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DJ Fresh: I would never ever attempt to silence GBV activists

DJ Fresh has repeatedly denied the allegations of sexual assault which were first levelled against him on social media in 2019.

947 DJ Fresh, whose real name is Thato Sikwane. Picture: DJ Fresh Facebook.

JOHANNESBURG – 947 DJ Fresh, whose real name is Thato Sikwane, released a statement to address activist and poet Ntsiki Mazwai’s claims that he’s a rapist.

Mazwai told thousands of her followers that the popular DJ was a rapist while referencing another post on Facebook in which other alleged perpetrators of sexual violence were mentioned.

DJ Fresh explained why he took Mazwai to court saying: “Ntsiki Mazwai was contacted by my legal team and asked to remove her unsubstantiated posts. She declined to do so. The matter was escalated…”

Sikwane has repeatedly denied the allegations of sexual assault which were first levelled against him on social media in 2019.

His statement continued: “I would never ever attempt – or desire - to silence those worthy activists who stand against all legitimate and substantiated cases of GBV. In fact, I endorse their actions fully.”

He argued that the matter was escalated because the information posted was not only false, “it was significantly, personally harmful and hurtful to me and my family”.

Sikwane called on the nation to stand together in solidarity against perpetrators of gender-based violence.

“We cannot allow the voices of the many real and legitimate victims to be invalidated – or undermined - by the public perpetuation of false stories or unsubstantiated claims.”

HISTORY OF DJ FRESH’S RAPE ALLEGATIONS

In 2019, Twitter account @AmINext, which has since been removed from the social media platform, an anonymous person accused the DJ by name of rape at a popular club in Fourways.

He released a statement at the time saying: “As a person who has been in the entertainment industry for over two decades, I have considered myself as a tool and a voice for the unheard. I have never been one to shy away from taking responsibility for my actions and will not be starting now. I have faced all manner of false accusations from anonymous and identified parties; to which I have rarely responded”.

He said the comments were published "recklessly".

Sikwane also alluded to comments made by a former partner on social media. She did not name him in the posts.

"As for the statements made by someone I had a relationship with over 18 years ago, they are without merit and denied. I have, in the past, chosen to ignore this person, but due to the implications of the most recent statements, the matter has been referred to my attorneys to handle and I am not in a position to comment further at this time," he said.

MAZWAI IN COURT

The High Court in Johannesburg instructed Mazwai to refrain from making further derogatory statements about the 947 DJ.

Mazwai’s lawyer tried to convince the court that she was an activist who used social media platforms to reflect on issues of abuse because many victims did not have the means to defend themselves.

The legal team also argued that she did in fact delete her post to comply with Sikwane’s initial request and that silencing her would instill fear of speaking out.

Sikwane’s lawyers disagreed, telling Judge Brian Spilg that the poet singled out their client with unfounded derogatory statements, ultimately infringing on his dignity.

In the end, Spilg ruled in Sikwane’s favour. The cost order judgment is expected to be heard on Thursday.

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