Arthur Mafokate kicked out of Samro

Arthur Mafokate

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 nonexecutive 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".

Thousands of men marched through Pretoria streets yesterday as part of the #100MenMarch against violence and abuse of women and children, a scourge which has reached shocking levels in South Africa.
Thousands of men marched through Pretoria streets yesterday as part of the #100MenMarch against violence and abuse of women and children, a scourge which has reached shocking levels in South Africa.
Image: Thulani Mbele

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 resolution 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 the march 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 Information 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.

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