Nonzwakazi Cekete
Journalist
2 minute read
4 Mar 2021
3:28 pm

Fresh and Euphonik ‘Sunday World’ story deemed ‘insensitive’, sparks protest

Nonzwakazi Cekete

Protestors gathered outside the Sunday World offices to deliver a memorandum following an article they say was insensitive to the woman who accused DJ Fresh and Euphonik of rape.

This is the WhatsApp message that led to a protest outside the Sunday World offices.

The rape allegations involving DJ Fresh and Euphonik hasn’t died down and has, in fact, gained momentum.

Even though the courts have cleared the names of the two disc jockeys, a mass protest by activists, led by an organisation called Wise 4 Afrika, ensued outside the offices of the Sunday World newspaper in Dunkeld after the tabloid published a damning article titled, “Rape accuser apologises to Euphonik- I’m sorry for what I did to you and DJ Fresh, I am scared.”

The activists, along with TV personality Penny Lebyane, handed a petition to Sunday World editor Wally Mbhele and said: “We are appalled that Sunday World is among those who perpetuate a rape culture through reporting that abusive to survivors, undermines existing laws and enables impunity enjoyed by accused perpetrators.”

They are demanding that the journalist, Ngwako Malatji, be dismissed and that the paper makes a public retraction as prominent as the article published. They further want to engage the paper on how it can report sensitively on gender-based violence.

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They are complaining that the article published contained “confidential”  information about the case and information sourced from a police statement.

Besides that, there has been a WhatsApp message circulating, claiming that the woman who had opened a case against DJ Fresh and Euphonik had apologised to Euphonik.

The activists say Sunday World published the article without verifying the authenticity and the accuracy of the WhatsApp message and further didn’t speak to the victim to verify if the WhatsApp was really from her and that the contents of the message were accurate.

“DJ Euphonik himself removed the tweet of the fake WhatsApp message therefore Sunday World should have retracted the article as early as 27 February 2021,” the memorandum reads.

The memorandum also states that additional information sourced from the police was done without the victim’s consent and knowledge.

“This conduct (the leaking of personal and confidential information only to be used for criminal proceedings) is detrimental not only to the safety of victims of gender-based violence but also an infringement of their rights to privacy, confidentiality and right of protection under the law.”

Mbhele received the memorandum and said: “I stand here today to accept this memorandum out of respect and humility. This is a majestic movement that must be supported by all people who oppose gender-based violence.”

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