Bonang Matheba wants apology, R500k from podcaster over cocaine claims

Through the letter from attorneys Thompson Wilks, dated 16 May 2021, Matheba said Rea Gopane unlawfully and falsely accused her of introducing musician Kiernan 'AKA' Forbes to cocaine.

A screengrab of Rea Gopane and Blvck Steph on their podcast in a clip circulated on 9 May 2021. Picture: Screengrab/ Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - Media personality Bonang Matheba on Sunday night published a legal letter addressed to a broadcaster, accusing them of spreading lies about her.

Through the letter from attorneys Thompson Wilks, dated 16 May 2021, Matheba said Rea Gopane unlawfully and falsely accused her of introducing musician Kiernan 'AKA' Forbes to cocaine.

On 9 May, Gopane and podcast partner Blvck Steph on Everything SA Music recorded a podcast and video containing the allegations while talking about Forbes's fiancé, Anele Tembe.

"Scoop told us that AKA is on [cocaine] and Bonang is the one that got him into cocaine," he said in the video circulated widely on social media. He was referring to a confidential conversation they had with actor Siyabonga Ngwekazi, also known as Scoop.

Tembe died in April after falling out of a hotel room window in Cape Town. There have been widespread rumours about whether it was suicide or not, as well as others saying the pair were on drugs.

Tembe's father at her funeral came out to speak on alcohol and drugs being a debilitating problem for South Africa's youth.

"In the context of what was being discussed in the video clip this defamatory allegation was exacerbated by the shocking insinuation that the death of AKA's girlfriend, Anele 'Nellie' Tembe, was due to AKA's alleged use of cocaine," the letter stated.

"The allegations were defamatory, hurtful and were deliberately intended to humiliate my client and undermine her reputation."

The lawyer also said that Gopane knew the allegations were false and "knew full well that these utterances would be widely viewed given my client's high public profile".

Along with an apology across all his social media platforms, Gopane has to - according to the lawyers' letter - pay R500,000 in damages by 4 pm on Monday. If it is not done, Matheba could apply for an interdict against him.

The lawyer said that Gopane was contacted to give a full apology and retraction, which he committed to doing. However, no apology was made public.

"You did not fulfill this undertaking and instead went into public hiding and refused to either respond to messages or calls. You also refused to provide your email address."

He was also asked to provide an email address to avoid being served a summons on social media.

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