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The big story: Jub Jub accused of rape, attempted murder

When he was released from prison in 2017 after serving four years for culpable homicide, SA hip-hop artist Jub Jub (real name Molemo Maarohanye) vowed to turn his life around. But this week the singer and TV host was back in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons: what started as a chummy chat on a podcast has led to a criminal complaint of rape and attempted murder. It began after Jub Jub was interviewed by DJ and podcaster Macgyver Mukwevho, widely known as MacG, and used the opportunity to trash talk two of his ex-girlfriends, actress Amanda du Pont and singer Kelly Khumalo. It was the worst kind of macho bravado. Last Thursday, Du Pont responded with an 18-minute Instagram video in which she said: “I was raped, physically and emotionally abused for two years by Jub Jub. The only thing I did wrong was keeping quiet. But that ends here. I will not be publicly ridiculed by this criminal.”  

Two more women – sports, arts and culture minister Nathi Mthethwa’s spokesperson, Masechaba Khumalo, and singer Bonokuhle Mtsweni – stepped forward after Du Pont’s statement and claimed they, too, were raped by Jub Jub. Du Pont says she plans to initiate civil and legal proceedings. Jub Jub has also been suspended by TV channel Moja Love, where he hosts the show Uyajola 9/9. He has denied all the allegations; he has, however, apologised to Du Pont for the comments he made about her on MacG’s podcast. It seems to be too little; too late; with the backlash against him growing and the threat of legal action he’s likely to be worried.

We’re worried, too. Tomorrow marks the end of the annual 16 Days of Activism campaign designed to draw attention to epidemic levels of violence against women and children. These high-profile allegations, involving well-known South Africans, are just the tip of the iceberg. Convictions are rare. Women who report sexual violence are often publicly shamed and blamed. And yet, men like MacG still offer comfortable spaces for others to sexualise and belittle women. 🙄 At least we know some men aren’t prepared to accept the status quo: cricket superstar Lungi Ngidi has partnered with the United Nations and the Uyinene Mrwetyana Foundation to highlight the realities of gender-based violence and to start agitating for change. We salute him, and everyone else who is trying to tackle this crisis head-on. 💫

This article appeared as part of The Wrap, 9 December 2021. Sign up to receive our weekly updates.