While South Africa is still reeling in shock following the tragic passing of thespian Patrick Shai, Somizi Mhlongo came out guns blazing, slamming cyberbullies.
According to Somizi these cyberbullies may have contributed to Shai taking his own life.
Shai died at his Dobsonville home on Saturday morning. He was 65.
Though sources close to the family told The Star it was Shai's wife Mmasechaba who discovered the late actor hanging from the garage ceiling, family spokesperson Amogelang Mmusi declined to reveal the cause of death.
Shai’s death came just days after a video of him challenging Cassper Nyovest to a boxing match in which he refers to the rapper as a ’son of a b...h“ went viral. Shai later issued an apology but even then trolls continued to bash him.
In a video shared on his Instagram on Sunday, the “Idols SA” judge blasted all those who “hide behind the keyboard” and encourage a “modern form of ostracism” called cancel culture, something that is fast becoming a norm in the social media streets.
“Social media is the biggest cause of suicide because of cyberbullying,” said Somizi.
“Bra Patrick for instance, I've known him personally and I wouldn't jump to the conclusion that (cyberbullying) was the reason he committed suicide. I don’t know.”
The star went on to explain that he watched the video where Shai was talking about the fight (with Cassper).
“I only watched it once and I could tell that this was all a joke.
“It came out wrong to a certain extent. But he apologised but social media went in... and now we wonder if we are partly responsible for his passing. Are we going to live with that?”
The star went on to address the internet trolls.
“To the bullies, you are creating your karma. Whether you tried dragging someone's name through the mud, whether you tried to make them feel inferior, whether you try to crush their self-esteem, you must know, you will reap what you saw.
Karma will deal with you... It may not find you but it will find your bloodline, I'm warning you.”
Watch the full video below:
Meanwhile, seasoned actor and director Hloma Dandala also slammed those who harassed Shai following the Cassper video.
“All those people who came for him for likes. I hope you’re happy,” said Dandala on Sunday after receiving the sad news of Shai’s passing.
In the video, that went viral, Shai referred to Cassper as “son of b...h”.
He wrote: “None are so dangerous as those who don’t know that they don’t know.”
“For the record: Son of a bitch is a slur. And is sometimes even used affectionately. It is not a reference to one’s family.”
Shai’s family announced that the memorial service for the legendary actor will take place at the Market Theatre on Thursday, January 27 at 12pm.
And his funeral service will be held at the Soweto Theatre, on Saturday, January 29 at 8am.