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Five members of local band Azania have told the Cape Argus they were shocked to discover that their photos had made a splash on the internet via a stolen laptop.
The five musicians, who have just finished touring the Eastern Cape, say they have an innocent explanation for how they came into possession of the device, which belongs to graphic designer Fred Viljoen.
It all started in February when Viljoen’s laptop was stolen from his Vredehoek flat. Due to cloud technology installed on the computer, any images transferred on to the device were automatically uploaded onto the internet. Last week, Viljoen discovered a series of images in his online storage system and realised they came from his stolen laptop.
He shared the photos with his friends, who posted them on Twitter and Facebook, urging users to help them identify the people in the photos.
The Cape Argus published some of the pictures, which featured members of Azania, a band member’s house and dagga.
“Boom, I open the paper and I see my face,” an upset Wakhile Xhalisa, bass player for the band, told the Cape Argus on Thursday.
“It makes us look like gangsters. I have never even held a knife in my life.”
Later, keyboard player Ricky Bushula explained that “a friend of a friend” approached him last Wednesday to see if he wanted to buy the laptop, and gave it to him for a few days to test. Bushula had asked the unidentified seller for the computer’s papers.
He connected the computer to the internet and plugged his camera into it, which prompted the cloud technology to upload the camera’s pictures on to Viljoen’s online storage system.
The pictures on the camera, which Bushulu had taken himself, date back to December and include pictures of the band and Bushula’s house.
Bushula said the pictures of dagga were taken while he was on an island near Madagascar, where he was amused by the large amounts of the drug available in the area.
According to Bushula, he returned the laptop to the seller on Friday after he did not receive the necessary documentation
Bushula said after reading the Cape Argus’s story about the laptop, he reported the matter to the police.
Viljoen said he believed the band’s story. ”It was never my intention to humiliate anyone – my goal was to find the laptop.”
He intends to discuss the issue with his insurers this week and hand over the new evidence, which may reopen the case.