Sjava says ‘I did not rape her’, accuses Lady Zamar of dodging defamation lawsuit

The musician says he won't be subjected to standing 'trial by social media' and it's impossible for him to remain quiet.

Amid growing controversy that this week saw singer Jabulani Hadebe (alternatively Makhubo), known professionally as Sjava, removed from the line-up of the Cape Town International Jazz Festival, the artist finally broke his silence about rape allegations against him in a statement on Tuesday.

He denied that he had raped his former lover, musician Lady Zamar, who had opened a case of rape against him in November last year. 

She reportedly claimed she was raped after the two performed at the Royal Heritage Festival in Limpopo in 2017. 

In his statement, Sjava revealed that his lawyers had sent a letter of demand to Lady Zamar in November after she had accused him of abusing her following one of his shows on October 27.

A day after they served summons on her for a case of defamation, 13 November, Lady Zamar opened the rape case, he said.

Sjava added that he had then cooperated with the police, who had told him they were still investigating, including interviewing witnesses, and that he had not been charged. By January, it was still being decided whether he would be prosecuted, he was told.

By February, Sjava’s legal team apparently pushed ahead with the defamation lawsuit against his accuser, after which Sjava was contacted by tabloid Sunday Sun, who informed him they were writing an article about the alleged rape.

He took issue with some of the questions posed to him, including one about Lady Zamar’s “ulterior motives”, which he believed would have been better put to Lady Zamar.

He has accused the police of breaking protocols for allegedly talking to the media about his case despite the musician not having been charged yet.

He explained that he had refrained from answering questions about the case because, among other things, he had received advice from the police not to. He could, however, not remain silent due to the massive attention the case was getting and the effect it was having on him.

He said “we are looking at our options” with regards to the SAPS “talking to the media/public”.

Read his full statement below:

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