers of the march, Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) should have taken a decisive stand and blocked Mafokate. The statement they issued distancing themselves from Mafokate’s shadow at the march did little for the cause.

The idea here should be to isolate and eliminate, at least until after the matter is settled and a judgment handed down. Enough with this shameless culture of not owning up or having no moral awareness or ethical consideration when it comes to matters of this tragic nature. Thank goodness Mafokate stayed away in the end.

We applaud thousands of men who poured out onto the streets of the capital. It’s a significant stand that should not be contaminated by bad elements parading as allies.


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