Sunday Twitter was lit after kwaito star Arthur Mafokate posted pictures of him with and Nomzamo Mbatha taken at the ANC election manifesto launch in Durban.
The reason for the uproar was due to Mbatha not only being a proud activist but also being a cover star in 2018 on the August Activism Issue of Cosmopolitan SA sporting a bodysuit with words such as "feminist" and "female".
Mafokate previously made headlines following assault charges laid by his former girlfriend Busisiwe "Cici" Twala.
Tweeps from all across Mzansi dragged Mbatha for agreeing to pose for a photo with Mafokate with many claiming that she is a "hypocrite" and not a real activist.
Nomzamo had a whole magazine cover on her activism.— Bonga Dlulane (@BongaDlulane) January 13, 2019
She laid it out there.
Now when she makes stupid mistakes we’re supposed to keep quiet?
Ke Nomzamo Mbatha, so apparently she is an Activist, and she happen to snapped a photo le Arthur Mafokate, which allegedly he is a women beater, so Nomzamo ha batho se ba re ke hypocrite ebe o re she was absent today minded. Search her o tla fumana lintlha ka botlalo😶😶— Ab'ti Tony (@DJtonywentworth) January 14, 2019
Nomzamo Mbatha has NEVER been a social activist,like most SA celebs,she's just a glorified hustler,singing for her supper when it matters!Show me any South African celebrity who has ever publicly spoke out against or condemned Arthury Mafokate other than mad child,Ntsiki Mazwai?— Nape A' Ngwato (@Mmeshi_Kgaphola) January 13, 2019
I love @NomzamoMbatha and think she’s such a Queen and I Stan. But a social activist never takes off their activist hat. This tweet is not for me it’s for the young woman that will bump into this and continue to be silent because you choose to be polite to an abuser. 💔💔 pic.twitter.com/YBmXpTNO0d— #BUSISIWE👑 (@cici_worldwide) January 13, 2019
As the Twitter storm raged, Mbatha issued an explanation and apology for the picture.
I’m cringing with you.— Nomzamo Mbatha (@NomzamoMbatha) January 13, 2019
I was walking past, post the concert and looking for my manager when he greeted and whipped out his phone for a picture. Being polite I absent ‘mindedly’ obliged
I’m definitely not a fan and I’m sorry I wasn’t present enough to say “FUCK OFF, no thanks.” https://t.co/aksdsQeWtC
Following the apology, many came to the "Isibaya" actresses defence.
You guys are being impossible. You do get lost sometimes and realize much later that you shouldn’t have done what you did. Y’all must be perfect angels in your lives. She apologized and explained how that came about.— 🎬🎥🌈🎭❤️ (@OratileMogoje) January 13, 2019
I love that you’ve taken the route to acknowledge fault. We truly learn and unlearn. This had to happen for a reminder Incase it happens again that what we stand for should be consistent & not be something we sometimes forget to apply. Kudos 💜— Itumeleng (@2meleng) January 13, 2019
Dear @NomzamoMbatha— Tebogo Mphahlele🇿🇦 (@Ms_Tebz) January 13, 2019
You’re a kind person, don’t ever doubt that.I’ve witnessed it myself (mind you I was a total stranger).
You’re human. You can’t carry the whole World’s weight on your shoulders & that’s totally okay. God will carry it for you.just keep going.
And as someone who’s been at these events & know the adrenaline coming off stage has, then having people coming on you your mind does get lost in... he had been circling her & took that short gap she was alone.— Pumza Nohashe (@PumzaNohashe) January 13, 2019
Thank you for acknowledging your error. I also hope in time you will be able to say no irrespective of how impolite it may seem because it is what you mean. Activism unfortunately has no room to be absent minded.— Wendy Tlou (@mswendyt) January 13, 2019
Mafokate also made a public apology to Mbatha on the micro-blogging site and asked that Mbatha not be blamed for the picture.
🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/zdj7vVJI4K— Arthur Mafokate (@ArthurMafokate) January 13, 2019
Mbatha has released a statement regarding the photo saying: "The picture was taken at a time when my guard was low; I should have exercised better judgement. I apologise, unreservedly, for that and want to reassure the public and my supporters that I firmly oppose abuse of any kind”.
“My heart goes out to all the victims of abuse. My heart broke when Cici (Busisiwe Twala) came out with her story of abuse. I applaud and encourage her for speaking out and for being a voice for many other victims of abuse and violence,” she added.
In all her corporate partnerships, Miss Mbatha always ensures that a social message is attached to her campaigns and runs various private programs where she personally supports those marginalized by gender, background and education.
The ANC also condemned the “conduct” of kwaito musician Arthur Mafokate who, according to them, arrived at the launch of the party's election manifesto in Durban this weekend uninvited and caused "undue mayhem".