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Total Shutdown dismayed by Arthur's acquittal, while Cici plots civil case

Arthur Mafokate
Image: Thulani Mbele

Gender-based movement Total Shutdown has been left discouraged and disheartened after music boss Arthur Mafokota was acquitted of assault against ex-girlfriend Busisiwe “Cici” Twala.

Speaking to Sowetan LIVE on Wednesday one of the organisers of the movement Loyiso Saliso pledged their continued support to Twala. Mafokate was on Tuesday acquitted of the charge of assault, with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm, at Midrand Magistrate’s Court.

“It’s discouraging and disheartening. It’s not the first case that the justice system keeps failing survivors and victims. It doesn’t make sense because this woman was physical harmed during this whole incident,” she said.

“She went through a lot of trauma that we witnessed as a country after she spoke about it and went through surgery.

We feel like even after we marched last year there is still no justice.

“There is no sense of urgency in assuring relevant consequences for such perpetrators. We stand with Busi. It’s just very disappointing.”

Saliso added that it would be unfair to tell Twala to toughen up and move on with her life.

“We can imagine what she’s going through after the torture and trauma of going to court. You really cannot say much to a survivor to make them feel better when there is no justice,” she said.

“To tell her to be strong and hang in there is so typical, because it’s much deeper than that.”

Twala laid charges of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm against Mafokate last year after an altercation between them allegedly turned violent. The Iqiniso singer claimed she was admitted to hospital and had to undergo hip surgery following the alleged altercation.

Mafokate had pleaded not guilty to the charge. During her testimony, Twala told the court that Mafokate had allegedly sexually, emotionally and financially abused her. She did not report any of these cases to the police as she did not want them to be publicised, she said. Last month, Twala was found not guilty on counter assault charges laid against her by Mafokate.

Meanwhile, Twala plans to file a civil lawsuit against Mafokate following his acquittal.

In a statement issued to Sowetan LIVE on behalf of Twala by her attorney Keegan Elliot, she confirmed that she will pursue justice through a civil lawsuit.

“We place on record, however, that our client intends to seek redress in alternate avenues – the aforesaid dismissal prevents the accused’s version from being placed before the Court, and accordingly the public,” Elliot said.

“Our client maintains that the truth of her injuries sustained will come to light in one forum or another, which is the most important redress that our client seeks – that the truth of the incident be brought to light.

“Accordingly, our instruction, at present, is to proceed with the civil suit previously noted.”

Elliot further explained the court’s judgment.

“We advise that the accused was acquitted during an application for dismissal, in terms of the Section174 of the Criminal Procedure Act,” he pointed out.

“During the aforesaid process, the Honourable Court weighs the matter, before the defence’s case, on the case presented by the Prosecution.

“At this juncture, we pause to thank the Prosecution for the commendable presentation during the argument of the aforesaid application.

“The Court accordingly held, inter alia, that insufficient evidence was lead in order to foresee a possible conviction of the accused, resultant of, inter alia, the accused’s probable intention during the incident leading up to the criminal charge.”

Twala declined to comment further on the judgment herself and referred SowetanLIVE to her attorney.

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