According to Sowetan Live, South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has decided to withdraw the rape case against hip-hop artist, Sjava. This comes after a year-long investigation which began when house musician, Lady Zamar, first opened the rape case against Sjava in 2019. The South African Police Services (SAPS) escalated the case to the NPA last year in order for them to decide on whether the case should be prosecuted. Limpopo police spokesperson, Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe, confirmed to the media that Sjava’s rape case has been declined for prosecution. Lady Zamar has been facing backlash on social media following the recent outcome of her case.
NPA spokesperson, Mashudu Malabi-Dzhangi, stated that, “The state declined to prosecute the case because it believed the facts or evidence do not support a successful prosecution.”
Both Lady Zamar and Sjava had reportedly been secretly dating for two years. However, Lady Zamar then alleged that Sjava had raped her back in 2017, just five months after they had initially met.
Lady Zamar officially reported the incident to a local police station in October of last year and a case was subsequently opened. When the news broke out, the public took both artists through gruelling trials on different social media platforms. Sjava continuously maintained his innocence especially as he increasingly lost out on singing and acting gigs. Conversely, Lady Zamar was painted out as the “disgruntled girlfriend” after Sjava revealed during a live concert that he was actually married.
This case highlights the continued rape culture which is embedded in the music industry. Nigerian artist Dbanj‘s rape case was dropped by Nigerian police earlier this year after a “family intervention” was held between the alleged victim, Seyitan Babatayo, and the artist’s own family.
Head of Universal Music Group South Africa, Shouneez Adams, under which Lady Zamar is currently signed, said that she was not aware that charges had been withdrawn against Sjava. There has not been an official response from Lady Zamar or Sjava concerning the NPA’s decision.
Twitter has been polarised with people offering their views on the tenuous matter.
I don’t even want to enter lendaba ka Sjava no Lady Zamar. There’s too many unknowns..
Rape is such an emotive top… https://t.co/jNKMQFZpWX
— A Black Woman
(@A Black Woman )1605594518.0
Zamar was angry that Sjava exposed his wife to the world at sun arena… Mxm… It’s been obvious from the beginnin… https://t.co/zb7nGVSoVx
As long as sisaphila, we should never forget what Lady Zamar did to Sjava.
— P M O
(@P M O )1605592792.0
In the other old news, we can now play Sjava without court of public opinion judgement, right?